Tuesday, 25 November 2014

I Heart You!

Now, some of you may know that the last few days have been 'difficult' to say the least here at Squirrel HQ. What with missing orders, a bad delivery service and a car that decided it wanted to stay put, it's all been a bit vexing. So bad was this business that even my little mistletoe that I painted last Saturday looked decidedly out of sorts.

Still, one mustn't ponder on such things, and must rise, with dignity above such outrages. So onto another little cutesy study that might look quite sweet on a Christmas card. As it has been raining and is turning rather chilly here, I decided not to venture too far, and found some ivy rambling through our front hedge.

The tiny new leaves tend to have a heart shape about them , which is quite charming, and perfect for a lively little study.

Happy to see you!

heart shaped ivy, what could be better

This time I used good old French Ultramarine mixed with Lemon Yellow to give a zippy, zesty mix as an under wash. Leaving the right side of the leaf with a little of this mix and dropping in a second colour of Cerulean with a little Lemon. 

Working in stages to bring out the yellow undertones,
whilst keeping those veins in check 

Pulling a clean, damp brush through the drying wash removes some of the colour
and maintains the lighter areas 

Several wet-in-wet washes of spring green mixes were applied and built up to offer depth to the final, darker tones. Keeping the veins light and using a clean damp brush to pull away unwanted colour, kept the study lively. In this case, a flat appearance is definitely not desirable.

Getting there.
The deepest tones are starting to build up.
Dry brush work to pick out the movement in the lightest areas, stops them looking too flat and bright.

Some tidying up is always needed at the end to tighten up edges and veins and to adjust the dry brush work here and there.

However, it is always important to allow the whole to dry before going back to it.
Impatience is the enemy of botanical watercolours.
As this is a little sketchbook preparation study, I am quite happy to leave this one as is,
and move on to another one
Hmm, maybe a really brown and crinkly leaf might make a nice subject just now. here are some trial mixes I came up with to match. It's a habit I have formed, to generally make a few trial swatches of colours and mixes before starting a new subject, to see what I will need.

Amazing what you can find on your own doorstep.
In this case, quite literally.

And finally...

 A very special present from my mum and dad.
A set of proportional dividers make the job of sizing up that much easier

So looking forward to using and treasuring these 



shevaun said...

Wonderful leaves! Glad things are picking up xx

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Thanks Shevaun. Normal service is resuming :)

Janene said...

Your ivy leaf turned out just right--glossy with rich deep color! It's always interesting to read about your process. And I am very jealous over those dividers...I just showed Santa your photo of them so maybe...

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Thanks Janene, I just wanted to get something going that I enjoyed. Ha ha, yes well they were supposed to be for Christmas but after all the upset, my parents thought I needed a bit of cheer. :)

Polly said...

Love this little leaf Jarnie, it looks so glossy and lively and it's wonderful to see the techniques you use. Glad things are getting back to normal, you're right, it's so difficult to paint when in a rage or upset. These people just have no idea!