Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bleeding Heart, a Plein Air Sketch

Marsha, Karen, and I met at Andy's Garden, a Garden Center in Troy for a Plein Air painting session. We elected to sit near one another around a bleeding heart display. Below is the sketch I drew and painted. I sketched lightly with a NO. 2 pencil because the flowers and leaves were intricate. Sometimes I just start painting without an underlying sketch. I also covered the white areas of the individual flowers with masking fluid. Using masking fluid is something else I rarely do when I am painting en plein air.
We have been busy this month, a trip to Lake Erie, filming the Hug the Earth Festival featuring the Banana Slugs, and attending a grandson's graduation and graduation party so I set the sketch aside for most of the month. I intended to refine the painting so I took photographs of the plant at Andy's Garden.

However, when I looked at the sketch again, I decided I rather liked it the way it was. The only real distraction was a streak of white paper beneath one of the flowers where a string of mask had covered the paper.
I had used Antwerp Blue for the background so I laid a wash of it on and around the white streak. Then I used this brush, an Angle Shader. It is really an acrylic painting brush. Its bristles are soft but a little stiffer than those of most watercolor brushes. I gently scrubbed with the brush across the area where I had added the Antwerp Blue. The bristles are just stiff enough to soften the edges of the streak so the new paint blended into the background. It is important to scrub very gently so the paper is not damaged.
Here is the result.


  1. That is rather beautiful, I like it. I love the surprises we get when paintings are left for a while.

  2. I'm glad the painting appeals to you. I showed it to a friend who liked it, also, so I decided that leaving it alone was a good idea.

  3. This is so beautiful. I so envy your ability to create visual art.

  4. You are so talented..I envy your ability to paint and sketch..Your Bleeding Hearts are wonderful:)