Monday, 2 February 2015

Reflectiond : Anemonies Japonica

When I looked to see that this weeks theme was reflections, I had in mind to do a simple small painting of the reflections of brightly coloured boats against a harbour wall. However, on popping in to have a cup of coffee with my very close friend and fellow painter, I was seduced by a beautiful photo of reflection of flowers in a glass hanging ball in their garden. Her husband is a very imaginative, talented and observant photographer and there is always lots of  painterly photos to look at. With my penchant for painting flowers I could not resist having a go, despite my poor attempt at the Caryopteris a couple of posts ago.

Photo : With Thanks To Pete Weeks
Even as I agreed to give it a go, I was not sure how I was going to create a worthwhile painting from such a complex subject.

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.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Heather. What a stunning comment. I am so pleased that you like the result. It was a real pleasure to paint.

  2. That was a very challenging subject and the results are beautiful, you have really captured everything.

  3. Thank you Betty. It did seem daunting but I tried to tell myself that it is just a series of shapes......doesn't always work though. I am glad I managed to do the photo proud!

  4. It's lovely to see such an unusual painting of flowers. I applaud Mr Weeks' ability to 'see' such an eye-catching subject and yours in painting it so beautifully!

    1. Thank you Chris for the compliments to both myself and Pete. I know that I am lucky to have access to such lovely photographs.

  5. wow Yvonne, it is beautiful and very skilfully painted. Pete agrees that it is a stunning rendering of his photo and thanks you and Chris for your comments on his photography.

    1. Thanks Jan. I never thought it would turn out so well, but I am pleased with it.

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you Peter. Maybe my best since the last exhibition.