Saturday, 28 July 2012

Yet Another Iris

Well I did say that I felt a series coming on and here is today's effort. I'm learning a lot about softening edges and creating texture and shape with these so they are providing a lot of fun and enjoyment. As I look at their one there are a few wrinkles that could improve the piece and after a little bit of reflection I'll decide how to doctor them. I'm also in two minds as to whether or not to soften some of the main bloom's edges to merge into the background in places. Decisions, decisions.

Iris - Watercolour on Rough paper 16" x 12" 

Monday, 16 July 2012

St. Mark's Again

I'm still playing around with ways of making images that are looser than I used to and this weekend returned to a subject that I've looked at before. My sketchbook from Venice is a continuing source of inspiration for more paintings and this effort is a development of a piece I posted here some weeks ago.

St. Mark's Basilica - Watercolour on Rough paper 16" x 12"

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Something Different

This week's effort is a little different to recent work. I was chatting to some people the other day one of whom was a keen dog owner and I thought there was a subject I'd never tried before so I found a model in the pet of a couple who pop into the local. A quick sketch and a couple of photo later and I had the basic information to give it a go. I think the dog is a West Highland Terrier but I'm no expert so if anyone has a better idea it would be good to hear.

I treated this in the same way that I would a human portrait, starting with the central features, eyes and nose. After that the rest of the features seem to fall into place. An enjoyable experience. 

Now it's back to my Irises and Venice sketches. The current weather in Britain is playing havoc with my normal practice of painting plein air and I'm seriously neglecting the oils so this is becoming a very different year but nevertheless, interesting.

West Highland Terrier - Watercolour on Not paper 12" x 9"

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Another Iris

Last week I posted an Iris and got a great deal of pleasure from having produced it and I tim I mentioned that I felt a series coming on. I also mentioned that I had been inspired by a post by floral artist, Yvonne Harry. In her post she mentioned that she had used a photograph from a book by Claire Austin with photography by Clay Perry. A quick trawl on the net had me finding a new copy that the seller was parting with for less that £3, I jumped at the opportunity and paid the asking price with some alacrity. The book duly arrived and it is the most wonderful source material for anyone wanting to explore images of Irises.

Out with a 16" x 12" sheet of Waterford and down to work. This is quite a large size of paper for subject matter like this and also the particular approach that I was adopting. For much of the image I was going to attempt a nearly straight  technique allied with a really loose background. The bloom that I selected was predominantly violet and this presented its own difficulties. Creating variation in the depth of colour was worked on by building up glazes with occasional lifting. There was also an awful lot of edge softening during that process and keeping the paint moist over big areas until working on the edges runs the constant risk of creating runs. All good practice but very time consuming. My admiration for floral painters rose by the wash.

The background was done in the loose way mentioned in the last post, with a little salt and cling film.

I'm looking on this piece very much as a steep learning curve in managing the working of paint. As I look at it I think I might have made better choices about the choices of colour and the treatment of the major colour by introducing some colour variation. Still, an enjoyable exploration.

Iris - Watercolour on Not paper 16" x 12"