Thursday, 30 June 2016

Foxgloves in Sunlight : Watercolour

 Foxgloves in sunlight

The foxgloves in our cottage garden this year have been incredible. Especially when the sun has been shining, which is rarely at the moment!  Even so I have several washes of foxgloves on the go. Above is a section of one painting in its' first wash stage. I love this section. Light is flooding into it. Glowing warmth is hitting the buds and blooms at the top of the flower stem. Its' so pretty as it highlights how gorgeous the foxgloves are from a profile view.

The cluster of foxgloves ,where I sat to paint this, growing in my garden look amazing in one particular flower bed. The group is captured in a larger painting which can be seen below. These flowers are quite interesting. I learned so much from observing them as my focus when painting foxgloves always seems to be on the dotted pattern inside each bell shape. But from this view I realised you couldn't even see any of these dots. There were just dark shadows in the inner flower bells that were clearly in view. So I could simplify and not add too much detail in this piece. Whic is yet to be completed.

 Full composition
Foxgloves in Sunlight

I am now sharing why I like painting from life, not from photographs. Compare the two paintings below. Both unfinished. One is painted in my garden. One from a photograph. Can you see how I was tempted to add darks and miss the natural light that is obvious in the lighter painting?

 Side by side : Foxglove paintings from life and a photograph.

The best advise I can give any new artist is to paint from life as much as possible. Study how colour is effected by sunlight and how shadows come into play in every single subject. Store all this wonderful information so that on rainy days or times when you cannot go outside to paint from life you will have an inner instinct, which has developed over time. So that you know how things can look much better when using light well in your art.

But now its time for me to paint again!

Have fun looking for light and capturing it in your paintings!


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