Sweet Peas ‘Fire and Ice’
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!
under coat of ink
Starting the coloured pencil
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….
Posted in 2017 Artwork, Flowers from the Garden, What inspires me
Tagged art, colored pencils, coloured pencil, drawing, floral portraints, flowers, gardening, karenbaileystudio, Lambley nursery, sweet pea
Fairy Wax Flower Coloured Pencil and Ink
Still running around taking photos of the wildflowers in the bush, it has not let up and with still more varieties coming into bloom. We have not had such a bumper year (or a wetter one) and I am still finding new flowers to add to my collection of photos. I will have so many photos to inspire my drawings, I hope they will last all year.
This one is the Fairy Wax flower. It is so very photogenic, just about every photo I have taken of these flowers have worked and the white flowers against the dark green leaves really stand out. I never realised that flowers could be photogenic, but for me it is the case. Some photograph well enough but just don’t look as good as others. Of course this would have nothing to do with my ineptitude at photography or lack of real equipment (Ha ha). I am still taking all my photos on the Iphone with the Camera+ app. I love the ease and I know that I would not have the patience to faff around with setting up a lot of equipment and give up taking photos. Here are some of what I have taken lately.
Pink Fingers Orchid
Castlemaine Spider Orchid
Castlemaine Spider Orchid
We have planned a beautiful poteger vegetable patch with raised beds, formal layout and walls of wire mesh to climb things up. It will be a staged event, with the beds going in this year and the walls next. But we have had the wettest September on record, instead of 60mm of rain we have had 160mm. this is really slowing down progress.
I will leave you with t Rosie watching the rain. She is growing so fast, but seems to do it in stages, one moment her legs have grown and she is all gangling, then her ears will grow and she looks like a fox. Never had a dog do that, but it is very funny to watch.
Rosie watching the rain
Posted in 2016 Artwork, Australian Natives, What inspires me
Tagged art, australian native flower, Castlemaine, Castlemaine Spider Orchid, colored pencil, coloured pencil, coloured pencils, drawing, drawings, flowers, native flowers, pink bells, Pink finger Orchid, Sundew flower
Greenhood Orchid Coloured Pencil and Ink
Spring is finally ‘officially’ here and I have been torn between walks in the bush to find flowers, drawing and gardening. I feel like the puppy, excitedly running from one to the other, not settling at anything.
It is such a busy time and as the weather tries to warm up, you just want to be out there. We have just finished planting the roses and lavender in the front garden bed and made a huge seed order for the summer vege patch. Not sure where they are all going to go, but it was impossible to be restrained with all these amazing heirloom varieties that sound so wonderful. Vegetables such as Flageolet Flagrano Bean, Paris market carrots, Costoluto Genovese tomatoe, one of the oldest Italian varieties and Rosa Bianca eggplant.
Little Greenhoods in the bush
The little Greenhood orchids are still flowering and I finally found time to complete a drawing of one. Such gorgeous little things only a 1-2cm long flower and the stand no more than 7-8cm high. I am not usually fond of green flowers but these are so crisp and fresh and who can resist such a bizarre shape.
Lynette and the dogs, searching for orchids on a spring morning
I have found a couple of new orchids this year, which is always exciting. There is the Leopard Orchid all yellow and brown, Lynette thinks it looks more like a dragon and the Yellow Moth orchid with its stunning, clear, yellow petals. The good thing about being a beginner at this, is there are so many new plants to discover. Every walk is an adventure. I now have my sister hooked and it is better with two people searching, as all these flowers are very small. (Tap/click the image for the orchid name.)
Posted in 2016 Artwork, Australian Natives, What inspires me
Tagged art, australian native flower, Castlemaine, colored pencil, coloured pencil, coloured pencils, drawing, drawings, flowers, Greenhood orchid, Leopard Orchid, native flowers
Rosie amongst the pot plants. Water colour and ink
We have a new addition to our family, a little, red, border collie named Rosie. She is a little bundle of joy and trouble and has stolen all our hearts. Well perhaps not our older dog Hannah, but they are getting along ok and will be good friends in time.
My neice’s dog came to visit and he was so wonderfully gentle with her, for such a boisterous boy. She is only nine weeks old, but is able to hold her own with the older dogs.
I have been busy with the garden and working on the house, so haven’t been doing as much art as I had hoped, but as we settle into our new routines I hope to be doing more.
Here are some puppy photos for you to enjoy.
Hannah and Rosie
Rosie playing peek-a-boo from under the coach
Playing with Max when he came for a visit
Bounty in a mid- century kitchen Water colour and ink
It is Sunday night and for the first time (in more time then I care to remember), I am tired after spending time in the garden doing physical activity. Nothing beats the feeling of putting your feet up at the end of the day after you have really achieved something.
I have been working on three gardens this weekend. One garden has the straw bales seasoned and it has just been sown with beautiful flower seeds. I did start planting them out in a careful pattern, but sowing seed is harder then it looks as some where so tiny, so as usual the great plan was thrown over to a more adhoc system. Another garden has had the straw bales laid out and it will be planted with peas and beans, its seasoning process has begun. The other garden has been planned and the plants ordered, it will be a 17 metre long rose garden, under-planted with lavender and catmint. We have chosen mostly old fashioned scented roses going from a deep red, through the pinks to white. You have no idea how much fun it is to order 19 roses at once.
The double page spread
During the week I stayed at a friend’s house, she is an amazing cook and adores all things mid-century. I bought her some local produce and she displayed them in her new Lucie Kaas bowls. This is her picture, but I loved the composition so much I had to draw it. It shows three things close to her heart, great produce, great design and her kitchen. What’s not to love.
Posted in 2016 Artwork, C'maine Garden, What inspires me
Tagged art, Castlemaine, drawing, drawings, flower, gardening, journal, peppercorn tree, sketchbook, sketches, sketching, strawbale gardening, watercolor pencil, watercolour pencils