In class this week, we were doing thumbnail sketches, trying to pick up on what it is that attracts us to a subject. I think we paint a subject - object or scene - not just for the subject itself, but because of something ABOUT the subject that attracts us. It might be the shape, or the colors, or the way the light falls on it, or any number of reasons. We have to recognize the reason and build on it.
When I said it was the color of the camellia leaves that attracted me, the class wanted to see how I would get that very dark, shiny green. We experimented with a few different applications, such as mixing on the palette, mixing on the paper, a combination of mixing on the paper and on the palette. We tried different techniques for the highlights - lifting while the paint was still wet and painting around the highlight area, leaving the white of the paper.
Now I think I'll go play around a bit with some more thumbnail sketches. I am intrigued by the very flat, horizontal bottom of an azalea plant I have. I don't care for the color, and I'm not crazy about the floofy blossoms, but I really like the shape. I had better get to it before Rudy the cat changes the shape of it. Yesterday he ingested some of the leaves, and they seemed to give him super powers. He managed to open the basement door and almost opened the back doors into the garden (snow). That's not possible for him without the use of the "azalea drug". I googled it and it said it was mildly toxic and might make cats a little lethargic. Rudy has re-written the book on all toxic plant ingestion. Yes, I put the plant where he can't get to it. He's sleeping it off today. He sleeps something off everyday. How do you know when a cat is lethargic?