Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

We hadn't mown the lawn for a few weeks and the daisies were taking over..... wonderful!  I know that most gardeners think of them as weeds, but I love them.... they cheer up boring green lawns! I took a bunch of photos, knowing that I had to paint them.

Wild Daisies
7" x 7"
Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico paper

I wanted the painting to be loose to suit the subject, starting by pouring water in rivulets down the paper and dropping yellow and a touch of rose into the wet area, letting the colours merge.  Then I spattered weak quin. rose in places.  I am usually too nervous to do this kind of thing when a painting is almost finished, afraid to ruin all that work, so it makes sense to get it out of the way early!  

After that, it was just a case of painting around the petals (I rarely use masking fluid now since discovering several older works had yellowed where masking had been). I used very juicy azo yellow and pthalo blue for a vibrant background, letting the colours do their own mixing on the paper.  The flower centres were added using azo and cadmium yellow, then I painted the pthalo blue shadows and tiny gaps between the petals using the background colours.  I might just paint more, it was fun to use this extremely limited palette!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Poppy Power

I am a control freak.... there, I said it!  I hate letting go, I like to know what is going to happen...... I don't even like surprise gifts!

I'm trying hard to let go a little, so with this painting I didn't sketch it out first.  I quite like what happened, it's loose without being too messy, and actually looks something like I was hoping it would.

Poppy Power
Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico rough
15" x 11"

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I can't resist standing flowers in the window on sunny days, the lighting effects can be magical.  This is one of those days - I had a bunch of pale yellow daffodils, you know the fancy kind that look nothing like daffs?  There were too many for the vase, I squeezed in as many as I could so the arrangement looked like a lollipop, and stood the vase in the window.

The lighting was wonderful!  Browsing my reference photos for something to paint last night, this one called out.  It's not at all my usual style but I thought I'd have a go, just a small one to see what I could do with it.  I'm happy, it's loose and clearly about the light.... success!

Daffs for Mum
7.25" x 7.5"

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Not quite white

I've enjoyed the challenge that comes with painting white flowers, getting the balance between coloured shadows and white highlights right.  I'm very pleased with how this has worked, the shadows are delicate but not boring grey.
Blushing Bride
Watercolour on paper, 15" x 11"

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Tree Peony WIP

I drew out a new flower last night and after just a few hours it is already taking shape nicely!  The beauty of white flowers is that you only need to paint the shadows...