Over the past few weeks I seem to have done several paintings of subjects outside my comfort zone and we have all been agreed that it is good to push oneself from time to time, so I thought I would continue to try something a bit different. This time however, I stayed in the floral zone but decided to try to paint a more complex flower. I so often tackle single large blooms so its time for a change.
I came across a couple of lilac photos from my garden last season in my resources folder and thought they would do as a starting point.
The challenge here was to paint these blossoms without tightening up too much in an attempt to paint all those little buds and flowers.
I started in the usual way of covering the paper with a wash of various mauves, purples and pinks and added some greens at the top. When this was dry, I briefly and lightly drew in the approximate positions of the flower heads, and with some trepidation set about trying to represent the lilac as attractively but as loosely as possible.
In order to achieve this, I used lots of water and plenty of gouache to create the tiny flowers, paying as much attention to what I left out, as what I put in. I did not find it easy and could have given up on a number of occasions during the process. What I did find helped was only painting in short burst. Immediately I felt the painting getting too detailed, I gave it a rest and came back with lots of water and paint a little while later.
The whole process did require quite a bit of patience as it seemed to take ages, but when the flowers were finally finished and the background and greenery were added, I was pleased to have stuck with it and seen it through to the end. It has also given me another process to try to refine and develop which stops us getting bored with the same old thing!
'Lilac Blossom' Fabriano Artistico Extra White Paper
Approx 28cm x 38cm
Now that it is on screen, maybe the leaves should be a bit darker and glossier, but that can easily be remedied after living with it for a while!