Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Challenge Continues

The busy work place
After four days of furious painting, the first few leaves of the botanical challenge are done. It has been an unusual experience to just be painting a single leaf at a time. Normally I would be trying to paint an entire plant and continue working for a much longer period of time.

However, the challenge has provided me with just the practise I need to improve my technique and find new ways of painting. Using Mindy Lighthipe's technique of very wet-in-wet, stonger mix washes was terrifying at first but worked really well, particularly on the Basil and Leucothoe leaves.      

Using a more limited pallette and having more time to play around with ideas has been great fun. I have also got a lot quicker at getting something on paper which, as a botanical art student with limited deadlines is a bonus. I do have a tendency to dither a bit over composition and subject. Here there is no problem, just pick a leaf and away you go!


Before starting the challenge I gave myself a couple of goals to achieve:

  • Firstly, to include as many different colour leaves as I could find. 
  • To get a bit quicker at getting a painting done.
  • To have the confidence to not practice every detail in my sketchbook first.
  • To include as many different shapes of leaf as possible.
  • To get better at painting leaves.

So far I have kept these ideas in mind and, of course if you are trying to get better at something, practise, practise, practise is the way forward. Taking the time to draw every day, (life and work allowing) is the best advice I have ever been given, (thanks to Margaret Stevens of the SBA).     

Not every one is a winner, but I am getting there


Basil, smelt great whilst painting it


Those challenging Autumn colours
Leucothoe 'Scarletta'







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