Maleficent, black dyed rose and watercolor on paper, 2014
For the flower series, I tend to avoid portraying certain specific characters as I wish every viewer could relate the art in his/her own way of imagination. Most of them are drawn directly from my mind. But for this, Angelina Jolie looks perfect for the role and the trailer itself already got me excited. And I am listening to Lana del Rey’s daunting but enchanted version of Once Upon a Dream while painting this last night.
For the very first time, I am making full use of an entire rose. The horns are made of sepals and the wand is a rose stem. The cloak is made of petals. It looks a little puffy on her (one told me she’s too short here!) on the first trial (top pic) so I did another one (bottom pic). She did look leaner but something’s lacking in the queen’s gesture so I’ll just stick to the first one. This is purely for fun but I enjoy doing something different (and gothic!) once in a while.
In this artwork, I try to fuse the watercolor and dyed rose so everything looks ‘blended’ together without any obvious edges of the paint and petals. I remembered clearly that when I was studying in junior college, my art teacher told me to never use black paint for our paintings. Black is a very powerful and dominating color and it will flatten the space that you’re painting. So if we were to paint a dark area, always mix up all the colors (ultramarine blue, dark green, umber, crimson red, purple etc) to achieve a complicated color that looks almost black but there’s still variations and depth in it. This proves to be really useful throughout my art journey so far.
But most of all, I learn how to dye black roses
! Try it yourself and you will get a gothic garden soon!