Painting Standing Up and Upside Down! (San Fran)

11:08 AM

California Poppies - Detail
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If you've been reading Painted Thoughts blog for any time at all, you know that I worship at the altar of details. Love, LOVE, LOVE details! It is in my nature to sit down and paint the finest of details for hours on end.

It's also crazy making.

When I don't have the level of detail I think I "need" in a photo reference or worse, when half way through the painting, I'm done. Finished. O.V.E.R. I.T. And it makes me crazy.
Such gorgeous oranges, yellows and pinks!
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Then I rush through to the end and invariably regret it afterwords.

One of the things that travel sketching as well as sketching on location has taught me is there is no time for detail-worship. You go for big shapes, smaller shapes in shapes and then a few well chosen details and you're off to the next location.

Yes, at first it bothered me to leave out those scrumptious details.

Until I realized that sometimes less is more. It's kinda fun to paint an image and leave just enough out that the viewer can and does interpret the work differently from me.
So easy to get lost in all that detail!
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Now, with this said, my default position is to get into the details waaaay too soon in a sketch or painting. I've had to get fairly "inventive" to outsmart my detail-loving-self.

I painted this standing up with the sketchbook turned upside down with a number 10 round with one hand tied behind my back!

....oops, wait, no, just kidding. I didn't tie my hand back.

Once the entire painting was dry, I sat down and painted in a few of the details—still using the #10 brush. I had to restrain myself from putting in every crinkle and wrinkle in those sweet, happy flowers.

And yes, it was hard not to go overboard with the details given to my desire to paint every stamen, shadow, crinkle, and hair.
Full Spread of California Poppies
11 x 8.5 inches
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I am so glad I didn't. These flowers were so beautiful swaying in the breeze with their bright happy faces lifted to the sun. We saw these all over San Francisco...in gardens, by utility poles, in sidewalk crevices. It didn't matter where they were, they were beautiful.

These are not as loose as some would paint, but for me, given my proclivity for painting every single detail, this is loose! I still fed my desire for detail by including "just enough" detail to balance out the loose. I'm a happy girl!

Join me in my happy dance, won't you?!
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I hope you'll consider joining me on "An Imaginary Trip to San Francisco!" The "trip" begins on August 16th. Click here for more information and I hope to see you there!

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