Saturday, 27 February 2016

Snowdrop Step by Step

We will be trying this at my group next time, I took the painting not quite finished to show them at the last session so although some of the chaps aren't too keen on flowers there is a lot to learn from this one and it may well take us 2 sessions to complete. I used a composition similar to my previous Brusho snowdrop but to be painted in watercolour.

As this was painted as a workshop piece I did a simple drawing first....not all the group would be confident in painting without drawing and I have to cater for all abilities.  I have used a reference photo but only to give me some flower head shapes, not to provide the composition. I used the new Maimeriblu colours and as usual a limited palette,  Turqouise, purple and cad yellow to start with but thought that was a bit too much so changed to lemon yellow.

The first image show the washes. I have tried to keep things light around the flower heads as I know I want them to be fairly white. By guiding the water around the petals (paint will only flow where there is water) the paint will also flow around and leave areas of white. I start at the top with whichever colour takes my fancy then add paint straight from my palette, (sprayed with water before I start to make them moist and workable) alternating the colours in an irregular way diluting and spraying as I go along so instead of creating a wash in my palette I create the wash on the paper. As yellow and purple are complimentary colours (and could make a grey duller colour) I try not to add them next to one another.

This needs to dry completely and as I was in my studio  and my hair dryer was ready to go, once the shine had gone off (if you dry before, the water moves the paint around too much and if you have any particular effects you see happening they will be lost) I dried off ready for the next layers.

2nd image.....Here I have started to add a bit of detail working around the painting so that I am not working where it is wet, adding the stems and calyx's (think that's the right word?) and a few leaves at the bottom. Everything is still fairly light at this stage and I haven't added any more to the background.


3rd image below......I decided the light was coming from the right so started to darken the bg to that side to emphasize the counter change with the white petals. i worked around the main flower and as I add the intense colour I wash away behind it so that it can blend into the washes I already have.   


4th image below......Here I have started to work around the other flowers and added a touch more detail to the foliage at the bottom. I thought the bg was a bit too harsh behind the top flower so washed the intensity away. 


At this stage the whole piece wasn't "popping" as I would like so I left for a couple of days and then worked on it a bit more.

5th Image below......just a few subtle changes here adding a few more darks around the petals and in the foliage at the bottom. As you add the paint, as mentioned earlier, you need to wash the colour away with clean water into the bg... that way you don't add more wash into the colours you already have and you don't get hard edges where you have added the extra colour. I have also added a teeny touch of white guoache to the stems... not too much as it starts to look too contrived and I wouldn't have added any had I managed to keep more of the white paper.


Please feel free to ask any questions and I will do my best to answer.....


17 comments:

  1. pretty piece I love reading the "process" thanks for taking the time to share with us all I know it must be time consuming to remember to paint, photograph and write at each step Im way to impatient to do all those things fortunately Im not a teacher and don't have to hope your class enjoy the snow drop lesson even the men lol x

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  2. Thanks for the lovely comment Leona....I really don't mind the time in fact I would do a lot more of these if I could remember to do the photographing as I paint. I get so carried away and lost as I am painting. I start with the best of intentions, do the first photo then before I know it the painting is finished!! As for the men, they WILL enjoy lol!! xx

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    1. Real men paint fl0wers t00.

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  3. hahahahaha yep I hear ya being "into" the painting is the desired effect I guess the feeling of complete pleasure and concentration is my fav part of it I think not that I need to escape my life I have a great one but each visit to my art room/laundry is a mini holiday and the results of that visit are my holiday snaps so to speak with a couple of dogs at my feet the Aussie bush outside my window and a cup of tea - bliss I think and yes those men WILL ENJOY THE FLOWER PAINTING lol any subject is ok when you are learning its the lesson not the subject thats important besides they can say they did it for their partners or mothers thats bound to justify their lessons and earn them some brownie points x

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    1. It is mother's day here on the 6th but the next class isn't until the 11th so bit of a problem there!! When I paint flowers, hubby says very nice but it's a flower and you know I don't like flowers!! Arrggghhh!!

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    2. Thank you so much, I just love your work and the step by step helps me to have a go at the same lovely loose style. More please Judith if you can.

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    3. Hi Gwenda, I will try to do more... it's all a question of remembering to take the photos at strategic points!! I get really cross with myself for not taking them especially when something has turned out well!!

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  4. I guess you could do a boat as well I'm a bit fussy too but if it's a lesson and not a desire it's ok anyway what do men like to paint AND as for your husband when he brings home a big fish you can say "it's just another fish" lol

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    1. Boats are on my "to do" list as well so watch this space... as for hubby as he is now retired and doesn't bring home even a rasher of bacon, let alone a whole fish (ok we live off his hard earned pension but that doesn't count for the sake of this discussion)....... the only one earning a crust now is yours truly and my flowers contribute to our lifestyle... be damned grateful I should say!! And I have given up wondering what the men want to paint!! Actually my group are very good....we have about 5 men and on the whole they really aren't too fussy, thank goodness hubby isn't in the group as well, that might cause me a headache or two!!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this technique Judith. I think I will try it. Have been wanting to do a floral for a while but I always have difficulty with backgrounds.

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    1. Hope it works for you Jean, would love to see the results... am so pleased you feel there is something here for you to have a go at!!

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  6. Lovely, and I enjoyed following your steps with it :) Thank you!

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    1. Thanks Catharina, it always so nice to hear someone has enjoyed reading my blog and hopefully found something of interest!!

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    2. Very nicely done, Judith! Bravo! The photos are great and your explanation perfect! Your work is beautiful! You get all exclamation points from me!

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    3. Thanks Bette... really need to do more of these as I enjoy them and having to explain everything somehow makes it clearer to me as well!! Good to hear you think the text is clear too, that is always something I worry about, seems clear to me but I know what I did and that doesn't mean it is clear for the reader.....

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  7. Snowdrop Step by Step - From start to finish ... the turquoise started out as the main actor and finally accepted a supporting role. Cad yellow always wants to be the star of the show ... so I agree lemon yellow is better suited to the task. Somewhere in the beginning I thought I was viewing an astronimcal 'Flower Nebula' but soon realized you were definitly on tract with the flowers. By the 5th render purple has come into its own as the main supporting character ... allowing the white flower to takes its bow. Kudos.

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    1. Thank you very much Elzabeth.....you pretty well summed it up though I do think the colour choices and changes of hue are instinctive rather than completely thought out and planned? I always aimed to keep the white flowers and so kept that in my mind from the start... always helps to have some intent I find it helps guide you through the painting.

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