Chinese Garden Water Lilies (Lotus)

Water Lilies (Watercolour)

Lotus Water Lilies (Watercolour)

While it may seem like I’m missing in action this week, I’m happy to say I have managed to fit in some painting each day so far and, as I mentioned in my last post, I’m working on a submission for the Summer Member’s Show at Project Gallery in Wollongong… entries have to be delivered by the end of the coming weekend, so I don’t have much time to complete something.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share another of the pieces I started at the Jean Haines workshop recently… this is based on a photo I took of the water lilies in the lake at the Chinese Friendship Garden in Sydney. I think they’re actually Lotus plants, but there were no flowers at the time. It’s nice and loose and I love the colours, which were a complete accident… the water in the photo was dull in comparison and generally I have difficulty not simply painting what I see 🙂

I think it’s probably nearly there and illustrates a problem stage for me – is it finished, and if not, what shall I do to finish it?

I personally like it just as it is, but also feel it might be a bit too loose to get away with. However, I don’t know exactly what to add to give that bit extra without tightening it up too much. Any ideas??

Day 105: Lotus & Rocks Pt. 5

Lotus & Rocks (Watercolour)

Lotus & Rocks (Watercolour)

Time to call it a day for this exercise, and I’m even pleased enough to sign this one – it’s something I should probably have been doing from the beginning, regardless of the quality.

I think the grassy bank at the back is working much better today after adding some Indigo and Viridian green patches, and the large leaf has had another wash with the veins touched up afterwards… they’d faded a bit.

I promised my Mum I would also post the photo I’ve been working from so you can see where it all originated. Perhaps I should do this right at the beginning of each painting in future, I can imagine it would bring some perspective to my daily ramblings. However, on the other hand it might spoil the surprise each day 🙂 I’ll think about it…

The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney

So anyway, here is the whole photo, taken at the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney about a year ago. I couldn’t get very close to the lotus flower so it’s a wide landscape which has been severely cropped for this painting. It was also a very grey day with lots of rain, so there’s not really much in the way of directional lighting but the colours were certainly more vibrant as a result.

Day 104: Lotus & Rocks Pt. 4

Lotus & Rocks (Watercolour)

Lotus & Rocks (Watercolour)

I was hoping to have completed this today but unfortunately there’s more to do than anticipated. I also discovered today that I should have approached this painting in a different order, and as a result I found myself applying masking fluid over existing washes – you can see that it’s actually lifted colour off the blossom and torn the paper a bit in places.

I was attempting to address the grassy bank area by masking it and adding a dark wash to the area. This has given an effect something like grasses which is better, but is now way too bright – next job is to push this back so it settles in more and also blend the edge of the rock into the shadow in places.

The lotus leaves and water lilies have also had some work today… the main one now has veins and the lily leaves have some shape and shadow beneath them. I’m wondering whether to darken the water all over, but hoping I won’t have to. It would be very fiddly to try at this stage.

Day 103: Lotus & Rocks Pt.3

Lotus & Rocks (Watercolour)

Lotus & Rocks (Watercolour)

This is another ‘Spot the difference’ update. I’m short of time today having worked late so there are only a few changes – all the remaining brushwork is going to be time consuming and delicate I think, so it’s a good job I have tomorrow completely free.

For now, I’ve put more detail into the rocks and tried to bring out the waterline a bit more – some of that still needs work. The blossom has also had a first wash and is ready for more shading. I still need to come up with a plan for the plants on the bank too… something needs to happen there but I don’t want it to compete with the flower when it’s done, so I’m just waiting for enlightenment 🙂

Day 101: Lotus & Rocks Pt. 2

Lotus & Rocks (Watercolour)

Lotus & Rocks (Watercolour)

I thought I’d do a very quick update tonight before I head out for more comedy – we’re seeing Daniel Kitson tonight, I’m really looking forward to it 🙂 It’s a bit of a shame that the three shows we want to see are all in a row. Yes, we’re out again tomorrow night as well!

I’ve added quite a lot of paint today, had good fun splashing it on as I wasn’t really sure how to achieve the effect I wanted, both for rocks and for water – luckily both were reasonably successful!

The rocks are wet into wet with salt thrown on & then I scraped some lines in and blobbed more colour in. The water was a bit simpler with a graded wash down the page and a few lines lifted out with a clean wet brush. Lots more still to do, lots of definition to add to the leaves and rocks as well as the blossom to finish, and the middle background needs to look like distant plants under a rocky overhang. That might be the hardest bit.