Friday, 19 December 2014

Painting Canna Lilies. Step by Step

I have painted some wonderful Canna lilies that I photographed a couple of months ago. They were coming to the end of their flowering season, so some of the petals were starting to fade. This actually made them more interesting to paint due to the greater range of colours displayed.

Here are the final paintings, followed by a step by step showing how I painted them. 

I decided to paint a pair of paintings, as I had some lovely long thin canvases, which seemed an interesting shape to paint on! 

I painted the canvases all over with Paynes Grey. I used System 3 paint for this bit. I wanted a dramatic contrasting colour scheme right from the start.

I drew the outlines with pencil and then went over it with white paint. At this stage I am only thinking about the flowers, not the leaves.

I next start working in some of the shades of yellow, orange and red that make up the petals.

Following this I continue to add detail by building up the layers of paint. I am using an acrylic gouache, so it dries quickly enabling me to build on my work without having to wait for much drying time.  The paint I am using is by AV Vallejo, and there is a link to where you can buy it on the side bar of this page.
Here I am just showing a close up of the top of the painting. I haven't really thought about the leaves at this stage!

Next I put in some leaf outlines. Canna lilies have lovely striped leaves, that are as interesting as the flowers.

I then add some green paint to the leaves. Its fairly basic at this stage, just to define the shapes.

After this I start to play about with the leaf colour. I add some crimson and purple shades.

I then start to think about lighting. I want to give the impression that these are backlit. I start increasing the contrast of colours and shading on the leaves. I deepen areas where stems and leaves overlap.  I have also added more detail and contrast to the flowers.

My next stage is to neaten up the stripes on the leaves. This takes quite a while to do. I am using a size 1 and 0 brush for some of the smaller detail.

My painting is now finished !  I have  reduced the size of a couple of leaves, where they overcrowded the flowers. I have used a very dark purple and blue to add textured dots over the background. This enhances the negative shapes, and draws your eye around the work. I am a great believer it not having a plain background, when it can become a more integral part of the work.
 I have added loads of small detail all over, emphasizing veins and colours on the flower petals, and stripes on the leaves. The colours are a lot more vivid.

Here are a few close ups so you can see the techniques used.

As you can see I have used a wide range of colours in these paintings. You see more every time you look at it.  It has been an enjoyable experience painting these, and I have already started a new painting of three Canna lilies, on just one canvas this time!  I shall aim to get a very different finished result this time. I will put the results on this blog when completed.

Comments always appreciated. 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

A painting of 3 irises in acrylic

My latest iris painting has been featured on Jacksons Art blog.

If you want to read how I did this painting, step by step please click on  THIS LINK  to view.

I have shared my art with Jacksons in the hope I will get some new regular readers to my blog.  I bought the paints I used for this painting from them.  I use AV Vallejo acrylic gouache, which is a lovely new paint I discovered earlier in the year. Prior to that most of my paintings were done in Chromacolour. However, I felt a need to try something different. I will probably mix the two types of paint together on my next painting, to see how that works. They are both acrylic based paints, so it should work well.

I have several new paintings on the go at the moment, so will post again on here as soon as they become completed.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

An article about my Art

I have just had this article published on the Jacksons Art Blog.

I have been interviewed about my style of painting.

Have a look at the article BY CLICKING HERE

Saturday, 11 October 2014

A large close up painting of an Iris. Step by step

I have just finished doing this iris painting.  I have used a selection of acrylic paints, to build it up in layers.

I will show a larger pic at the end of the blog, after the step by step bit...!

I wanted to do a really detailed close up, but still in my usual "dotty" style.

I love the look of back lit flowers, so decided to do it in that style. I am drawn to  the dramatic contrasts you get with the light and dark.

I drew a rough outline on to the canvas. in pencil.

I then filled in the background with Prussian Blue, and put a few areas of lighter, washed out blues on to the flower, just to define the shapes.

I have now put a thin wash of all the main colour areas. However, at this stage I have not really worked much in to detail and contrast.

I am now really looking closely at the areas of individual colour, plus light and shade.  I have started to really layer up the paint, working in small dabs and dots.

I continue to add small detail and to refine the previous work. I have changed the background colour a bit too.

The final painting.  I have added some dark swirls of dots in to the background. I have built up the detail all over.

I am fairly pleased with this one, and shall do some more in this style.

This painting is now for sale in my Etsy shop for a few months.  Have a look HERE

If it does not sell on Etsy it will go to a gallery....but remember I have to double the price in a gallery as they take 50% commission.   This is why I regularly try and sell my paintings online first to give people a chance to own them at a fair and affordable price.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Painting Gladioli and Rudbeckia , step by step

Here is a new painting based on two of my favourite flowers, Gladioli and Rudbeckia.  I have worked in acrylic and acrylic gouache. The style is bright and colourful.

Here is the finished painting, and then you can read about the stages of creating this ........   I will put a larger photo at the end.

I have worked on a long thin canvas.  I quite like this shape for floral paintings.  

My inspiration came from the flowers growing in my garden. I took several photos and put them together in Photoshop, to get a rough idea of the sort of painting I wanted to create.  As you can see, I did not tidy up the photos that much, as there is plenty of original background behind each flower. I added some blue to give a rough idea of background.

So now back to the actual painting. Firstly I covered the whole canvas with a very sketchy coat of blue acrylic. This is cheap acrylic, as most of it will be overpainted. I drew some of the outlines with pencil,  and then went over them with white paint, so I could actually see what I was doing!

After this, I started adding some additional colours with very basic shading. I have upgraded to a better quality paint now!

Next I repeated the process with the other two gladioli, and I started to add in some leaves.

Following this I worked in to the background, with lots of small dots and dabs of paint. I painted in the Rudbeckias a bit more, and started to think about light and shade on the leaves.

Next I added deep shading to the Gladioli leaves, and added a new leaf on the left side.  I also extended a few more of the existing leaves. However I felt the leaves overshadowed the flowers, so they needed to be changed!!  I also had not added any foliage for the rudbeckia, so needed contrast in the leaf area of the painting.

My next stage was to  soften down the shading on the gladioli leaves. I also started adding extra layers of shading and detail over the whole painting. I also added a small Rudbeckia bud on the left, along with a layer of Rudbeckia leaves.

The final stages involved working detail and shading into the new layer of leaves. I removed the Gladioli leaf from the left of the painting. I put masses of small detail into the flowers. This has been painted in my usual style of tiny dabs of paint.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A floral garden painting. Step by step.

I have just completed a floral garden painting, in acrylics on canvas. This is inspired by the lovely tangles of flowers growing out in my back garden, It was a pleasure to sit outside in the sunshine, and just paint what was there. Sometimes inspiration for a painting is literally just where you are. I usually work from photographs, so this made a nice change.

Here is the finished painting, and below that, step by step, how I created it !

First of all I painted some stripes on my canvas. This was to break up the surface in to sections.It roughly resembles sky and earth...but only just!!!

Next I divided this in to zones. at the top is the sky area and below layers of mud and simple vegetation!!  I appreciate at this stage it may not be too obvious what is going on here!  I added some dots to give texture.

After this I tried to make the background more varied and interesting. I added a garden wall at the back, and a bush, plus some more detail in the foreground vegetation. I am using a range of different acrylic paints as this is just the back of the design. Most of this will get covered up.

Now I add more detail. I have added a few patches of foliage on the mud section in the middle. I have altered the colours a bit over the whole painting. Lots of layers of dots!

Following this, it is time for some foreground plants. I was working outside, so just copied some leaves from a selection of plants in my own back garden. I painted these directly, without drawing the outlines first. I did not want pencil marks ruining the surface. 

Next I put in some simple flower heads, and work some other layers of greens in to the leaves. I am now using better quality acrylic paints, as I come towards the top surfaces of the painting. I am working with a range of brushes from size 1 to 4.

It is now time for greater detail in the flowers. I also add some thin dark green stalks across the whole painting.

Following this, I add some small white flowers to the stalks. You are starting to feel the layered effect of this painting now.

I next add in a layer of bright pink flowers. Again just copied from something growing in-front of me. This is why painting outdoors is so good!!

After this I complete the painting, by adding in some small blue flowers at the front. This balances the blue sky at the top.  I do a few minor changes here and there....and its done!!

I painted the same picture over the sides initially, but changed my mind and painted the sides paynes grey, which is almost black . It was just too fussy with the sides the same as the front!

This is for sale on ArtFinder. Please use the link on the sidebar.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

A painting of orchids. Step by step

A painting of orchids, step by step.

I have just completed a new painting of orchids.It is painted in acrylic paints on a wooden board support. It looks like a deep sided canvas, but is actually just wood. It was a nice surface to work on. 

Here is a small image of  the finished painting, followed by the stages I went through to create it. 

Firstly I painted my wooded board a deep pink. It had an old painting underneath, that I no longer wanted. I then did a rough outline of the orchids in white pastel.  You can still see a bit of the old painting, through this, but it won't matter!

Next I started to add a few basic colours. I have just used diluted acrylic paint. I wanted to separate the flowers from the background.

Following this I worked a bit more paint on to each flower. I wanted this to be about light and contrast as well as the flowers.

I then decided to change the background a bit, The light pink was put on to show the direction of the light coming in to the composition. However, I dont think this really worked, so it didn't last long!!   I continue to play around with the shades on each flower, and darken the stems and buds.

After this I really build up the contrast on both the background and the flowers. I try to put dark background against pale flowers and vice versa. I still wasn't too happy about the whole thing. In fact, I actually abandoned this for about 3 months before getting back to it. Sometimes that is the best thing to do with a painting, as you re approach it with fresh eyes and fresh ideas.

So after my break I came back and added blue to the background, I left enough of the previous background showing through to not lose all the light and shade though.  I use one of my favourite styles, which is a dotty pointillist style. I just love the way it breaks up the colours and adds such vibrancy to the paint surface.

I then work much more in to each individual flower.

This is the final painting. I have continued to develop each individual flower. I have exaggerated the contrast a bit more, and altered a few individual flower shapes. I have added more of the dotted surface on to the flowers as well as the background.