Nevada rose watercolour sketch

I’ve done this sketch on the back of an old painting, so it’s on decent paper. I wanted to try out the subject in a loose way. Doing this has made me look at the form of the flowers, helped me to decide whether to mask out the stamens (yes), and to check out the composition, and made me really look hard at the colours within the shadows. The jury’s still out as to what to do with the top right hand side background, whether to leave it emptier with less detail.

It would be great if you would tell me what you think. Feedback! An artist without feedback is like an egg without salt, or a kiss without a moustache (to misquote Guy de Maupassant…oh you get your culture here too, you know!) Speak to me people! I’d love you to leave a comment.

Nevada Rose continued…

Found out today that this is called Nevada Rose. Have been working with acrylic inks, non permanent pen and watercolour pencils to study the subject further. Here are my efforts. I like working with acrylic ink and drawing with the pipette, mostly because I haven’t got any other suitable implement apart from a brush. But I like the variety of thicknesses of marks you get with it. Tried some water droplets as one of the photos I was working from had some on the flowers and stalks. Now I have traced the design from my freehand tonal drawing on to watercolour paper and am looking forward to having a go.

Toning up…

Here’s the first exploratory tonal sketch for the roses. By doing this I found out more about where the light falls on the blooms and also started to work out which leaves would be highlighted in detail and which would be simple shapes in the background. The arrangement is just about ok as it is I think. That’s something I tend to do without thinking…find a composition with the camera when I first take the photo. Now on to ink and pencils to find out more…

Looseness is all

You remember I was going to do a loose version of the Iceland poppies? It didn’t happen. Something told me it wasn’t going to work when I found myself with gritted teeth willing myself to be loose! You can get too immersed in this business. So I found a solution yesterday. Retail therapy! Yay! Going to a wedding soon, needed to buy an outfit, and it was great to just think about inconsequential nonsense for a day.

As far as the art is concerned there is no substitute for hard work, studying the subject, sketching out ideas, getting to know your way round the thing. When you set out to produce something cheaply without first putting an honest amount of effort in, it is doomed to fail. Trust me, I know!
Would love to hear your comments….
Here is a photo I took in my friend’s garden of some luscious sunlit roses which has inspired me. I’m going to work my way round the subject and see if I can communicate that enthusiasm. If I don’t come up with a painting, I will still have the sketches and studies to show for my efforts. I will use ink, try and do a sketch without drawing first, perhaps use watercolour pencils. We’ll see. Watch this space.

Preparing for a workshop

Off to Cutthorpe Art Group near Chesterfield tomorrow. We’re going to have a look at this version of the Devon door, the photo of which has such a lovely shadow over it. It’s quite a straightforward subject and you can make it as loose or as detailed as you like. But the main area of interest is how the light is falling from the top left and delineating the stonework in the wall. I always like cast shadows and there is a lovely effect over the door and house wall and also bottom right where the nasturtiums are casting shadow over the wall.

I’ve been putting some more images on Flickr annmortimerart so why don’t you go over and have a look?