Wednesday 26 February 2014

Almond Blossom Studies

February is the month of the almond blossom, and I LOVE IT! I get endless pleasure just looking out of my window at the fabulous scenes, and going for a walk is a heady pleasure for the nose!
But how do I capture these feelings in my paintings? Well, in the past I've tried to do representational paintings, which I like but as this is the year of the words SOUL and LOOSEN, see the Choose One Word post of Jan 14th 2014, I decided to experiment a little. I've been trying out pencil gesture drawings, inks and watercolour using a chinese brush and a straw. Here's a few of the results...

This was my first experiment done using Rotring acrylic inks for the blossom, a Rowney sepia waterproof drawing ink for the trunk and a straw onto 180gsm acid free Crimson & Blake 5" x 7" watercolour paper. I'm still sewing sequins and beads into the blossom area.

Next was this. Onto the same paper but using Windsor & Newton watercolours and a straw. The colour has a lot more depth and is brighter. Also, the watercolour allowed me to work into the trunk by lifting out light areas and darkening shadows.

Then came this little one, only 5cm wide. Done on smooth bright white card, I started with a pencil gesture drawing from life which I then loosely painted into with a chinese brush loaded with W&N watercolours. The trunk was done first and allowed to dry. Then I quickly applied blobs of runny watercolour on the blossom area and turned the paper as I blew through a straw to get the spikey haircut effect! I then worked into the trunk with a darker wash and lifting out areas to create the lights and darks. Another layer of thicker magenta was loosely applied to the blossom area to give it more form.

Lastly was this done on A4 smooth bright white 110gsm paper. I started again with a gesture drawing done from a photo I took of a tree. I worked across the trunk and branches with round strokes using a 7B pencil. I then applied a watercolour wash and let it dry. Once dry I flicked blobs of watercolour roughly where I wanted the blossom to be and blew randomly with a straw in all directions. I like this effect the most, but the paper is way too thin for this type of very wet work. 

I'm now going to be looking for a smooth bright white heavyweight watercolour paper to continue with these experiments.

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