Sunday, 29 March 2020

Spring Flowers Part 2

This next stage of the painting is exciting as I rely on the properties of the paint to create some lovely effects for me. 
It's worth having some experimental time on a spare piece of paper to see what effects you can create with your paints. It took a while before I perfected certain techniques achieving effects I especially liked, not only that, but deciding where and when to use these effects is also important.

When you create a lovely effect, try not to over use it by adding it all over your picture, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. It starts to look a bit 'gimmicky' if you over use these effects.

For this lovely effect the main point to remember is that wet paint will only run into wet adjoining sections. Any dry areas will remain untouched.
If you want paint to move, you may need to tilt your board, in some cases a jolt may be necessary, or the addition of more liquid to encourage it to move.

The dark green I use naturally granulates. In other words, when applied, the pigments separate into the dips of the watercolour surface, creating a textured appearance, this can be enhanced by encouraging the paint to flow in a certain direction, suggesting rivulets of texture. (Daniel Smith paints tend to granulate profusely)

Imagine however, if my entire painting was covered in such textures? For this sort of subject, I need some colours to be smooth and 'flat' whilst others create the textures.
Tip - If none of your paints granulate, don't worry, carry on, you can perhaps add a tiny amount of salt to your wet dark green to create texture. It wont be the same, but it will look great. Use the salt sparingly, remember each grain will create a tiny star burst.

Using my Pyramid brush and dark green I scribble onto the paper with the tip of the brush allowing some parts of the paper to remain dry. Adding some water I carefully paint around the shapes of the flower petals to create the hard edge, then using my Classic 12 brush wet with clean water I add a wet area for this paint to run into, catching the edge whilst this is still wet. I lift the board up on the right allowing the paint to move into the wet section, adding the lighter green paint and water where necessary.
Leave to dry on a tilt if necessary.

Using my Classic round brush I paint the stems, allowing them to touch and overlap, and suggesting a direction movement by flicking the paint towards the right.
I add water nearer the large leaf shape to give the appearance that this was painted at the same time. (Of course, it was painted yesterday and completely dry) 

Its all beginning to form a lively composition now much larger than the original drawing, hence the need to draw in the middle of a larger sheet of paper at the start.

I am now going to start to work on the hyacinths again, making them merge a little into the background. This time I am going to use a granulating purple, however, if you don't have one, don't worry, just carry on.
Using my Classic 12 brush, I apply blobs of very wet purple allowing them settle into the paper. (it doesn't matter if this purple is different from the first one I used) Don't rush this bit, you need to allow the pigments to settle into the paper. It you are impatient, the best effects will be lost.

Using a clean wet brush I wet the right side of the flower as close as I dare to the wet sections, then when I am ready I allow the point of the brush to touch the paint inviting it to pour into the wet area, tilting the board to encourage the paint to move in the direction I want it to go.

This is a close up of what it looks like when the separated pigments begin to move gently into the wet area giving the impression that the whole flower was painted at one time.
This takes time to understand and control, it doesn't just 'happen'.Once you know how to create the effect each time you need it, that's when you have a new technique. If its a 'happy accident' that's great, but unpredictable.

This is the stage when I add more of the brighter green, creating the edge of the lighter flowers and washing the colour into the background as previously.
Linking the stems with the leaves in the same way.

Finally, just the shadow areas are needed on the flowers.
For this I use my original purple. Not the one that granulates, but the one I used right at the start of the painting. Using my Classic 12 and a very dilute wash I then add a little shadow to some of the flowers. I do this by holding the flower in sunlight in the position within the composition, and painting the shadows where i see them. I do them all at once using the same light. If there is no sunlight, then directional natural daylight is also good, but I would avoid artificial lighting.

Perhaps you could paint a small posy to begin with? You don't have to paint such a large painting as this, but what ever size you chose, make sure you begin in the centre of a larger piece of paper than you would imagine, as those wet washes need space. 
My next post will be something for more of the beginner, so if this seemed really tricky, the next one might be more suitable for you.
Thanks for reading, and stay safe at home at this difficult time.

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