progress and a decision to make

Yesterday mid-afternoon before I stopped for yard work:

And as I left it last night:

Today is decision day. This is much larger than I intended, and won’t work for the original concept. Which means I need to rework my original idea in a smaller format with less background. So, today I need to decide, do I continue to develop this in grayscale only, or do I add touches of color to it.

Is it done? — updated

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Is it done? I’m not sure. In person I love the background, in the photo it doesn’t look so good. In person you see a lot more detail of the texture of the green. Perhaps I should extend the darker green more deeply out to all the edges? More to frame the central flower?

What do you think? Is it done?

UPDATE: No, it was not done. Special thanks to Sherre for her e-mail and guidance.

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But it’s getting there now.

Painting as a hobby

Working in fiber as my career, I find myself still in need of a “hobby”. Something I do strictly for the enjoyment, with absolutely no expectation, no end goal, no reason other than sheer pleasure. Painting is becoming that hobby. Of course, as a hobby that means it doesn’t get a lot of hours devoted to it each week. But as a hobby, that means I can freely experiment and play. Painting a little bit every few days meant I had to find a way to keep my acrylic palette workable. Thanks to online acquaintances and friends, I was directed to different resources.

I asked and was advised to purchase acrylic retarder as retarder slows the drying time, whereas extender affects the opacity of the color. I was also advised to stick like brand to like brand. I’m working with Grumbacher, so I purchased Grumbacher acrylic retarder. But, as I was also cautioned to not add too much retarder as it would compromise long-term drying/curing of the paint, I shelved that option for another time. So I can’t say how it works yet.

It was also suggested that I mix my palette on a damp paper towel. Perhaps because of the brand paper towel I use at the house, or perhaps because of the amount of dampness I added, I found that for me, the towel was disintegrating as I was working. So I shelved that idea completely.

What I did find that is working is a Winsor & Newton moist acrylic palette. This palette comes with an absorbent pad which you moisten, then a translucent sheet which sits on top of it and you mix your colors on. I had my reservations on this system after having not gotten back to this painting for several days. But when I opened the palette, my colors were still workable and the absorbent pad was just starting to dry out! I like this particular system, it works for me and my “hobby”.

Thursday morning, I decided to devote my morning coffee time to that painting hobby. Oh, and the painting I am working on? Well, I am still working on the daylily painting, slowly taking my time and enjoying every moment I can immerse myself in this. Although I do have to watch myself, I can actually completely lose track of time once I start painting!

Here’s a picture of the progress I’ve made so far: (click to see the entire picture)

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