This week, I celebrate a big finish – the series of ten nature-inspired oil paintings that I started in July!
The series has four small, four medium-sized, and two big paintings. All of them are some kind of floral landscapes.
Small Paintings + Video!
I worked from big to small. I like to start the series boldly and then pick ideas from them for smaller pieces. This is the last painting – Rapunzel of the Garden:
Because of the small size, this painting required very thin brushes and a lot of precision. Here’s a 1-minute video where you can see me painting it:
These are the rest of the small paintings:
I like the idea of having a secret tiny treasure, so I try to make the small paintings look like that.
The medium-sized paintings are in two parts: two are smaller, and two are bigger. I like to paint “sisters” – so two paintings in a row or at the same time so that they complement each other. It’s an easy way to create variation in the series.
I like to name each painting of a series so that the titles have some kind of similarities. For example, the previous series all had celestial bodies in their names, and the one before that was a V-series – all the titles started with the letter V. This time, the similarity is not perhaps so evident, but it’s there – all the titles have a genitive form.
Four seasons are also present in this series. Expressing seasons is an idea that I could repeat in future series too.
In every series, there are paintings that have seeds for the next one. In this series, I like how abstract I went with Winter Night’s Poem, and the natural look in The Echo of Moss inspires me a lot. These two will set the foundation for the next series.
Usually, I am exhausted after finishing a series, but this time not so much. I have many ideas and already ordered the canvases. I like to plan the size of the series and the sizes of the paintings beforehand. Before I even begin to make any background studies, I have ideas on interiors they could fit or galleries or exhibitions they could go to, and decide the size based on those.
Even if all my paintings are my children, I can’t help picking my personal favorite of the series. In this one, it’s Tiger’s Eye.
Tiger’s Eye is a sister to another big painting – Queen of the Night.
I like the drama in these big paintings.
Nature Inspired The Series of Paintings
Often, people ask an artist: “What inspires you?” and the artist responds, “Nature.”
But I think that it’s really important for an artist to get more specific. For me, it’s the plants – who they want to be and what kind of world they hope to build. I love to imagine what kind of personalities plants have.
In the upcoming class Doll World, the plants become alive as flower girls!
This week, I have a video blog post for you. I talk about this journal spread that I made for my colored pencil diary, but there are also more autumn colorings, art ideas, and inspiration for creating in the middle of life’s small happenings.
In the video, I am talking about colored pencils, the upcoming class about paper dolls and human figures, my friend’s artistic success, blooming orchids, Japanese woodblock print style and style development, and I also draw a Halloween pumpkin from start to finish. There are all kinds of autumn news and autumn colorings!
Autumn Colorings – Watch the Video!
I hope this video inspires you to create and give some extra TLC to your colored pencils!
This week is dedicated to moss and all the shades of green!
Inspired by Moss
For some gardens, moss is a bad thing, but my husband and I always get delighted when we see moss appearing. It’s like velvet, an ancient treasure, woven hundreds of years ago and still vivid and strong.
Last month, I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book called The Signature of All Things. The protagonist Alma was a moss researcher and the space where she worked and stored her samples felt inspiring because it seemed to be a world of its own. The Finnish title for the book is Tämä kokonainen maailmani – “this whole world of mine,” and I think it describes both the book and moss brilliantly.
Making of The Echo of Moss
In this painting “The Echo of Moss,” I have wanted to express the two sides of moss – how it enables life but also gently connects us with death. Watch the video to see how it progressed step by step!
I painted this piece in oils in two separate sessions. There was a week of drying time between them. I am not always that quick, but this time I was in the flow state before making the first stroke. Probably because the subject felt both inspiring and familiar, and I love the color green.
Painting and Coloring Moss
Moss is not difficult to paint or draw. You only need softly colored variegated green in the background and then randomly placed dots or short lines on the top. Here’s an example in watercolor.
This piece is a sample from my watercolor class Magical Forest which has a lesson on painting moss.
When working with colored pencils, color a variety of greens in different directions so that single strokes are not visible. You can use browns, blacks, yellows, and blues in layers to get a wide range of warm green shades. No outlines are needed.
To get natural-looking spotting, close your eyes and tap your pencil randomly on the paper.
Green Green Green!
Green is my favorite color nowadays. “Every painting can’t be green, Paivi, we want variety,” I said to myself before I started painting this one. I was just like my mother who used to give permission and then remind me that it can’t be expected to happen regularly. “Yes, mother, but I want to be a goddess of green!”
“Everything is green,” said my husband when I asked him to take this photo.
“It’s intentional!” I said to him. I hope that this post inspires you to explore moss and different shades of green!
P.S. Speaking of color, one of my classes, Planet Color, is retiring on Sept 30.
If you are a beginner in painting and want to use acrylic paints more, for example, in your art journals, check this class! Planet Color is now more than 50% OFF before it goes away! >> Buy here!