What gets you excited? What grabs you as you walk by and screams to be painted? As you begin to start seeing the world with an artists eye you will start to notice things you never saw before, shapes, colors etc. I happened to be in the garden when I noticed the beautiful, lacy leaves of the dusty miller I was growing. The silvery color and velvety texture. The silvery grey/green top and the white underside contrasting with the yellow blooms was calling my name!
I first sketched the leaves, taking time to notice the way they tie into the stem and the way they split apart at the tips. The way the immature leaves looked in comparison to the mature leaves. I started with pencil and finished with pen.
I decided to paint it as a negative image, defining the shapes by painting in the background that surrounded it. The dusty miller itself required little paint and I just dragged in color from the background here and there. Do you notice how my background is darker near the center of the flower and gets softer as it makes it's way to the outside of the leaves? This will give you the feeling of depth, the darker area appearing deeper and the other areas coming out and being exposed to more light. This is how you take the negative space and create a positive painting.
I decided to paint the flowers in my box and I have decided that the background is to close in value to the flowers so I need to darken it some so the flowers will pop. Tell me what your painting in your sketchbook right now!