Saturday, July 04, 2009

Song of Summer - WIP

It's been a while, the garden has been demanding my attention, which means less time to paint, but the reward is plenty of exciting reference material for future watercolours!

I have found a bit of time though, and wonderful inspiration from a visit to an open garden 2 weeks ago.

I took photos of my progress, so this is a sort of WIP except it has already been finished!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Distilled Sunlight

Daffodils on a bright spring day - they really are like the purest sunlight!

I tried to keep colours more delicate than my usual style uses - I wanted a fresh, soft look, not too many dark areas. I think I succeeded!

Distilled Sunlight
Watercolour on Fabriano paper, 12.5 x 10 inches

Exciting news! I added this painting to my RedBubble account tonight and it has already been featured!!!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What is Watercolour?

Katherine Tyrell has an in-depth article about this often divisive question on her blog, Making a Mark today - it's well worth reading!

For me, watercolour is just that - watercolour paint (as labelled on the tube or pan), activated with water and painted on paper. Anything else should be labelled as watermedia. If, once dried, paint cannot be re-activated with water it isn't watercolour. I think it would be a terrible shame if the traditional media of watercolour, used by so many of our great artists in the past, was lost in a sea of watered down acrylics!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wishing for Spring

When this challenge was posted on painting friends I had to have a go at painting it! The idea is to choose one of a selection of references and paint it in two hours or less - not easy but fun!

9 x 7 inches, Fabriano Artistico extra white paper

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Pink and White

Another from last year, inspired again by the stunning Bodnant Gardens, near Conwy, North Wales.

I have a bit of a reputation for backgrounds, but for this I decided to leave the background as the white of the paper. I think it works really well, letting the echinacea take centre stage with no distractions!

Pink and White
14 x10, watercolours on Fabriano Artistico 140lb CP paper

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Beach Pebbles

My second play with acrylic inks, this time with a wider range of colours at my disposal. There was a challenge on to draw with ink, and without lifting the pen from the paper (known as "contour drawing"). I decided to combine it with an experiment in glazing with acrylic inks.

The results aren't bad! I like the colours and the inks act almost in the same way as watercolours, with the main difference being the inability to lift colours once dry!

Beach Pebbles, Acrylic ink on watercolour paper, 9 x 7.5 inches

Monday, February 23, 2009

A New Medium

My birthday was yesterday, and my children decided, in their infinite wisdom, that it was about time I tried something new. My gift was a small set of acrylic inks in delicious colours! They hadn't found any blues, kind of important, so I was told to get myself some more and they'd pay. I found a great deal and ended up buying six more colours and also some Atelier Interactive acrylics - heck, if I have to learn a new media I might as well throw myself into it!

It's kind of scary starting out with a totally alien material - learning what it will and won't do, how it differs from watercolour, but it's scary in a good way! Watercolours will always be my passion but it'll do me good to play with the bright acrylic colours too.

A short session with my new paints/inks shows how exciting they are going to be! This was a very quick sketch with no real planning but I kinda like it!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tulip Rainbow #2

I wasn't thrilled with my first tulip painting (Primary Tulips) so I immediately started again with a different reference image! I'm very happy with the way this one turned out, there was no masking involved, colours were allowed to move and blend, but overall the effect isn't busy.

Tulip Rainbow #2, watercolours on paper, 14x10

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Summers End

Back to the catch-ups! I saw this hydrangea while visiting Bodnant Gardens in North Wales last September. I love the colours that the previously white flowers (although technically they're bracts) turned as they faded. It's quite muted for me, but I really like how it turned out!

Summers End, Watercolour, 14x10 inches

Friday, February 13, 2009

Primary Tulips

It's tulip time - the shops are full of colourful bunches, and I can never resist buying a bunch of mixed colours. I think the recent snowy weather got to me and affected my palette for this painting!
Primary Tulips, 10x14 inches on Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunburst #2

Here's my finished sunflower! I'm very pleased with how it turned out, especially that I managed to retain the freshness of my colours and looseness of my brush strokes. It's very easy to overwork watercolours and make the colours muddy.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Finished, but no photo yet!

The sunflower is done, and I can honestly say I'm glad! Sometimes I start a new work and feel incredibly excited, but the process is interrupted and I lose the real excitement and end up plodding along. That's what happened with this sunflower.

Oh well, here's the final progress image!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Nearly There

This is taking so much longer than I anticipated! One more push and it should be done though.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Sunflower - more progress

The weekend is always busy in the Harris house, with people in and out constantly, so it's nice to find even a few minutes to paint amid the chaos!

I got a little further with the background (or setting) for the sunflower, and jumped in with my darkest darks in the centre.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sunflowers - continued

I had a little more time today, in between the housework and cooking! I'm trying to keep it loose and fresh, while the pencil lines are there, they are only a guide.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Roses are.... orange?

Another catch-up, I find roses incredibly difficult to paint but every so often I challenge myself. This apricot/orange rose was one of many gorgeous flowers in Bodnant Gardens, North Wales, and I had to try painting it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Antidote to winter

On these long, dull, cold winter days I look for something to cheer me up, and that usually means painting a bright flower. This time it's a sunflower, from one of my own reference images.

I started out by sketching the outline then masking a few highlights. Once the masking fluid was completely dry I quickly wet the paper using a large brush - doing it quickly leaves a few dry areas which will stay white when pigment is added.

Here it is after the first pass - Azo yellow and gamboge wet in wet.

Now the individual petals need form, more wet in wet but one at a time, using azo yellow, gamboge and quinacridone coral.

I'm excited about this one, but life always gets in the way so this is all I've managed to do today - very frustrating!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Something new!

I don't claim to be a great portrait artist - I struggle with getting a likeness, I much prefer the freedom I get from painting flowers! But, in the interest of improvement, I had a go at painting my youngest daughter, Katy.

Not content with the challenge of painting a portrait, I then chose a reference where Katy was smiling, all teeth! I'm mad!

After a week of stress, I'm done.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Purple or Pink?

Echinacea, commonly known as purple coneflowers but they're usually a lovely, cheerful shade of pink! This was alot of fun to paint.

Purple Cone Flowers, watercolour, 14 x 10 inches

Original available for sale, contact me by email for details.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Simply Summer!

This, to me, is what summer is all about - beautiful flowers and blue skies! It's pretty much my favourite painting from last year.

Giant Daisies, 14 x 20 inches.

Trying again!

I've been pretty useless at this regular blogging thing, I'll try to do better.

I suppose this should be a catch up - I've done a fair amount of work over the last few months, some good, some not. Now where to start? Well I finished my second attempt at Summer Sorbets, and this was much better than the first!

I suppose it would be sensible to post one every day, so you'll have to wait for the next ;)