Day 131: Blue Flamenco Rose

Blue Flamenco Rose (Watercolour)

Blue Flamenco Rose (Watercolour)

Today I entered my first painting ever into an exhibition, exciting stuff! And a long day… I was up early to rush out and buy a frame, and also added a few last touches to deepen the contrast on one or two ruffles. Then it was off to catch a train to deliver it.

The photograph shown here was taken just before all this happened because I simply forgot to take one when it was all finished. I’ve heard it said often: mounting and putting it in a frame really does improve a painting, and I was very happy with the final result. I’ve promised to gallery sit on Wednesday so I’ll take some photos of it hanging on the wall to show you.

It’s been inspiring and exciting painting with a purpose over the last two days and tomorrow is going to be strange going back to normal. I’ve got a few pieces that still need finishing but I might look for something new… or perhaps I’ll try and find a competition or something that I can work towards, I do seem to work better with a deadline!

Day 43: Red rose, first sitting

Red rose (Watercolour)

Red rose (Watercolour)

That beautiful red rose was too much to resist today… I got a few chores out of the way, washing, tidying, etc.  then, after walking the dog, I sat down to have a play.

Believe it or not this was all painted in one sitting, moving from one petal to another, then the stalk, the leaves, and then going back to the beginning as it had dried enough to add more colour.

I expect you can tell I’m quite pleased with the results 🙂 The colours still need to be richer, in my opinion, and I think a wash of a different colour (maybe a pale yellow?) in certain areas will lift it no end.

Overall, I am very happy. It’s not loose or impressionistic like the work of many artists I admire. However, more than anything it’s shown me that I am actually learning to control the medium better and achieve pleasing results.

 

Day 23: Currarong Sunset 1st Wash & Bamboo practice

Sunset 1st Wash (Watercolour)

Sunset 1st Wash (Watercolour)

 

Despite focusing on my Chinese painting class today I’m pleased that I still managed to put some colour onto this small watercolour. For a change the scan has not picked up the colours as strongly as the original, but it does highlight the fact that the sea area is quite flat towards the bottom of the page and needs more depth (pardon the pun).

Bamboo (Chinese watercolour)

Bamboo (Chinese watercolour)

My Chinese painting class this afternoon was both challenging and excellent, as usual… Our very first paintings when I started a year ago were of bamboo, and true to form it was the subject of the first class of term again today – this is the third time it’s appeared.

No, we weren’t being sent back to basics, there are several levels of skill in which bamboo can be painted, from a flat light ink for beginners to fully three dimensional and colour. I suspect we still have some way to go although we have started to learn a shaded version. Here is a sample of our practice, and we’ll be adding leaves and other details to this in our next class.

The thing I find most amazing about this style of painting is that the shading is all done in a single brush stroke simply by loading the paint correctly. Naturally it takes a lot of practice to get it working properly, and I have about 5 sheets of shaded dashed lines to support these two brief sticks of bamboo!

Day 19: Crocus & Primrose Washes

Primrose wash (Watercolour)

Primrose wash (Watercolour)

Crocus Wash (Watercolour)

Crocus Wash (Watercolour)

 

After sitting for a while and hoping for some inspiration today I decided it might be fun to try and reinterpret yesterday’s crocuses in the same way as the primroses of last week, with a loose wash and a combination of negative & positive painting.

I’ve started with a couple of washes as you can see… the first, I think, actually lends itself more to primroses again, and I’ve already picked out a few shapes.

The second wash turned out to be more promising… incidentally, I’ve recently started learning more about colour theory and while it makes sense in principle I generally forget everything the moment I start painting! There’s lots of information to be found on the internet and one of my favourite forums, Wet Canvas, have a great selection of basic lessons here.  So, in a conscious effort to limit my palette I focused on the purple and yellow this time. I’m not sure yet where it will take me but it’s a very vibrant mix.

Day 18: Crocuses, or Croci?

Crocus & Bees (Chinese Watercolour)

Crocus & Bees (Chinese Watercolour)

 

Some more Chinese painting practice and a lovely demonstration I found to follow by Virginia Lloyd-Davies, prompting the question above – what is the correct plural for Crocus? Well, according to both the Oxford Dictionary and Webster’s either answer is correct, and you can also have just Crocus.

Crocus repetition

Crocus repetition

Now, please don’t think this comes easily, even after a year of tuition… this is the best of the two I painted right through after completing several pages of exercises. I’ve posted one of these practice pages to illustrate the process, you might be able to see that the first rows of crocuses have bled a bit and are fuzzy. By the bottom of the page I was beginning to judge the amount of water needed much better.

I think when I try it again the flower heads need to be a bit smaller for the size of the paper, and maybe I’ll tone the orange down a bit.