Wednesday, 28 December 2011

botanicals anyone?

Happy new year to you all!!
Have you written out your list for the new year??? No nor have I..
Not going to either I'm just going to add to last years list of I must do's, starting with the new website.It's only half completed but the basic skeleton is ready for upload. I've been having problems with the uploading, just cant seem to find the problem.
OK found the problem I didn't put the folder name in for the server. durgh!!!
check out my new website let me know what you think

I think I have spent more time on the website than actually painting but I have managed to do a little bit of Botanical painting Globe Artichokes to be more precise I started these some time ago during the teaching some of my classes. I took the photo some years ago at the Eden Project in the pouring rain, it was always going to be one that i painted I just kept putting it off you see why below.
Here is how I got the finished artichoke head...
1. draw meticulous drawing - adjust drawing a little so it looks nice as composition!
2. put the kettle on
3. make tea sit down and sigh

first coat of greens on leaf

4. breathe deeply and begin.......
5. mix pale cadmium yellow to act as base for all green areas.

mixes of green gold, sap green,permanent rose and dioxzine purple

you can see from this shot I have got yellow base
layers and the green layers with a base of permanent rose
for the flower tips
6. I started with the largest leaf so I could test the colours. you can still see the yellow base as I have left all the veins and worked in a  negative manner.

This is time consuming work and while I love painting I don't love the slow progress you get with these paintings. Another cup of tea I think!

Moving on to the interesting part the flower head.
First pick a place to start and know that you should finish it completely before moving on. layers of sap green were laid in first then green gold over that went permanent rose and then dioxizine purple. All layers were left to dry first before the next.

The very darks have indigo mixed into purple and green. OK while that's drying lets do the stem - working pale washes of sap green and cerulean blue let each stroke dry to get the stripes down the stem. Then repeat a  few times more to get the density but don't darken the washes it doesn't help.
You want nice clean even layers.
in the lighter areas apply some thin green gold and in the shadows apply sap green, cerulean blue and purple. leave to dry.

Back to flower head - continue to paint each petal separately
next the fluffy fronds I used potters pink a colour i don't normally use but when mixed with opera rose makes a good likeness. darken with purples and or indigo in a few places. Leave some of the paper showing through to add lightness.
Water droplets for most part these have no colour of their own so I start with shadows then if necessary add a light was of local colour from the plant.
And now to continue with the rest of the plant. As you see a little way to go yet. this could take a few weeks yet.