Watercolour Demo: Single White Flower Part 1

We’ve started filming some new videos for you to watch on YouTube.

Its a lot of work, intense and absorbing and very technical.  I just do the painting..that’s the easy bit!

Nice to be producing something to share again.  Enjoy!

(Click bottom right on the video to get full screen and HD quality.  Please subscribe to my YouTube channel…it will mean I can bring you more projects in the future, and you can hear about anything new that comes up.  Thank you!)   🙂

Being a modern day artist involves more than getting your paints and paper out as I’m finding right now.

If art is about communication and sharing, which I think it is, then you cannot ignore social media…I’m talking Facebook, Blogs such as this one, online galleries such as Redbubble.

I love sharing what I do…it makes sense of it all.  Why paint otherwise?  I realised lately that I am not your classic tortured artist with a desperate message to put over in order to express inner turmoil and anguish.

I just love nature, beautiful things and working with my hands and eyes and senses using  watercolour as my medium.

And here are some paintings of beautiful things…

So in order to share my art I plan to upload videos on YouTube and demos of my favourite subjects here and on Facebook.  

If all goes well, we will be making some films next week.    

Sweet peas on a sunlit windowsill…stages

I recently uploaded the following step by step project on to Facebook as I know people enjoy seeing the painting process.

But I also know that there are lots of people who read this blog who do not choose to join the Facebook community.

So I thought I’d upload it here for you.

I took this photo of some sweet peas that I’d picked from the garden one summer’s day.  I remember that we were going on holiday the next day and that by the time we came back the sweet peas would be over…bad planning!  So I figured that if I picked a bunch and photographed them, then I might be able to paint from that in the future…good planning!

I love cast shadows and the one here on the windowsill inspired a painting.  I photographed each stage so here are the stages with a few words to explain the process.

Please Click on the photos to make them larger.

My photo
The colours I used
Stage 1

You can see a very simple drawing to get the basic outline. I’ve wetted the whole paper and then dropped in colours wet in wet. I’ve dropped in yellows and pinks on the window edge and sill for the reflected colours and light. I’ve masked one or two areas to retain light and for the “holes” in the cast shadow.

Stage 2

The main flower shapes are in. I tried to keep them loose by dropping in colours wet in wet. After wetting the vase I dropped in greys made from mixing pink, yellow and green in the palette. I’ve dropped some green in wet in wet at the top of the vase. Important to leave the bottom of the vase unpainted.

Stage 3
I mingled the colours in the palette to make a grey for the shadow. You can see the pinks that I’ve dropped into the shadow wet in wet. That’s the reflected light from the sweet peas. I left a white band on the top of the water in the vase when I painted the flower stalks. I’ve painted some wood shapes into the sill very pale to retain the sense of sunshine hitting the surface.

The finished painting
I’ve put another layer of dark over the shadow on the window edge and on the front of the sill. More dark greens have been dropped into the background and some detail to the window sill. I’ve added some stalks among the flowers. But the general effect is “less is more”.

. I was inspired by the cast shadow and the challenge of making the flowers read “sweet peas” without going into too much detail. The glass vase is hardly painted at all…only what is in it or visible through it.  

Hope you enjoyed seeing the stages!

Ideas, ideas and more ideas…

I’m looking out on to a rather bleak but still beautiful landscape, being battered by strong winds today.  This is a hilltop village, so we have the views but we also are open to the blasts of strong winds which have plagued us this year from the South West.  But not complaining, worth it for the view!

There are two hares sitting in the field in front of me…it’s a field of winter wheat and they seem to be hanging out there during most of the day, sitting there, ears back, perhaps waiting for the Spring to arrive…love this country life!

Anyway here’s something I prepared earlier

This was a half finished demo from a hydrangeas workshop a year or two ago.  Thought I’d put some finishing touches to it.  I love the textures, shapes and depth of hydrangea flowers and the varied tones and colours within them.  Never tire of painting them.
It’s a time of ideas…contemplation, decision making and so on about the way forward for me.  We are looking into renewing my website so that it can include more work and it will mean that I will be able to update it myself without asking a website manager to make any changes.  More filmed painting demos are on the cards which people can download.  And I still am looking at ways to put some course materials on line for learning watercolourists and to offer feedback on their work.
It all takes time though!  These days actual painting is only a fraction of what can be done. The possibilities afforded by the internet are so varied and numerous…you almost don’t know where to start!