So on with the second of my demonstration pieces for next week, which I mentioned in my previous blog. For this one the client wanted a floral painting so I selected this subject as I had already demonstrated it last year and it seemed to go well. It incorporates a big wash with a lot of colour mixing on the paper and good interplay of light and dark.
On my first attempt below I felt the arrangement of flowers was too tight and for the second one (top) I brought in some chromium yellow to the centre to help bring out the purple blues of the flowers.
So there is a lot apparently going on with a few washes and hopefully the interplay between light and dark sets a rhythm going.
I have a couple of demonstrations to do next week and I like to have a practice to ensure I can do them in under the two hour time slot that they tend to give you, as when I do them originally I never watch the clock.
For the first one I was asked to do this family of swans that I saw when I was out painting along the canal bank one morning. The lady who engaged me had seen the first painting in an exhibition and like the way I had done the water. I posted the first painting on this blog a while back.
On this one the background ripples seemed a bit bent and the swans had an improbably large family so I had another try.
On this one I think I got the ripples right but I did like the tone of the near water on the first one and now the cygnets are barely discernable. Anyway, now I can see the problems and can draw out something that might work on the day and I now know I can complete in under the two hours. So on to the second demo…
As winter draws to its cruel close I came upon this view over the Brede Valley in East Sussex. It was from a dark photo, into the sun, looking over a church cemetery – where some of my maternal family are buried, and on into the valley beyond. I liked the skeletal tree and added another on the right. I lightened the foreground up and created some rough ground instead. Winter coming to an end.
The creation of the branches was a therapeutic exercise, with rain thrashing the window and a spot of Bach on the stereo. It filled a wet morning perfectly.
The Saracen’s Head is the name of the pub and restaurant you can just see on the right. Using a zoom lens I was able to stand on a bend and get a view of the canal as if you were approaching in a narrow boat.
The pub is quite a good place to eat and, according to my mate, the fishing isnt too bad around here also, as he is often to be seen on the other side of the bridge that you can see up ahead, sitting with his rod as he passes the hours.
I bought some daffodils for the house and later, whilst cleaning, stood the vase on a worktop in front of a window and thought that it might make an uplifting painting.
I decided to crop the flowers to give the feeling of them bursting out and filling the frame. As usual I had a tussle with shading the yellows and I had hoped to get petal shapes in the background by creating some negative shapes, well, I tried, but I did manage to get a little movement there that, I think, adds to the energy.
Maybe a sense of deja vu here, but this is a new painting. I did show an earlier version of this on a recent post but I decided to rework it on a long format sheet rather than force the bigger painting into a long format mount and lose people’s legs and dogs.
I thought that it was worth redoing as it is a popular location, with the start of Anthony Gormley’s Another Place on the beach on the right – I did include a couple of statues if you look hard enough. Anyway, it is popular enough for them to install parking payment machines in the car park you can see in the background.
For me there is nothing more symbolic of spring than the voluptuous forms of hyacinths that fill the space with their bursting form and fill the air with a penetrating scent.
I thought that I would do the group that sat on our window sill in close up. Half way through I was beginning to wonder why I had bothered, with the churning and twisting of forms making life very complicated. In the end I am quite pleased with the outcome and the presence imposed by the tight mass of flowers.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been doing a bit of life drawing with pastels. This is of Eve. She liked the painting and at the end of the session wanted to photograph it. I said she could have it if she sent me an back an image.
Arthur, a model in his sixties still runs, though he has stopped the marathons
An interesting angle, though I think I could have made more of this and the highlighting is a bit harsh.
Though dozing off with your mouth open just brings out the worst in me. Again I could have made more of this as the shapes were quite interesting.
I painted this scene many years ago, before I started this blog, and came across it the other day when I was sorting out my studio. I felt it needed some good darks to carry it off and running in strong colours can be quite tricky which is why I adopted the approach below.
Seeing my earlier attempt I thought that I would try again. Hopefully I have got the solidity and reflection I was after.
Other paintings of the Lake District are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com