Monday, July 05, 2010

Eats, sleeps and leaves

A collection of leaves from the garden with resident snail - who woke up and took off as I was painting him! Saunders Waterford HP paper.

Chinese Jasmine leaves on Moleskine watercolour paper.

It's still too hot to go out so I've been painting leaves from the garden. It's even too hot to be in my room so I've brought my paints downstairs to the kitchen which overlooks a little patio area. I don't have any real method to write about, but I thought a photo might show how I planned the top page. I played around with leaves on the page to work out a composition - I changed my mind after painting the first leaf and one of my 'references' shrivelled up overnight! I have another pad alongside to try out colours and mixes. Also here I worked out which colours to put down first and which to use as a wash on top. I then tried combinations of colours for the shadows - oranges, purples and blues - and settled on a very dilute Neutral Tint with some Cobalt Blue. Most of the time I work wet in wet to get some control with the shading and occasionally, for instance when I need hard edges, I paint those drectly and then soften the inner edge with a clean damp brush so that the edge is crisp but fades on the other side. I should really make more notes because even between spreads, I forgot the method I used for the same leaf I painted the day before! I daren't take a break at this stage and do some colour pencils drawings just in case I forget everything!