I had a painting of begonias that I liked, but it never sold ( see below) so I felt maybe I should do another version. As my floral paintings have been a bit hit and miss of late, I got hold of an old painting, turned it over and tried out a sketch on the reverse. Here it is. I was quite pleased with the result. There are a few things that I could and should change – so be warned the final one may be coming your way soon.
I know I put one of these out in May, but it has been sitting in my pile of dissatisfaction since. Then the other day I felt I knew what to do, so I had another go. Whether this is the case, time will tell, but at the very least I feel I have advanced the cause.
Each year there seems to be a race on as to whether our lilies will flower or be devoured by the rapacious lily beetle and their even more rapacious grubs. This year the lilies won – just – so here they are – though I may have exaggerated the number of leaves that remain from the onslaught.
Spring slowly moves towards summer and my rhododendrons’ buds start to unfold into blousy blooms. I tried this before, last week, but over-emphasised the colours and deadened the image. This version looks a bit weak, but the freshness is retained and the lefthand bloom captures the attention to my satisfaction.
I am still persisting and struggling with floral paintings. At present one of my borders is covered in Oriental Poppies, so I thought it was an opportune time to have a go at them. I also wanted to include the barbed leaves which can be a real feature when the light is right. I must admit it got a bit messy at the end on the left hand side, but I did manage to keep the initial washes on the flowers and some of the leaves on the right and am pleased with the result there.
Before this I had a less successful battle with my forsythia which is a real harbinger of spring here. I wanted the contrast against the clear sky. The mass of tiny flowers and leaves was a difficult ask, and in hindsight I think I need to blow up the small flowers even larger for the thing to work and not resemble a blobby mass.
So one out of two is an improvement on my endeavours of late. There may be some repeats coming this way if I start to find ways to resolve some of my issues. Only time will tell.
The plan on this one altered as I progressed and the changes may have had a negative impact on the outcome. I wanted a blue/yellow theme going on, cooling and losing some of the petals as well as the foliage, with the distant flowerheads merging into a yellow/green background.
Halfway though I jumped ship, scraped some of the colour off the background flowers and made them brighter and more pronounced. I also brought more flowerheads into focus – having started with just three and hinting at the rest.
Now is a period of reflection – though I do like having something in my hand to ponder over rather than an image in my head. You may not have seen the last of this one.
I decided to get a collection of flower paintings together for a future exhibition and also as a couple of painting groups have asked for flower demos later in the year. But things are going badly. This was one of lillies (above) will be destined for scrap paper – but at least it’s good practice.
I did manage to get my Camellias into better shape- after posting them earlier and having reservations about them – I had another go – I think this was the third attempt, below. I am happier with this one – but progress is slow.