Friday, 20 April 2012

Bluebell Wood

This weeks club topic was 'Landscape' The specific request, the week previously, was for members to ensure that the landscape was predominant, and other elements such as buildings, people, animals should be secondary to the setting. There were so few members present last week, that this request got a bit 'lost' in the ensuing paintings and we had lovely buildings and beautiful sheep as well as traditional landscapes.
I chose to have another go at a bluebell wood.Inspired by an amazing painting by Ann Blockley (page 124 of her new book Experimental Flowers in Watercolour) the intention was to keep the whole thing loose and exciting!

I did an initial drawing from imagination, and masked out the trees as I wanted them to be silver birch ish in my mind at the beginning. This was a mistake as I painted on the masking fluid the evening prior to the session, to ensure it was really dry, and when the time came to remove it, it took the surface of the paper with it in places. I do not think it would have happened with Fabriano,s Artistico paper, but I was using some of the Centenaire that I had bought with which to experiment .
I then built up the background with washes, letting each one dry before applying the next. I added distant trees into the wet upper half, however, in order to give them distance. In the foreground I painted swathes of lavender and green, trying to keep each as separate as possible so that the colours stayed fresh.

In order to get to try to get the looseness I was after, I painted in the bluebells and grass solely using splatter.

I then removed the masking fluid from the trees with very disappointing results, and I had to paint them much darker than intended, which resulted in a much tighter effect than I was after. I finally dealt with the bottom section of the painting which was originally to be a very loose rock face, but eventually became a stream!!
Not sure how that happened.

Overall, I am disappointed with the result. Despite the attemps at loose  flower depiction, the whole painting is still very tight and I am very disappointed with the trees. I had not realised that the two outer trees are a mirror image of each other and they give an odd arch shape to the centre of the painting. I have tried to camaflage this by adding extra branches, but this has simply added to the  tightness of the finished painting, and hasn't really achieved much. Not a painting to be framed or put up for sale except maybe in the bargain browser, but I enjoyed the session, nonetheless, and will maybe have another go later. I think it is time to go back to the specimen flowers. I have a rhododendron on the board at the moment, so maybe that will feature in a post in a couple of weeks time!


  1. Well, I think it's very good. Your spattering worked extremely well as did the stream :)

  2. Thank you Ann, I was just disappointed because it was not what I set out to do. The spattering is, for me the best bit of the painting. Now I need to get the rest of it in the same vein. Thank you for looking and taking an interset