Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Back to Back

After looking at the backs of flowers last week, I had the idea to paint a study of the back of Clematis 'Etoile Violette' as a partner to my finished painting of the flower. The back of this clematis has a beautiful shimmery silver effect that looks amazing against the deep purple of the front of the petals, and I couldn't resist painting it.

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light
                                                                                         -Theodore Roethke

This time I intend to work mainly from the photos I took earlier in the season, when the plant was at it's flowery peak. There are a few fading blooms left, but I will use these mostly for sizing and colour reference. The photo that has really caught my eye is this one, and I love how the petals are widely spread and there are one or two nibbled bits.

The set up

Using the tablet, my completed painting of a clematis flower and my colour charts.

Nibbled an gnarled.
I love the shape and texture of this flower
and think it might make a lovely accompaniment
to my other clematis painting.
In it's summertime prime 

The colour chart
Some of the delicious purples by Daniel Smith

It is so easy to ignore the beauty of the backs of flowers as they give us so much to appreciate on the front, but having taken a closer look over the last few days, I knew it would make a beautiful subject. Also, there have been fewer distractions this weeks, so as I am on what appears to be a bit of a roll, it would be good to get another small study out of the way. And it's given me the chance to work with my favourite colour purple, so a double pleasure.

At first I had considered completing this one on my small and precious piece of vellum that I still have squirrelled away for a rainy day, but decided against it. If this one goes well, it would make a nice pair with the bloom I have already painted. So, back to the drawer for the vellum. One day, your time will surely come.

As always, I start with an accurate drawing on tracing film.
This helps me get the best composition,
 and the film can take a lot of rubbing out.

This time around I started with the stem and stamens.
A deep bronze-green went into the deepest shadow

The ends of the stamens have a deep purple with a reddish tone
The pale stamen stem has a lighter bronze-olive colour 

Starting to get the colours and tones mapped
Just now I am really loving working with darker tones and colours as the depth really gives punch to a painting. The next few weeks should provide lots of great subjects to continue the theme as the rose hips and autumn berries come to the seasonal fore.


Polly said...

This one is going to be beautiful Jarnie, such delicate lines.

And am very envious of you DS purples - so much purplyness all in one place!

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Thanks Polly. It's coming along slowly, but all the purple is helping. :)

J R Shepherd said...

Jarnie I love your idea of doing backs of flowers. Reminds me of the Overleaf exhibition at Kew, but its way more subtle because as you state, flowers are so inviting from the front we rarely consider looking at the back. I reckon this would make a good collection/theme for an RHS display hun. Gives it a modern twist...

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Thanks Jess, I am sooo loving doing this one. Oh, I was gutted I couldn't go to that exhibition. Yep, it might make a series, as I have been eyeing up the dahlias too. Love your work on Ophelia.