Tag Archives: Grevilleas

Revisit and Renew – Grevilliea 2

Grevillea 2 Reborn Sep 13 Coloured Pencil, Ink and acrylic Paint  50 x 70cm

Grevillea 2 Reborn Sep 13
Coloured Pencil, Ink and acrylic paint 50 x 70cm

This painting was started in early 2012, and it was in an April blog.  I had given it a dark green background and it didn’t work, which made me sad as I loved the grevillea flower, it is one of my favourites.  So I put it away to wait for inspiration.   It was a long time coming, but it finally arrived.

Grevillea 2 Progress Waiting for the background

Grevillea 2 Progress Old background

After cutting out the paisleys and raising them up slightly off the painting, I though that the effect would work for this one.  I loved the 3D effect of cutting out the image and floating it above the page.  The shadows thrown by the image are fabulous, or at least I think so.

Grevillea 2 Detail

Grevillea 2 Detail

So nothing daunted I got out the knife and starting cutting into the picture.  I can’t tell you how happy I was to see the ugly backgound drop away the the flower to reappear again in all its glory.

Grevillea 2 Detail

Grevillea 2 Detail

This time I has wised up and used these great little foam, double sided glue dots, which were so much easier to use.

Happy with the result and so glad to have found a resolution to one of the problems in my portfolio.

Karen

Grevillea 5 – Anatomy of the drawing Part 2

Grevillia 5

Grevillea 5 Finished painting

I have finished the drawing so here is the second installment of the Anatomy of the Drawing.

Background

I decided to do a dark background for this painting as the flowers where so light, and went for complimentary colours to make the painting zing.  As the main colour of the flowers are yellow I went for a muted purple background.  I never use just one colour and this background is made up of dark greys (darkest at the bottom prisma colour cool grey 90% up to 50%), a great colour called dark grape and dark purple.

Grevillia 5 8

Background of painting before solvent

The background under painting showed through too much for me so I used a solvent (orange zest) to dissolve the colours and give a more even tone and then went back over it again in pencil.  I don’t like to use solvent often as it takes away all the life of the pencil strokes, but occasionally when I want better coverage or am trying to fix a problem I find it very helpful.  Here is a picture that shows how the solvent changes the work.

Grevillia 5 Solvent on the background pencil

Grevillea 5 Solvent on the background pencil

Outline

My last step is to outline the picture.  I do this to really emphasis the forms and make the shapes and colours pop.  I also really like a good outline, always have, ever since art school which drove my lecturers crazy.  It gives my work a graphic, print quality that I enjoy.

Grevillia 5 Ink Outline

Grevillea 5 Ink Outline

I used to use fineliner pens, put the wax in the coloured pencil would clog them up very quickly and kill them.  So I am now using old-fashioned nib pens and my Sennelier Ink.  This is sooo much better and I love to use these lovely pens, such a link to the past and the lines are much more alive.

So there my friends you have it.  This is my process in making my art, I hope you enjoyed your second instalment and others are also inspired to share their processes , it is so interesting and informative to see how others work.

Karen

 

Grevillea 5 – Anatomy of the drawing Part 1

Grevillia 5

Grevillia 5

This is the current drawing that I am working on, and as I always find it fascinating to see how others go about constructing their paintings I thought I would show you how I work.

The Photograph

Australian Garden

Grevillea Australian Garden Nov 2011

Most of the time I work off photos that I have taken.  I am not a good photographer and a lot of my photos are taken with the iPhone, but as I am not a botanically correct artist, I don’t require the level of detail that they do.  I am looking for interesting shapes and colours.  I will take a lot of photos of the flower and then play around cropping it until I get a composition I like.  Some times I will join together a couple of bits to get what I want and other times it works in the photo like this one did.

Cropped photo

Cropped photo

The Sketch

I then do a rough sketch on thin paper and get an idea of the shapes and composition of the painting. I like to take particular care on the shapes and the curves of the plants so that painting will have lyrical lines and the shapes are pleasing and give the feeling of the flower that I want to convey.  I also like to show people parts of the flower that they might not take the time to see.

Sketch Ready to transfer to good paper

Rough Sketch

Transferring the Image and Inking up

Once I am happy with the image I will transfer it onto my thicker good quality rag paper.  I like to use heavy paper around 300gsm.  Mostly because I enjoy the feel of this heavier paper and because it handles the paint and doesn’t buckle.  I use the highly technical method of holding the two pieces of paper up onto the window and tracing the back image onto the front.  Once the image is transferred and touched up I usually ink it.  I find if I leave the HB pencil lines they often bleed into the paint and colour pencil work, dulling and changing the colours.

Inking in outline

Inking in outline

Under Painting

I like to under paint my colour pencil work, it gives it more intensity and makes the pencil work quicker, which is helpful in the size of work that I undertake.  Most of my paintings are either A1 or A2 size.  It also gives me a chance to check on the colours to see if they are working and if the overall composition is ok, before I embark on the colour pencil shading.

Under Painting

Under Painting

Shading with Colour Pencils

Now the part I like best, but also the most time-consuming part, shading with the coloured pencils.  I really enjoy taking these flat objects and making them into living moving flowers, bringing out the lovely shapes and colour, it is a little bit of magic.

But this is where I am up to at the present so you will have to wait until I finish before I can show you the last step and how this painting will turn out.

Karen

Grevillia 4

Grevillea 4

Grevillea 4

A few weeks ago I went to the Australian Garden, which is part of the  Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, located in Cranbourne, a recently established garden which features Australian Native Plants.  It was really beautiful with great ideas on how to use Australian Natives in the garden.  While still a very young garden it was well worth seeing.

Lily Pad Bridge

Lily Pad Bridge

Display Garden

Display Garden

Needless to say I took a lot of photos of all the gorgeous flowers, and have a great store of images I want to paint.  You will see some in the coming weeks/months.

For my first image I choose another Grevillea. I really love the composition of this image, the colour of the leaves and the bizarre shapes of the Grevillea flowers still intrigue me.  This is another A2 size painting, I do love working at this size.

Karen

Grevillea 1

Grevillea 1

Grevillea 1 is finished for the moment.  Still not sure about the white background, but I think I will wait and see how the other paintings go and see how it fits in.

The movement in the picture, the way little flowers seem to writhe around each other is really pleasing.  The amount of pink worried me, but the lime green stems and yellow pollen gives it enough punch, I hope.  Pretty happy with the outcome.

I can’t believe that I am calling these paintings 1,2 or 3.  Very unexciting I know and I am shamed.  But I am yet to be inspired, so they have to wear their working titles for the moment.   I love a good title to a painting.  I think a good title gives viewers further insight into the work and where you are trying to go with it.

Karen