I’m uploading the reference photos for yesterday’s studio workshop on Cosmos and Phlox for the members who attended and worked so hard at producing their paintings. So Carol, Molly, Barbara, Roger, Kathy and Greta, here you are! And as a bonus the step by step stages are here too so they can compare their efforts with mine.
I love trying to depict flowers growing in their natural situation in my garden and I am always taking photos as well as spending hours staring and observing how they grow. White flowers are a special favourite and I like to make them pop and spring out from the page. Hopefully that is what has been achieved here.
Click on any of the photos to enlarge.
Here are the six stages of the painting. Starting with my photo and then the drawing with some flowers masked out.
At the drawing stage, I drew around the outside of the flower mass first and then put the details of the separate florets in.
Hydrangeas do have a bit of a reputation for being rather dull, standing as a a lonely shrub in a neglected suburban front garden. For some reason I immediately think of Hyacinth Bouquet! perhaps it’s because her hats remind me of full blown hydrangea flowers. Not to mention the Queen Mother!!
But look closer and they are the most complex of flowers and when they start to go over in Autumn, they have an amazing array of hues and textures within them. They often have a range of colours within their complex pom pom shape and each small floret has a lovely self contained simple shape which twists and turns to create movement and interest.
So I see them as an opportunity to practise observation and drawing, to use different texture making tools, to employ negative painting technique and to create vibrant colour mixes.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon doing a painting of a white hydrangea from a photograph. (Although I have gathered plenty of live examples of the flower in the studio as well.)
Really enjoyed the painting. I will upload the step by step stages next time.