Artist Gems, Brushes In Action, Thank You, WarmUps

Wednesday WrapUp Peony


I’ve enjoyed providing each week a “Wednesday Warm Up,”— a day of usually quick drawing, inking, brushing as warm up to our serious art. I’ve been sharing a strategy to try each Wednesday using the iPad app ProCreate. I’ve decided to change it up a bit for a few Wednesday Wrap Up— a wrap up of my project tips for the past week or something I’ve learned that may also help others with the same #warmup4art hashtag.

Art Prompts

As my readers know, I illustrate daily art prompts with my  CLmooc friends. This month I’m choosing prompts from Lisa Bardot’s #makingarteveryday. Lisa provides tutorials on many different styles of art, which she shares in her long blog post 30 Art Styles to Try in Procreate. This week starts a new month with the theme of “Growth.” The first week, flowers, was helped with Lisa’s new Flower Resource Page. Unfortunately, I did not find help for the one flower the first week that stumped me: the peony. Today’s WrapUp is my process for illustrating this complex flower. You can see all my floral responses for this month in my Google Photo album Flowers and Potted Plants. I may add to this album after the two weeks of floral prompts with other florals because I love illustrating plants.

Peony Process

As I looked at Lisa’s google search resource page for peony, I shuddered at the fullness of the flower. Normally, I’d check out YouTube for a HowTo, but over the course of the last two years of drawing daily, my confidence has improved. So I decided to check out Pinterest for inspiration. I started my own board for “Art HowTos” and added in the pins for a search on “how to draw a peony,” which resulted in more than peony suggestions. Take a look to see the type of results: step-by-steps, videos, blog posts, etc. I choose to follow the steps in this illustration.

Due to the war in Ukraine, I wanted my peony to be yellow with a blue background. Yellow is difficult to work with— it’s difficult to choose the colors for the petals in the back because just adding in black to darken results in a muddy color. I followed the advice of many artists, including Lisa Bardot, for choosing a color by moving the hue towards orange in the color wheel.

And this yellow to orange — to avoice ”muddy” —became my problem…

I chose to apply the brushes from Lisa Bardot’s Gouache Paintbox — color, shading, details and from Texture Maker- texture; Texture Liners-details/sketch. Gouache is more opaque and smooth than watercolor; I like that for digital and hand painting. 

As you watch the replay, you’ll see only a slight difference in the chosen color because I did not want orange— I wanted yellow. I still don’t have a solution for choosing the foreground/background petal colors, but my solution was to add in the yellow orange through clipped layer texturing. You’ll see me adding more layers to darken areas, trying to get the shadows that differentiate the petal placement.

I still didn’t like the effect— I couldn’t see the differentiation in depth that I needed. So my final solution was to add in the sketchy black outlines to give the peony the shape it needed to differentiate the petals. 

Although not the effect I wanted, it works. And that is how illustration works— deep sigh and toss out perfectionism— just find a strategy that works for the piece.

Try It

So, that wraps up this Wednesday Wrap Up. As we develop our skills every day we choose to make art every day, and stretch ourselves with strategies that match the style and effect of our goals. Perhaps you have a strategy or process for working with the lighter colors that you could share. Comments are welcome!

Thanks to Lisa Bardot for her resources. Check out  Lisa Bardot for inspiration on her Instagram, YouTube channelprompts, and website. Also, just click the Artist Gems category on my blog for other teachers and artists that might inspire you. I’ve met plenty in my online digital journey, and Lisa is but one. By learning from other artists, we build our confidence and learn to adapt and adjust without fear of being perfect— just make art every day!

I look forward to your sharing, and please continue to be a part of the  #warmup4art series to learn and enjoy our work together! See my sharing at IG @42Sheri and Twitter @42Sheri.

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