wip

WIP - Lady Slipper Orchid Painting

Right now, I have three paintings that are in progress. You saw the last one, my large overly ambitious succulent garden painting. I am a little stuck with that one right now and had to put it down. I started a smaller succulent painting that is much less daunting. I’ll give you an update on that one soon. And, as if that wasn’t enough on my plate, I am working on a Lady Slipper Orchid painting for my mom!

I’m super excited about this painting for my mom though. I took her to the Chicago Botanic Garden 2019 Orchid show a few weeks ago and was totally inspired to paint this particular orchid for her because these are her most favorite orchids. I don’t know, there’s something about these that she loves so much. I decided to try and paint it in similar colors to the Yellow Rose painting I made for her last year. I imagine she’d have these hanging side by side.

Lady Slipper Orchid- almost finished!

Lady Slipper Orchid- almost finished!

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Day 1: I drew the flower and just filled in the canvas with paint. I’m not worried about the color or the shape of the orchid yet. I’ll fix it as I go along.

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Day 2: I darkened the background color and painted the leaves. I like where this is going so far!

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Day 3: Totally changed my mind about the background color (it was a dark dark blue) and I decided to make it a dark green to coordinate with the Yellow Rose painting I did for my mom last year. I added highlights to my leaves and I started painting in the white petals on the orchid.

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Day 4: I tackled the yellow petals and the “slipper” portion of the orchid. It’s looking good!

Now all I need to do is refine the petals, and add the finishing details. Stay turned!


Happy creating!


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WIP - New Succulent Garden Painting

Hi! I hope you had a fantastic Christmas holiday! Mine was quite lovely. We got to spend a ton of time with family and ate soooo much. I did find a few quiet moments to start a new painting that’s been rolling around in my head. I feel like this one will be one of my most ambitious paintings yet. There is so much going on here. Usually, I stick to a larger, single flower/succulent type of image. This one is PACKED with succulents!

WIP - Succulent Garden Painting

First, I loosely sketch out my drawing to make sure I can fit everything on my large 24”x24” canvas. I just want to get the basic shapes down. The next step is a more detailed drawing, where I start to draw in the actual leafs and petals.

Work in progress - succulent garden painting on easel. First step: Drawing it out.

Just a note: I love my new neutral grey glass palette. It’s fantastic! It’s easy to clean and the colors appear more true than the white plastic palette I was using. This cost a little more than the plastic palettes, but it’s really worth it.

WIP - Succulent Garden Painting. Starting to paint!

Finally, it’s time to paint! I didn’t finish drawing all the details on the right side. I was too eager to start painting. I will continue to make slight adjustments as I go along.

Work in progress - Succulent Garden Painting. Starting to paint.

I am so excited to paint again! Hopefully I’ll be able to finish this one before April of 2019…


What projects are you working on? What are you going to start next year? Let me know in the comments section below!


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WIP - Brand New Succulent Painting

I'm so excited to show you what I've been working on in between my recent #the100DayProject paintings. I started sketching my idea for this painting last year, but put it on the side in order to take part in two indie art & craft shows. This year I spent a ton of time painting and prepping tons of tiny cacti paintings for two art shows/markets and a consignment shop in Chicago. Then the 100 Day Project started and I’ve been holed up in my studio working on these tiny paintings every night. Whew! So, I've been painting, just nothing larger than 3"x3" inches. Until this past week.


This painting has been calling me. For months. Every time I saw her in the studio, half drawn out, I felt such a pang to paint. I finally succumbed last week and I’m so glad I did!

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Yes, I did number the leaves on the painting and on my reference photo. It helps to keep track of the leaves as I draw.

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I'm in love with this painting! I realize I probably say this about every painting I work on, but really, it's true. You know that feeling when you have a brand new boyfriend/girlfriend and you cannot stop thinking about them? And when you're with them, time goes by so fast and all of a sudden you look up it's 2am and you are way past curfew? You muddle through the next day and the thought of seeing them keeps you going? This is exactly how I feel about this painting.

I hope you have a project that makes you feel like this!

 

Happy creating!

-a

 

 

 

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64/100 - The 100 Day Project

Hello friends! For today's painting, I tried to paint a photo I had taken of petunias from my planters. I remembered why I don't like acrylic paint-- it dries too fast! I had all sorts of problems with this painting. It turned out okay, i mean, you can tell that they are purple flowers, but it didn't turn out quite like I had wanted it. That's okay though. I'm practicing and learning! :D

64/100. 3"x3" acrylic on canvas.

64/100. 3"x3" acrylic on canvas.

I hope you remember to keep going with this challenge, even when things don't turn our like you plan, or if things get a bit hard. I'm rooting for you! If you need some motivation, please comment in the comment section below! Let's get through this challenge together!

 

happy creating!

-a

 

WIP - Yellow Rose for Mom

Happy first days of Spring. It's been "officially" spring for about a week or so, but someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. It's still COLD! But, the days are getting longer, the sun is shining more, and the earth and trees are waking up and that makes me ridiculously happy.

I've been working on a large 18"x24" painting to give to my mom for Mother's Day.  Shhhhh!!!!! Don't tell her, she doesn't know this is for her yet! Yellow roses are one of her favorite flowers (carnations being her most favorite, just a little FYI there...) and I thought she would love this and it would look really nice in her space.

I'm almost finished. I had to set it down and walk away from it for a while. I have the tendency to overwork a painting and I knew if I kept this on my easel, I would go back in and redo bits of it. Right now, I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out.

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I've been working on this painting since the end of January (in between succulent and cactus paintings and my new pilea painting, of course.) and I love how it's turned out.

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In retrospect, I really like how the rose was painted here. I dig the messiness of it.

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This painting has been such a pleasure to work on! I cannot wait to give to my mom. I hope she loves it!!

xoxo

-a

 

 

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WIP - New pilea plant and succulent paintings

Happy.... March? Really? Well then. I have a lot to share with you. Today though, I would like to share two of my latest works in progress. First is my new Pilea Peperomioides painting. I love this little plant and I can't wait to get my grubby little paws on a real one. In the meantime, painting them will have to suffice. 

This pilea painting is painted in oils on a 6x6 by 1.5 inch canvas.

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Next up is, maybe a little unsurprisingly, a succulent. This painting is still very much a work in progress. I just sketched it out and started laying down some colors. The colors aren't right at all and I need to do a little bit of work refining them. But, it's a good start.

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I really love that the image is carried over onto all fours sides. It will look fantastic when it's finished and hanging on the wall.

 

What projects have you been working on? Let me know in the comment section below!

Have a great day!

-a

 

 

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WIP - Cactus Painting

Hello! Happy Wednesday ! I am super excited to show you my WIP for this cute little cactus painting. You saw a sneak peek of it in the last WIP post featuring the large succulent painting I finished. Here it is in all of it's messy, unfisnished glory:

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So there it is, on the bottom left. It looked okay, but I wasn't happy with the background and I thought that the greens looked a little flat. I decided to re-work the background and give it a little depth and interest and I added more yellow and even some red to the greens to make them look a bit more interesting.

Here's where we're currently at:

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A little better, right?

The next step will be to add the little spines, and then I think I'll be finished! I need to step it up though-- I have a craft show that I will be participating in the first weekend of December. I'll post more details soon!

What are you working on? Let me know in the comment section below!

-a

WIP COMPLETE - Large Succulent Painting

Hey! How's it going? Remember last week, when I posted the WIP of the large succulent painting I've been diligently working on? I'm happy to report that it's FINISHED and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.

FINISHED! Large Succulent Oil Painting by april bern

My favorite part of this painting? Using this new paint color:

Phthalo Turquoise

It is such a gorgeous color and it blends so well with pinks to make the beautiful shades of purple you see in this painting. It also makes a gorgeous shade of green when mixed with yellow. I really should do a color swatch and show you guys. Do yourself a favor and pick up this paint color. You won't be disappointed.

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Check out the great shades of green in my newest WIP on the bottom left corner. That's a combination of the phthalo turquoise, cadmium yellow pale and white. I added phthalo blue to darken the greens. Pretty right? I'll post a proper WIP featuring that painting next week.

What are you working on? I'd love to see it. Leave a comment and a link to your latest WIP in the comments section below.

-a

 

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