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.
My camellias are in full bloom at the moment, being in a shady position, they are always a little late. I must admit to taking many photos of them as they have a lush, richness of colour them that is as alluring as it is difficult to reproduce. It took a lot of glazes to get to this position and it could be that I am not finished yet. I have been fiddling around for too long and felt I needed a break to fully appraise this effort. Even looking at the painting on the screen as I write I can see areas that might have been tackled differently. Yeah, you are never quite finished.
I have painted camellias before and the flowers need such a density of colour that trying to achieve it by layering pigment gives a flat dull result. The same has happened here, although the photo is a little kind.
I started with loose washes and built up form as you can see at the top. Perhaps the image comes in too quickly out of the background and we are straight into the flowers. I have tried to balance the reds with the greens of the leaves , dragging underpainting into them and they have the heavy glossiness you get with camellia leaves – certainly in my garden.