Sunday, 26 October 2014

Another go at Roses

The mild weather is playing tricks in my garden and some things are beginning to produce a second flourish! I have 2 large opium poppies ready to flower again which I have never seen before, but do not know if we will have enough sunshine to bring them fully open!
It also means that there are a number of roses out at the moment, two or three on each bush, so it seemed like a good time to have another go at painting them.

I started with one 'Peace' rose, which I photographed from various angles, and used these to make the initial drawing. I think I used mixtures of Yellow Ochre and Indian Yellow for the hearts and Opera Pink and Quinachridone pink for the flushed edges.

Using the same technique as so often described, I painted as close to the pencil line as possible and then erased it once the paint was totally dry.
I worked one flower at a time, adding bits of green and some background (this gave me the edges of the white petals ).

When all the flowers were painted and the leaves, buds and stems added, I put in a dark background of mainly Indigo and Ultra Marine, together with odd patches of the Quinachridone Magenta. I always try to put the colours of the subject into the background.
I then tried to lose some of the edges by adding washes of white Acrylic Gouache.

I am not really sure it worked, but I did enjoy doing it and whilst I had some roses I was determined to give it another go.

This time it was a couple of pink roses, but I put a wash on the paper before starting as I though this might be a better way of losing some of the edges and keeping the painting a bit freer.

When the background was dry ( Still Qinachridone Magenta and a little Opera Pink, being especially careful with the green as this will give dull colours if allowed to mix)

I then did the drawing and tried to work the roses into the patches of wash in the background.

Again, it was one flower at a time, and removing the pencil lines as I progressed.

When I had finished painting the flowers, I was not sure if I needed leaves and stems, so I will live with it a little while before deciding, but one thing for sure, I am really pleased with this one!!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


Time to have another go at these lovely flowers, which are still in bloom in Cornwall, even though we are well into October.

As things are a little less hectic, I have remembered to photograph each stage, so I hope you find the process interesting.

I wanted three flower heads but began with a drawing of only one, as this helped me to keep track of where all the stems would be and also did not restrict me to where flowers of the next one would overlap. The drawing was very simple and light to avoid too much pencil in the finished painting

I carefully painted in the flowers, trying to vary the depth and mix of colours, using Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue and Quinachridone Magenta. I painted up to but not over pencil lines, and added free hand flowers where necessary to give me a nice dense middle.

I added a very small amount of stem so that I could decide later which one would be in front. I then added a pencil drawing of the second flower head, which I painted in the same way. before adding the third.

When all three flowers were complete, I painted in the stems and the golden bits of 'leaf' under each flower. When the painting was totally dry, I lightly erased any visible pencil marks.

I was really pleased with the painting thus far, but felt that it was a bit flat and wishy-washy, so I mixed up some slightly stronger paint and darkened quite a few of the flowers especially on the LH side, and added a darker wash over the LH side background including part of the first flower.
I had to do this really gently to avoid disturbing the under layer, which I had made sure was absolutely dry before proceeding.

I am sorry that the colours of each photo vary slightly, but I was painting during the evening and used flash on the camera, which is not always as accurate as daylight, but I think you can get the idea! The finished painting is somewhere in between the 4th and 5th photographs
The painting is done on 'Cornwall' Matt paper.