For my next watercolor I chose a picture of three “bad” fairies from the FairyWorlds Festival.
I decided to place them in a pumpkin patch. Why? Because I’m going to be using this painting in a fairy calendar that I’m working on and I think they will be great for October. So I went looking for photos of pumpkins rather than make it up from imagination. I know what a pumpkin looks like but not necessarily what the leaves look like. I found a picture of them but it was still hard to see exact detail. Oh well it’s fantasy….right?
This time everything is pretty much there as far as background. I was more attentive to this,
this time because working with three figures felt a little bit more complicated to integrate
them into the scenery. Plus I already knew that I wanted them against pumpkins.
The color study is pretty close to what I ended up painting, except
that when I started painting it I notice that it lacked something.
At this stage of the painting above I have painted the fairies in great detail, except for refining and a few unpainted things they are fairly close to the way that they will be. After laying in the first washes of the background, I turned to my analogous color wheel. (A wheel that shows complimentary, adjacent and discordant colors) Since orange is not a color that figures prominently in my paintings usually, I needed help with this particular color palette, and found that the color that was missing was blue (complimentary to orange, the dominant color in the painting). At first I was at a loss as to how to introduce enough blue into this painting that had nothing naturally blue. I painted some into the greens but it wasn’t strong enough nor was it enough to satisfy the need for complimentary color to the orange.
So I began the search for places to put blue. Originally I had pictured the wings as white with black definition but realized that I could use blue at the base of the fairy wings and it would be gorgeous against the orange. I painted more layers of blue wash in a few places in the green background. Closer but still I wanted more. And I wasn’t happy with the look of their dresses. It was just a little lifeless. That was when I had my happy thought- Use a light blue (cerulean) on the highlights and voila I had enough blue and the dresses had life.
Well it’s almost finished. When looking at the scan I noticed that I had not finished painting the
butterfly in the middle fairy’s hair.
I think this might be their prom picture…before they go off to the bad fairy’s ball.