Friday, 30 September 2011

Henry's birthday card
Enjoying the break... and the birthday's! It was Henry's birthday on the 23rd, so since posting my waterlilies off I have been very busy celebrating. That and enjoying the marvellous weather at Kew. It's been a sensational Autumn here this year. Just look at that big blue sky!!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

33 hours in and I have broken my camera so no flash...
SBA Assignment 11 (Waterlilies at Kew): 8.52/10
... but it looks a bit closer to the original in colour... I like the flash though, because you get really sharp images (especially at this time of night!).

I have discovered since doing this painting that ellipticals are actually very difficult (never had a problem before). I like water droplets, but not huge one's like these. I am finding the perspective on these lily pads very tricky - they get smaller, and more squished for sure, but being so zoomed in, the squishing isn't that much and is hard to judge, ad it is that, with the water droplets that's making the ellipticals so tricky. I think I may have to try this one again until I master this technique as I certainly haven't yet. Not bad for a first try I suppose... It's frustrating becuase I want 'atmosphere', and also accuracy - can't have both I suppose...

Boyd and Evans, two artists I met in July at the bunting party do this very well. I wish I saw this one in the flesh: Clee Hill... Another one is this. I really admire their work, it requires so much concentration!

And a bit more...

I wasn't sure about putting in the glass house ceiling, as it was the only bit I could see as a perfect reflection, but I think it works...
The Bunting

Here are the pictures of the bunting I was busy making - as promised.
Really easy to make and I recommend it for all parties!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A bit more done to the painting...


This is my last stint to get it completed now. I have another 2 days off and I hope to have it complete by then. I am finding the leaves the hardest now, and not the water!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Another evening of painting...


Here's Walter, William, and pink Winnie, and there are some more flower heads now.  I am off for the weekend, so it will be quiet in InkyLeaf Studio's for a few days. I am camping in Seaford, so I hope the weather is nice... For all my readers abroad, it's been very wet here. On Tuesday the rain was so heavy it was like being inside a car wash rather than the Shirley Sherwood Gallery - the water came down the windows in waterfalls. Was rather amazing. I love water... I notice I look at it in such a different way now I have started this painting.  After I finish my SBA course, I think I will dedicate a year or more to painting water.

 Here is quite a nice read on the effect water has on glass in a car wash and the photographs are just like how my windows where like at Kew, although we had much more greenery reflected in them, so it looked much prettier!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

A bit more done to Will, Winnie and Walter...

So I have managed to get a bit done this evening, a couple of hours, which is optimum for me. I have noticed I relatively get a lot more done in a couple of hours than in a day. I will do more on the leaves, but I want to get all the washes in first so I can get a sense of perspective. I think one has to be careful of 'knitting' their way across the page with botanical illustration. Doing things really accurately as you go along bit by bit, becuase the composiiotn can then be lost. One has to work on it as a whole, especially with something of this nature!

One other thing is I am trying to get bits of the water in now for the same reason. However I am trying to keep in mind that it is the plant that needs to be accurate - that's where my marks lie in the end.

Monday, 5 September 2011


Waterlilies
Waterlilies after about 14 hours of work... the picture at the top is how they look now, and the one below is one that's been fiddled with in brightness, contrast and mid tones. I do this a lot to check my tonal values. I always notice that my painting looks better when I lower the mid tones and this tells me that my tone's need darkening on the real painting, so I apply more paint. I stop doing this until the opposite happens on my computer i.e. lowering the mid tones makes it look worse! As I suspected I need to get this water really dark. Pond water is not like other water - it's not like the sea, and it isn't like a big lake, it's almost black, but black with all the colours of the plants inside it if that makes sense? So I am trying to put all the colours in and then the black. One can't do it the other way around. What you can also see is that the pink flower at the top - that is in what I'd say it's best tone in it's current state. When it's made darker it brings it too far forward into the foreground and messes up my perspective, so I don't need to fiddle with that one anymore.
So today I have given the bud more detail... I love doing buds so much, especially ones this fleshy! I am off to the theatre with Henry soon, so I ought to get cracking on... I have about 3 hours of paint time left for today...

Sunday, 4 September 2011

 Updates from the InkyLeaves Studio

Wowee - I am not sure if anyone else has upgraded their blogs for the new layout but it is really snazzy! If only they were able to sort out why I wasn't able to receive my comments... I'd be really grateful if there is anyone out there (but Shevaun and Julie as you have already let me know about problems with commenting), who cannot comment on my wall please email me or write on my facebook wall so I can see how big this problem is before I email Google... Email: mail@inkyleaves.com. Thanks!

The latest news... at work I am now constructing a talk which I am delivering the 13th October to the Chelsea Physic Garden. I have been seriously 'swatting up' on all things Marianne North and am still discovering new things. Today I found out that Edward Lear's poem 'The Owl and the Pussy Cat' - one of my all time favs - was written for her neice! Edward Lear was an artist and illustrator as well funnily enough, and did a lot of ornithological paintings for the Zoological Society. Here is my own rendition of the poem.


So, alongside this I have been busy dropping off Sally the Savoy and 2011 Grapes to the Discerning Eye Competition at the Mall Galleries... fingers crossed that they get accepted! This is a big first for me.

Waterlilies at Kew Gardens Update:

Well I am plugging away when I can, but it has been a nightmarishly busy September so far. This time around I really am rather laid back to be honest after the craziness of Romilly the Rose and Seaside Plants, which I think is helping me. I have no idea where this is going and so this is making it a bit more fluid. I am struggling a bit with mixing the purple colours as I don't have all the wonderful colours you can get and I onlyhave mauve and crimson pink. Being on a tight budget and a tad stubborn I just stick with my little palette and mix my own greens, but the purples are tricky. The problem is that the waterlilies also don't look very real. Their amazing bold and bright colours are nothing like the black-petrol blue deep waters or the muted and monotonous greens of their leaves.

Had a small problem with my washes as well and had to stretch the paper after painting on it. Luckily a friend of mine Vicki told me a while ago how to do this. She does her's once it is completed by wetting the back with a sponge or squirter/mister, but I had to do it straight away as the water was sliding off the lily pads making one bit very dark and concentrated with pigment... that'll teach me! Having done so much dry brush I had forgotten that this can happen!

Any suggestions for names for these two lilies? I am thnking Wendy and Willamina... but they have friends at the back..