I love the spontaneity of finding some inspiring subjects and just getting on and painting them. This often happens when they are bits and pieces that I have found in a hedgerow, along the shore or from the garden. I lay out the objects on the paper to help me with the composition but other times I draw and paint each object one by one and the painting just evolves - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
When I was a student on the RBGE Certificate in Botanical Illustration course last year, there was a great deal of planning going on when it came to our final assessment piece. Pieces of tracing paper flying here and there, using a lightbox to decide on the final composition and then the big tracing exercise ! I do find that when you use this method of creating your composition, you have to be careful that the clarity of your drawing does not suffer in the tracing process.
Never the less, many of the exercises I completed on the course, I still use when planning a picture, especially if it is a very large painting.
The painting is coming along and the next stage is to put in the stems and finish the other elements of the painting.
Back to the spontaneity ! Whilst trudging through the snow the week before last, we stopped off at the greengrocers and they were selling three stems of Amaryllis with some Willow. They just seemed to glow in the grey and white atmosphere outside.
Knowing full well that I had no time to start a painting of them, an inspirational urge made me buy them !!
So upon returning home I decided to draw one of the flower heads and do some colour tests on cartridge paper. I also took plenty of photographs and measurements, so that if I do decide to do a painting of them, I have all of the information I need. I expect that I won't create a composition until this time next year, when I can buy the flowers at their prime again !
Thank you for following my blog and thanks also to David Crompton, a fellow Society of Floral Painters member, who on Saturday gave me some lovely feedback at our AGM. If you would like to see some of his delightful artwork go to:
Happy painting !