Thursday, 14 June 2012

Cow Parsley

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.

19 comments:

  1. Having seen you working on this earlier I wondered how it would turn out. Pretty good actually.

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    1. Thanks Peter. I am really pleased that it is exactly as I wanted it to be. It will be interesting to see if it raises comments at Wells!

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  2. Hello Yvonne:) Yes I enjoyed waching this! I've got such a paper at home so will defenitly try this! Thank you for giving such brillant ideas! The result is beautiful!

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    1. Thank you, Renate. Its lovely to know that you enjoy looking at the work

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  3. this looks fantastic and the technique is awesome. How very kind of you to share the process, thank you so much!

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  4. Thanks djr, I am always happy to share my limited knowledge. It must be the teacher still in me, and its lovely to read positive comments

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  5. Great piece of work and a fascinating glimpse of your process. Thanks.

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    1. Thanks, Mick. I just hope that the description of the process always makes sense. It can be difficult to describe what one does, sometimes. So much easier to demonstrate!

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  6. Dear Yvonne, you always join two points by the way
    shorter! And how do ,you show us! Thank you for the easy-way-to-do!
    Your watercolor is wonderful!
    Rita

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    1. Thanks Rita. Its a great pleasure to share.

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  7. Very nice work Yvonne! How did you adhere the doily to the watercolor paper? Could you have used it again as a stencil in this painting?

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    1. Thanks for lookin Hap. I used PVA medium with care as it leaves a shiny surface which cannot easily be covered by watercolour paint.
      I wanted texture in the painting, which is more visible in the original than in the photo, and by cutting up the d'oily I got the negative shapes ie rings instead of circles.

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  8. I tried your technique, it really was great fun. I would like to thank you and show my work with the reference on yours on my flickr page. Is that okay for you?

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    1. hi djr,
      what do I need to type in to google to get your site so that I can look at your version. Thanks

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  9. That's fine. Glad you had fun.

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  10. http://www.flickr.com/photos/djr-aquarelle/7375337636/in/photostream
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/djr-aquarelle/7190094733/in/photostream/
    I've painted two of them and put into my flickr site, but not yet published to everybody, so I don't know if you can see it! But if you are okay, then I will publish it in the next days. Thank you!

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  11. Love the painting! Plan to try them. However, where did you find the doily? Also, did you paint the cupcake first or the doily background. Thanks! Sue

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    1. Yes, the d'oyly is aproblem. You can fine=d them in this country at 'pound shops' etc, but they are more floral and very flimsy. These d'oleys were at my sister-in-laws home when she passed away and nobody wanted them, but they were already yellow with age so I suppose she got them from her mothers home when she passed on! They are very sturdy and stand up to the spongeing very well. If you are in England, I could send you one if you want, but you will need to make it last!!!!!
      As for the painting, I think I did a drawing and then did the stencilling before doing the cakes being careful not to go into the cake shapes. I may have cut out a mask to prevent this happening. It was a while ago. Hope that helps.

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  12. Yvonne
    Thank you so much for the offer. What a treasure1 I do not live in England. But with your information I found some on E-Bay and have a set coming! Thank you for sharing the process in regards to the process on the cup cakes. That helps a lot.
    Sue

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