Monday, 5 March 2012

'In The Garden'

Last weeks topic at club was 'In The Garden', so a lovely chance to do something a bit floral. I collected the picture below during a recent trip to France. He is a doctor and she is an emerging garden fanatic. All the really old magazines are kept to put in the surgery waiting room, and I am allowed to help myself to any photos that I think might be useful for future paintings.

Funnily enough it was not the flowers that attracted me to the image, but the lovely pots with their diagonal reflections that got my juices going. Not that I had any idea how to render the surface of the pots to portray their lovely finish, but was prepared to give it a go. I was also very attracted to the clump of cream grasses in the foreground, lightly tinted with beautiful yellows and pinks,

I did a drawing to the best of my ability and then put random washes of pink and yellow and green where the grasses would go. When the washes were dry I then  used masking fluid (I prefer Pebeo Liquid Gum) to mask out the grasses and the stems of the agapanthus flowers in the pots.
I proceeded to paint the picture using lots of my favouite Apatite Green by Daniel Smith and used Moonglow and Rose Of Ultramarine  to tackle the pots.
When all was done I removed the masking fluid to reveal patches of pink and yellow and green on the grasses, and painted the stems of the flowers. Finally I used a mixture of paint and pastel to put in the flower heads, trying to keep them secondary to the pots, and I used a darker mixture of the Moonglow and Pink of Ultramarine to paint in the cast shadows.

'Pots of Agapanthus' Watercolour
on Centenaire Rough 140lb
25cm x 35cm

Looking at the finished painting, I would have done better to darken considerably the r.h.sides of the two pots, and given them longer  cast shadows on the ground on the same side. Difficult to rectify now that the masking fluid has been removed from the grasses! Lesson learnt, hopefully for next time.

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