About a week before Christmas when my daughter came down to visit and partake of Christmas Part 1, her boyfriend, Tom, sent along a bouquet of lillies. They were just buds when she brought them down and this is how they looked about a week later. The scent was just heavenly. I took loads of photos thinking I might try and paint them. I have tried painting them before, but without much success.
Here are two I have recently completed and are the first for 2016.
The one above was the first one. It took me a lot of time as I made a composite of three different flowers (from 3 different photos!). I wanted to show a bud, a partially opened flower and a fully opened flower to fill up the page. The background did me in at first. It was so vibrant that you could barely see where the flowers were. I ended up toning the background down with Indanthrene Blue (2x). Although I am not 100% satisfied with this painting, it is growing on me. The flowers were painted with Alizarin Crimson and Winsor Violet. The leaves were a mix of Sap Green and Winsor Blue. All by Winsor & Newton.
Because I wasn’t crazy about my first attempt, I decided to simplify things and only paint one lily. I used Alizarin Crimson and Cadimium Red for the petals and Lemon Yellow and Winsor Blue for the leaves. I didn’t do anything fancy, just wet the paper and applied wet paint. I used the same Indanthrene Blue for the background to start with, but it didn’t bleed out enough into the paper, so I added Prussian Blue to the mix to darken some areas and tried to tease the paint out with a wet brush. There was a lot of white on the left hand side of the paper and so I did a bit of spattering with a combination of Yellow Ochre and Raw Sienna to simulate pollen and I splattered the blue mix and gave it a little spritz of water.
So now I have two completely different paintings. What do you think? I might have to put them in frames to get a better idea of which to keep. I also used a new paper for me this time too! It is called The Langton, 140lb, not, by Daler Rowney. It is on a pad usually used for plein air painting, but as my painting area was being renovated and space was tight I thought I would try it out. The paper is in a block and glued on 4 sides. There was minimal cockling. Not sure I would use this regularly, but for traveling and painting outdoors I think it would be great.
So there we are, the first of (hopefully) many paintings for 2016! Thanks Tom!