Friday, 8 May 2015

Wallflowers in Watercolour : Daniel Smith Shades

 "Copper and Gold"
I have been reading through the advance copy of my new book and it sounds crazy but I feel so inspired by it that I need to keep painting. I am also heavily influenced by my recent trip to Seattle where I held workshops with Daniel Smith. There I feel in love with so many new shades I hadn't yet tried from their watercolour range. I thought I was a watercolour addict before my visit but oh boy, I am even more so now! I think we are all influenced to paint by so much that happens in our lives. For example when I was little my Grandfather grew sweetly scented wallflowers. I always remember their gorgeous coppery, gold colours that seemed to alive to me then even as a child. As a little girl with ginger hair quite often there were similarities between the petals colour and my curls!

Later on, I lived in France and wallflowers grew around the Auberge where I lived. They sprang up each year like weeds. Oh how I wish they would do that im my own cottage garden. Here I painstakingly plant them each Autumn so that I can look forward to seeing them in flower the following year. But my Grandfathers' gardening plays a huge part in how I see the beauty in flowers. Also my time in France introduced me to the work of aquarelliste, Madam Blanche Odin. My heroine when it comes to painting flowers of any description. 

Today, I started my morning by wandering around my garden, picking a wallflower to paint in my studio as the weather to paint outside was atrocious. I then matched it to colours from my recent trip to Daniel Smith as I felt they would be a perfect choice for these very rich coloured plants. And I am happy to say they were.

After choosing my juicy glowing colours I created a loose first impressionistic wash of my flower.  This was alive with vibrancy but these are no "wishy washy" delicate plants. They need bold, strong colour definition to make them seem fully accurate in a painting.

Daniel Smith  Quinachridone Gold, Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue and  Transparent Pyrrol Orange made my first wash exciting and vibrant.

Next I needed to add darks, also I needed to separate a few small flowers with hints of definition before leaving the piece alone. I didn't want to "over fiddle". I always feel once you have told the story in a painting move on to the next story. And that's exactly what I am going to do!

Close up of definition placed on top of the first light wash.


Some flowers demand a delicate soft approach when painting them. Others beg to be painted in striking bold colour that is applied confidently. Try looking at each flower and decide before hand how you should paint it. Gently or boldly? Whatever, have fun painting because if there is no joy in holding your brush there is no joy in the result.


1 comment: