Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blue Hydrangea Inspirations



The hydrangea's are in full bloom and calling for us to paint. Let's join Bentley in my garden and take a look around to find the perfect flower for our painting lesson.












Finding Inspiration . . . . . .



My neighbor planted three different hydrangeas together to get this glorious combination of colors.



Here . . . . . .







There . . . . . . .




Everywhere . . . .




Now that we have found our inspiration, it looks like we will paint my favorite color blue hydrangeas.



Cut blue hydrangeas in a basket are the perfect inspiration for my painting.


Here is my finished blue hydrangea painting.

Now it's time for a little lesson in painting blue hydrangeas. I have taken a number of painting workshops with California artist, Allayn Stevens, http://allaynstevens.com./ Allayn encouraged us to really look at the flowers and study how they grew before we started painting them. We learned to take apart flowers in order to understand their structure. Allayns' charming Laguna Beach French cottage and art was recently featured in Romantic Homes and Romantic Country magazines.

We are going to paint a simple pot of blue hydrangeas and I photographed a pot with two blooms for you to paint.



I took apart one of the blossoms so you can see the structure. Notice a single blossom has 4 petals with a little center. The leaf has a large vein down the center with lots of tiny veins radiating from the center of the vein. Also notice the blossoms are not a solid color - you can see light blues, violet and several shades of blue in the blossoms.



You can try tracing the leaf to get a feel for the shape of the leaf. The blossoms are almost round -I painted a round blossom using Liquitex Prussian blue. I also painted a single petal for you so you can see the shape. Next I painted the blossoms using Prussian blue mixed with white, as well as blue violet and ultramarine blue. I tend to put all of the colors on the brush at the same time in order to get the color variegation in the petals. The last step is to put a little center in some of the blossoms - do not put the center in all of the blossoms as you can not see centers in all of the real flowers.



Here is a little sample of a blue and purple hydrangea painting to give you an idea of how a finished painting will look. For the purple flowers I used dioxin purple to paint the round blossom and then painted the petals using a little white, lavender and blue violet. I used a lime green to paint the centers. I also mixed a little raw sienna with my green to make the veins on the leaf. Have fun with your little painting and don't be afraid to mix your colors together on your brush. I paint with acrylic paints as they are non-toxic and look like oil paint. The nice thing about acrylic - if you make a mistake - you can wash it off before the paint drys.

Thank you for visiting. I love hearing from you and sincerely appreciate that you have taken time to leave me a comment and to follow my blog. If you have any questions or would like to see me paint something special, please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail.

Have a lovely week. Blessings, Erin

18 comments:

Happy @ Home said...

What beautiful inspiration and even more beautiful paintings you have done. I love blue hydrangeas. They are blooming here in North Carolina too. In fact they are featured in my current post.

I always enjoy my visits to your blog.

Kathi said...

You make this look possible even though I know it's not, not for me! I'll just keep visiting and admiring your beautiful work!

KarenHarveyCox said...

This is so gorgeous. I love hydrangeas and I adore your vibrant use of color in your paintings. Here in New England the vivid blue hydrangea is so popular. Especially on Cape Cod.

I can't believe you entered my giveaway, you are so talented. What a compliment. I love your work.

Karen

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love Hydrangeas! They are my favorite flower and these blue ones are gorgeous. Thanks so much for giving me some tips and for telling me about the paints you use. I am starting to sketch a little and I want to get some paints next! I study everything you paint!

Phyllis said...

Your hydrangeas are gorgeous and my sister's favorite flower! She's taking an art quilt class and using them as her inspiration as well.

Again, thank you so much for the lesson. I'm making a Word document out of this one too for when I can paint again.

btw - Bentley is such a great assistant! :)

Lisa said...

I can certainly see how those gorgeous hydrangeas would inspire you! Growing hydrangeas is on my bucket list. I have never been able to do it successfully...yet :O)

Ruth Welter said...

Love your beautiful Hydrangeas Erin....Keep painting.

Ruth

Lou Cinda said...

Erin: These are simply gorgeous! Your talent leaves me in awe!

Great job!

Lou Cinda :)

Cottage Rose said...

Hello Erin; Wow you make it look so very easy, how sweet of you to set us all up and give us a sample of how to get started... I have always wanted to be able to paint, but have not tried yet. I will have to now. Thanks for sharing...

Have a great week

Hugs.
Alaura

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Oh how much I love that basket with the hydrangeas in it! So casual, but so beautiful. laurie

Gail McCormack said...

Hi Erin
How lovely your painting turned out. So hope Bentley enjoyed his painting lesson!

Look forward to seeing more of your beautiful work

*Ulrike* said...

I just love hydrangeas! Your pictures are simply gorgeous. Thanks for showing how you paint them. My 92 year old grandmother still paints, but she lives in N.C., and when I was a child she had hydrangeas all alongside their house. I guess that is why it is my favorite bush! When I get some time again I'll try to paint following your instructions. I enjoy your blog!!

shabbydreaming said...

Oh MY! your Hydrangeas are simply stunning!! Ive never had much luck growing them. Your's looks Gorgeous!! As is your blog!!
mandii

bj said...

Your painting is just breathtaking, as usual, dear one. The blues of the hydrangeas are out of this world. The flowers don't grow well here in West Texas..too hot, dry and windy, I think.
xo bj

Beth said...

I have a picture of my hydrangeas that are blooming on my blog post.
I am also sitting here now and sketching a picture of them thanks to your wonderful inspiration and great directions! Your Art is truly AMAZING!!! I love all of the pieces that you were selling at your show on Memorial Day.
Thanks so much for sharing instructions and showing us how to sketch and paint.
xoxoxoxoxoxoox

Laurie said...

Thank you for the photo. I love painting hydrangeas!!

Rhondi said...

I have been wanting to try to paint something lately. Thanks for the inspiration. I have hydrangeas growing in my garden too and I love them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your painting tips...I'm leading a group of church ladies this week in a little painting class for fun and I'll be using some of your suggestions. Lovely, and thanks for sharing!