Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Beating the Block - Part 2

Having identified that I did indeed have painter's block last week, I decided that something really had to be done about it. It had been six weeks since I completed anything of any substance, and things were getting serious.

In my last post, Beating the Block I looked at ways to help break the rut of not painting and get me back to my regular routine of working and, more importantly, painting. So, this week, I finally took the bull by the old horns and sat down at my desk to tackle something. Lots of deep breaths and tea helped fortify the process, and the garden has helped immensely by providing some nice little subjects. 

Growing with Rose 'New Dawn',
this purple clematis is quite irresistible. 

Keeping it simple, I chose a lovely deep purple clematis, which I had thought was named 'The President', but now I am not so sure, it could be Etoile Violette. Anyway, name aside, it's a lovely shape and colour and perfect to get back into the swing. Once set up, I began working through the steps laid out in 'The Plan'. I started with some quick sketches and colour notes and using some of the newer colours in my palette, I enjoyed mixing the luscious shades of violet and purple, and was pleased to see it all start to come together.

The set-up
Using a tiny plastic test-tube thingummy,
I can keep the specimen well watered
Thanks to my good friend Sarah over at The Natural Year for the pressie.

Getting the mixes right

And trying them out as a tonal wash

Taking a few regular breaks, just to get away from the desk, so I wasn't putting myself under too much pressure to get something done was great, and it was a lovely day outside, with all the birdsong filling the garden. A bit of tidying and weeding here and there did get me a little side tracked, but that didn't matter, I was feeling better.        

using a scrap of Hot Press paper, the drawing is carefully made.

A couple of colours that may be useful
I love the vivid shade of purple mixed using my favourite Indanthrene Blue
and Permanent Rose. 

So, back to it. Drawing carefully made and colours tested, it was time to start painting. Using some of my new best friend, 'Ox Gall' in the water and some of the lovely Daniel Smith paint squidges I was given as a little pressie, I got going. The underside of the petals came first, as they have a slight silvery-blue effect, with deeper shadows where the mid-ribs fall. Luckily as this is quite a small area, I was able to keep the application nice and controlled, slow and careful. Just the start I needed.

A watery mix of Indanthrene Blue and Permanent Rose
is dropped into a wet glaze for the petals.

A stronger mix of this colour will be used throughout the shading
of the petals 

A light lemon, reflecting the colour of the stamens through the petal
is seen at the base.

This will stay very light as the light captures the shiny, almost metallic quality
of the underside of the petals

Lemon Yellow with a touch of the violet mix is used for the stamens.
Mixing a mid-tone with the same colours.
A darker bronze will be used for the darkest areas here later.

The final first wash
Mapping out the tonal values

Phew! Made it, and now I feel like I can begin to make progress again, and get this little study finished.

On a very exciting, extra note, my next series of workshops are now available to book at The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre. I have been planning lots of new themes and am really looking forward to returning to this vibrant, and artistic community. Visit my Learn page for more details and to book a place.



Starr White said...

Thank you so much for sharing your work, your process, and your journey. I am learning so much here. Your blog has a lot of substance. thanks again :)

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Thank you Starr. I'm not one for keeping trade secrets to myself. And besides, I had to learn them from somewhere and am still learning. Glad to be of service.

shevaun said...

Really great to see you back painting, Jarnie! You're great for the step by steps too... very informative!!