Monday, June 7, 2010


Once upon a time I discovered New England Asters are a favorite food of Monarch butterflies, and the two go together very well. So well in fact, I decided to paint it.

I started by trying to line up everything. My picture though isn't the same size as the canvas so things had to be moved around and altered somewhat. 

Basic colors are put in just to establish a series of layers. The picture has two main focuses, the deck in the background and the Monarch on the flower in the foreground. I didn't understand this at the time though. Originally the blue patch was going to be a shed. I'd forgotten about it or assumed it would be a blurry patch.

As you can see the blue patch doesn't exactly work. I also made the mistake of putting to much detail in the deck. It could have been a series of smudges and looked just as nice because that's not really the focus.

I started adding flowers by using a strong hot pink color. The trouble though is it dries more as a strong red or cranberry.

These early flowers aren't important and were put in to establish a range of depth. Most of them will be covered up by the end.

A darker layer of green stems helps distinguish it from the green lawn behind.

I settled for a different color for the flowers. They were much to red for my liking. The new layer of green petals has blue and white mixed in to look more detailed. The flowers have also been touched up with colors.

Last night I finished the Monarch. It stands out more than anything for three reasons. It's the only source of Orange (it can be considered an accent now) and it's the only place we see Black and White. The darker colors under the deck is green and brown mixed to a dark color. I'm not 100% done though. A flower needs a stem to it, which I should have done before painting the flower. And the flowers could use a touch up.

Sure it looks different, but I feel the spirit of the image is still alive.