Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Conquering Paradise

Ta dah! 'Tis finished at last. It feels like I have been working on this thing for half a century, but at last, after one final paint-fest I got there.

“Life was so simple when apples and blackberries were fruit, a tweet was the sound of nature, and facebooks were photo albums”

― Carl Henegan, Darkness Left Undone 

Love that one, so had to share again. 

The berries were cause for concern, as they do have to be nice and shiny and deepest shades of blue-purply-black. Working from photos this time, I used a reddish under wash to give each berry a bit more richness and to suggest the ripening process. I find that if you go too black straight away, the colour can look somewhat flat and a bit too blue or dull brownish-grey. Allowing the red to show through a bit, there is more depth and colour. Lots of deep, rich mixes and a dryish brush helped here.

Ultramarine Light, Sennelier Yellow Light and Perylene Maroon

Indanthrene Blue, Lemon Yellow and Anthraquinone Red.   

In varying quantities, the pigments give a whole host of shades and tones, giving plenty of scope for interest and variation.    

A green and reddish wash to give depth to the later layers.

Leaving lots of white paper for highlights

Nearly there.

Building up the darker layers and highlights.
Breaking into the pale areas to leave spots and dashes of light

During the SBA course, I was told to take care not to give berries a 'halo'.
You know, that white rim you often see.

Apparently, as I was told, and I quote,

"this does not happen in nature, so don't do it!"

Oops, I spy a couple of halos, so had better go back and touch those out a bit. 

   Time for a literary interlude methinks

Blackberry Picking

Late August, given heavy rain and sunfor a full week, the blackberries would ripen.At first, just one, a glossy purple clotamong others, red, green, hard as a knot.You ate that first one and its flesh was sweetlike thickened wine: summer's blood was in itleaving stains upon the tongue and lust forpicking. Then red ones inked up and that hungersent us out with milk-cans, pea-tins, jam-potswhere briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drillswe trekked and picked until the cans were full,until the tinkling bottom had been coveredwith green ones, and on top big dark blobs burnedlike a plate of eyes. Our hands were pepperedwith thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.But when the bath was filled we found a fur,A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.The juice was stinking too. Once off the bushthe fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.I always felt like crying. It wasn't fairthat all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not
 by Seamus Heaney

So, with the berries finished, there's time to do the touching up and careful checking. There's always something forgotten, so it's important to take time to carefully look over a painting, just to make sure that all the little details have been added. A gaping hole, error, or missed bit at this point would spell disaster. Ah, that reminds me, those halos.
So, here it is at last. Now onto something else. Although, looking at the way the weather has battered the garden, the search could be a long one.

And here it is.

Bramble Paradise in all it's prickly glory.

Now, off to the printers with you


Natasha Hill said...

This looks amazing, I love all of the intricate details! - Tasha

Polly said...

Just got to see this on my BIG computer. It's gorgeous Jarnie, all your hard work was well rewarded. The details are so delicately painted too.