Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Iris paintings. Same subject, different results!

I have painted several iris paintings in the last few months. I have mostly done small paintings, rather than the large *projects" I have worked on in the past. I am hoping to put together some of my ideas as a book about contemporary floral painting. I have been working on ideas and examples for the book . It will not just be about irises, although they will probably feature quite a lot. They are my favourite flower to paint, due to the complexity and intricacy of the shapes.

So here are a few of my smaller paintings.

This one is a very traditional painting, although I have "cropped" the composition to make it more interesting, creating negative shapes around the edges. I am never keen to have flowers"floating" in the middle of the canvas.  The background is simple, just pale blue and white overlaid dabs of paint.  The flowers themselves, are painted in my typical impressionistic style with many layers of small dots blending to give a subtle range of colours.

Here is the painting framed and ready for sale.

Here is another small painting.

This one is a strong burst of colour!!    I have tried to show how the background is a major part of the painting, and the impact it can have. Imagine the iris on a plain white background. How different would the painting be!!!  I have exaggerated the colour contrasts by making the flower back lit. 

The power of deep colours. There is nothing subtle about the one above. I have made the buds a feature, because they are attractive in their own right. I have concentrated on vertical sections, with the leaves breaking up the background and ribbons of patterning behind the plant.  I have placed darker background areas around the lighter parts of the plant to add to contrast, making them stand out.

This painting is on a small long thin canvas. Just like the previous one, I have used the vertical format as a feature of the work. I have used dabs of paint for the background and stripes of paint on the iris flowers. This difference makes the paint surface visually interesting, and a feature of the work.

Cool colours here. I have used purple and lilac in the background, as well as the predominate colour for the irises. This is a good technique to link your flower with what is behind it, and give unity, rather than contrast, for a softer effect.  Compare it with the vibrant ones above, and you will see what I mean.

I have several more paintings being worked on at the moment. My studio is full of half done paintings!! I am producing a series of paintings on the theme of trees. These will be put on my other blog "artycraftythings" as I try and keep this blog just about floral art.  there is a link to my other blog on the sidebar of this page.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Painting back lit Hellebores, step by step.

One of my favourite flowers to paint are Hellebores. They flower in winter and spring, when there is very few other flowers in bloom. I have a few growing in my back garden , but usually visit RHS Wisley to see the large displays of them every year.

I take many photographs of flowers, mainly as inspiration and starting points for my art. I find back lit flowers to be really inspirational. The back lighting shows off the structure by making the leaves and petals almost transparent. This sort of lighting brings out a wider range of colours than you would see in regular light. This is just perfect for a floral artist, who likes to view things in a slightly different way!!

So this is the finished painting. Followed by the stages that got me to this point!!

Firstly I drew out the hellebores on to the canvas. My photo of this stage was not very distinct, so I haven't included it here. Next I started to fill in the shapes with some basic colours. There is very little tone and contrast at this stage. I haven't worked in to the colours much. I have only used about 3 shades of pink and a bit of purple. I am using a size 4 and 6 brush, and working with acrylic paint.

Next I decided on a major change and painted the background black.

After this I started to play around with the colours a bit more. The black background was too harsh. I added some blues to the top and some green to the base. I started to work brighter and bolder colours in to the flowers and leaves. I wanted to get the feel of sunlight coming through the painting. For this you need high contrast.

My next stage was change the background a bit more, I got rid of the green at the bottom as it took the emphasis away from the flowers. I took the turquoise out of the blues in the background by adding a purplish  blue over the top.  If you look closely you will see I have changed some of the flowers and leaves at the top to improve the composition. I have also added a lot more white to the flowers. This really helps make the petals look translucent. I am now using much smaller brushes, Mainly size 2 down to size 00.

The final painting. It may be hard to see what has changed, However there is just more attention to detail and fine tweaks to light and dark areas.

This painting was done using Chromacolor, Procolour and Golden acrylic paints. It was finished off with 3 layers of Golden UV varnish to protect the surface.

This painting was featured in the Society of Floral Painters Exhibition in Chichester earlier in the year. The society likes canvas works to be framed. So I put this in a lovely burnished gilt wooden floater frame, as you can see below.

This painting is now up for sale on Artfinder. There is a link on the sidebar of this blog. 

I also have another hellebore painting for sale on Artfinder. This one is sold as a mounted original. It is on paper (mounted on board) and then put in to an ivory mount and backboard.

Thanks for reading my blogpost! Comments always appreciated.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

A contemporary painting of a rose.

I have painted this rose painting in a modern style. Although it is fairly realistic at first glance, with closer inspection you will see an array of layered colours and detail.

The painting has been done in my usual acrylics. I have used a mixture of Chromacolour, Procolour and Golden paints for this piece. I have used brushes size 4 down to 0000.

I have exaggerated all the colours, and added in contrasting and complimentary colours to all the flowers and leaves. The white roses have very little white in them, They are composed of a whole rainbow of colours!  You can see this in more detail in the cropped sections below.

I have deliberately not used green for the leaves. I used a slightly limited colour range based on pink through purple to blue on this piece. This gives cohesion and links the leaves with the background and main flower colours ( or colors if you are reading this in America!! ).

The yellow on the rose petals just lifts the whole colour scheme. It adds light and warmth.

The painting is now in a simple white frame.  I chose white as it works well with all the white areas in the painting. A wooden frame would have been one colour to many in the overall look. White frames look clean and modern, They do not compete with the artwork!

This was on sale in a recent exhibition, but despite a lot of interest did not sell. However, it will be up for sale again soon, Details on here when I have decided where it will be sold. 

Comments always appreciated.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Paintings of roses.

I have gone through a bit of a rose phase recently!

Here are a couple of my recent paintings.

The first one is based on some beautiful climbing roses I saw at Mottisfont Abbey earlier in the summer. There is a specialized walled  rose garden there.  I have exaggerated the colours a bit to make a strong painting.  My favourite bit of this is actually the faded rose at the bottom. It was the most fun bit to paint with lots of different colours in it.

My second painting is a study of magenta coloured roses. It is a simple composition but has powerful colours!  I wanted to show high contrasts of light and shade on this one.

Both these painting are done in acrylic paint. Both have been framed. I am moving away from canvas paintings and more towards framed ones at the moment. However I almost gave up on framed ones beforehand, due to breakages transporting to and from venues....we shall see!

Here are the framed paintings, with a another work alongside. The extra one features ( step by step ) on a previous post on this blog.

The bottom two paintings will be on exhibition in Houghton Lodge next month. Please see my exhibitions tab at the top of the page.  The top one I may save for the Society of Floral Painters exhibition next year.

My Roz-Artz Facebook page has most recent updates on my work. Please Like the page!

Monday, 27 July 2015

A painting of Canna lilies.

My latest painting of Canna lilies. This was based on some photographs I took of canna lilies in a park in Seville in Spain, recently. They were lovely big flowers, slightly back lit with the bright sunshine there.

The finished painting 

I started by sketching the outline of the canna lilies and then blocking in the background with green paint.  I knew the background colour would change though!

Next I blocked in the main colours. I started with the darkest and lightest tones, then worked in a range of mid tones. It looks ok from a distance, but up close is still a bit messy at this stage! I also added some yellow and bright green swirls to the background.

My final painting has a dotty background which still has glimpses of the bright yellow/green through it. I have added a lot of surface detail to the flowers.
This shows the painting with a white mount. I have since framed it, and it will be on sale later in the year.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Painting a red rose in acrylic. Step by step

Roses are wonderful flowers to paint. The way the petals overlap and catch the light is fascinating!  I find them quite challenging to capture the depth and solidity of the shape, as well as the delicate, almost transparent, effect of the petals against the light.

I have painted a red rose. 

Here is how I did this painting.

Firstly I made a sketch. This is done using pencil with broad strokes. It is a very rough drawing just to get the feel of the shapes. I have used a thin black pen on some of the edges too.

Next I did a tonal study using thin washes of black paint, followed by more pencil work to define the shapes. I have added a few swirls in the background to indicate how I want the background to look.

Now on to some paint! I am working on thick card, as this painting will go in a frame. I sketched out the main outline shape of the rose first. I have decided to do the background in a soft beige peach colour.

My next stage is to block in all the light and dark areas. I am using acrylic paint. I am using a mixture of different liquid acrylics, mainly Chromacolour, Procolour, Golden and AJ Vallejo. Most of this work is done with medium sized brushes sizes 4 and 6. Some of the smaller shapes are a size 2 brush.
The colours are built up in layers. I put the darkest tones on first, as this helps show the structure. I then add middle tones which gives the rose some form. I then add white highlights. Once I have the three basic tonal areas done, I mix up the "in between" colours and add these over the top.
This is a red rose, but I am using orange, pink, brown and purple as well. This is to break up the surface and make the painting more visually interesting. I would struggle to get enough contrast without a wide range of colours.

My usual painting style is to work in a "sort of" impressionistic way, with lots of small dabs of paint. My paintings are built up of many layers of paint, which give a textured look. I like to make the background an important and integral part of the painting too.

Here are some close up areas of my technique, as I develop this painting.

The final painting,  I have added grey, pale blue and white dots in the background to make swirls.  I have worked in many layers of additional paint dots and lines on top of my initial colours. I have used the paint in different directions, on the petals, to show the way the flower grows.

This will go in to a frame. I will update this post to show you that, when I have framed it. Also I will add in the information where it will be on sale later.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

A painting of four purple irises. Step by step.

Here is my latest iris painting!!

This is a very bright bold painting, A real splash of summer colour!

I started by drawing the outlines on to a canvas. I never draw in detail, as I do all the detail directly with the paint.

Next I blocked in the background colour and painted the stems. I used a basic level quality acrylic paint.

My next stage was to start working on all the various shades of purple in the iris flowers. I am now using better quality acrylic. Mainly Chromacolour with some AJ Vallejo acrylic gouache and some Golden liquid acrylic.  I have decided to add some leaves to fill up the space at the bottom, and balance the composition.

Next I start working some pattern in to the background. this is a series of dots in swirls. I use yellows, reds, pinks and oranges that compliment the main background colour. I do dots of different sizes, and layer them up.  I have also added some additional detail to the flowers and buds.

 Here is a close up to show a section of the painting.....not yet finished, as you can see.  I have really worked in to the background to show greater contrast.  I still need to complete the purles on the flowers with the final layers of detailing and texture.

The completed painting.

This painting was the one that I used as a demonstration at the Society of Floral Painters exhibition last month.  I promised several people who watched me painting that I would get it on here when completed. So here it is!!! 

The painting will be on sale later in the year, probably at the Windsor contemporary Art Fair.