Thursday, 19 November 2015

The Last of the Rose Hips

A complete week of very high winds and lots of rain means that the trees are bare at last. The garden can be put to sleep for the winter, including an initial prune of the roses. The last of the brightly coloured hips will disappear, so there was a last opportunity to paint them at AVA this week where the subject was 'Berries'.

Although this was my starting point, I had no intention of making my final image anything like this, but I did use it to remind me of shapes and shadows.

I used Fabriano Artistico 300g rough paper and created an initial wash, trying to give the impression of twigs and brambles and creepers into which the rose hips would sit. I used mostly Indigo and Quinachridone gold together with some Indian Ink. I dropped the colours onto wet paper- sprayed with a laundry bottle - which I had been careful to keep the central area dry. To obtain anything like fresh reds, I have found that they must be painted onto white paper. They become muddy far too easily, especially when added to a 'green' background.

I allowed the darks to dry completely and then dropped Pyrol Red, Transluscent Orange and Indian Yellow into the wetted centre of the paper. I again left it to dry completely.

I painted all the hips without any pencil work, adding them to the centre of the painting one at a time until I was happy with the composition. They were then finished by adding shadows, stems and the dried bits which are the remains of the flower part. (Not sure what they are called!)

I added a bit more dark behind the topmost hips and painted a few negative shapes to give me some vague leaves. I also used a black fine pen to add more bramble and twiggy bits before I decided that for the moment it was finished.

                                                               Last Of The Rose Hips


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much. It is lovely to know that you enjoy my work.

  2. Only just discovered your blog whilst searching for examples of Daniel Smith watercolours (Christmas is coming!) The berries positively glow against the darks. Enjoyed seeing your process. Look forward to further posts. Beautiful.

  3. Thanks for the lovely comment....Hope Santa is generous!!
    Please remember that half of the glow is caused by the backlight of your screen. I would love to claim it is all my doing, but photos always look brighter on the pc .I hope you enjoy looking in future.

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  5. Thanks for the comment Peter.
    Have a great Christmas.