I did however learn that it is especially challenging to paint variegated Holly. I’m not sure I’d want to take it up again soon. One thing for certain, I would not chose to use negative painting techniques to showcase the veining. I would, instead, apply an opaque layer on top as an end detail. Would have saved so much time if I had predicted this and probably satisfied my OCD (Overly Conscious of Details) brain.
The berries were a challenge, in as much as I didn’t want to use traditional approaches to chromatic or achromatic shading or tinting at all. Holly berries are so very vibrant and just gleam of bright beautiful energy. I chose instead to step aside of my double primary palette and utilized 4 primary pigments to get their round bold color defined:3 shades of red and one yellow pigment. At the very end I did use neutral tint to shade and tiny lines of black to punctuate, but barely.
The painting has been delivered to its new home; and I have archived it and prepped it to be part of a winter foliage collection for my art licensing portfolio. This means I need 3-4 more key subjects, and then need to make some borders, repeat patterns and such. One of those will be Mistletoe, from there I think a conifer and some Hellebore the Christmas/Lenten Rose.
Technique: Chromatic Layering
- Allow for bold intense color and depth by using Quiller’s principal of color temperatures to pull and push depth.
- Allow for very smooth surface for extra fine details to be applied.
- Technique comes out best if the majority of your pigments have transparent qualites.
- Be careful to layer and not mix for smoother more intense effect.(This means letting layers dry thoroughly between each other.)
- Paper: Strathmore 400 series 140lb coldpress
- Paint: Winsor and Newton Artists’ Water Colour: Naples Yellow, Winsor Yellow, Alizarin Crimpson, Winsor Red (deep), Vermillion Hue (now discontinued), Pthalo Blue, Winsor Green (yellow shade), Permanent Sap Green, Neutral Tint, Lamp Black, Chinese White.
- Brushes: Round 000, 00, 2;
- Other: Q-Tips, H2 pencil, toothpicks, masking fluid, flour sack cloth.
I even made a quick slide show to show the process of layering: Holly-Days