Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Teasels Again!

Ready to paint again, but with little new to pick in the garden (lots of Hellebores and Tulips and such, but all painted so many times) I decided to use the teasels to have another go. I got as far as the drawing and the addition of the masking fluid for the spines and the background wash with plenty of table salt added. This needed plenty of time to dry, so as the weather was glorious, I decided on a little gentle exercise in the garden. I really wish I had stayed in doors!!

I went to put on a pair of gloves in the greenhouse, and my little finger on my right hand discovered a queen wasp in the glove just starting her nest.

The pain was indescribable. I could not get the glove off quickly enough and she had nowhere to go, so I think I got every drop of venom she could muster. Fortunately I am not allergic to this type of sting, but it was agony for the whole of the day and even now it is like having a nasty burn on my finger 36 hours later.
The sting is on the outer edge of the finger, right where one rests ones hand when painting, writing etc so it has been really uncomfortable to finish the painting.

However, when the background was dry and I had removed the salt and masking fluid, I decided to keep going, as I am getting a bit bored with my enforced incarceration and rest at home.

Each teasel was painted and then sprinkled with table salt and allowed to dry, using Indian Yellow, Yellow Ochre and Quinachridone Rust. I also used some Translucent Orange. The stems were painted with a similar mixteur but with a lot more Burnt Umber. To make the tiny thorns, I use a fine paintbrush which has lost all its hair. The remaining metal ferrule is ideal for dragging the paint outwards whilst still wet. It is also good for giving the stems some texture.

I used a permanent Sepia pen to firm up the leaves, stems and bracts ( if that is what they are ),

I gave the whole painting a very light splatter with white Acrylic Gouache and added a little more paint to the right of the stems which I dispersed with a plastic straw.

I think the colours of the teasels are a bit too brick red, but short of putting the whole painting under the tap I don't think there is much I can do about it.


  1. Me encantan estos cardones, los colores elegidos y la minuciosa terminaciĆ³n de los detalles, hermoso trabajo!

  2. (I love these teasels, the colours chosen, and the careful attention to detail. Beautiful work)

    Thank you Beatriz for the lovely comment.

  3. Ouch, that Queen Wasp certainly paid you back for disturbing her nest building. Lucky you weren't allergic.
    Your teasels are very distinctive and I love that brick red, to my mind it gives them a real vibrancy.
    I have just purchased some masking fluid and will enjoy experimenting :D)

  4. Thanks Susan. Glad you like the painting and I have certainly learned my lesson. All gardening gloves indoors from now on!!

  5. Beautiful painting with a great colour combination. Shame about the sting! Hope it clears up soon.

  6. Thanks Peter. Yes, they are two great pigments. All is now well with the sting!