Monday 12 May 2014

Bluebells in Watercolour 2014

 Bluebell Hues
Original Watercolour 2014

Only a year ago I was recovering from a broken ankle whilst in Australia following my watercolour workshops there. All the while I kept thinking of the bluebell woods in UK. My opportunity to paint them last year was missed completely as I couldn't fly home until I had healed from surgery. This Spring, I was teaching a weeks Watercolour Masterclass in Italy followed by a trip to Florence. Last week I was away, filming for my new book. I realised that unless I was very quick I would miss the opportunity, yet again, to paint these gorgeous flowers from life in my garden.

Today the sun shone as I raced to my studio this morning to grab my brushes and head for a quiet spot in the sunshine to capture the  soft bells. They are draped beautifully along the pathways of the woodland section in our cottage garden. While I painted, I listened to birdsong as the sun fell on my shoulders. I carefully studied the many shades in each sweet bell shape and most of all, realised I wasn't really looking at blue flowers at all as they are more a violet hue.

As a child I always imagined fairies lived in these woodland flowers. Or they would wear the bells as tiny hats. As an artist, I love how the strong blue formations in the foreground seem to automatically push the more blurred less detailed flowers into the distance. Learning how to paint from nature is  to me the best way to study art. If you observe colour and shape you can't go wrong. And even more importantly, your finished compositions when painting from life are unique. Its' so wonderful to see so many paintings of the same subject painted and interpreted in completely different ways. So my artists tip of the day is from my last book

" Don't be a sheep, be unique" with your art!  

Artists tips: 1) Paint from life as often as you can
2) Study colour and form. 
3)Take time to observe as well as paint

Placing my subject next to my painting to check if the colour is accurate
This is a great way to tell if your painting is true to life.


Anne Marieke said...

It is so lovely to read how you paint and to see the results.
And to read how you enjoy nature around you.

Looking forward to taking a workshop with you next year.

Anne Marieke

Unknown said...

Excellent post!
I do the same thing with greens, pick a few leaves and see what colour they really are! Sound advice.
Julian Lovegrove of