I need a few floral paintings so I photographed some heleniums in the garden. I got quite low and photographed upwards into the light and decided to combine a range of views. I wanted to get the light coming through the top flowers and onto the lower ones. As I began the painting I lost some nerve, feeling that the yellows in shade weren’t that convincing, but as the painting neared completion I regained my nerve and enthusiasm and am quite pleased with the way the light works.
In my effort to build up a few more flower paintings I decided to have a go at the gladioli I planted in one of my flower borders . There may be a bit too much red, but I was trying to get a hot border with lots of reds and oranges so this looks like a military parade.
I have been doing a lot of walking as part of my recuperation from a hip operation. This means looking into gardens as I slowly pass by. On one occasion I saw a great view through a gate into a sunlit back garden and wondered whether I could make some kind of painting from it . I then realised I needed a point of interest for the view, but when I decided on a slumbering subject I realised that perhaps a fence and a gate didn’t make for a very interesting foreground. So I opened up the foreground and put some peonies and catnip there instead. So the painting bears absolutely no resemblance to what I saw – except perhaps a sunlit lawn – it has just been built up out of necessity. Well, it amuses me anyway.
A local painting club has asked me to demonstrate a floral watercolour next week , so I just tried out this painting of roses which I did from three photos. I need to be able to do it in two hours and probably they’ll stop for a cup of tea in the middle so painting time might be reduced to 90 minutes. I like to try it out so I know I can do it in the time. I will use more lemon yellow next time for the flowers and rearrange the leaves a little so I get a better feeling of depth.
I was once asked to paint a landscape for a Rotary Club meeting. Near to the day of the meet the man who arranged it let slip that they gave about 20 minutes for the talk. I then pared down the demo and on the day did the painting in 19 minutes and they seemed to like the result!
Meagre pickings today. I had to do another watercolour flower demo and thought that some roses might be worth trying. I had seen these climbing roses in France the other week and had a notion to try them. I really wanted to get some loose forms coming down the frame ending with perhaps one which was more defined, but was aware that following the demo I will be running a workshop next week when the class have a try, so I needed to approach it more formally and methodically. Well here it is, but in doing it, I also realised that it might be too much for the less experienced – I certainly had a tussle with it.
So back to the drawing board. Instead I went for the old fallback, the hellebores. Well, in the end all I want is to build confidence in loose washes and mixing on the paper. So here was what I did this morning as the demoo piece. It will be interesting to see what the class produce next week.
I have to do a demonstration and workshop in September on floral watercolours so I thought I’d get my backside into gear and try out some possibilities. The hollyhocks is a version of the first flower painting I sold and as such is a solid standby. Foxgloves are flowers I find very fussy to paint and I was trying to get the impression of them here. I think I have overdone it again and need to get less specific, maybe I’ll have another go, but at least I have something to present.
Meagre pickings today, as I’m working on some other paintings and doing a commission, but I had to do a card for a birthday and chose some grape hyacinths as the subject. They seemed to shout at me as I was wandering around the garden. They do look good in the sunshine but are apt to take over so next week I’ll be cutting the seed heads off and later thinning out the bulbs.