Photo : With Thanks To Pete Weeks
I took the photo home and spent almost an evening on the drawing. It seemed really important to get the shape of the garden globe correct and the positioning of the highlights and shadows correct' I was also concerned that the elongated shapes of some of the flowers should be right, even if lacking detail, to give the sense of a glass ball.
I also added some external flowers, as I felt this would help to put the central object into context. Although, if I exhibit this painting, I am sure I will spend time describing what exactly it is !
Again I apologise for the lack of the development photos. I only remember to do a sequence when I am at home in the studio. At AVA I get so engrossed that I completely forget external elements.
The painting was done very carefully in the beginning. The background first and then the globe. I did lots of the lines on the LH side to help me see the reflective nature and then did the flowers.
I started with pale washes as watercolour can be very unforgiving if one makes a mistake.
When all was painted, I used white acrylic gouache to streak in some of the reflections. This was a bit of a disaster in places, especially across the largest flower and the leaf shapes on the same side. I covered the mistakes with more gouache mixed with the Quinachridone Magenta over the petals and a similar green mix to paint leaf shapes over the LH side .
When all was painted, it was evident that the darks needed a bit more umph, so I used black Indian ink for the darkest shadows, and darkened the dark side of the metal supports as well. I also darkened the flower stems.
The external flowers were deliberately painted very loosely as I did not want the painting to be about them, they are only there to indicate where the reflections came from. It is not often that I feel really pleased with my efforts, but for a difficult, complex subject, I think, for me, it has worked really well. My only problem now, will be finding a square frame for it. They are not easy to come by. I may well have to make my own!
This painting was done on a sheet of Hahmemuhles Cornwall Matt paper ,450gms.
I thought I would mention that to attach the painting to the board and to give a crisp edge around the image for display at the end of the session, I used masking tape. When I removed the tape at the end, the top layer of paper came away as well, so obviously I must get some very low tack tape for this purpose. Unfortunately, but not disastrously, part of the lower edge and one side of the painting lifted as well so I have had to crop the image slightly.