Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunflower Garden for Paintings of Sunflowers by K. Joann Russell

First Sunflower of 2011 Garden
Photo

Each year my sunflower garden provides me lots of reference poses for my paintings of sunflowers. A late wet spring and only 3,323 minutes of summer for the Seattle area made me wonder if my sunflowers would even bloom before frost covered them. Alas, in the last several days the first sunflower bloomed! Then several more popped out only to start drooping from a pounding by wind and rain storms.

Among the several photos I took of this one sunflower I found this pose the most interesting. It made me think of petal like layers of a skirt blowing in the wind. I wanted to show the greens of the blossom head and the leaves. I deliberately left out the top petals of the sunflower. The challenge now is to draw a composition for a painting.

You'll find lots of sunflowers in original paintings and prints on my website.


Monday, September 19, 2011

My Daughter, Photo Page Designer Elizabeth Sawyer, Featured on Ali Edwards Blog

One of my daughters, Elizabeth Sawyer, is featured today on the popular Ali Edwards blog. Both girls are extremely creative in lots of ways not just scrapbooks and photo albums. They mastered those quickly and started thinking outside the box, their natural bent. It's great seeing Liz getting some recognition today for the oohs and aahs that she and her sister receive when people see their design work. Proud mother here, as you can tell.

Here's my contribution to the world of originality for today. I finished a colorful landscape oil painting of a mountain lake with autumn foliage. This is a composite of the lakes in Oregon and Washington and reminds me of hiking into these pristine and peaceful lakes.



"Mountain Lake in Autumn"
8 x 10" oil on canvas panel
$64.95





Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Colorful ACEO Painting in Pastel Pink Watercolors Challenge Artist K. Joann Russell

"Sweet Peas" ACEO Original Painting
3.5 x 2.5" watercolor on watercolor paper
$14.50 with free S and H
SOLD

Pastel pink flowers among my garden sweet peas challenged me to paint their fragile petals in delicate colors. For a person who is a jewel tones type pastels are a big challenge. Even painting in light colors without strong contrasts is definitely not my forte. This ACEO original painting met the challenge.

The beautiful soft colors of these flowers needed to be painted in a transparent technique to show how delicate they and their fragrance were in the hot weather.

I chose one stem of these beautiful pink flowers to paint in watercolors. Because the folds of the petals are so intricate I used watercolor pencils to draw them in a representational style. The final effect of the watercolors is somewhat abstract due to the flower shapes.

I like this unique piece of art for the challenges it posed to me. In addition, pastels rarely appear in the strong colors I tend to use in my colorful paintings.
You can view more paintings in this size here.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Colorful Painting Sketch Using Three Colors by Artist K. Joann Russell


Color Sketch
5 x 9 inch acrylic on paper
A color sketch I recently painted with only 3 colors turned out unusually beautiful. The limited palette consisted of green gold, light blue violet, and dioxazine purple. The variety of colors achieved by mixing the blue and olive green were more than the scanner could show you. Be sure to click on the image to enlarge it to see the variety of colors and textures.
 
As you may know, my nearly daily fun with colors results in color sketches for my artist journal. I never tire of playing with colors to see what I can find from color mixes. These sketches spurred me on to doing small abstract paintings in a series of color explorations entitled, "Color Chords".
 
The small abstract paintings I now paint on watercolor paper greeting cards have surprisingly become quite popular. People use them for gifts, unique greeting cards, or framed collections of art for their decor. Some that have recently sold are shown on my website.

You'll find an entire section of my Etsy shop kjoannrussell filled with these colorful 4 x 6" acrylic paintings on one of a kind greeting cards. Soon the growing collection will be available on my website.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Abstract Flowers Sketches With Limited Palettes by K. Joann Russell

Colorful Abstract Flower Painting by K. Joann Russell
Abstract Nasturtiums Color Sketch
5 x 9 inch acrylic on paper

Nasturtiums in red, bold orange, bright yellow, and a subtle light yellow have been blooming profusely and covering my garden like a multi-colored carpet. I've enjoyed the bright colors along with the reds and purples of petunias and other flowers. I painted two color sketches on different days in response to the colors of the nasturtiums.

The first sketch using cadmium red light, Hansa yellow medium and viridian is shown above. It is an  expressive sketch with stronger greens than those in nasturtiums to contrast with the bright yellows and oranges.

Colorful Abstract Painting of Nasturtiums by K. Joann Russell
Abstract Nasturtiums #2 Color Sketch
5 x 9 inch acrylic on paper

A few days later I used different colors to show more true leaf color for the colorful nasturtiums. My palette changed to scarlet red, cadmium red medium, naples yellow, and light emerald green. Again I was responding to the color profusion of reds, oranges and yellows among emerald green foliage. 

The colors in this sketch are closer to those in the flowers, but I find less excitement in this sketch because of the lack of color contrast from the viridian greens in the first sketch. Click on each of the sketches to view a larger photo which shows the colors and textures in greater detail. Which one do you like?

To see other color combinations I've used in paintings of nasturtiums click here.




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