Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Learning From Flowers

Cosmos Flowers appearing in a second wash
Building up Colour and adding definition.

I have many paintings of flowers from my garden this Summer. Nothing can compare to painting from life in sunshine. These are the moments I take time to to record colour as it really is so I can work from life long after the flowers have passed during the seasons as they change.

Photographs can only give you an image  to work from but they cannot give you the full 3D effect or the glorious sensation of sunshine hitting white petals and creating colourful shadows as they do in real life. I have thoroughly enjoyed a  mass of white Cosmos in a flower bed for some time now. Absorbing the many  terrific joys of the flowers merging  with each other and  moving in the gentle summer breezes.


Here the composition is gradually  growing and building up in both colour and detail.


After working in my garden on the first and second washes I later brought some flowers into my studio to paint their shapes in more detail. Placing them directly  next to my initial painting gives me a clear impression of how close I am to their form and even their feeling of being light and airy.

The real flowers next to my painting on my easel.

I paint from life as much as possible for  vibrant colour and effects. This way I can consistently gain new ideas for colour combinations and texture techniques.

I have yet to capture the hollyhocks before they disappear!

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Tips on Painting Flowers

1) Paint from life as much as possible
2) Paint subjects you really love and enjoy
3) Study their shapes. Think about what makes them interesting and  imagine how you can capture that in your work.
4) Stand your painting next to the real flowers and let them tell you  what is right and what is wrong about your results. Believe it or not they will!

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More tips can be found in my book " How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour" which is available on Amazon.com

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5 comments:

cheryl said...

absolutley stunning Jean.So alive fresh delicate beautiful,you have captured an ethereal quality that really conveys all the beauty of the subject.

Cynnie said...

Wonderful work,,,inspiring blog...fantastic book....
Cynthia a.k.a. Cynnie

Jean Haines SWA said...

Hi there Cheryl, thank you so much! I can't wait to see you in September, its going to be a fabulous workshop!

Jean Haines SWA said...

Hello Cynnie, thank you so much, I am thrilled you like my book and blog, it is comments like yours that encourage me to share even more so thank you very much:)

Sparrowhawk said...

great tips! I like the simple approach and key points! the flowers are breathtakingly beautiful!