For some reason Forget-Me-Not flowers have been on my mind lately, and with the large amounts of snow we’ve had over the last few days I have wanted to paint, just for the color associated. So, no wintery scenes for me yesterday, just blue forget-me-nots. This one, I decided to also record for a time lapse video for my YouTube channel Stephanie Richey Art. It took me about 2 1/2 hours to paint, but the timelapse is about 12 minutes. The first 2 minutes or so are not time lapsed, just so I can show you my supplies and the colors I used.
I will show you here some of the preparation steps that go into the process of the painting before I get to the point of painting. The first thing I always do is get a reference photo, or several reference photos actually. Unless it is my own picture or one that I have permission from the photographer to use. I love the site Pixabay for reference photos as they are copyright free photos and can be used for commercial or private use. But I still like to use a couple of reference photos. This step takes a while, sometimes the subject matter isn’t as common so there are fewer good pictures, but a lot of times I get distracted and start looking at other things. It’s a great place for ideas and inspiration.
The next step is to make a sketch of what I might like to paint. If I have a personal photo, I skip this step and usually just transfer over to the paper without the sketch. But I have found that the sketch helps me see the subject better, become more familiar with all the parts of the picture, and, if it’s a large, complicated painting, the sketch helps me remember which parts are which so when I go to paint it, I don’t paint a leaf the color of the petal, or fill in the background with a foreground color accidently, and mistakes like that.
The image above is the original sketch that was drawn in pencil. I then outline with a fine tipped sharpie once I am pleased with the sketch, so that it is easy to see and then decide if I like the size. Some pictures I will sketch the actual size, this one I used a scrap piece of cardstock and sketched it on that, knowing I would have to enlarge the image when I was done. I will usually draw the image no bigger than a regular sheet of paper because I like to keep the sketch for possible use or reference later. At the very least I will copy the image to a different piece of paper for transferring onto the watercolor paper. This one I decided to enlarge so that it filled more of the 8×8 inch watercolor paper I was using. The below picture is the original outlined in sharpie, and the enlarged picture below the original sketch.
I then scribble on the back of the copied and/or enlarged picture with a regular pencil so that when I place it on my watercolor paper, I can trace the image on the right side, and it will transfer over to the watercolor paper. Usually it transfers fairly light, sometimes I have to go over it with a pencil to see specific details, but more often I have to go over it lightly with an eraser to lighten the lines, so they don’t show through in the finished piece. For this painting I used a Windsor Blue, Yellow Ochre, Permanent Rose, Sap Green, and a little bit of Lemon Yellow in the centers, as well as a hot press paper, as it gives the petals a much smoother look than a cold press, which would make a grainier looking painting.
My cheap phone camera really doesn’t take very good pictures, but I’ll digitize it later. I love these pretty forget-me-nots. I really enjoyed the color as a change from the white, white snow. And, as the title of this post indicates, I have a timelapse of this painting on my YouTube channel as well: Forget-Me-Not Timelapse