Wednesday, 6 May 2015

White magic : Roses

 "White Magic"

Painting Roses in a Large Composition

 As I have been away for over a month and my rose demonstrations have been enjoyed so much I thought I would share a very special blog post today. To make up for my absence! Also I am opening so many emails from artists who would like to attend my workshops in UK and USA but as they are all fully booked this year I feel terrible for not having any places to offer. I am currently working on my USA 2016 tour with more locations hopefully being added. But for now if I share a few tips perhaps that will make up for my being so busy!

I had a great time painting this afternoon. As I worked I realised there are so many simple tips that make creating such a pleasure and often they are missed. So I will go through a step by step of this painting and hope it helps someone who reads my post.

Firstly. If you want to work in a loose style work on a large piece of paper.  I think artists new to painting feel safer painting small pieces. But unfortunately with smaller work you get to fiddling with detail in a way that painting larger compositions seems to avoid. And you can move your arms more on a large piece! I literally danced while painting these roses and I was singing at the top of my voice. So it is just as well I am not on "You Tube" right now! That could be hysterical. But back to the painting.

Negative Shapes
 Step 1. Negative Shapes. I simply  worked around three circles which would be my roses. These were to be left white for detail to be added later, for the flowers. But stage one was mainly creating a fabulous interesting background. I used lots of Daniel Smith colours here and let them merge at will with little help from me. The Daniel Smith pigments seem to love making patterns which if we interfere too much with, as artists, can ruin. My brushwork leaps everywhere in the background. It moves in all directions, by design to create a happy, energetic feel to my composition

 Step1. If you look at the lower rose in the above image you will notice it has very little colour inside the white circle. All the energy is behind this white space. Making the background come to life quietly at first. Then I add stronger colour around the white space where I feel it is needed. Compare the upper and lower halves of this painting.

Rose Centres
Stage 2 The rose centres. If you have been  reading my " How to Paint Roses in a Loose Style" blog post you should be a dab hand at painting centres by now!  If not practise your rose centres before attempting them on a big painting. I started with the top rose and worked downwards. 

Artist Tip. Always leave your favourite central rose until last in a painting, so if you mess up on the outer two you have had more practise and know what you like by the time you paint the centre flower!

 Step 2. Adding the centres to my roses takes time and practise. But I work very slowly gradually bringing each rose to life.


Stage 3. Making Connections  Okay now this is where many artists on my workshops go wrong. Or have painting hiccups! You should now have a gorgeous painting where the three main roses are coming to life but something isn't quite right? Look at the above painting and look at the one below. What is different?

The image above has the roses almost floating. There is absolutely nothing connecting them to each other or the background. It is that simple. So if you now look again at the image below you will see simple stems placed with simple brushwork to connect the two upper flowers. It makes all the difference. I have also started making leaves appear around the top rose too but don't fiddle. Just a few dramatic ones is better than a zillion fussy ones that detract from your gorgeous roses!

Artist Tip : Don't Fiddle!

 Stage 3. Connection is needed in some form between the subjects. Stems, leaves, colour flow. Find a way to make the subjects, in this case roses, look as though they belong to each other.

Now a closer look at those yummy rose centres!

I want each rose to be a character in their own right. Not exactly the same.
Look at the images below to see what I mean.

 This is the top rose. It is almost there as a flower but could have a little more darks added so that the effect is stronger. Notice the stems underneath? And look at how the background colour has been allowed to flow into the flower itself becoming part of the subject in places. This creates harmony and avoids that perfect white " floating" look!

 This is the middle rose. My main flower and focal point so I wanted this one to be particularly beautiful. I have taken time to create a lovely classical rose centre on this one.

 Actually this is my favourite. This is the last rose and I chose a slightly different centre. It looks real! Sometimes a few neat lines is all it takes to make a flower appear. Try to have contrasts between soft and hard lines as these will be fascinating when your painting is completed.

And here is another tip. If you paint three roses in a very large composition if one is perfect and the other two are not? You can crop your paper. Look, I have one painting already in the very fist rose so if I messed up the other two I can choose this one as it is! You have nothing to risk by working larger. But you could definitely have far more fun!

A painting found within a painting, by cropping a large piece if you want to.

I have to confess. I am so inspired with my new range of Daniel Smith shades that I am going nuts in my studio. Please try Daniel Smith Green Gold or Daniel Smith Serpentine Genuine. They are gorgeous! Oh and if you allow Cadmium Yellow to run into your blue background you get a fabulous turquoise effect and a very alive green mix too. I used Daniel Smith Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue with a touch of Daniel Smith Opera Pink for my rose centres, heavily diluted in places.

I hope you liked this blog post as much as I loved sharing it. Easy tips. Work big, practise, don't fiddle and use yummy colours!


Now a special Hello.  Hi there Judy. I am thinking about you today whilst I work in my studio. I hope the chemo is going well and I hope my rose demo painting that I gave you looks fabulous when framed. It was wonderful to meet you in Seattle and I hope we meet again next year. And I bet this personal message is another surprise, hopefully raising a smile again ! Huge hugs and happy painting. Jean.

1 comment:

Craig Weir said...

Thank you for sharing so much Jean. The gorgeous colours and your style is so beautiful. Sometimes life can throw curve balls that can distract, lose motivation and overwhelm your creativity. I find your gorgeous style and colours so beautiful. The thoughts and words you share in your approach to life and watercolour are like gems... you continually keep inspiring me to move forward to want to pick up my brush and keep painting when I could easily just stop. Thank you so much.