Day 76: Flowers & Grasses

climbing-flower5Firstly, here is the finished Thunbergia, with added shadows and some other details – I’ve realised that my reference photo did me no favours as there was no direct sunlight when it was taken and the light was very diffuse. Therefore I had to make up my own lighting and try and work out where the shading would be.

I would have liked to see more of the flowers left white too, I wondered if I’d over done the grey/blue shading but maybe not. Again it’s a piece that seems to have an old fashioned feel to it, or maybe it’s just the subject matter….

grassOn finishing this I decided to do some experimentation on some grasses that have had my eye for a year or so, wondering how to capture them in watercolour. Here’s a photo of some at the bottom of our street followed by my three attempts to render it today.

grasses 1st & 2nd Attempt (Watercolour)

grasses 1st & 2nd Attempt (Watercolour)

The first try really didn’t work too well, a wash of Light Red and Ultramarine Blue to which I added strokes of water while it was still wet. As you can see, the water pretty much washed all the colour away, there’s no definition at all. However it gave me the idea that the principle might work so I tried again, waiting longer before adding the water. This one worked much better – Jim thinks it’s the best of the three.

Grasses Attempt No. 3 (Watercolour)

Grasses Attempt No. 3 (Watercolour)

Based on this I tried again, paying more attention to timing and water, resulting in the third picture. Personally, I think the colours are better and the paint lifted out more successfully, however the seed heads are not as good a shape as the second try. I’m pretty sure that the difference in paper played a huge part, with the last sketch painted on a much smoother, and better sized piece, so the paint behaved very differently.

I think this will be a subject I’ll return to and try again. It’s nearly there but needs more practice and I can see that a larger piece might behave very differently. If I can get it to work successfully I might even like to have one hung on my wall 🙂

By the way, you may not have realised, if you click on the pics in any post they will show you a larger version…