Monday, 5 September 2016

Rudbeckia in Watercolour : Unwinding with Cadmium Yellow

 Rudbeckia coming to life in watercolour
First and second stage complete.

I find it so hard to settle after teaching my workshops. I still feel the buzz and excitement from each course burning inside me, just waiting to burst onto paper with colour, energy and fabulous brushwork. Today is no exception.

I have been teaching for two full weeks and now I am back in my studio preparing for my solo show which opens this month. But I cannot leave my brushes or my pigments alone. I am far too happy, on the emotional and wonderful high I always reach when my courses have gone well and they certainly did last week with artist after artist shining in their own personal way reaching new goals in their art journeys. Which is exactly why I teach. I love my life. I love how it is enriched via working in watercolour which is such a fascinating medium.

This morning I walked around my cottage garden and  admired the carpet of yellow rudbeckia flowers glowing in golden yellows. The heads of these flowers dance high above the foliage and they certainly tempted my brushes this morning. What is more it was raining and the sky here was grey first thing today. So to opt for working with Cadmium Yellow to unwind after teaching and bring a feeling of warm sunshine was a perfect choice.

 Rudbeckia growing in my cottage garden.

 I started this painting session as always with a first wash. This was done by choosing pigments that could tell the story of what I was seeing, for me. I also wanted a feeling of light in this piece. Luckily I had a piece of paper with a green wash already on it, so I only needed to add the dancing yellow flowers at the top of it which I did by placing Cadmium Yellow across the upper section. Then I allowed clean water to run through it to create interesting patterns. These will be my foundation of darker and light sections for the strong yellow colour to be added on top, in the next stage of  my paintings' development.

First Wash choosing colours that matched my chosen subject well. 

I then added centres, deciding where they would make a pleasing and interesting composition.

Centres added to my first wash of Rudbeckia

Now I had a great foundation for a painting but when I look at the real flowers outside my studio window I know the yellow petals in my painting need to be bolder in strength of colour.  And so these were added next. See below.

Rudbeckia dancing in the breeze

Just a few touches will complete this painting but I will now let it dry before adding any further detail.What a great way to start my week with a relaxing warm up session using gorgeous glowing shades for my warm up washes.
You know, whatever you are doing and whatever the weather. You can always create your own sunshine simply by working in yellows. Try it, it certainly makes you feel really cheerful!

Have a great week ahead and happy Monday!



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