I hope nobody will take me to task because the finished painting is not exactly like Cow Parsley! It was only a starting point to produce something of that nature. I could have been Queen Anne's Lace or Hog Weed, or indeed any lacey flowers on long stems.
It was Avon Valley Artist's day again, and as I had promised myself, it was to be another morning of experimental work, to see what could be done with colour, media and textures.
I started by at least having an idea in my head as to what I would like the finished painting to look like. I wanted to keep it loose, keep it to a very limited palette, and using Cow Parsley as a starting point, produce some lacy flower heads and have lots of fun.....again!
I mixed up washes of Paynes Grey, Indigo, Cobalt Blue and Yellow Ochre and applied them to a wet piece of Fabriano Artistico Extra White Rough 300gm paper using a size 20 round synthetic brush.
Whilst the surface was still very wet, I sprinkled Sea Salt onto the paper in the vague shapes of the finished flowers.
The salt does take some time to dry, so I had a cup of coffee and a wander among the members, and took the opportunity to liberally splash the lower half of the paper (still very damp) with the remainder of the washes, and used the wrong end of my brush to pull the paint out into stem-like shapes. As the paper was still damp, the tended to spread slightly which was what I wanted.
If I had been at home, I would have allowed the salt and paint to dry naturally. There is a danger of trying to brush away the salt too soon and it smears badly. In this instance, however, I used the hairdryer to speed up the process, but I was really careful to make sure that the underside of the larger grains of salt were really dry.
In the painting of a previous picture of cakes on a table top, I had used a d'oily as a stencil. It is easier to show you the painting rather than describe what I did.
As you can see, I used the paper d'oily to create the paper beneath the cakes without having to spend hours doing it by brush. When it was still damp, I lightly misted it to blur some of the edges to give it a more painterly look. The used paper d'oily was still around and I was sure there was still some mileage in it. So back to the Cow Parsley painting..............
I removed the solid circle in the middle, and then cut out small sections of the patterned part and stuck them onto the flower heads, to give them added interest through the texture. To soften the edges I used white acrylic gouache and plenty of sprayed water.
All this now had to dry thoroughly, and all that remained then, was to add the stems and once again a liberal amount of splatter with the white gouache, Paynes Grey and Yellow Ochre. I also added plenty of Paynes Grey across the bottom of the picture to provide a solid base out of which the plants were growing.
I think it works quite well and am eager to get it mounted and into a white frame which I think will really add to the overall effect. Hope you have enjoyed sharing this with me.