You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2012.
- So day 2 of this painting began with the roses blocked in with colour in a race against time to capture the colours and shapes.
- I love to use the wet-in-wet technique when I first block in the colour. I mix up and main three of four colours I see and then paint them in simultaneously and let them bleed and run into each other. The beauty of gouache over acrylic is that I can ‘wake’ up that dried paint at any stage which is what I tend to do once it’s dried and I’m giving the petals a further wash of colour and some detailing.
- It took me along time to paint around the roses and put in such a complicated background – thank heavens for audible!
- I made the blue paler than it actually is, purposefully as I didn’t want to over-power the pink flower heads.
- Finally on day 3 I painted in the leaves, vase and china bird. After 3 solid days it was exciting to be on the home run now and adding that pop of bright leaf-green got me excited to see the finished piece.
- I think this painting has an old world quality about it mainly due to the style and colour of the rose which reminds me of 1950′s greetings cards.
Back in March I went to hear my favourite painter Jean Martin talk about her work and methods. She happened to remark how she’d been given flowers for Mothers Day and that had cancelled any plans she may have had for the following day as she now had to capture them in paint before they died.
I know how she feels sometimes. We had friends over for dinner who came with wine (always good ) and these three exquisite stems from the roses in their garden. A precious and utterly gorgeous gift. What a lovely way to have to rearrange plans because these were too good to miss.
But something was lacking once I’d drawn it out. I have a tendency to fill a space when I draw and these big frothy blooms filled the page easily, but I had a compositional gap – so I added this little china birdie. Spot the difference!
They are just such amazing old-fashioned blousy roses with such beautiful colours.
But what made these flowers so sublime was also what made them a killer to paint. I could see with every passing minute that they were changing shape and deepening in colour minutely.
The race was on so I had to work front to back (which always discombobulates me somewhat!) This was the finish at the end of day 1 – I’ll show you some more tomorrow.
All this rain without much warmth and sunshine, is not bringing my garden along much at all. The tomatoes are just sitting there not really putting on any height, seedlings have sprouted and look bemused as to whether to continue and bedding plants get water-logged all the time and don’t progress. It’s all a bit disappointing.
I bought these flowers to paint and draw for their colour and amazing petals.
This weekend was time to get a grip of the garden, a post Spring garden blitz before the summer (and the rain) take hold and cause much more beatific growth in all the wrong places.
Our veg patch is a particular cause of concern – totally over-grown – and as I began strimming it, I remarked to myself what an amazing invention it was, how much one could do with it, how fast…. then it heated up, smoked and died.
So I became a human strimmer, standing face to face with a wall of 4/5 foot weeds (plants in the wrong place) I just dove it and pulled.
All along I had a little company in the form of a very brave Robin who came in really close to dip in and pick up some juicy caterpillars. It’s legs were so tiny, unbelievably thin, hard to imagine it could support a body.
The other company I had spent the day sniffing frogs in the pond and was not nearly so brave. So cute to watch her being spooked by the jumping frogs – she wants to look but she’s scared to. Look at that blurred wagging tail – says it all.
If I told you that (old fence included) we have had two long bonfires and still need a third, you might be able to measure the extent of the garden taming that’s gone on. Off to build no.3 then…
As there has been a wealth of colour here of late I thought now was a good time to share something a little more restrained. I discovered this amazing wallpaper on a recent sofa buying trip to Stockton’s in Manchester and loved the simplicity and softness of these faces. It is awesome, closeup, to see how much detail, tone and shape can be achieved through a few black and white lines.
Here we have a little jug of sunshine.
This has been a happy painting to do – it looks happy, the colours are happy and I’ve really enjoyed making it. I hope it brightens your day too
PS, Thanks for the recent comments and the ‘likes’ (is that a WordPress or a Facebook thing?) – that also really brightens my day – thank you.
I have just about caught the last of our Wallflowers before the rain battered the life out of them for good.
Some are a little bug-eaten but it doesn’t spoil the colours in any way.
And this is what I most love about Wallflowers, their ability to look absolutely beautiful in any conditions, in any place in the garden with the minimum fuss or care.
Such a humble garden beauty – just quietly getting along outlasting the big, blousy, show-offy tulips.
So far I have drawn and coloured-washed the shapes ready for all the layers and fiddly details.
What’s your day ahead look like?
Did you think I’d moved to the country and got a studio overlooking some fields?
It’s a little trick! I wanted to try out a still life composition with a landscape background but felt I needed some visual reference – hence the printout. I painted the window and went on to paint the foreground and it just wasn’t working out tonally.
I gave it a white-wash to try to knock back the strong greys of the window but that made it worse still. So I opted for what I know best and put some patterned fabric in the background instead. Who knows, one day maybe an ‘art-ologist’ will scrape away all the layers in this one and discuss the original window composition!
Thanks for playing along in the ‘guess the set-up’ game. The majority went with ‘A’ which as you can see, was the same way that my mind worked. But it’s interesting to see what else you would have chosen; it might make me pick differently in the future.
I kept the bird’s eye view (no pun intended!)
It was quite hard on the olde neck and back though but I’m pleased with this final painting. Sometimes it all goes swimmingly and it’s as if some invisible being has painted it while I was avoiding the issue.