Category Archives: Flowers from the Garden

Holiday Project

Box decorated with Johanna Basford design from the Secret Garden that I coloured in.

Box decorated with Johanna Basford design from the Secret Garden that I coloured in.

Finally back for 2014, I have had a much needed break and rest and finally feel ready to start in the New Year.  After last year I was too tired  to do much art or think through any major artistic issues.  I still wanted to do something and I finally found something that was pleasant, easy and non-challenging to do.  Colouring in!  What I loved to do as a child still holds a sweet fascination for me as an adult.

Johanna Basford design from the Secret Garden that I coloured in.

Johanna Basford design from the Secret Garden that I coloured in.

I found the perfect project on the Derwent facebook page. They had a link that went to the Guardian that allowed you to download some intricate, magical drawings from Secret Garden by Johanna Basford. I have since purchased the book which is just packed full of these lovely whimsical ink drawings just waiting to be coloured in.

 

The Secret Garden Book by Johanna Basford

The Secret Garden Book by Johanna Basford

 

I coloured in one of the drawings, then colour photo copied it to use in decorating on of the many shoe boxes that I use for storage.  (I have a thing for shoe boxes, and just can’t throw them out, of course this does not even go into the amount of shoes that I purchase to acquire these boxes.)

A box covered with a Johanna Basford design from the Secret Garden that I coloured in.

A box covered with a Johanna Basford design from the Secret Garden that I coloured in.

Really pleased with how this worked out and as I have many more boxes I have decided to design some patterns of my own to use.  More on this next post.

I hope all my readers had a lovely Christmas and New Year, my was peaceful and lovely.  F0r those of you who have just weathered brutal winter storms in the northern hemisphere, we in Melbourne have just had a heatwave that consisted of five days when the temperatures where, 38c (100f), 43c (109), 43c, 44c (111) and 44c   I have never seen temperatures so high.  Thank goodness is has cooled down again and we can emerge into the outdoors again.

Karen

 

Hydrangea 1 reworked

Hydrangea 1 take 2

Hydrangea 1 take 2

I have gone back to the first Hydrangea and added the petal veins (I think that it what you call them) into it.  Sitting it beside the second Hydrangea painting showed how necessary it was and I am very pleased with the result.  I can tell you I was very nervous painting on the white viens, hoping that I was not about to stuff the whole thing up.  Sometimes you really have to be very brave as an artist.  I painted the veins on in white paint then went back over them in pencil to knock them back and work them into the painting.

Hydrangea 1 Detail

Hydrangea 1 Detail

Making this change has sorted out a couple of problems for me.  The colours had dominated the picture and it was a little rainbowish.  The white veins have broken the colour up and given more movement and definition to the petals and little flowers.  It has also given them a more crinkled look and it sits much more comfortably with the second painting in the series.

Hydrangea 1 Detail

Hydrangea 1 Detail

Here is a comparison of the two together for you. The second photo is much better quality than the first.

Hydrangea 1 take 2

Hydrangea 1 take 2

Hydrangea 1

Hydrangea 1

I have started the third one which will be more purple, I have given you a sneak preview of it though it is just at the underpainting stage.

Hydrangea 3 underpainting

Hydrangea 3 underpainting

I am still keen to do some more 3d work, but I will keep focused on this series and not get distracted.  So I am being good and strong, till after these last two are done, then I will have a little play.

Karen

Hydrangea 2

Hydrangea 2

                               Hydrangea 2                                                                                   30cm x 30cm Coloured Pencil, Acrylics and Ink

Here is the second in the Hydrangea series.  A more pastel rendition this time, not a colour palette I am used to working in, so a challenge in itself.  I added the veins into these petals, not sure if I am going to go back and add them into the first one.  I will wait until I have finished the series before I go back and do the last fiddle with them all.  I would like them to work together as a set, but we will see as they are completed as to how cohesive they are.  The area on the right behind the petals needs some work, just not sure what to do with it yet.  it seems too pale, I may make it darker, just need to ponder on it for awhile.

I really like the details in this painting so I thought I would share with you some of my favourite bits.

Hydrangea 2 - Detail

Hydrangea 2 – Detail

In my previous post I was talking about our lovely autumn weather, well I spoke too soon,  It has been hot, really hot for a lot of days now, I think we may go to 10 days straight over 30C  (90F) and today and tomorrow will be 36C (100F).  Now I love the hot weather but this is taking it a bit far.  I will have to go and immerse myself into the cool hydrangeas again.

Hydrangea 2 - Detail

Hydrangea 2 – Detail

I am thinking of taking a little detour in my techniques and looking at combining my pencil work, with some paper embossing and creating a little 3D work.  It is an idea I have been kicking around for awhile so I may have something new to show you.  Thank you Karen for your encouragement and Michelle I hope you like this installment.

Karen

 

 

Hydrangea 1

Hydrangea 1

Hydrangea 1

We are moving into my favourite time of year, Autumn in Victoria.  The heat is still with us, but there is a crispness to the air which speaks of the fine sunny days and cool clear nights.  I have painted one of my favourite summer flowers Hydrangeas.  My mother always had Hydrangeas growing and I loved their great blousy flowers that glowed in the summer shade, reminding me that there were still cool greens around.  But as we move into autumn the blues are touched with a purple as they slowly fade.

This was a great deal of fun to do, it is small for me 30cm square and it was a challenge to move the colours in the petals through from yellow, to blue and then purple.  There are some really lovely parts of this painting where the colours really sing.

My thoughts when I started this was to do four different hydrangea pictures, I am going to start on my second now, so I might make it.

Karen

One Year of Blogging and an on-line exhibition

Hydrangeas Snippet of my next painting

Hydrangea Snippet of my next painting

It has been a year since I started this blog, and what a year it has been. I could not believe how much it has given me and how far I have progressed with my art.  Thanks Vettie you gave me the courage and support to start.

When I first started, I was not sure if anyone would even see my posts let alone be interested and now I have just passed the milestone of 100 followers and have made some great connections with artist all over the world.

I had no clear direction with my art when I started and now I have become comfortable in a style and have a body of work that I feel is good enough to start exhibiting.  In fact I have made a very small step along the way and have entered one of my drawings into the Australian Coloured Pencil Networks on-line exhibition.  It should have been two works but somehow the Hollyhocks failed to upload so it did not get in.  A shame but something to learn from. (Check your application really did upload!)

So thank you to all of you who have followed my blog, liked a post or taken the time to comment.  Know that your interest, support and kindness have made a difference to me and my art, and given me the confidence to take my art to the world and push through the fatigue to continue to create.

One of the artist that follows my blog and who’s comments I greatly value is Richard Klekociuk, who won the mixed media category and has a wonderful and insightful blog I recommend visiting.

Mixed Media

Richard Klekociuk

Richard KlekociukVisit Richard’s Website Tasmania

ARTIST STATEMENT: My artwork is inspired by the Australian landscape. I work from observation, drawings and my own photos. I am particularly interested in light and shadow, pattern and weathering. Abstraction and symbolism also find their way into my work from time to time. I work with a variety of pencils usually on pastel board.

FROM THE JUDGE – BETSY JONES:

For the mixed media category, I have selected Entry #04. The range of techniques used along with the vibrant color scheme makes my heart skip. I found myself looking deeper into this image, sticking my nose into my monitor, to see every little detail within this piece. There is a conversation of colors and textures here, and a sort of playfulness. This one made me feel like I was stepping into another world, complete with little surprises; such as the golden cracks in a cliff, the vermillion rock formations, the army of stones, and that little slash of cerulean sky – everything compositionally was unique and wonderful and exuded an earthy energy.

Congratulations Richard and best of luck with your exhibition.

Karen