Monday, 1 September 2014

Purple Leads the Way

As you know, I have been working on a particularly purple clematis over the last few days, and I am so happy that it's nearly finished. In the last post, Back to Back I left you with just the first few stages, with the stem and stamens finished, and the petals under way.

Working with only the transparent colours in my palette has been a complete revelation to my painting, giving vibrant mixes with true translucency. It's lovely to see the warmth and depth of every layer shining through, giving a wonderfully complex finish to the overall appearance. 

First washes on and starting to work the finer details with a darker mix.
Remembering to keep the highlights and veining.

Pulling the wet wash out with the brush to create ripples and movement.  

Darker colour mix of Indanthrene Blue and Permanent Rose
is pulled gently out to the edge of the petal with a dryish brush.
A dry brush with a dark mix is used to apply the finest lines and darker veining.

I love adding these characteristic bits, and generally leave these 'till last.

The first petal.
I sometimes go back once the piece is complete,
to add details and ensure a coherent finish

Towards the base of the petal, the colours are kept light,
with a little Cobalt in the purple mix to cool things down.

Once the first petal is finished, the rest are completed in the same way. Wet washes of colour are laid first and allowed to dry completely before any details are added. darker mixes and dry brush are used to add details and deepen the colours and washes further. Many layers can be applied to carefully build up to the deepest tones.

Working the second petal in the same way as the first.
The fine lines are carefully applied with a dry brush and the dark mix,
towards the end of the work.

A very light, greyish colour of Indanthrene Blue and Anthraquinoid Red,
with a little Lemon Yellow
is used at the base of the petals where they appear whiter.

A clean water glaze brushed carefully over the dry details
soften the overall appearance.

I always leave work for a while and go and do something else.
Then I come back and have a closer look.

Often, there is some adjustment needed.

Onto number three.

This one will mostly be paler to suggest the receding petal.
An under wash that is bluer than the petal itself
cools the painting, and recedes the petal further.

As the flower is tilting away from the viewer,
the tip of the mower petals are actually closer to us,
so will appear darker still. 

Nearly there.
The photo has given a bit of an odd perspective here, but you get the idea.

The finer details are starting to appear,
with the main vein being a focus for the lightest and darkest areas.

As the flower has a distinct tilt away from the viewer,
it will be important for me to ensure the right areas are receding
 and coming forward.

Temperature can be really important, and washes of warm and cool colours
can really help. Warm colours always appear nearer than cool ones.

Lemon Yellow, Schmincke Trasnparent Yellow and Orange,
and cool and warm blues can all adjust temperature where it's needed.


Janene said...

This painting is progressing beautifully! You did a great job of capturing the silvery purple and the veining of the back of the blossom, and inspired us all to look at the backs of flowers as often as the front.

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Glad you like it Janene, I am so pleased with how it's turned out. Really loved painting the back of the clematis and now looking at doing a few others. Dahlia perhaps.

Anonymous said...

Your clematis petals are absolutely georgous! Can't wait for the next instalment.