Friday, 10 May 2013

Graduation, no Not Me!

Now, here's a thing. On a letter as big as a piece of A4, how am I going to tackle the graduated wash that is requested? Hmmm, it's OK getting this sort of wash on a small area such as a leaf or petal, but getting it right on something that is somewhat larger is going to take some practice.

My letter 'D' for the Irish alphabet project looks a bit like an upside down capital 'Q' in the English alphabet and will need to be darker in colour at the top, with a lovely graded wash to almost nothing at the bottom. In amongst the letter, in true illuminated style, will be the plant with its buds, leaves and flowers to break it up a bit, but I am not sure that this will make things easier or harder. The dreaded masking fluid may need to be utilised here to keep the wash smooth around the flowers and stems.

Small practice thumbnail.
The graded wash for the letter will disappear into the foliage.
Some habitat amongst the flowers, will 'ground'
the composition quite nicely, I think. 
So, although the final piece will be rendered in Sennelier Light Grey, I thought I would have a few practice runs using colours I already have. It's an interesting development, that over the course of the diploma I have stopped using ready mixed greys altogether and always mix my own neutrals from the colours I am using at the time. To start with, I relied on colours such as Payne's Grey and Neutral Tint to help me get my neutrals and shadow tones, but I can't actually remember the last time I used either of them as I found they gave a finish that was too flat, severe, or just plain wrong. Certainly on my final Portfolio pieces, all the neutrals were specific mixes using colours from the palette, with some additions here and there. Shadows on yellow flowers are still tricky to get right though, but this was a tip I picked up from artist and SBA tutor Jenny Jowett at a seminar some years ago, and have never looked back. Give it a try. 

In the palette? Not anymore!
Lamp Black, Neutral Grey and Payne's Grey are off.

This project also gives me the chance to have a go at one of the papers on my list of new try outs. Fabriano Artistico is a lovely paper and lots of artists do seem to favour it, but time will tell if it becomes a new favourite at Squirrel HQ.    


Julie Whelan DipSBA Botanical Artist said...

Great blog...Not even started mine yet, I also have the letter D! That graduated wash is going to be interesting! X

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

A daunting prospect! Still have to find the blasted thing yet. :)it will be interesting to see how they all turn out. x