If you would like to receive encouraging comments on
your artwork, leave encouraging comments for others!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dragonfly # 9

During the summer time my husand and I often photograph dragonflies with a good friend, Eleanor Pugh. This one one of Oregon's larger dragonflies, a paddle-tailed darner.

I knew I wanted to try for detail on this one so I painted on Strathmore's 140# cold press Series 400.


Lorrie Klosterman said...

This is a gorgeous critter, Elva! What a fun subject. The wings are right-om to convey their translucency and weightlessness. Elva, how large is the painting? Just getting an idea of the size needed for this amount of detail.

Elva Paulson said...

Hi Lorrie: From nose to tail tip the darner on paper is 6 to 7 inches long. I painted it as a birthday card for our fellow dragonfly hunter so I don't have it here anymore -- 90 years young!

Paper makes a big difference when you want detail. Can't get it on Arches cold press and even Arches hot press is a little too absorbant.

When I painted professionally I aimed for lots of detail .... used Cresent's Hot press Illustration board 115. But washes are a challenge on this. I could get a lovely soft wash, but then I couldn't touch it. Arches is much more forgiving for washes.

Lorrie Klosterman said...

Thanks for these notes about paper, Elva. It's a whole other variable and I'm just beginning to understand what is/is not possible. I've just started to delve into hot press and love the softness of the washes--for some subjects, that is. I've used mostly cold-press until now of various brands and weights. I have some very good paper that I like a lot (Arches cold-press blocks in various sizes) but am reluctant to use those often because of the expense! I play around and experiment a lot while painting so feel like I had better use less expensive paper... but have really come to agree with what I've heard from others: that with poorer quality paper some techniques just don't work well, or the colors get muddy sooner. So I'm trying to find my balance between using valuable paper versus cheaper paper for spontaneous (e.g., sometimes "unsuccessful") paintings versus "seriously planned" paintings.

Elva Paulson said...

I have a hard time 'just experimenting' on good paper, but realize I need to some of the time. Making a card for someone (and hoping it turns out) is a nice way to become familiar with good paper. ... and watching sales online. It makes a big difference when and where you buy paper.

I've found Strathmore's series 400 140# cold press paper is pretty decent paper to experiment on without going to the bank (assuming I bought it at the right time).

Kelly said...

...cool, cool, cool. Brings back memories of summer heat.