Mixed Media Art. Photography. Inspiration.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Finished Painting: Branching Out

I finished this painting last week, and I'm so excited about it!  I love the way it turned out.  I first showed it to you and explained the first part of the process in my post titled "Painting in Progress" here.  From there I finished painting some detail on the leaves, then it sat for a little while because I was unsure what to do next on it.  When I worked on my journal page "Loving Word"( a few posts back), it clicked, and I knew I needed to use those same techniques to finish this painting.


Oh, while I was working on it I decided I liked it better turned this way (above) so it looks as if the branch is reaching up.  In my original post, it was heading down like in this photo below.

The camera was having a hard time picking up on the true colors, which seems to happen with layers.  The photos below are probably closer to the colors, but still don't show the richness.  The background color is deep, but not dark, because it seems to have a nice glow coming through (all those years of painting faux-finishes paid off!).

Ok, so back to the process...

I wished that I had let more of the rusty-peach underpainting show through, so to bring back some of that warmth, I grabbed a orange water-soluable (WS) artist crayon by Lyra, and loosely doodled around the edges of the leaves, and onto the branches.  I also rubbed some of the orange onto the background here and there.  Then I used a brown WS crayon to add some shadowing and depth to the branches.  The leaves and branches needed to "POP" a bit more against the background,  so I used a white WS crayon along the edges of the leaves, and used it to create some highlights on the branches.  

If you look closely at the branch in the picture below, you may notice a bit of text from the book pages peeking through!  I love the subtle texture and depth that it brings to the painting.

I splashed some water over the canvas to make the WS crayons run and drip, and to soften the outlines in some areas.  I took some white paint and lightly spattered it here and there on the background.  I did the same with a bit of orange.  I then took a deep turquoise blue paint and washed it over the background, then rubbed it all around the outside of the canvas and blended it in, to "frame it in".  I thought it was done, so I sprayed it with a matte fixative to seal it.  I still wasn't quite happy with it, and the spray had made some of the white fade away.  I added more white, then stared at it for a while.

 I kept ignoring the little voice that was telling me how to finish it, thinking "no way, that'll ruin it...that's crazy"!  But I knew that's what needed to be done, so...I finally grabbed the brown WS crayon, let loose, and started drawing and slashing lines, or "scratches"  all over the canvas!  It was so much fun, I felt like a kid discovering crayons for the first time!  I realized why it needed this...the areas originally collaged with book pages gave the painting such a great texture, but it only covered about half of the canvas.  I didn't like the smooth areas as much, so this seemed to add that feel of texture along with uniformity to the whole painting.  Plus I think it adds a bit of an unexpected edge to it.

So there it is.  My wonderful husband came up with the title of the painting "Branching Out".

It is and I am.


What about you?

 Have you "branched out" lately?  Done something that makes you step outside of your comfort zone, to help you stretch and grow?  Is there something you've been wanting to do but are too scared?  Even if you just take baby steps, maybe it's time ....take a deep breath... get started and don't look back!


Kellys Art Journaling/ Sharing The Journey said...

Really pretty painting and GOOD FOR YOU for getting out of your comfort zone and going with the crayon - it looks fabulous. I LOVE painting leaves.

tammy said...

i think the crayon texture really makes the painting. looks great. i definitely like the branches reaching upward, it has a better feeling to the painting. thanks for stopping by my blog. your painted wall looks awesome. i love the color choice!

Beverley Baird said...

I love your painting. Love how you relate it to branching out in our lives.
That's what I need to do - to branch out, especially in my art!

Mandy said...

reaching up for sure...love the colour of the background...awesome....i have branched out recently and done a few canvases...but i have this idea in my head for a canvas...one of whic i can't wait to do....xxx

Carin said...

Great Esther! I love it reaching up. Amazing how such a small change can make such a big difference! The painting is lovely too. Really love the crayon scratches.

I've branched out into canvases lately and love it.

Little Red House Decor said...

I'm so blown away. First off....you finished it!! How many unfinished projects do we ALL have sitting around in the "someday I'll get to it pile"?? And the photography is beautiful (as always) but this is a gorgeous, symbolic piece that motivates and inspires me....to BRANCH OUT!! Awesome girlee...just awesome!!!

Kristin said...

I love this so much!!! I love the textures, the colors and the text peeking through. I love the crayons and the effects you created with the orange, brown and white highlights. But the real genius is in that final touch that you avoided at first. I want to copy it!! I got to thinking how cool it would be to actually put scratches in it - like with a craft knife or something? I just LOVE it!! And I appreciate the time you took to show us your steps too. (Fab door in the pictures too), Kristin xo

Lorraine said...

like your painting

Anonymous said...

Oh I love this post, I love this painting!
thanks for sharing your actual steps as well as your very interesting thought process! this was truly inspirational to me!

stepping out of our comfort zones...that's great advice...sometimes our work can become static..with the same repitition of style and format running through all the time....

'branching out' is a great place to be!

brilliant! thanks again!

ciao bella
creative carmelina

Lisa Lectura Creations said...

Hi Esther! Glad to meet you! Thanks so much for your sweet visit to my blog! Your art is wonderful. It makes me feel like I'm looking out of a window. Love the texture. The scratches you added is a perfect touch. Also, the 3D paint brand I used for my journal entry is from Tulip. It's great to use. Have fun creating! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog! I am loving your art - the colours, texture...everything!! ♥

eva diva said...

Hi dear Esther,

Thanks for your sweet comment, I'm much more so encouraged to keep painting bcos of your kindness and motivation. I love the message in your painting, about branching out, reaching out, coming out. I feel like I could relate to the branches as my artist hands, making more art!

You're great in attempting new techniques in your art and being so brave,I'm still learning to LET LOOSE in my art, be more courageous in making messy background.

I've branched out lately, I just made my new business artist card! I'm gonna snap pictures and write as my next blog entry.

Your hubby is so creative in coming out with that name.What a lovely team!

Jodene Shaw said...

How beautiful and how lovely a message...Branching Out is what I have been considering calling my new facebook fan/biz page! In fact I just posted that as one of my goals on my artistic mother vision board project!!

{smiles to you, Esther}
jodi shaw

beth said...

I love it!! I have the perfect place for this in my newly painted den. It will help my tiny den "branch out". wink wink