Tag Archives: #cacti

February 2020 30-Day Creative Gathering Collage

February 2020 30-Day Creative Gathering Collage, Sheila Delgado

What a difference a month makes! February flew by. I didn’t feel a loss of momentum until the final week. Being in pain will do that. In preparation for the challenge, I put together a file full of images to paint. I still have enough for another 30 paintings. Haha. Ideas abound. I intended to paint more abstracts. Planned on using Yupo more. Never enough time.

Each time I do the 30-day challenge, I wonder if I “grew” or developed new skills. I can never see it until some time has passed. I did try new subjects. Some that I never attempted before. The Cholla image, day 28, I took in 2012. WOW! I meant to paint it, and it has taken me this long. A little bit, out of sight out of mind. But also fear of painting so many spines. My first Cholla is not great, but it is better than I expected.

February 2020 30-Day Creative Gathering Favorites Collage, Sheila Delgado

Thanks so much for following along this month. I hope I did not bore you with my fascination with pointy things and desert natives. I appreciate your support and enjoy your comments and suggestions. 🙂 Thank you! It means a lot!

Congratulations and high five to the group artists. Whether you did 3 or 30, high five for making the bold attempt. For getting your art out into the world, and for encouraging others on their artistic journey! Thank you for taking part, and for making the group so lively and diverse! You ROCK! Hope to see you in September! HaPpY creating to you!

Day 28 Of February’s 30

Day 28, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Day 28, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.

The first time I saw this cactus, I thought it was really pretty. Different. It stood out with its white coat of spines. It was under a foot and a half. Not very threatening. Still, I steered clear. The photos were taken in Lucerne Valley, So. Cal. That is east of Victorville. Past Apple Valley. Keep going, and when you are in the middle of nowhere. You’ve arrived. It was a day trip to see Chimney Rock, where the last Indian fight in So. Cal. took place. I found the Cholla heading up into the rocky hills. Looking for ancient Native ovens and other artifacts.

I painted this top side down, but it makes more sense this way. This is a Teddy Bear Cholla (choy-ya), also known as a Jumping Cholla. Follow the links for short informative video’s. There is a photo here that shows why these spines are so painful. Zoom in to see just how many barbs each spine can have.

Teddy Bear Cholla, Side View
Teddy Bear Cholla, Side View

This was a learning experience. In a good way. The background was quick to come together. It is about five or six layers of color. A variegated wash, and then spatters in different hues and sizes.

Cholla, Top View
Cholla, Top View

For the cholla, I laid down a soft, bright green layer. When dry, I added a thin layer of white. Then I started on the spines. First I used the pencil, it did not show well over the white, so I used it around the outer edges. Next, the Posca paint pen. There were two areas where the pen plopped a huge puddle, I spread the paint around with the pen tip, and managed to hide the mistakes fairly well.

I scribbled in the centers of some shapes. I tried to create some directionality, (is that a word?) in the shapes. I worked with three circle shapes as if looking down on the tips. But I bet you will say you see four.

I am really happy with how this turned out. The background is more orange than I planned. But I like it. The paper’s texture works well here. I will do another with a softer background. Thanks for looking!

Neocolor, Posca & Jerry's (Artarama) Jumbo Jet White Charcoal Pencil.
Neocolor, Posca & Jerry’s (Artarama) Jumbo Jet White Charcoal Pencil.

Day 26 Of The 30-Day Creative Gathering

Day 26, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on Arches 140lb. cold-pressed paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.
Day 26, FEB C.G., 8 x 8, watercolor on Arches 140lb. cold-pressed paper. © 2020 Sheila Delgado.

For the flowers I used gouache. I haven’t worked with gouache much. I need to play with it more. Gouache is an opaque watercolor paint. Transparent watercolor allows you to see the “white” of the paper through the paint. Gouache paint can be applied in solid colors. This allows artists to paint in layers from dark to light.

The flowers of the Prickly Pear look waxy and are translucent. So gouache was not the right medium for them. Lesson learned. I was hoping to capture the vivid colors. I will try again. Won’t that be fun! Here is a terrific video showing different cacti flowers. If you watch to the end, it gives the names of each.