Friday, 18 April 2014

Spring Tulips

The subject at this weeks AVA group was 'Spring' There were not too many of us as it is the Easter break, but there seemed to be a lot of landscapes involving lambs this year.
I, of course, chose to paint flowers.
My inspiration for this painting can=me from the 'Rainbow Of Colours' two weeks ago. I really liked the top LH corner of the painting and thought it would be fun to see if I could use the same process to paint a whole painting.
The idea is to apply a wash to the paper and then paint the negative shapes around the objects. mIt all started quite well, except that yet again I forgot to photograph the original wash.

I used a piece of 'Cornwall ' paper produced by Hahnemuhle. It has a very distinct texture which I like for experimental work, and a fairly hard glaze which can be useful. It is also a 450g paper which means it does not buckle too badly when using lots of water.

One of the major problems I had, is the difficulty of working with washes of  green and red. Where they mix, the colours can become very muddy. I tried to keep them as separate bas possible, but it does not always work.

The 'Cornwall' paper is useful in so far as the surface of the paper allows the paint to be lifted quite easily. In fact paint can be reasonably lightened by using an ordinary pencil eraser! I was able, therefore to remove quite a bit od the red paint in the bottom corner in order to paint in the green leaves. The difference is quite obvious in the two photographs below.

The surface should not be scrubbed but just gently washed with a sofrt brush and the paint removed with a clean tissue.

I am not quite sure that the negative shape thing really worked, but the painting was fun to do and I quite like parts of the finished picture. I will live with it in the studio for a while until I decide if the RH greens need strengthening.

                                                  Watercolour on 450g 'Cornwall' paper
                                                          approx 38cms x 28 cms


  1. Hi from Victoria, BCCanada... I have enjoyed browsing through your beautiful paintings. I paint in watercolours as well and it always fun to see what others are doing.

  2. Welcome to the blog Ruth. Thank you for the lovely comment and I hope you continue to find things of interest. Happy painting.

  3. Hello, I was wondering if I could feature your flower images in my art book as Artist Research for my GCSE's. Your artwork is amazing.Also, do you mix your medium for your artwork of acrylics and watercolour?

  4. Hi Erlla, welcome to my blog. Yes of course you may use my images for Art Research in non profit situations up until you finish secondary education.I am flattered by your request.
    With regards to Acrylics, I only use White Acrylic Gouache on my paintings. a) for adding small light areas such as stamens when reserving the white paper is difficult or for the occasional highlight and b) as part of the background sometimes. If you put a wash onto the paper and drop acrylic gouache into it, it disperses to give lovely background texture (see last weeks post, bottom LH corner of the painting of Lilac) and also it can be manipulated on wet paper to create lost edges. 2 examples of this can be seen in my posts 'Pink Inspiration' (12 May 2012) and 'More White Gouache (25th May 2012) Remember that these dates are written in the American format of month/date/year. Hope that's helpful. Good luck with your exams.

  5. ps Erlla,
    I also use white acrylic gouache to give lots of my paintings a healthy splatter once they are finished to loosen up the image

  6. Very nice- has an abstract feel about it.

    1. Thanks Peter. It is my continuing efforts to paint a little looser!
      Hope you are feeling better.