Having fun with more painting
I tend towards the obsessive – once I discover something I like I have trouble resisting the urge to indulge completely. Watercolour ground is the latest obsession! The roses I’m showing here today were painted from photographs I took on a visit to David Austin Roses before lockdown. You’ve probably heard of the very famous garden centre I mean. If you visit in early summer the gardens are a treat for the senses with the perfume as heady as the sight of the flowers. The June day we were there was perfect – hot and sunny. I can’t wait to visit again but in the meantime I can enjoy the photos and use them to make a painting. The unconventional support I’m working on has an interesting origin itself – it was a panel taken from an old wardrobe we were getting rid of. When the wardrobe was broken up to be taken away it seemed a pity to waste the panels although, at the time, I had no idea what I’d use them for.
I mentioned watercolour ground in my previous post but then I’d only used it on canvas. When I spotted the wardrobe panels in a corner of my studio I thought they’d be ideal candidates to see how the ground would work with wood. The panel was very dark so the first thing I did was to give it a coat of white acrylic paint. Once that was dry I added a layer of the watercolour ground to the raised central section and put it aside overnight. It’s difficult to photograph anything that’s just white but the picture here shows the rough surface the coarse ground produces. That’s the effect after one application but you can add more or even create more texture if you prefer. Depends on the sort of painting you intend to make I think. I’ll let you know how I get on with a more textured landscape painting soon!
I often make a pale pencil sketch before I start painting with watercolour but the surface I had created was quite coarse and didn’t really lend itself to much of a drawing, so other than to mark vague outlines of where the flowers would sit, I didn’t spend much time on preliminary marks and just went straight in with the paint. This is still very much a work in progress but I am itching to get back to it and add more detail to the petals and more deep darks to the shadows between the leaves and buds. I’ll also be tidying up the border frame of the panel with another layer of acrylic paint.
It’s curious to discover how different it is to paint onto the surface prepared with the watercolour ground than it is on rough watercolour paper. I’m still learning how the paint reacts but I’m loving it!
Bye for now,