Monday, 26 September 2011

Pen andWash

Thursday's subject a fortnight ago was 'drawing exercises' : any medium (but had to be dry), any subject and any style.Not my favourite subject as I profess to be quite weak at drawing, but I suppose this is all the more reason to practise!
In the spirit of 'making them all count' for the 2012 exhibition, I chose to draw in permanant pen, as I hoped that this would enable me to add some colour later, as black and white drawings do not seem to sell that well for me.

'Sunflowers and Pineapple'
Permanant pen on hot pressed paper

I was reasonably pleased with the result and included in my portfolio to take on holiday with me to finish if the weather wasn't too good.
True to form, it poured with rain all day Tuesday so I added the promised wash to the painting. I did find it difficult to move the paint around on the hot pressed paper and was disappointed that the finished result was heavy and over-worked. But there you go, win some, lose some.

As I had taken the trouble to carry the sunflowers all the way to Cornwall, it seemed a pity not to make the most of them, so I paid over the odds for a couple of lemons, and scoured the holiday cottage for a couple of jugs or vases and had a second go to see if I could get something a bit more to my taste from the flowers. This time tha paper was Fabriano extra white and the weather was a lot brighter and I think the results are a lot better. See what you think.

Monday, 12 September 2011

New Paper

Peter Ward was kind enough to give me a sheet of paper of the new product exclusive to Great Art. Its called Centenaire ( see one of his previous blogs) and is considerably cheaper than some of the more established manufacturers. One of the attractions for me is that it is very white compared to,say, Whatman.This is a must for me when I am doing my floral paintings, so I was quite interested to try it out.
At Club this week, the subject was 'Pots and Vases' and I used my sample sheet to produce the still life below.

The paper is 140lb not paper, I believe, and I found it fine to work on. The colours of the background bled well when painted wet on wet and the paint sat well on the paper for the objects. My only slight criticism, was that hard edges were difficult to soften once they had dried completely, and I did not like to scrub too hard as I was not sure if the paper would take this kind of abuse. It was just a question of keeping concentration long enough not to allow paint to dry until I was satisfied with the edges. Sometimes, at club, this can be difficult, as we all enjoy it as a social occasion as well as a painting session!

Also this week, I have had a go at a slightly different composition, putting detail at the top and having all the lost edges at the base of the painting. Usually I work the other way around. It came about because I saw a clever photograph of a bunch of flowers taken that way in a gardening magazine and thought it might be interesting to try out. Trying new things can sometimes be surprisingly enervating Not totally sure if the photo does the painting justice, but see what you think.

'Marguerites'  Watercolour on Fabriano Extra White
38cm x 28cm

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Post Exhibition

It seems impossible that it is 6 weeks since I posted anything on this site. My apologies to all who have accessed it hoping to find some chatter and a painting or two, but it has been impossible to do everything, and this is one of the things that suffered. The exhibition in Wells Cathedral was a success beyond my wildest dreams, but was incredible hard work throughout the 10 days I was open. It had to be manned at all times and I am grateful for the friends who came to help.
Prior to the exhibition there was so much preparation, followed by 10 days in the cathedral, and then a week of trying to get the house straight again. After all of that I hit a bit of an anti-climax low, and panicked a bit about how to replace all the work ready for the same thing next year.
Thankfully, I am out of that now and have started to paint again, and today was our first day back at club after the summer break. The subject was a picture of a peacock in full display. It was a lovely subject and really good to be able to use some of the colours in the box that don't always get our full attention, like Prussian blue, Windsor green and transparent orange iron.

'Peacock'  Watercolour on Saunders Waterford Not

Despite being told that they are great, and investing a bit of money in them, I am not having too much success with the sable brushes. I do use the bigger ones, sizes 14 and 10 when I am doing washes as they hold a good amount, but the size 4 does nothing for me and I find myself reverting to the 007 series synthetic which I have always liked. I will keep at it , though as they did cost a bob or two!!