Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Rudbeckia in Watercolour

 "Sunshine on My Shoulders"

Today the sun shone really brightly and it was impossible to stay inside. I set up my painting equipment in my garden and  worked on a few gallery pieces with the sun shining on my shoulders. I felt so relaxed. When I am painting in sunshine my thoughts always turn to using Cadmium Yellow which is such a strong colour in its' own right. I call it the " bossy" pigment as it will stay put, not move easily or it can push other more translucent pigments out of the way. It can sometimes over power a painting.

But Cadmium pigments have terrific value in that they can brighten up the dullest of paintings instantly. They can be used to paint on top of paler shades when more drama is needed. They can add zing and life to dull work.  Cadmium Yellow was the perfect choice today as I was working on a rather dull first wash, selected from my previously painted scraps of paper.

I had a cropped off long piece of paper that had been torn from the edge of a larger painting. This scrap found its' way to my bin. As the heat became too much for me to  concentrate on my serious work I rescued the long scrap of paper which had dull colours on it and I happily put the Cadmium Yellow pigment to work.

In front of where I was sitting todau was a huge clump of Rudbeckia flowers. I decided to paint a quick abstract of them for fun.  I painted three brown centres to start with then added the strong yellow petals surrounding them. As the heat of the day dried my first colour applications I could  easily build up more yellow and depth on each individual petal until the flowers leaped to life.

The first wash was just a pale version of the completed painting.

 Rudbeckia painted in strong sunlight in my garden this afternoon.

I never throw any paper away until I have painted on both sides of it. Even then I will paint on top of any coloured pieces just to explore and learn about how pigments interact or cover different shades and textures.

You may wonder how I knew how to paint the flower shapes? 

I used the shadows of the real flowers to paint from. If you have read my book " Paint Yourself  Calm" there is a lovely description on how to do this in it in one of the chapters.

Petal shadows at the edge of the painting let me know if extra flowers painted here would work. 
I could paint the shadows in violet so that in the painting they are shadows also! 

A good tip to remember for next time.


Thank you to everyone who has sent me messages letting me know how much you are enjoying my blog! Its' lovely to know its being read and found to be inspirational!


Happy painting!

1 comment:

WoodSong said...

Your work is just a joy to view! I have recently purchased two of your books and am fairly new to watercolors but I've never felt quite as much joy as I do when I have a paint brush in my hand. After 60 + years, I have finally found my tribe and it's a deeply magical feeling. Thank you for your part in leading me there. xoxo