Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Pink Roses

 These lovely roses are again from my garden, but the photo (the big one at the bottom of the page) was taken last year when the weather had been better and the flowers so much more perfect than this year. I decided to do a square painting, as the source photo is more square than oblong, and I had a square frame that has never got used.. As usual, I did the pencil drawing as accurately as possible, but was not too worried about it showing through the finished painting as I intended to get the gouache out again. I wanted the finished result to be as loose as possible, much more so than the orange roses in the previous post. Therefore, I used a large brush and made bold sweeping strokes across the paper. The paper this time is Waterford Rough 300gm as I did not have a piece of Fabriano Artistico big enough for the square format. I am sorry the photos do not fill the frame, but this is due again to the square format.

This time, to try to keep the freedom, I painted all the flowers in the picture before adding any detail.I put in a bit of the background as before, and particularly like the top right hand corner where the background has slightly washed into the petal. I also added a bit of colour to the centres to help me see how the flowers would look. Despite the careful drawing, I did lose my way among the petals and this is obvious in the final painting.

I gradually added colour to the painting, trying to add bits of dark at the centres of the flowers, and using gouache to blend in the highlights.

 I had been afraid that the paper would buckle badly during the painting, as I do use lots of water, and had not stretched the sheet onto a drawing board (bad forward thinking and planning!!). The paper, however stood up remarkably well to the process, and I did not have any problems with paint pooling in the hollows. When the painting was finally dry, the paper was remarkably flat!
When the painting was nearing completion, I put the detail in the centres of the flowers, darkened the background, added a couple of leaves, and then gently washed some shadow paint over the bottom left hand corner.

I finally gave the whole painting a good splattering of white gouache and it was done!
The main colours I used for the flowers were Alizarine Crimson, Opera Rose, Venetian Violet and Ultramarine Pink.


  1. Another fine painting. I'm interested in the use of gouache and wonder why you use it as opposed to something like Chinese White. Can you say something about how you came to choose your particular approach?

    1. Thanks for the comment Mick. I will talk about gouache, but will do so in the next post if that's ok with you. It gives me something to chat on about and it may become a bit long winded for here!