Hi everyone! So this post is about how I pulled inspiration together for my latest piece, Schiaparelli and Lotus Leaves.
I was inspired by the work of Wang Meifang. She has a beautiful ethereal way of depicting the Chinese women in a botanical setting. I tried to emulate the colors and composition.
I picked look 35 from Lisa Schiaparelli’s Haute Couture Spring/Summer collection because of how bold the color of the dress was and the model reminded me of Wang Meifang’s women. I felt like this was the best dress because of the POP of color.
For her pose, I used a reference image off of Pinterest to pose her correctly! I have a hard time with foreshortening and I want to get better.
This piece was painted on Arches Cold Pressed paper with a mixture of Winsor & Newton Watercolors and Gouache.
I don’t have progress photos of my painting before this point, but I taped the piece down and used a very water down Raw Sienna to give the paper a lightly tan wash.
Then I used a mix of Opera and Permanent rose for the dress, and a bit of Winsor Red Deep to add the darker shadows of the dress.
For the lotus leaves, I used a mix of Colbalt turquoise light and Perylene Green, and for the darker parts of the leaves just perylene green.
I have been cheating with painting skin by using the gouache paint in “Flesh Tint”. I mix it with Perylene Maroon and Yellow Ochre to vary the shades.
I enjoyed rendering out her gloves to emulate what I assume is shiny leather! My pencil under drawing was dark enough, and the pink tint of her glasses light enough, for it to come through without me having to repaint her eyes and eyebrows. For making fabric shiny, it is very important to leave a clean line of white for the highlight. You can see I did the same thing with her shoes.
You can see by the leaf to the right of her head that there is a bit of a reddish hue. I used a little bit of my perylene maroon to add this small bit of interest to the leaf. I wish I had taken more photos of my progress through the leaves, but what I can say about them is that after the base colors were dry, I drew out the thin veins, waited for them to dry, then quickly added more of the darker greens and blended them out gently to give a slight gradient. For the darker parts of the leaves, I used my white gel pen to bring out the inner parts of the leaves.
I used a bit of my gold pelt to highlight the gold bits on her gloves and my white gel pens to highlight the dress and break it up from being one big pink/red blob.
I also added a little bit of transparency to the dress at the far right corner, where you can see some of the leaves poking through.
This was a really relaxing painting to make and the next one that I paint, I will try to record myself painting it! I still need to find a decent video editing software for my computer, but I will try to publish posts about how I work.
That’s all for now!