Saturday, 18 January 2014

Winter Hedgerow

Following on from the Chinese Lanterns, I was thinking about more paintings of dried grasses, seed heads and the like, which I keep in the studio for such times.I can buy flowers at this time of year, but they can be expensive, or I can paint from the vast amount of photos that I take each year. It is nice, however, sometimes to paint with the actual object in front of you.

The intention was, then, to paint some dried grasses, but it did not quite work out like that. I had spent a rainy afternoon after Christmas looking at the work of a few of my favourite artists, and had really liked a painting by Anne Blockley.
There was no deliberate intention to copy Anne's work, but as I was putting on the initial wash I must have sub-consciously had her work in mind, despite being nearly 3 weeks since the browsing episode.

The painting just somehow evolved, so I apologise to Anne, but no plagarism was intended. I like the painting so much, that it will stay on the wall of my studio, and hopefully, no harm has been done!
The process was fun to do, so I share the process with you, regardless!

 I have been trying to use up remnants of paper which is sitting in the cupboard, so I selected a sheet of Whatman 600g rough paper. This paper is heavy enough to need no stretching, and did not buckle when the initial wash, very wet, was put in place. Such thick paper does, however, need more time to dry between washes, if that is what is required
I wet the top of the paper with a spray bottle, and added Indian Yellow, Transluscent Orange, Quinachridone Rust and Indigo. I had in mind, to paint a tangle of winter seed heads, twigs and brambles, without any drawing. Just letting the paint do its own thing.I added a bit of cling film to the RH side to produce some texture, but I think the paper was already too dry for this to be effective.

Whilst the paper was still damp, I added darker areas, which produced soft edges to start with, and harder edges as the paper dried. I applied some of the paint with a stick, sharpened at the end and with a bamboo stem cut at an oblique angle.I really liked the way some of the twiggy bits have really fuzzy edges.

Finally, I used white Acrylic Gouache to paint in the 'flowery' bits at the top of the painting, and added a bit of splatter at the same time.
I do not want to play with the finished painting, as it is so easy to overwork this type of technique, and I want it to stay fresh, but I do wonder if the Quinachridone Rust on the LH side is a bit strong, or should have been repeated elsewhere in the painting.


  1. Looks like you really enjoyed painting this one. It will look lovely framed

  2. Thanks Polly. Yes, it was great fun to do, and it already looks good in a double mount. Just need to get the frame.

  3. Thanks Peter. Quite like it myself!

  4. Fab colours, but I agree that the rust area on the left draws your eye away from the seed heads, never the less a fab loose painting.