Saturday, 17 May 2014

Painting the blues - natures exclamation marks!

I really love irises. I love their fresh confidence - really they aren't the best or prettiest SHAPE for a flower, in the way that perhaps a rhododenron flower or a lilly may be. Compared to those, they're like exclamation marks when they're in bud, or sticky-up rabit ears when they start to open..

But my favourite thing about them is their strength of colour. Many people say they find yellows are difficult to paint, but for me, there are so many colours in flowers that getting the right blues and pinks is nigh on impossible. In every petal there are thousands of colours! 
Claude Monet said ' Colour persues me like a constant worry. They even worry me in my sleep.

Well, one of the joys of sketch booking is letting go of any worry. So it is a treat to allow the flower to win the beauty contest, and allow myself the thrill of playing with and re-emphasising and exaggerating and negotiating with the colours I see. Trying a Cerulean base on one petal, and a Winsor Blue on another, just to see the difference. 
Even though the result is loose and fluid, and the freesia-accompaniments daubed on straight-to-paint, this still takes a while to produce. It is cetainly daubing, but daubing deliberately. 
I stuck 140 lb water colour paper into the book before painting (and realised once I'd started that there was no going back, as it was glued in!!) as I don't like the paper in the sketch book. For me, I like a sketch book to be unpressured (or a different type of 'pressure') creating place, where accidents are welcome. The dryness of the sketchbook paper inhibits this,  and makes the work slower (and therefore more like'work') although I know some others in the group don't mind it. 


  1. Right what you say ! ... and beautiful Iris !

  2. That close-up photo is fantastic! Can see the colours and the way you worked. Love it!!