Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The Gift

"The Gift"
A bouquet of roses given to me made a great subject for a quick warm up study. 

On the weekend we had a large group of guests here for an annual luncheon, held at our home. Many of the guests kindly brought gifts of flowers and plants for me. Many of these beautiful gifts were so gorgeous that they simply begged to be painted.

I took one bouquet, of roses,  this morning and created this quick study. It reminded me of when I first started painting in watercolour.  At art classes I went to there would always be a vase of flowers for the group to paint and I would diligently try to capture it adding all the detail. How things have changed! Now I aim to leave most of the detail out and how much more relaxed I feel when creating these days with no tension and no pressure to produce a masterpiece each time I pick up my brush.

I took the flowers that I had arranged in a small brown jug and created a first wash, working from a starting point of the main rose. From there I painted the buds surrounding it. White and pink roses are in the jug but from my view the white flowers are at the back of the arrangement . These created a beautiful white edge in the upper outline of the  composition. I like the light in this painting. The subject felt like a walk down memory lane as I was painting a classic image. Vases of flowers will always be appealing to artists.

I liked this painting at the fresh first wash stage too, before darks were added. See the image below for the first stage result.

"The Gift"
First Stage.

Now this is where I have to admit this painting is going in my bin. Why? Because it was painted on a scrap of paper that is unworthy of framing. It had been painted on the reverse side. It doesn't look or feel like a new painting so in the bin it goes. But the journey painting this wasn't a waste of time. Now I can paint it again on a clean fresh piece of paper taking all the things I loved from the experimental painting into my new work. This also takes pressure off my shoulders as I know what colours I like and where to put them.

No painting time is ever wasted, although I sometimes believe time spent "not" painting is!

Artists Tip: Treat yourself to some nice flowers or pick some from your garden. Make an arrangement in an old jug or vase and paint it. Its' a great way to learn about how shapes connect to each other to form a stunning composition. Don't forget to keep the light present in your results.


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