Berries Painting for Beginners

Berries Painting for Beginners


for the first stage of this painting I
just wanted to get the lines down this is burnt umber without any paint thinner
also without any oil to dilute it using my tracing method this took me about an
hour this canvas has been recycled originally there was another painting on
the canvas but I didn’t like it so I painted white over it now I’m starting
again next I filled in all the white areas
with burnt sienna while the burnt umber was still wet I’m surprised at the
colors that came out of the natural mixtures that happened
I can see burnt sienna and places where a lot of burnt umber mixed with my burnt
sienna look almost green places where just a little bit of burnt umber mixed
with my burnt sienna look almost violet I love the colors of this under painting
and because the colors are transparent the white of the canvas shows through
when I paint thin the paint doesn’t change color like it does when we add
white which is opaque and causes the paint to lose its transparency I like to
paint the edges of these thin canvas boards because it gives those who
display the painting the option to not frame them while painting the edges of
this painting my fingers took off some of the paint although it was dry to the
touch it was still fragile enough to wipe off for the branches of the tree I
experimented with burnt umber and cobalt blue but it made the black to blue so I
went back to cadmium red and cobalt blue my tried and true this still looked too
saturated it needed some mud which is just a mixture of red yellow and blue it
didn’t quite go as dark as the photo but I wanted to see how I liked it
I used a mostly blue with red and a little yellow bit of mud for the middle
of the berries the reddish-orangish berries aren’t intense but my red yellow
blue combo is too intense even though it’s mud I’m going to experiment and try
lemon yellow with a little bit of alizarin crimson cadmium red and cadmium
yellow mixed with blueish mud varies no combination of these reds or yellows
looked quite right and when I remembered about yellow ochre how could I forget
cadmium red and yellow ochre what made me remember was looking through some
color swatches that I’d made these aren’t the color swatches that hang on my
they’re more in-depth swatches that I keep in a book this did the trick when I
mixed it with a few of my other messes that were still on my palate all mixed
up I got a little bit lost with what I was doing but eventually found a color
that I was satisfied with I remember why I like doing the background first the
main subject doesn’t look so out of place it’s less scary because color is
relative oh right now I remember why I’m doing the main subject first I thought
it might help me keep my lines for the shadows of the berries i blended
straight burnt sienna into the wet paint that was already there I also brushed in
yellow ochre in the main color in a few spots just to create more dimension
because there was a different color there but dude I could have totally left
some of the underpainting showing for the shadows because the values are very
close to the same at this point I’ve spent about three
hours painting getting ready to start painting the leaves in the background
I’m thinking about how what I’ve done so far has only taken me three hours lately
I haven’t been able to finish a painting in less than seven hours and I would
very much like to break that record so I’m reminding myself that the colors
don’t have to be perfect the most important thing is value and the color
just needs to be close hopefully this tactic works I think my
last step here is to make a brown I’m almost done with the sky and the
background tree I just need well a really dark brown almost black for a few
more spots in the background and the shine on the branches I haven’t done
that either I’ve been working on this painting for now a total of four hours
and 20 minutes and my background is done I still want to do a few finishing
touches on the berries but that’s really it I don’t know how I feel about it
though it isn’t nearly as perfect as my paintings have been in the past and it
makes me nervous actually looking at it some more part of
me does not want to keep the lines in between the leaves on the tree and the
ones coming up the berry I want to keep those lines but the ones from the tree I
don’t really want to keep so I think I’m actually gonna go back in and change
that so I’m not done I’m going back in I’ll probably lay down and stare at this
image for a long time then I’ll make a few tweaks on the background before it’s
done I’m also really proud of myself that as tempted as I was to break out
some other blues and greens yellows and mix other colors for the background I
stuck with the yellow and blue I had committed to and found close enough
matches that I’m happy and satisfied now the background is done I spent 10 more
minutes on it for a total of 4 hours and 30 minutes
this painting is almost done but I want to go back into the berries and make the
highlights lighter and maybe even add more color more saturation they look a
little bit dull as I look at the painting I’m also thinking is this
something I would hang on my wall I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately
and making these paintings and I’m going off of a style of photography that I
developed when I was a photographer but does that style transfer into painting
there are a lot of painters I admire but would I put that work on my wall and I’m
not sure since I’m not sure does that mean that answer is no? to mix the color
for the finishing touches on the berries I decided to stick to my original goal
of only using cadmium red and cadmium yellow and cobalt blue hue I’m
determined not to go crazy like I did when I originally painted the berries
and used all sorts of colors on the top right you can see that I just mixed the
red and yellow with some white and it’s a very pure saturated color just next to
that color to the left I mixed in some blue and more yellow because I wanted a
mud to work with in case I needed to tone any of the colors down I actually
took the mud and mixed more white with it you can see
that in the next section to the left and I thought the mud was closer to the actual
color I wanted to do than the saturated original color that I mixed
so I figured that I would mix the mud with white and then if I need to get
more saturated I could add that in later I knew that I would need something even
lighter for the highlights so I took some of that color and I mixed it with a
white on the bottom right I wanted an even lighter version so I mixed some of
that on the bottom right with more white you can see my drops of oil I want these
to be available because I want the finishing touches of this part to go on
really nice and smoothly and I want to have a lot of control and the painting
is done in 5 hours and 15 minutes a new record Yay! What I did
beyond just adding the colors from my palette on was I added more blue to the
mud color to get it darker and more neutral and I used that for shadows I
even added a teeny bit more for even deeper shadows also I added yellow to
the right and mud color and I worked that in so that the berries didn’t just
seem to be one color lightened one hue and that hue lightened
but to give it a little bit more dimensionality I gave it some yellow and
that’s it!

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