Primroses leaping out of an exciting varied wash.
Last night I had a dream about a painting. I know I have been eagerly looking forward to seeing the first primroses in my garden and must admit, that while I was in Spain I did wonder how many flowers would be out in my garden on my return. I particularly love the clusters of pale lemon primroses which bring back so many memories from my childhood. I would walk in woodlands then in Wales . Even as a little girl I fell in love with their form and beauty.
So I suppose it wasn't surprising that I dreamt about a painting of them. But the painting wasn't in my usual style. It was dark and almost antiqu elooking. The composition was of a cluster hit by a ray of light. But the flowers looked as though they were almost tumbling down a mossy bank. I was so happy when I woke today and walked my dog Bailey because I came across a beautiful cluster, sat in very green moss. Against the dull,dark background of woodland on a grey day they looked just like the floral painting in my dream.
Which is why this morning I started a painting allowing colour to flow in the direction of light. I left two main flowers to be the stars of the show, as focal points. Then half hid the other primroses in shadow by softening their edges. The first wash was yellow and pink with hints of Indigo. I then used Indigo again to make an outline around the negative shape of my primroses. By adding water to encourage colour flow, this addition of pigment as a layer interacted well with the yellow to give me soft green effects for hints of leaves. I stopped at this stage because I like it so much as it is but it does need further touches.
But one experiment will often lead to another and as the image in my dream was so dark and vivid I worked on another wash. This is a different composition but I am still working on the tumbling effect seen in my dream. If you observe this second wash you may see more texture in the dark foreground? This was achieved by using ink, allowing it to intermingle with the still damp watercolour pigments. I like it but have to admit this can't be classed as a pure watercolour in my eyes. As soon as the ink was added I would have to claim it to be mixed media. Although I know many artists may disgree.
Primrose Wash. Watercolour and Ink
The excitement of experimenting is something we all should enjoy and as regularly as we can. If we worked in exactly the same way each time we picked up our brushes we could be denying an element of fun and freshness to seep into our results. So I have two paintings, one with slightly more defintion of the flowers. One with less definition and ink textural effects.
Now I want to paint a third composition and combine the two ideas a little. By the way, everyone has views on what is and what isn't watercolour. For me if a product says watercolour on the tube,then that is what it is. And the challenge of working with just that, to see what I can create is absolutely magical!