The weather has been lovely and it has brought out lots of lovely lilac which I thought would be nice to paint. It has been too nice to spend too much time indoors and the lilac is not easy to see for painting purposes outdoors, so I cut several small branches to bring into the studio, to paint during the light evenings.
I also benefited from the lovely perfume whilst I was working. It must be said, however, the flowers soon drooped and I was painting from memory by the end. I should have taken a couple of photos whilst it was still fresh, or even gone out and photographed the tree during the painting process.
In order to avoid having to paint every single floret, I painted a wash over the clean sheet of paper, using Rose of Ultramarine, Ultramarine Violet and Quinachridone purple. I then sprinkled liberally with fine salt to produce some texture which I hoped would give me suggestions of flowers in the background.
When the paper was completely dry, I brushed away the salt and lightly sketched the position of the branches and the pot.
Using the same colours as before, I painted in the flowers, trying to make some shapes quite sharp, whilst leaving others quite soft. As I progressed, I added leaves and stems, to make sure that the branches were sat approximately right in the vase.
At this stage, I was tempted to give up. The process was quite repeatative and I found it difficult to paint so many tiny elements without the whole thing looking contrived.
Once the first two flowers were complete, I decided that maybe it was worth continuing, and I an glad now that I was disciplined enough to stick at it.
Once all the flowers were complete, I added more leaves and a background made up of Moonglow, Anthraquinachridone Blue and Quinachridone Magenta. This mix was applied to wet paper, and whilst still wet, I dropped in a splatter of white acrylic gouache, and gave the rest of the painting a bit of a splatter too.
'Lilac' Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico
300g extra white paper.
37cm x 27cm
Now that it is finished, I think the blue stripes on the pot could have been a bit darker, and I think I may need to add a few more leaves in the middle of the painting. Both those issues can be addressed after I have left it in the studio for a few days to study what is needed.