Friday, 15 August 2014

How Did it get so Late so Soon?

With the latest sketchbook out of the way, it's time to concentrate on those seed pods. Watching the larger of my two stems, I have noted how the texture of the skin of the pods has changed. When I first nabbed it, the pods were a lovely shiny, bright green. Firm and glossy to the touch, over the week the texture is now a bit papery and the sheen has dulled somewhat with the colour turning darker and less luminous. With a second stem of fewer pods, I hope to work on a smaller, square study of the young pods and hope that the the ripening ones will open to reveal the seeds.

The subject
A small stem of  Iris pseudacorus

Sometimes, I lay the subject onto the paper,
 to see how the composition might fit.

Watching the ageing process of this iris plant from first shoots, to flower to seeds is such a visual reminder of the passage of time. It feels like only a few weeks ago that I took the same familiar stroll and saw these cheery yellow blooms in all their glory cutting a swathe along the road. How quickly the blooms faded and now we have their final hurrah of the season before they disappear for their winter slumber, only to reappear a new in the spring.  

The older pods have lost their plump, glossy appearance
and are now starting to wither.

Curiosity got the better of me,
and I had to have a peek inside.
Cutting carefully with my scalpel, the seeds are revealed.

A regiment of seeds all patiently waiting 

Some of the flat seeds alongside the pod.

The rest of the ageing pods will hopefully open on their own.

   How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?

Ah well, the apples on my tree in the garden are nearly there too, and only this morning I came out with that time honoured phrase, 'ooh, it's a bit nippy out this morning'. I love August, it's not quite summer and it's not quite autumn.

So, back to the painting. First, I have set up my paper. Still using some of the Fabriano 5 I have left over, I have transferred my drawing and stretched the paper onto my board using gum strip. Although I am sure the paper doesn't really need it, I have got into the habit of this preparation, and in my view, "if it 'aint broke, don't fix it".

The accurate drawing, ready to go

First wash and colour swatches
Lots of yellowy greens for the under wash,
and a little Cerulean for the lighter areas. 

So, onto the colours. The greens are going to be well used this time around, but I really am looking to use a good range to achieve better depth of tone than I feel I have done on some of my other 'green' pieces. Having picked up loads of really good tips lately from fellow artists, I am hoping to put them into practise and see the difference it makes. We are always learning something new and it's good to be open to new techniques. Again in the palette, Indanthrene Blue, Lemon Yellow, Sennelier Yellow Light, Daniel Smith's Athraquinoid Red and Light Red will all make an appearance although I will also need a good range of shadow mixes and neutrals.

To really show off the large, succulent pods, I am working in a smaller square format, to achieve a cropped effect. It's a very different format for me as I am used to using full A3 size paper, but I am trying to get the next five paintings completed quite quickly and as I am quite a slow painter    

The subjects are certainly queueing up, as my artichoke is also nearing readiness   


Starr White said...

You always make me want to pull out my paints! and following along with you, seeing your process, almost makes me think I can do it too. Thank you for sharing so much here. I am slowly, very slowly learning on my own and your blog is such a help!

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

That's so wonderful to hear Starr, and I am really pleased it makes you want to paint too. Don't forget some of the step-by-steps are on the Learn page if you fancy any of the subjects.

hoping to get my You Tube channel going soon too. :)

Janene said...

I am looking forward to seeing the painting in the square format, and love that you are focusing on the pods rather than the flowers, at least for now. The unusual approach helps the viewer see 'with new eyes'.