Friday, 31 August 2012

The August Challenge

On this occasion my friend Mick Carney chose the subject.

I studied this for quite some time before deciding how to proceed. The obvious feature is the pink Hollyhock, which hits you in the eye and the background is blurred. Various shades of green, from blue-green to yellow-green. Pink and green - compliments. One of the things I have noticed, in studying the array of wonderful artists who display their paintings on Facebook is the use of compliments.

 This was a preliminary experiment with no drawing just to see how the colours worked together.

Version 1

In this one the colours were Quinacridone Coral (DS PR209) and Permanent Magenta (Rowney PV19 violet shade) for the flower and Sap Green, Hookers Green, Green-Gold and Cobalt Teal Blue for the background.

Version 2

Here the flower colours were similar but the background included Translucent Orange (Schminke PO71), Quinacridone Burnt Orange (DS PO48), with Hookers Green omitted. The Schminke Translucent Orange was used on Jean Haines recommendation via her latest book and I also studied one of her most recent paintings (unfinished I think), which includes Hollyhocks. Back to the drawing board?

Jean Haines

Version 3 - The Final One!
16" x 12" Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140lb (300gsm) Not

This is the third version and I don't think I'll do another - regardless! The Hollyhock colours are mainly Quinacridone Coral (DS PR209), Quinacridone Fuschia (DS PR202), a little Permanent Magenta (Rowney PV19 Violet Shade) and Quinacridone Rose (Graham PV19). The background colours are Sap Green (DS PO49/PG7), Cobalt Teal Blue (Daniel Smith PG50) and Green Gold (Rowney PY129).

I basically used one brush, The Da Vinci Artissimo 44 Size 2 Kolinsky mop, roughly equivalent to a round 12/14. It has a full body and sharp point.

Note:You may notice that the painting appears square (16" x 16") despite the original being 16" x 12". No matter what I do I'm unable to change this. Yvonne suggested taking the photograph in  landscape format and leaving a margin at either side. This doesn't seem to work either. My two cameras are a Canon SX120 Digital and  a Nikon DSLR with 55mm lens. It makes no difference whichever I use. Has anyone any idea how I can overcome this? The result is that paintings that are in portrait format always look squashed. Landscape format is unaffected. Added 31/08/12: It would seem that my monitor may be the problem.


Mick Carney said...

Really enjoyable post Peter. Good to see how you've developed your decision making. It's also fun to see the vast range of colours you have access to. On the colour issue I liked the orange in your version 2 and wondered why you decided on leaving it out of the final version?

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Mick. The final version, final in the sense I don't want to do another, is (like the photo) essentially composed of cool colours and even the flower is a rather coolish pink. I have been wondering about whether some Translucent Orange might warm it up.The version with all the orange suffers from applying the paint too heavily I think. It would probably have been better with a more `transparent' approach. I ,like this Schminke colour though.

artist said...

Hi Peter,
The photos of the paintings that you are posting don't appear square to me. They look to be 16"x12".

About your foxglove, I admire anyone who tackles that flower. I like version 3 the best.

Sorry about your friend.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Delilah. I think they are square. They should be something like 4" x 3" but are 4" x 4".

Foxgloves are tough, especially as this one hogs the photograph!

Ray Maclachlan said...

You nailed it in ver. 3 Peter. As much as I liked the Haines painting, it is difficult if not impossible for realistic artists to think so abstractly. you might be able to think that way, I certainly can't.

Rui said...

Hi Peter,

Excellent version #3 with great highlights on the flowers.

You might have a problem with your monitor, not your camera. I have loaded the website page and paintings on 2 different PC's and they both show rectangular paintings.

Kind regards,


Rui said...

Hi Peter,

BTW how are you finding Schmincke's translucent Orange?

Last weekend I finished a painting where I gave a final allover wash with Schmincke's Translucent Brown which to unify the different parts of the painting. It came out fine and I am finding these Translucent colours excellent for this purpose.

Kind regards,


Peter Ward said...

Thanks for commenting Ray. JH is becoming ever more abstract. She posts some of her latest work on Facebook and there is very little detail. I think more is needed still if her buyers keep buying why change?

Peter Ward said...

Hi there Rui Thanks for comments.
I'm also beginning to suspect it is my monitor that is the problem.

I like Translucent Orange very much but it needs to be used carefully as it is very powerful.

Nora MacPhail said...

I absolutely love your watercolour book that you did with Ron Ranson. I pour over it all the time. So fresh but with lots of confidence. So glad I discovered you have a blog!
Happy Painting.

Peter Ward said...

You have me slightly confused Nora. The three books I wrote were about a specialist garden subject. Ron Ranson wrote two books with John Palmer (Ron has written more than thirty all told). Are you confusing me with someone else?

Yvonne Harry said...

Having just studied your post, Peter, I go along with other comments about the sizing. I have just measured your images as they appear on my screen and in the actual post the pictures are 6 x 8 which is the correct ratio, and when they are enlarged on the screen, they measure 11 x 14 which again is correct, so I think you do have a problem with the monitor your end. With regards to the paintings, I quite liked the version 1 and the preliminary sketch.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Yvonne for comments. It must be my monitor. I was concerned everyone else got this `squashed' version but it seems not.