Saturday, 31 July 2010

Painting From Life

Foxgloves appearing in a first wash next to the real flower

Nothing  can compare to learning from nature.Sitting in  the solitude of an English garden on a warm summers day listening to birdsong and placing your focus on flowers searching for colour variations and  the play of light on each petal is so relaxing and very rewarding.

I am aware that the foxgloves in my garden are now getting past their best from the beauty of the last few weeks where they have put on such  a glorious display.  Towering in tall spikes above the other smaller plants they have created such  regal impact especially when in full sun. And so I sat quietly working on two large pieces of paper allowing colour to fall where it would in my first wash  but at the same time carefully placing drops of pigment to encourage the bell forms.

Nothing can top watching a shot of Cadmiun Orange allowed to just burst onto a wet wash. As it  hits the paper it appears to bossily push the other pigments out of the way. I can almost see the transparent Alizarin Crimson  making way for the heavy opaque that takes over with force at first always looking frightening when wet until it drys to a softer glowing shade of orange.

I will confess, I am thrilled with this first wash. My "ghosts" as I call them of the individual flowers are already exciting. I need to do very little to complete this piece and it will be a favourite because of how it is  flowing  so beautifully in its development.

Foxglove bells appearing in a beautifully exciting first wash.

I  mentioned I started two paintings at the same time. The one above is intended to be louder in colour , more vibrant and more exciting. The second seen below is intended to capture the more delicate side of this flower. A subtle pink wash with hints of the yellow buds  to create a quieter result which I can relax with whilst escaping the heady passion of the first painting.

Second Foxglove painting in delicate pink from heavily diluted Alizarin Crimson.

Tip: When we paint from life our senses are more receptive to possibilities than when we work from photographs. We see colour in its most truest  form, we see shape as it really is minus distortion from a flat image and we feel life in the subject. All this knowledge then transfers easily to our painting. I can only paint from photographs successfully if I have genuinely seen the subject, taken the photograph myself or have painted from life many times in between doing so. The images here reflect the difference in colour from painting in sunlight in my garden. The moral of this story is to paint from life as much as possible!

**********************


13 comments:

annell said...

Your paintings are oh, so beautiful! Thank you!

annell said...

I left a comment, I guess I didn't do something "right."
I love the work as you show it. I hope you did not go one step further! Very beautiful, makes me want to get out my watercolors!

Riya Rathore said...

WOW ....is just the first word which comes to my mind looking at the paintings of foxgloves ...Thanks for sharing

jane minter said...

gorgeous washes jean

Cristina Dalla Valentina said...

I understand your love for these first washes... and I think that they perfect as they are!

jane minter said...

gorgeous washes jean

AK said...

I wish I could paint like this.

ELFI said...

magnifique interprétation d'une digitale! superbe!

Jean Haines SWA said...

Thank you so much, et Merci!

I adore colour and light so aim to capture just that in a first stage as simply as possible.With these beautiful flowers and natural sunlight the play of colours was so fascinating to witness as they merged on paper.

It is so fantastic to know that when you share on a blog you are meeting amazing people from all over the world who share the same interests. Thank you so much for replying and letting me know you have not only looked at my blog but enjoyed my work also.

AussieMum63 said...

You are so talented, thank you for sharing. All the best Shellsey

Arti said...

That was a very enlighting post; not to mention the incredible paintings of foxgloves!Love the way your washes give way to shapes and forms...I am learning from you:)

patricia said...

absolutely stunning, and so much detail from you also, much appreciated as I am a newby.xxx

patricia said...

so so enlightening as I am a newbey, much appreciated