This week I have been working my size four socks off on my new hedgerow piece now titled, 'The Green Belt'. The title is in honour of Epping Forest, the very special location where the subjects came from, and reflects the unique status of the habitat. With the area of East London under so much pressure from demand for housing, green spaces are few and far between with truly wild green spaces even fewer. The remaining 6000 acres of Epping Forest is London's largest green space and forms part of the original Metropolitan Green Belts and is now under the management of The City of London Corporation, along with Hampstead Heath and Highgate Wood amongst others.
Reworking an old piece has been really interesting as I can see where my style has changed and (hopefully) improved. Although I seem to be working more quickly this time around, I certainly feel more confident painting the subjects and mixing the colours.With seven weeks to go until it all needs to be finished, scanned, framed and ready to go, there's no time to lose, so although this is a short post today, here's a quick summary update of progress so far.
|Making a start on the Bittersweet flowers.|
Winsor Violet and Permanent Rose were the main colours used
Lemon Yellow and a violet shadow tone was also used.
Bittersweet or Solanum dulcamara is a member of the nightshade family with purple or white flowers. The vine-like growth habit allows the plant to scramble over other plants, using them as a support to reach a height of 4m. The red berries, although very pretty are highly poisonous to many creatures, (and us) but are an important food source for many birds.
|The blue of the Cranesbill flowers also used Winsor Violet|
but Indanthrene Blue and Cobalt also came in handy
The Meadow Cranesbill is a perennial member of the geranium family. Geranium pratense has pretty, delicate blue flowers but it is the seed heads which hold much delight. Looking somewhat like a bird's bill, the seed head ripens and begins to curl up from bottom to top, revealing the seeds. Flicking the seeds out as far as it can, the Meadow Cranesbill can often be seen growing in great drifts in open spaces. To collect the seeds, I place the seed heads in an envelope and wait to hear the explosions, much like popping corn.
|Grasses add a real delicacy and softness to a composition.|
Here the browns were mixed using some of the violet mixes
with Perylene Maroon.
|The story so far|
Just now I am working on the Dog Rose, with delicate shades of pink being added to the petals and bud. Spring greens mixed with Cadmium Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine and Light Red add to the informal feel of the piece, with overlapping stems giving a hint of the tangled, woodland habitat.