Making a reasonably accurate list of what is ready mounted and framed, I was really surprised to see that I had neither Clematis nor White Anemone Japonicas. As these are the two most prolific flowers in my garden, and I am always painting them, I am not sure how this has come about. It seemed as good a time as any to rectify this.
Almost immediately, I stopped as I realised that if I continued like this, the painting might end up a lot less delicate than I intended. I really liked the colours in the wash, and did not want them all to disappear into a dark background, I watered over the greens and gently blotted them away to half their strength, so that I could leave the pale green, or add lilac to them at the end.
At this stage, therefore I proceeded straight to the flowers, trying where possible to allow parts of some of the petals to blend into the background in places where the background colour allowed this to happen.
I used lots of Ultramarine Violet and Quinachridone Magenta for the petals, together with White Acrylic Gouache for the highlights and a mixture of Ultramarine Violet and Moonglow for the shadows. In the photo below you can see how much lighter the central greens have become. I also painted in the buds, and used the wrong end of a fine paintbrush to make marks in the paper into which the paint ran to give the markings on them.
I painted the third Clematis a slightly darker colour, where it was hidden under the second one and again used Violet and Moonglow for the shadows.
I was eager to see how everything was progressing, so I removed the masking fluid from the stamens on the LH flower and painted them in using gouache and the shadow mixture. This was a mistake, as I later found that I needed to darken the background at the heart of the flowers and watercolour does not sit easily on top of gouache and it was the devils own job to paint between the lines. I need to aquire more patience!
I finished painting the flowers and buds and added a few leaves where necessary. When it came to tackling the background, I wanted the painting to remain as delicate as possible, so I added a little lilac to the central original darks and made up a plale greenish grey wash which I could gradually fade out to the lovely colours in the original wash. I darkened all the corners except the RH top, and then all that remained was finish the remaining two centres, adjust some of the highlights with more gouache and give the painting a light splatter to loosen it up a little.
Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico Extra White
Approx. 40cm x 30cm