Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Liquidambar styraciflua stage four

Most of the grass is finished. I am now splashing colour onto the leaves. After all that green its nice to see some bright colours. 
I am using wet mixes of Cobalt Magenta, Quinacridone Magenta and Permanent Rose on the liquidambar leaf with a number two brush. 
I am also picking out the veins and raindrops with a thick wash of Permanent Magenta and a number one brush.
For the other leaves in the background I am using  Burnt Sienna, Sap Green and Alizarin Crimson in quite wet washes with a number two brush.
Next I will be adding more details, I love the details it is the best part of painting.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Liquidambar styraciflua stage three

Watercolour and gouache painting Liquidambar styraciflua stage three. 
Here I have started to paint the grasses. I have turned the painting upside down, sometimes this helps with painting the direction of the grasses. 
I am using thick mixtures of sap green, midnight green and neutral tint with very little water for the dark background. I love painting complex backgrounds sometimes it is more fun than the leaves. I am using a number two brush and also a number one for the smallest detail. 
You can see to the right of the painting the masking tape that I use to surround the image. When this is removed at the end it leaves a crisp border round the edge.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Liquidambar styraciflua stage two

This is stage two of my watercolour and gouache painting 'Liquidambar styraciflua'.
Here I have been quite loose about adding the first wet watercolour washes. I always like to cover the white paper with the lightest washes of paint. 
The background grass is painted with midnight green, which is probably one of my favourite colours. The leaves are very wet washes of vandyke brown and quinacridone magenta. 
Once the painting is covered it is easier to see where everything is in the composition. Now I can begin building up the layers of paint then adding details.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Liquidambar styraciflua, stage one

This is the first stage of my watercolour and gouache painting of 'Liquidambar styraciflua'.
I was walking round my favourite gardens in the pouring rain, Ness Botanic Gardens on the Wirral, when I came across this beautiful leaf covered in raindrops. I just love painting raindrops I cannot resist them. The leaf is a bright pink in colour, I thought it would make a change from painting green.
Back home in my studio in the dry I drew the design on Langton 200lb watercolour paper, basing it on photographs and quick sketches I had taken in the gardens. It is now ready to paint.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

After the Rain, Camellia Leaf 'Frances Benoit'

There are a large range of Camellias at Ness Botanic Gardens on the Wirral, and Camellia 'Frances Benoit' is one of my favourites. I came across this plant after it had been raining and the sun was shining through the clouds. I just had to paint it.
Mr A.K. Bulley was the founder of Ness and one of the sponsors of George Forrest, the plant hunter who introduced many species of Camellia to the gardens.
Camellias are hardy evergreen shrubs and trees. Their leaves are glossy, mid to dark green, and beautiful in their own right. The word Camellia is named after a Jesuit of Moravia, George Joseph Kemel. He travelled in the East and Asia.
There is an old wives tale that says: if you place your used tea-leaves around camellias, using them like mulch, it will benefit them. I don't know if this is true, I have never tried it.