Hi All Artist Hearts,
Time for an update on the Trading Post Kale garden. 

Watercolor The Trading Post Stage 4 by Jan Howlett
As you can see the painting has progressed with many more layers of rich color and detail, not only in the planting soil in front of the Kale and the earth in between the garden stones, but also inside the edges of the Kale leaves and parts of the antique Creamer Separator.  

The blue reflection of both sky and the blue Kale is quite prominent at this point, but will be toned down considerably as the Creamer is closer to completion. Each element is beginning to take on the appearance of rounded, three dimensional form and is coming forward in the piece nicely.  

I decided to paint on a small amount of masking fluid on the upper finely pointed Kale leaves until I have the dark background painted in in order to save the crisp tiny ruffles on those leaves.  Keeping those edges sharp will help push the Kale forward as it becomes my center of interest. 

I have started blocking in the background shadows on the left side as well as a portion of the lower Kale leaves just peaking in from the right.  The left side of the background will change dramatically with the next few layers and will help frame and assist the eye to travel back into the picture toward the Kale. 

One thing that has become apparent with adding the background darks is that the small flower pot with the unpainted white roses is probably going to have to be almost hidden in that dark shadow or it will, unfortunately, draw too much attention away from the Kale.  It all looked wonderful in the  photo constructed composition, but not so pleasing at the moment.  It may well pose a problem more difficult than expected, so I may have to play with the idea of reducing their size and shape was well or dulling them down completely.  Stay tuned.

Here in Orillia we just had our first snow fall and the temperature has dropped with bone-chilling winds! I know it is in fact those falling temperatures that will bring out the gorgeous rich colors of the very Kale plant we are now painting, so they do have a grand side effect. A side effect that becomes delicious eye candy to the artist hungry for Jewell-like colors! But I was still waiting for Indian Summer! However, the sun is bright and cheery, so it is a perfect time to put on the fireplace and do some serious painting.  Until next time, keep inspired and your paint brushes in fine working order.  :>)