SPRING IN A VASE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

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.

Other floral paintings are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SPRING'S LUSCIOUSNESS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

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.

Other floral paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

NEXT YEAR'S SCRATCHES AND SCRAPES – PASTEL PAINTING

I got the pastels out for the last blog and thought I could do with having a stock check. This entails doing a few paintings and seeing what hues and tones I am short of. I found a shop in Liverpool which sells Unison pastels. Normally I buy them over the internet, but it is far better making sure that you get the right ones by seeing them in the flesh and trying them out. So here’s a scene of thistle seed heads in the sun. I was sat waiting for someone on a park bench this autumn when the sun came out and I was caught by the brightness of the seed heads and the way they seemed to glow against the shadows. So I snapped a few photos and here we are and I’ve got my list for a shopping trip.

Other floral paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

HARVEST – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I was taken by the variety of colours in my grapes as they were ripening and with the light picking out highlights and creating shadows I thought that it might make a good subject

The wine production here in Lancashire was rather small on account of the fact that I ate all of the grapes. I have a habit of nipping into my greenhouse and thinning out the bunches, to prevent them getting tightly packed and bursting. Sometimes I over do it.

In this painting I was unsure about the foliage, but a fairly loose rendition seems to have worked. The leaves proliferate and constantly need thinning out, so you get this busy green background which I feel I have portrayed.

Other floral paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

ECHINOPS AND FRIEND – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A late entry to my upcoming solo exhibition of flower paintings. I have assembled 16 paintings to show at my framers next week. So I am spending time getting things ready, at the expense of painting.

I must admit to getting a bit down after putting work in a couple of mixed exhibitions of late and selling nothing, but last week I entered another and went to collect my work to find that I had sold three. One of life’s small victories which puts a spring back in your step. So I’m entering this one a bit more optimistically – but only a little bit.

Other florals are available for sale on my website ( which I am currently updating) grahammcquadefineart.com

LAST LIGHT WITH LILLIES – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another previously attempted painting, but unlike the last post where I had messed around with the edges of some paintings, this one was started from scratch. Hopefully I have captured the luminosity which I felt the first version lacked and I have simplified the design as the last one was a little too busy.

These lillies, which grow in my back garden, were supposed to be red but as the years go by they take on a more orange hue. They also grow to be about six feet tall so you end up looking up at them and into the sun if it is getting low in the sky.

A reminder of summer as the frosts gather to clear away what remains.

Other floral work is available for sale in time for Christmas on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

BLUE GERANIUMS IN LIGHT – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Last month I posted a painting of bougainvillea which I was going to use for a flower demo in a couple of weeks time. After my initial enthusiasm I became disenchanted with it, even after trying out a modified approach. In the end I gave up and did some forest paintings to calm my nerves.

I then saw some images of my perennial blue geraniums in morning light. I had originally shied away from this subject as a demo piece because of the big areas of darks. Anyway, I gave it a go and was surprised to find that it worked well. I could quickly get the required darks and build up the painting in a short time.

Here is the result. I think I could change the design slightly. I do love the buds and might include a few more next time.

Other floral paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com