Tuesday 9 August 2016

Building Up a Painting : Gladioli in Watercolour

 Gladioli appearing in the creative process of painting in watercolour

 I find artists on my workshops are often too timid to go into a painting with strong colour but it is the drama from adding bold contrasts which can often make a painting leap into life. Yesterday I started a painting of gladioli. This is a totally new subject to me and I am loving the exploration of finding the best way to paint these flowers.

Yesterdays approach was to find the starting shapes and work around them. I must confess I am enjoying the freshness from my initial painting stage but when I looked at it this morning I was disappointed. In my imagination this is not what I envisaged. I wanted more excitement. Maybe I shouldn't listen to that inner voice telling me " go on on, go in stronger"  but I believe we have nothing to lose by adding darks and more interesting washes and backgrounds to a work in progress. We can only learn from what doesn't or does work. It isn't dangerous unless you worry about losing the painting which I don't. I honestly believe if I hadn't taken so many risks with pieces over the years I wouldn't be as in love or as evolved in my art  as I am. And I am happily still learning.

So this morning I leapt into this piece again with reckless abandon. I added washy colour mixes in between where the main flowers are and I allowed some sections to hint at where other blooms could be in the background.

I am much happier now.

In the next stage I will taking time to add definition to make these flowers look more recognisable as gladioli and then the piece should be finished.

This is so much fun.

Artists Tips: 

Do paint new subjects as often as possible.
Do experiment with colour combinations and washes.
Don't treat each painting as though it is too precious to learn from.

Grow your skills by constantly trying new colour combinations, try exciting new techniques and discover new ideas for painting material.

And smile!

Yesterdays gladioli painting at stage one.
Before the darks were added.


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