Saturday, May 01, 2010

Cathedral Gold WIP

I had this reference, golden lilies in the gardens of Hereford Cathedral, in my "to paint" file for several years, but somehow I always passed it over. I imagine I was avoiding the numerous challenges it offered - the first being yellow! It's so hard to shade yellow without ending up with mud. My pet hate is the recommended complementary colour, violet, which results in a dull grey. I prefer to use colours which are closer to yellow - orange and red.

Stage one, I'm already getting some good form in the flowers using azo yellow, winsor yellow deep and alizarin crimson. The background is started using the yellows and indanthrene blue.

The first lily is pretty much done now, the stamens are painted in a strong red made with WYD and AC.

Starting to add form to the main flower, while also working on the background elements. My second challenge was the foliage, and I chose to keep it fairly loose with quick brushstrokes in AY and adding blue wet in wet.

Taking shape nicely now, most of the background flowers are done.

Now the really strong shadows are added to the main lily, using an orange made with AC and WYD. The last of the foliage is painted in the same way as the rest.

Now to finish the background and another dilemma - do I paint over the fiddly foliage or paint around it? I decided on a combination of both so some would be more defined and others would blend into the rest of the background.

A few finishing touches and it's done!


laura said...

Gorgeous vibrant yellows, which are so hard to work with. Lilies are a subject that always appeals to me too.

Anonymous said...

Ruth...what wonderful watercolors...your flowers are fantastic. Wishing you continued happy painting and look forward to following your work.

Fábio Cembranelli said...

Hi Ruth, your work is superb!