Plein air: Weimar, TX 

 

texas or indian paintbrush (5×7″, oil)
  
blue-eyed grass (5×7″, oil)
 
These are part of the “Texas Wildflowers Series”. You’ll see a category link at the top or bottom of these articles. When you click this, it will spit out only the articles in this series. 

The top sketch is the “Indian Paintbrush”. I also saw it was renamed “Texas Paintbrush” (by Texas) as a more politically correct name. Sorry, Lousiana.  Also, Indians don’t use them to paint. As a fun fact, the roots tap into the neighbor’s roots and steal nutients. Reminds me of how back country college students in East Texas often tap into the TV cable/internet line of the parents house and then bury the cable because it illegal, right Jeremy?

As a painter, it was very hard to paint! Adding white to red makes pink, and yet somehow the actual flower is both bright and very red. The pure, rich color was impossible to match, so I made the background super dark green and smeared on the petals with as much pure pigment as possible to make them appear bright and luminescent. As is often the case, it’s hard to even get close to what nature presents us with. 

The second painting is called “blue-eyed grass”, which forms in a clumps. It’s said that it’s useful as a laxitive and treats diarrhea, so… good luck with those odds. 

These flowers would be a great introduction to painting flowers en plein air. The grass and flower are both relatively easy to color match and paint. It’s also a great lesson in using light and dark color in the flowers to show the roundness of the clump. The only trick is patience. That’s a lot of flowers. 

Onto the next one!

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6 thoughts on “Plein air: Weimar, TX ”

  1. Love these paintings, my favorite is the first one, I love juicy bright color! We also have Indian Paintbrush but I haven’t heard of the re-naming. Not sure if it would be changed to “California Paintbrush”? (for us) who knows. I have a botanist friend I should ask her. I have painted in acrylics and I agree it is difficult bringing down a value and when you use white, it goes pink….I appreciate the difficulty that you speak about.

    1. Yeah, it does “pop” when looking at it from a distance, while the blue-eyed grass is more subdued. I painted another bright yellow flower today and am about to look up what it is. I switched to water-miscible oils for these studies. I had a lot of trouble keeping the acrylics from drying out too fast and the Golden Open, which dry slower, tend to darken a lot as it dries, so it looks really good in the field wet, and then dulls down. I don’t know what I’ll do with this blog “fun with acrylics”, because I’m loving these oil paints. : )
      I’m curious what your friend will say. This is what the wildflower finder at the Ladybird Johnson Center website (Austin, TX) has.

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