I have been working on this drawing for awhile now. Adding different backgrounds to my flower portraits has been an idea in my head for some time, but I have had trouble trying to figure out how to do it. I have tried before with smudgy type backgrounds (technical term there), but I have never liked it.
The idea for this background came to me when I was photographing some sweet peas last year and was looking at the great pattern of the stems and tendrils and thought they would make a good background, especially if I did them in grey scale. This also gave me the chance to use my water soluble graphite sticks. I always love the chance to play with new art supplies and it may even justify their purchase!
Although I am fairly happy with the result, I am not completely sure that this is the answer. The sweet peas are cut out and are just sitting on top of the background, so nothing is set yet. When I am not sure of a picture I have a few techniques I try to get another perspective on the work.
- Put the whole thing away and look at it again in a few weeks. Not having seen it for awhile gives me fresh eyes to look at the work again to see if I really do like it or not.
- The opposite of this is to stick it on the wall where I can look at it for awhile to figure out what is not working.
- Taking a photo of the work is my third way of figuring out what is the problem, making it black and white can help, especially if you do not have enough contrast, as this is hard to tell sometime with coloured work.
If you have a different technique please share it with me as I always need help.
Last weekend I went back to one of my favourite nurseries, Lambley Nursery just out of Ballarat, as they had a garden tour and you could visit their sweet peas that they grow for their flower seeds, over 100 varieties. The sweet pea I drew is from their garden last year and is called Fire and Ice. I took a few photos, (over 70, but who is counting) and have included a few of my favourites for your viewing pleasure.
Might be a second Sweet Pea picture….