Blue, Blue, Bluebonnets


We’re ready to tackle the field of Bluebonnets. The basic mixes are shown above. #1. Two shades of Ultramarine Blue + a little MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. #2. Three shades of Ultramarine Blue + White. #3. A few combinations in different proportions of Cobalt Blue + White.


The Live Oak casts a shadow that follows the gentle slope of the hill. It is made with the darker value of Mix #1. Because this mixture has a bit of MUD in it the blue is muted just a touch, causing it to drop back. We follow a simple rule to give the field of Bluebonnets a feeling of depth: Muted colors go back. Brighter, more intense colors come forward.


The middle ground of the field is made with the #2 mixes. They are a little brighter, making them jump in front of the muted blues behind.


The Cobalt Blue mixtures are reserved for the Bluebonnets closest to us. If you’d like to enlarge any of the pictures just click on the image.


The next step is to add the foliage. I use combinations in various proportions of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Yellow + a little Cadmium Orange + White. The greens are worked around the blue to help shape the flowers.


Grass and a little path leading out into the field of Bluebonnets invite the viewer to take a stroll to enjoy the Texas spring.


Individual petals on the Bluebonnets are delineated with the corner of a small Bright (Square) brush. If you would like to know more about the brushes I use CLICK HERE.


White “Bonnets” finish out our Texas State Flower. Those on the flowers closest to us are made of Pure White.


As we go back in the field of flowers I mix a little Ultramarine Blue into the White for the little caps so they will recede. They are also made smaller. 


Another one of those simple painting rules comes into play for our field of Bluebonnets: More detailed objects come forward. Less detailed objects go back. Think about standing at the edge of your lawn, you can see the individual blades of grass close to you. But as you look across the yard, maybe 30 feet away, you can no longer make out the minute details of the grass, the greens all run together. I use that technique in painting the Bluebonnets, those in the foreground are very detailed, those farther away have less. This helps to give distance and depth to the painting. If all of the Bluebonnets were rendered with the same amount of detail the piece would appear much flatter. Oh, the flowers in the foreground on the left side are purposely painted without much detail. This is because Sunflowers will extend up in front of them! HUGS,


3 Responses to “Blue, Blue, Bluebonnets”

  1. joannecali Says:

    So beautiful. Thank you for the never ending lessons..

  2. Angelica Says:

    Makes me want to lay down in this field of flowers!

  3. Janet Zeh Says:

    The bluebonnets are beautiful – a perfect sea of flowers!

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