Have you noticed that out-of-focus blur while taking a picture?
Do you see the bubble like things in the background of the painting below?
Welcome to the world of Bokeh!
I learned about painting bokeh from an art collab on Instagram where a group of artists came together to create artworks with a bokeh background.
The first time I felt like backing out as I found it very difficult to paint despite watching several videos on bokeh! I had never been this frustrated… neither of the papers I use for my watercolors proved to be useful!
I was about to throw in the towel when I picked up a scrap paper from Canson Acrylic pad (mostly used by my daughter) and decided to give one last try. I cannot express my delight at the sight of the little ‘bokeh’ effects I got right on this paper!
A little bit of the process
Wet the paper on different places.
Using different colors dab the brush on the wet surface.
Add darker colors at some places.
Let the paper dry completely.
Using a wet brush create small circles here and there. These circles will appear faded or white depending upon how many times you use the wet brush on them. (Don’t overdo it or else the paper may start tearing) you don’t want that..right?
There’s a sweet little cottage in the hills tucked away near a cluster of evergreen pines. No one knows who lives there!
Each morning a pair of bluebirds meet on the branch of a pink blossom tree. They sing and flutter over the roses, peek under the daisies and peck at the purple lupines. Sometimes they race each other to the chimney on the cottage.
And before dusk arrives, they’re back on their spot on the pink blossom branch. Only they know who lives up there in the hills!
This painting has been inspired by the memory of my grandparents’ garden back in India. There was this river stone studded path that ran from the patio all the way to the main gate.
On either side of that path were fragrant flowers that graced the flowerbeds, a dense litchi orchard and a pretty little pond inhabited by a turtle, some fish and a few lotus flowers.
There was this bright red swing set in the middle of the orchard that my brother and I loved to visit everyday. There were so many secret little places to play hide and seek, fish to observe, bird songs to listen to and the fresh air of the valley to breathe in.
Their home and garden have been renovated since then and a lot of things have changed but the memories of holidays spent at my grandparents have not.
So when a group of artist friends and I picked up a collaboration theme – Spring Garden, my thoughts floated back to those sweet moments spent in a forever spring garden – in the cool shade of the litchi trees where dragonflies followed the fragrance of sweet smelling roses and tulips and one little turtle lazed under the afternoon sun between the lotus blossoms.
I’m mostly a floral person so I’d never imagined painting something so simple such as a sofa would be so much fun and interesting! And that’s the whole point behind art challenges! They help you grow and expand your perspective.
Some of you must be familiar with this herb called Holy Basil also known as Tulsi in India. It’s a fragrant herb used as an ingredient both in cooking as well as in traditional medicine like Ayurveda!
It seems strange but as I looked at the art prompt “houseplants”yesterday on instagram, the first thing that came to mind was this herb with memories of the pretty plant sitting snug in a clay pot in my mom’s yard.
What I remember most about it growing up in India was the “tulsi tea” that my mom often brewed to cure a cough. She plucked fresh leaves and let them boil in the water along with tea leaves before adding some milk and sugar. I loved that tea – the fragrance and the warmth of it all.
So this is it for now. I hope to write more often.
Painting these blue teacups in watercolor was such a pleasure. I used to see paintings of pretty and dainty teacups on Pinterest, and they always reminded me of some other time. Finally one day I was inspired to paint.
I remember seeing rows of dainty teacups in fine china adorning the shelves of the cabinet in my mom’s dining room. Looking back even further, I remember seeing them in my grandma’s kitchen. Hand painted and delicate, those exquisite teacups with matching saucers perched quietly on the high shelves must have listened intently to the conversations around the dining table, observing old and new generations coming together, absorbing their stories…….
I cannot look at teacups without reminiscing about old times!
What do you do with your mounting pieces of art? Before you know it, they have begun to probably gather a fine layer of dust and have started fading and inching their way into every space available!
Yes! storage does seem to be an obvious solution but we have only so much space! So I came up with 5 verysimpleways to handle all the clutter created by old and growing number of artworks.
This is the most important step. I categorize my artwork chronologically. This is a good way to keep everything organized in one place. It actually also helps me look back at my old paintings and reflect on how much I have grown as an artist. It’s almost like a journal that takes you down your memory lane. However you can also organize your artwork according to subject like flowers, landscapes, portrait etc.
2. Put them up!
Adorn your wall or space! Fish out some pretty or interesting pieces and put them on frames on the wall or counter tops. The best part is you don’t need many frames, just a couple and you can keep changing the display. This works really well in kids’ rooms using their “own art”. Another way to display your artwork is by simply pinning them up on a cork board in your work space area and just watch them bring in some cheer!
3. Create something out of them
While categorizing my artwork I discovered sheets that had only one or two nice pictures. So I cut out the good ones like a bouquet or a flower and then glued it on another piece of paper to use as a bookmark. Or you can glue the cutouts on a card stock paper to create greeting cards also.
4. Gift / Give away
There’s always someone who really cherishes your artwork – your grandma or your friends! Gift them a pretty one. They will LOVE them! You can also donate to the library or to a classroom if you have a lot of nice paintings that need a home.
Yes you heard it right! There are always some artworks that we are not very proud of and don’t mind getting rid of. Just recycle them and claim back your space!
I hope you liked these tips. If you know of any other tips please share them here. I will appreciate!
Here is my latest watercolor floral art that I want to share with you.
Most of the time I paint roses, poppies, sunflowers and lavender, but this time I tried painting plumerias, hollyhocks, and crocuses. Even though I do not have a green thumb, I love painting flowers.
Painting hydrangeas was so much fun. The trick to painting them is you start with the central blossoms coloring them a little darker and as you get to the ones in the periphery you lighten up the shade.
Believe it or not, I found painting the plumerias most difficult even though they look pretty simple! My favorite however was the hollyhocks!!