Sunday, 22 May 2011

Wild Flowers

The other day I wandered along the lane near my home and collected a bunch of wild flowers, both from the verges of the road, down into the farmers field, and beyond into the community forest. I have done two  paintings with flowers collected from my small garden in the last two weeks, but wasn't really that enamoured of them. Recently I have started to question whether I was becoming too focussed on portraits to the detriment of other subjects. What exactly do I want to paint? I like doing portraits in the loose manner but also  still lifes, incorporating flowers and other objects in the manner of Charles Reid. Pure landscapes? Not really as I prefer old buildings with thatched roofs, and small boats on the rivers and canals around here.

 I managed to collect a good mixture of wild flowers, including a dark-coloured geranium from the verges outside one of the very old buildings along the lane, that may have been a garden escapee. Here is the result.

Wild Flowers- Fabriano Artistico Extra White Not 16" x 12"

I used a lot of colours in this painting. Transparent Yellow (W & N PY150), Cadmium Yellow Pale (Rowney PY35)), Indian Yellow (Rowney PY153) plus Green Gold (Rowney PY129). Reds were Permanent Carmine (W & N PR N/A), Opera Rose (W & N), Permanent Rose (W & N PV19). Greens were mixed partly from  yellows and blues except for Hookers Green (Maimeri PO49/PG7)) which was modified with Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna and darkened with  Faience Blue (Maimeri PB60). The geraniums were Permanent Mauve (Rowney PV23) with some Carmine added. Other blues were Cerulean (W & N red shade) and French Ultramarine (Rowney PB29). A lot of the colours were mixed on the paper. The limited palette artists might flinch but flower painters usually have larger palettes and so do I. Opera Rose? A paint with limited lightfastness, although W & N say it is still better than many paints used in the past. I used it sparingly.

Conversely I only used three brushes. All Rosemary, Series 33 Kolinsky rounds in sizes 6 & 8 and Series 44 pure Kolinsky rigger size 7. Although this brush is called a rigger it is quite full bodied compared to most riggers and more like a very long No.6. I have bought a Da Vinci Series 35 No 8 specifically for flower painting but not used it yet. I quite like the result. Comments welcome.


Yvonne Harry said...

Its lovely and fresh, Peter. The whole arrangement is very spontaneous.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Yvonne. I think wild flowers have to be less organized, if that is the right description, than garden flowers.

Mick Carney said...

Flowers give a great opportunity for splashing out the colour and creating impressionistic shapes, both of which you've done successfully.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Mick. I enjoyed collecting and painting these flowers.