Saturday, 17 September 2016

Back to Brusho

As I am running an All Day Brusho Workshop in October with an Autumnal theme I decided to get going with some examples. I am also committed to doing more plein air work and as the weather in the gloomy North West had been amazing the last few days I decide to get out and put my money where my mouth is!!

We have 5 different hydrangea bushes and despite one new blue bush already turning pink this bush in the same bed is a bright cerulean blue and shows no signs of changing apart from when we get towards Autumn when the petals get lovely tints of purple and sea green... it always tempts me to paint and I have had few goes but never with Brusho. As Brusho can be messy usually the only place I use it is in my studio where I can splish and splosh to my heart's content....however if I'm careful I can go outside and as long as I have a large towel to protect the stone I am ok so today seemed an ideal opportunity for a touch of plein air.

I did have a false start where I should have left more white in the flower head so quickly moved on to another piece. The other I will splatter with bleach another day and see what happens or I may use it to show how to use bleach at the workshop.

I was only going to use 4 colours, Lemon, UB, Violet and Emerald Green but as the painting progressed added some Sea Green as well. My aim was to keep some parts of the flower very light with the white of the paper showing and to build up the bottom part to give the impression of it being in shadow.

I did a step by step hydrangea painting a little while ago so included how to build the flower head up there, but briefly it is a case of creating little petals with dark centres in groups of 3 and 4, some overlapping some where you can see the whole set. I am not attempting to do a botanical study just an impression and so while I have the flower in front of me I am working around the piece doing little bits at a time, creating small hard edges using the basic knowledge of the flower to create a composition.

This is probably the hardest bit both to do and to demonstrate as it does take a bit of experience to know where best to place the marks and needs a lot of stepping back to view and contemplate. When I am demonstrating anything like this I do stress that it is up to the individual as to where they make their marks and I can only guide them. The same principles apply as in all painting ie variation in colour, line, tone, shape etc and sometimes I might place a mark somewhere and it doesn't look right which is why it is a very good idea to only do little bits at a time so that you cam quickly wash away if you don't like something.

All things considered I am really very pleased with this one as I think the light has worked very well and that was my intention.... as an aside it is worth remembering that it is a really good idea to start with an intent and keep that thought in your mind for the whole painting... helps make decisions through out the painting in this case always keeping the light top and right and keeping the dark to the left.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks you so much Donna, I have to admit I am very pleased with how this one turned out!

  2. This is really nice, love it. Any step by steps in the offing for this one? It is hard to figure out technique by studying the picture. I know you are very experienced with Brusho, but I am a learner.

    1. Hi Bindi, I really need to get more organised with step by steps... the problem is I am always forgetting to take the images!! Watch this space!!

  3. Very beautiful. Can almost go pick it up.

    1. Thank you Bon, I think I captured the light well with this which is why is has such a 3 "D" effect... light is everything in a painting and no matter how good the colours are the tonal value is what will make the painting work... if you get both right in the same painting... happy days!!


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