Calla Lily Watercolor

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(Prints available for purchase on Fine Art America.)

 

Inspired by William Blake’s poem, “The Lilly,” which goes

“The modest Rose puts forth a thorn:
The humble sheep, a threatening horn:
While the Lilly white, shall in Love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.”

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Named after the Greek word “calla,” meaning beauty, this flower is said to symbolize purity and holiness, which is why the Virgin Mary is so commonly depicted with it. It is also associated with rebirth, so it is fitting that this flower is a perennial.

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I began this painting by searching for photographs of the calla lily flower. It was hard to choose just one considering the wide variety of colors they come in. After finding a good picture with vibrant hues, I sketched out the shape with pencil. To avoid adding too much watercolor at once, I made sure to use a small paint brush.

-The main colors I used were:

pink-red & white for the petals:

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yellow to accent some areas:

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burnt orange & dark blue for the spadix (middle part):

 

dark green for the stem:

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and a deep blue & black for background:

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All of the colors are from my Koh-I-Noor watercolor color wheel, which I will do a review on in the near future

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I had a lot of fun creating this one. So much so, that I hope to paint more of this unique flower with different color schemes.

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Thanks for reading!

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Review of Koh-I-Noor Woodless Color Pencils (12 Pack)

I bought these pencils in January from Amazon. Although they were only $7.91 at the time, I did have high expectations due to the positive reviews.

These did not disappoint. Unlike most other pencils, they are made entirely of graphite. Instead of a wooden outer layer, there is a lacquer based coating to prevent the color from coming off on your hands. This helps extend their longevity.

But one downside to this is that they are more fragile. A few weeks ago, I dropped the case and the yellow pencil broke in two, but this does not really matter since I will just sharpen the other piece when needed.

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The colors are smooth and very pigmented. I took these swatches of the pencils by putting down two layers of color with very light pressure. Most of the names are not very creative, except for “Hooker’s Green” of course. They all blend very well, but my favorite colors so far have been “Light Yellow,” “Carmine,” and “Light Blue.”

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These pencils are neither hard or soft. Their weight is similar in that they are neither heavy or light. Maybe I should call them the “Goldilocks’ pencils?

The plastic tin that they come in is very handy to keep all the pencils in place. It measures about ½ an inch high. I just use the tab at the top to pull it out from the paper covering.

Overall, I think that these pencils are excellent if you are looking for high quality at an affordable price.

Have any of you tried these pencils? If so, comment your opinion on them below!

The first place winner of the July 2017 Minimalist art contest is…

Roeselien Raimond ! Congratulations! Her photograph of a seagull on the water, entitled “Empty Spaces,” illustrates how minimalist works, although simple and uncomplicated, can create an atmosphere of beauty and elegance.

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This image is © Roeselien Raimond. All rights reserved. Prints are available for purchase on Fine Art America.

Ms. Raimond has always had a fascination for art. She has worked as an art therapist and web designer, honing her artistic and creative skills. Now she puts most of her energies towards photography. Nature and the wildlife fascinate her, and her snapshots of the outdoor creatures, especially red foxes, illustrate her talent for capturing the allure of the natural environment.

Ms. Raimond also writes professionally about nature and photography, and her work has been featured in several magazines. One of her favorite hobbies is painting, but considering her talent, it may one day become a professional endeavor.

Please click on these links to view more of her work:

Fine Art America
Website
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
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There are two second place winners:

-Bob Christopher’s photograph entitled “Stairs in Santorini.”

-Priscilla Burgers’ photograph entitled “Teton Morning.”

 

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The third place winner is:

-Jurgen Lorenzen’s photograph entitled “Calm As Is.”

 

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Please check out all of the other wonderful entries by clicking here!

 

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Thanks to everyone who participated!

Review of the Oxford University Press edition of “Songs of Innocence & of Experience” by William Blake

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Virtually unknown during his lifetime, William Blake is now viewed as one of the greatest artists and poets of his or any time, which I enthusiastically agree with. I first came across his work while in school. His poem, “The Chimney Sweeper,” is often taught to illustrate the way a piece of art can be used to criticize society and it’s current practices. I really love how Blake is not overtly political or preachy. His indignation is based on higher values and morality.

But this review is not about Blake’s wIMG_20170715_0002ork (what else could I possibly add?) It is about this specific edition of the book.

Although I had read much of his work since my school days, I never actually owned one of his books. I decided to browse around on Amazon for one since Blake has been such a great influence on me mine in both my writing and art. I finally purchased the Oxford University Press edition of “Songs of Innocence & of Experience.” Being just under $9, I knew that I couldn’t be too disappointed with my purchase.

This paperback version measures about 5×8 inches, neither small or large. The front and back covers feature a dark color scheme with a black background, making the front image appear vibrant and lively. Inside, the pages are cream while the font is a dark brown. This creates the illusion that the book is aged.

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The beginning of the book features a lovely and simple introduction by Geoffrey Keynes. He also provides commentary on the poems and illustrations in the back of the book. This really did help enhance my understanding of Blake.

One thing that could have been done better was the numbering. While the introduction and commentary pages are numbered, the poems and artworks are not. This makes finding the specific works tiresome.

Another dissatisfying element is that layout of the book. Two pages will feature text, and the next will have the accompanying artwork. This means you have to flip the page to really understand and take in all that Blake was intending to say. It would have been much more efficient to have the artwork on the left page with the poem on the right.

 

 

 

Despite this, the book does have many redeeming qualities. For one, it is very affordable. I do not think I could have gotten much better for the same price. Also, the colors of Blake’s illustrations are simply beautiful. Deep and vibrant, they certainly do not appear to be cheap copies.

 

On the whole, this edition’s low price, insightful commentary, and faithful reproduction of the color plates leads me to believe I made a good purchase decision.   I enjoy reading and viewing the poems and illustrations nearly everyday, and will continue to do so.

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Happy 4th of July! Featuring Some Not Very Good Doodles of American Inventions

Happy Fourth of July! Hope nobody has blown off any body parts with fireworks yet…

Anyways, I made some not very good doodles of American inventions!

4th blog doodlge

It features:

  • the beach ball
  • bread clip
  • calculator
  • candy apple
  • cotton swab
  • & last but not least…the bass guitar!

Now I’m going to eat some deviled eggs.

Male Figure 2 Drawing – along with a short update

This was my first real attempt at drawing the male figure.

2016 simple male figure drawing - small version for blog

(You can check it out on Fine Art America along with my other drawings by clicking here.)

 

An update:

I know that I have not posted on here since St. Paddy’s Day. No, I was not off on a drunken adventure. I was moving instead. So there’s my short update :p I already have a few ideas in mind for new drawings, and now that I’m settled in I will post more regularly. Hopefully.