Let it evolve
Time and time again, I prove to myself that starting with a plan results in trouble. Just let it evolve, like this piece and the result is far better.
This is actually the second piece I completed from the same reference photograph. The first I started with a blank piece of watercolour paper and transferred the image. I then used acrylic mixes of burnt sienna, phthalo blue and white to cover the image. I did this because I really felt like painting and colour mixing, not thinking about whether something was in proportion or not. However this laziness I think shows through in the final work as it is feels stilted to my eye.
So I picked up another piece of watercolour paper and started by putting a wash on it. I then blanked elements out with white paint and went back in with another wash. Only this time I didn’t bother mixing the paint properly so I had burnt sienna on one corner of the brush and phthalo blue on the other. It left distinct pieces of unmixed blue and brown as I added water but I felt this just gave it character. I started to draw in the face with pen, before returning to the background for some more work including some image transfers. This piece was built up and as paint hit areas of the unprotected watercolour paper I got lights and darks I wasn’t expecting. As a result of all this I find this a far less stilted piece. It has movement and character to my eye.
Speaking of character… a chilli photograph! She is doing very well at the cat Hilton. All the weight she lost has been regained and she has a little belly once more. She has re-discovered all her favourite hiding spots. Indeed, she has become more adventurous, venturing beyond 1metre from the back door… in fact even beyond the backyard (naughty girl!). However I don’t know whether she has gone into the orchid houses. After years of huff and puff, dad appears resigned to the fact that certain furry friends like the warmth of his glasshouses, or the hammock like quality of the shadehouse roof. So much so, that there is a little piece of empty bench space in each one to accommodate these feline visitors. They are sharing quarters with some beautiful flowers. Below is just one of those…