Painting the Lotus

Xuan Paper

Xuan Paper

 

Perhaps you’ve heard of my experimenting with new paper and painting quite large works. ( Aprox. 49” X 27”) 

It’s been a delight to share this new paper with my students and I thought perhaps a blog about my process in creating new works with it could also be helpful.

 

I started out exploring the Lotus, painting it in various tones of Ink with the addition of Sennelier’s Cadmium Red Purple for the flowers.

Wash Brush, 3 Large brushes which includes the Zen Brush and Best Bottle Ink

Wash Brush, 3 Large brushes which includes the Zen Brush and Best Bottle Ink

 

 

Not only was I experimenting with the paper but with using extra large brushes such as the Zen brush which is a hard brush unlike the larger rabbit or goat soft brushes.  A hard brush gives me more control when doing large, rapid strokes and I’m able to get that wonderful flying white without experiencing any ‘bleed’.

After a few of the monochromatic Ink paintings I ventured forth to my next experiment which consisted of doing a painting in four stages or ‘overlays’.

Four Phases of the Lotus Painting

PHASE ONE

Using a large ‘hard’ brush I first blocked out the composition, including the flowers which were done in a pale Ink using the tip of a Mountain Horse brush.  After this had dried completely I went to phase two.

Zen Brush, Large Soft Brush, Mountain Horse Brush and Best Bottle Ink

Zen Brush, Large Soft Brush, Mountain Horse Brush and Best Bottle Ink

Lotus-Phase1

PHASE TWO

Darker accents were added with undiluted Ink and then allowed to dry.

Lotus-Phase2

PHASE THREE

Using Perylene Green and Indigo I added a layer of color with highlights of Cobalt Green and Cinerous Blue.

Lotus-Phase3

PHASE FOUR

When the painting had again dried completely, I turned it over, wet the entire back with a 2 1/2” Wash brush and waited for it to dry down to barely damp.  Next I added the background wash in tones of Marie’s Green Light and Cerulean Blue.

2 1/2 Wash Brush, Marie's Green Light and Cerulean Blue

2 1/2 Wash Brush, Marie's Green Light and Cerulean Blue

Lotus-Phase4

Note:  It will help considerably if you make large amounts of these tones to use for the background before you begin because you don’t want to run out of ’tone’ half-way through.  Be sure to stay at least a half inch away from your flowers which will be left unpainted and then with a very dry small brush, outline the flowers in the tone you’re using. 

With this new understanding I went on to this work which is coming closer to my expression of the 'The Lotus'.

NanRae-Lotus

So grateful for May at Chiang's Frame for mounting all of our large pieces! Go to Chiang's Frame for all of your mounting and framing needs! They are the best! 

Chiang's Frame
9255 Telstar Ave # J,
El Monte, CA 91731
(626) 307-1749

Happy Painting!