Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Iris - February Challenge

Regular readers will know that Peter Ward (watercolourfanatic.blogspot.com) and I set each other a little challenge and this is the latest of the series. I took some time getting into this one as winter lethargy and family commitments limited painting time. However, once the brushes became wet and the pigment began to flow the usual pleasure kicked in. The only drawback was the fact that without regular practice some of the techniques get rusty. 

The source photograph, as you can see, is a fairly complicated image and so my first decision was to crop the image and simplify things. I think there's a little bit of adjustment I can make to the background to improve the picture but I'll live with it for a day or two before messing with it.

For better or worse here it is.


Irises - Photograph


Irises - Watercolour on rough paper 16" x 12"

18 comments:

Sharon Whitley said...

Very nice Peter although (and I know you won't mind me saying) I'd personally like to see a bit more of that lovely violet colour brought into the top petals like in the photo, it would give a bit more variation in that area, quite fancy trying to paint irises myself, beautiful flowers - as you say though a tough challenge!

Sophia Khan said...

Hello Mick,

Great to see you dive back into the Irises series, and I like the composition and how you have cropped the image. It makes the irises much more of a focal point. Also am enjoying your choice of colors here. That little bit of turquoise on the right makes that extra bit of impact on the color scheme. Nicely done.

I can relate completely with what you said about the need for constant practice. I have been away from my brushes for quite some time, due to other commitments, and feel I really should get back into the creative flow soon.

Also great to have heard on your previous post, about your interest in Jean's work and book as well. Interesting to see the similarity in color choices for the paintings on both posts.

Happy painting
Sophia

L.W.Roth, said...

Beautifully drawn Mick, but I agree with Sharon. I, too, would like to see more of that luscious violet in the upper petals defining the forms. You did a great job of simplifying a complicated reference. I would have tempted to have included everything. Clever guy.

Brian Morrison said...

Great start Mick. Wonderful ref photo too. Really colourful.

Mick Carney said...

Sharon - I agree with you with regards to the violet and will add some.

Mick Carney said...

Sophia - Thanks a lot. Practice is so difficult to organise when one can nay find small windows of time. It makes extended exercises almost impossible. Flowers, and irises in particular, are a constant source of inspiration and challenge for the painter. I love them.

When not able to find time for practice it is always a pleasure to dip into my ever growing library of art books. I'm always on the look out for new ideas.

Mick Carney said...

Linda - Thanks. Violet extended and it's better. I've recently started cropping source images as I used to make the mistake of being fairly non selective and trying to include everything. That way leads to poor compositions and cluttered images.

Mick Carney said...

Brian - Thanks. A few adjustments have improved this, as suggested by other friends.

Peter Ward said...

Rather different to mine - more delicate. I like the large flower on the left but wonder about the overall arrangement. Odd numbers are better than even ( only my opinion of course). Possibly some stronger colour in places?

Mick Carney said...

Peter - That's the nicest thing anybody has said about me - 'delicate'. Conventional wisdom does dictate that odd numbers are better than even but there are many examples of images that ignore it too. If it works then it work and I'll leave others to make that judgement. I agree with you about the colour, certainly as far as the photograph is concerned and in fact with the picture. It's already had a little boost here and there.

Yvonne Harry said...

Good job, Mick and totally agree that the cropping makes life easier and is successful. Like others, I would like to see a bit more richness in the colours and feel you need to have more contrast between darks and lights.
Painting from photos can be tricky as the dark areas tend to hide detail.I try to put it back in with ref.to a gardening book, so that in your painting the falls would be a little more interesting and less flat. Having said all that (which I hope you do not mind!) your series is comming along splendidly and I hope we will see more of them.

Polly Birchall said...

Yep, I agree it's a delicate painting of Iris's. Interesting to see you cropped it and that is something I think I may try instead of painting the whole picture! The background sets the iris's off nicely.

Mick Carney said...

Yvonne - Thanks for your helpful suggestions and continued interest. I agree with your remarks about colour and contrast and will try to do something about it. This series is teaching me a lot about technique.

Mick Carney said...

Polly - Thanks a lot. I used to waste a lot of paper trying to make images where I attempted to incorporate every detail. Cropping focuses the mind on what is important in the image. Having said that I still forget from time to time and it invariably spoils the picture.

Dan Corey said...

Mick! Looking lovely! This a true focused effort.

Mick Carney said...

Dan - Thanks a lot.

Ron Guthrie said...

My hats off to you Mick. This image would be tough on any painter....especially me! You did a really nice job on the painting here Mick!
Ron

Mick Carney said...

Ron - You are too kind and I really appreciate it.