RHODODENDRON – ACRYLIC PAINTING

In the past I have sold many floral paintings in watercolour, but of late they haven’t been as popular. Despite being pleased with the ones I recently exhibited, they followed me home. So when I saw some floral paintings in acrylic, presented as single flowers I wondered whether I should follow this approach.

Here’s the first one – a single flowerhead, without my usual adornment of foliage. I have painted flowers in acrylic before, but more in the style of my watercolours and wasn’t taken with the result, despite the fact that acrylics can give much more saturated colour, in keeping with the flowers themselves.

In this painting the flower is big and brassy and demands attention without distraction. I mixed a greeny/black background to work against the pinks and reds of the flower and push the luminosity further.

We’ll see how it goes, you can but try.

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

SETTING SUN ON THE ORIENTAL POPPIES – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I have painted poppies before, and some might say too often, but spotting the setting sun on the oriental poppies in my garden drove me to having another go. It was only towards the end of the painting that I realised that the stars of the show aren’t the gaudy flowers but the tousled mass of spikey leaves that snatch the attention away from the flowerheads.

In the past I have been taken by the sculptural forms of leaves in strong light but have felt that they wouln’t make a good painting – clearly I must take another look.

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

DOWN – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Climbing a hill, last year, I saw this ragged clump of thistles about to shed their seeds over the fields. I love the way the thistle down glows in the sunlight and this is enhanced against the darkness of the distant trees.

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

THEY SAY IT`S YOUR BIRTHDAY – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A birthday card for someone special. Painting cards for family and friends can be like making a rod for you own back. When one is seen you get oblique and blatant requests for more – even my daughter complained about being left out and she doesnt even like the stuff I produce – funny old world. These days I am not doing as many, so there is less pressure. This one is of the begonias currently flowering on my decking.

Floral paintings are available for sale on my website; grahammcquadefineart.com

A JUG OF FLOWERS IN A SUNNY WINDOW – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I presented this as a sketch in April and the sketch has been floating around in my studio since then. As an inveterate fiddler it was only time before I had another go. I wanted to break up and explain the background better and pay more attention to the reflected light and give more deference to my wife`s flower arranging. At least this time its not on the back of another painting , which for me, is a step forward.

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

FLOWERS IN THE WINDOW – WATERCOLOUR SKETCH

I have been lethargic of late and this was an attempt to break the cycle. I wanted to do a loose painting of a jugful of flowers my wife had gathered from the garden.

It started loose but became tighter as I played around with the lights and shadows. I think this approach works well with large blooms such as the camellias, but the daisies and other small flowers broke the rhythm and had me scratching around and tightening up.

Having completed the exercise I can see where improvements in technique can be made. Now, I just need to break the lethargy…

Other floral paintings can be found on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

BLUE GERANIUMS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

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.

Other floral paintings can be found 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

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

ESCHSCHOLZIA IN SHADE – WATERCOLOUR SKETCH

Another trial painting. Checking out what I can demonstrate. It certainly wont be this. Too much overpainting to get the darks. I have trimmed the painting above. It certainly needs more flower and less background and those Californian poppy leaves are a bugger to do – though I do love the contrasts from the white page to the deep mixes of indigo and the poppy petals create lovely swirls of colour. I’ll be back with another go at this.

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