Monday, 30 June 2014

Summertime, and the living is easy

Well, it ought to be. But alas this month life hit me with something of an enormous great thud. Without going into tedious detail, it was all rather awful for a little while. But, luckily the big light at the end of the tunnel looms ever larger, (and Marks and Spencer cakes help an awful lot too). 

So, onto this month's missive and the sketchbook of choice this time around belongs to Frances. Now, I don't know Frances that well but I know she is rather partial to a Celtic knot design or too. Having seen a couple of lovely designs in her sketchbook, I decided I couldn't quite match the intricate Celtic knottery and decided to go with a pageful of flowers instead. Also, with all the rather hellish nonsense going on, I knew I wouldn't be able to spend as much time as I would have liked on this one.  

A seasonal display.

So, not wanting to disappoint, I had a good trawl through the archives and came upon a page of mixed summer flowers that I had completed a little while ago. I loved working on this page and knew with all the colours and shapes Frances might quite like these in her book. Rather than just a simple cut and paste job, I decided to work them up a bit with the addition of some dry brush work, to bring out the details a bit more. This also gave me the chance to see how the addition of Ox-gall liquid to the water would affect the paint. It worked a treat, and really helped with the flow of the paint, particularly when painting the 'Summertime' lettering. Highly recommended and great thanks to renowned artist Fiona Strickland for the tip.

The 'touching up' palette.
With the addition of some Winsor and Newton Ox-gall to the painting water.

As always, I added some of my typography flourishes, (well, I can't help myself on that) just to give it all that final personal touch. Flourishy and fluttery, I hope you like it Frances.

A gorgeous pink for the May / June entry

A size 0 brush, a steady hand and some Ox-gall work a treat.

The Ox-gall really assisted in getting the sweeping arches smoothly round.
Here's a quick edit. Recently I wrote a piece about our exchange for the Society of Floral Painters.


  1. That's a great tip, the oxgall. I will surtenly try it.
    And I love your "flowery" composition. I always find it hard to make a strong layout.
    Wishing you a great day,

  2. yes, do give it a go Maria. This was the first time I used it and found it quite a 'Eureka' moment. Just put a few drops into your painting water.