It is always hard to get started painting again after the exhibition, but this year I was forced to knuckle down to it, as I received an order for one of the paintings in the exhibition that had sold. Painting a second version can be difficult as it never looks exactly the same. The client, however, is delighted with the result, and I feel that I am up and running again. I have painted one fairly traditional study of Agapanthus (which I will save for a later post) and today at Avon Valley Artists I had another go at the doily method. This is the last opportunity to paint 'free choice' as next week we start the formal programme again.It was therefore an ideal time to be a little more free, although I do intend to attempt as many subjects as possible in a more loose manner. We will see what happens!
I found this photo in a Gardens magazine that I take monthly and really liked the swathe of flowers across the green background
As my mother is at present resident in my studio, packing up my things for today's painting was a bit hit and miss, and I am sorry to say that I forgot my camera, so cannot show you each stage of the painting. It is, however, exactly the same process as before.........put a wash on the paper ( I have used a quarter sheet of the 600gm board that I bought recently) and let it dry thoroughly; Speckle the sheet with fairly strong dark colours to represent the flowers ; add the painted doilies and then add finishing touches such as white highlights, spots of yellow for the 'beards' and plenty of stems and leaves at the base. For anyone who is new to my blog, this is all explained in the two previous posts......'Cow Parsley' (14.6.12) and 'Summer Meadow'. (14.7,12) Another example is also shown in the post entitled 'Blossom (21.6.12)
I kept the flowers more separated than in the photo, as I did not want the finished piece to be a band of colour so much as a bed of somewhat individual flower heads. Although it is quite abstract in design I hope that the finished painting does say 'Irises' to you.
Just a word about the paper. It is certainly heavy enough to stay flat when using lots of water which is good, but I had some difficulty with the initial wash. I thought I had wet the paper really well and expected to be able to move the paint around as I can with the Fabriano Artistico. This paper, however is very quickly absorbent, and I found it almost impossible to alter the paint once it was on the paper. It was like blotting paper, and on the right hand side of the painting I put a pool of quite dark paint intending it to spread and diffuse across the painting, but it stayed exactly where it was and was very difficult to wash out. In the end, I had to crop off this part of the painting. I will use up the sheets I bought, but will not be replacing them.