Thursday, 14 February 2013

Winter Flowers: Hellebores

This weeks topic at Avon Valley Artists was Winter Flowers. This seemed like an excellent excuse to pop along to the garden centre to see what they had in flower. It was quite a disappointing selection, lots of indoor Fuchsias, and Primroses, but I eventually chose a lovely pot of deep pink Hellebore. They do not flower quite this early in my cold garden, so those that I have would have looked very forlorn if I had removed what few flowers there were.


I chose to paint on the the rough surface of my usual Fabriano paper, and began the process by creating a wash for the background. I thought it out as carefully as possible, but tried not to spoil the spontaneity but trying to control it too much. I put plenty of blue into the greens, which I though would echo the blue/ pink of the flowers, although once I took the flowers indoors, they appeard much less pink in colour.



When I was satisfied that there were good areas for flowers and for foliage, with enough white areas to give the highlights, I allowed it to dry completely before doing the drawing. I did the drawing quite carefully, but kept the pencil marks as light as possible as I did not want them to be part of the finished painting.



It was at this stage that I took it to AVA to work on during the two hour session.

I wanted to try to get a sense of green deep in the flowers, but this proved quite difficult as any green tended to mix with the pink/purple and make the flowers muddy. It was already quite difficult to keep the flowers fresh as tertiary colours were needed to create this strange colouring that so many Hellebores have in this season.
I painted all the petals, leaving lost edges where I could and highlighting other edges with touches of white acrylic gouache. I used mainly Quinachridone Magenta, with a little Opera Pink and Rose of Ultramarine.
For the leaves I used lots of Indigo, Anthraquinone Blue and Pthalo Blue mixed with Apatite Green.

I was careful not to paint over the pencil lines, so I was able to erase them when the paint was dry.
For the stamens, I used White Acrylic Gouache, which I over painted with Indian Yellow, again when it was dry.
A bit of adjustment to the background and I think it is done. A healthy bit of fine splatter as usual and I think I am happy with the outcome, although I will live with it in the studio for a few days before mounting and framing in case I feel it needs tweaking a bit,


Winter Hellebores
Approx 30 x 40 cms


Just looking at the finished painting on screen, I may be tempted to soften the top background wash line. It seems a bit harsh. We'll see!

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful - it looked good this morning but the finished version is even better..

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  2. Thank you Peter, its in a temporary frame at the moment, and looks very understated and tranquil.
    Hope you will post yours. I was so rushed at the end of the session that I did not get a proper look at the paintings.

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  3. Impresionante...precioso. Cuando pintaré como tu?

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  4. I love your blue green choices for the foliage and the overall piece is light, delicate and lovely

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    1. Thanks Lorraine, yes Hellebores have lovely coloured leaves which really compliment the flowers, and the blue/green seems to work well.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Polly. Glad you enjoy looking.

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  6. I wish I could take your workshop.

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  7. Thanks Hani for enjoying my work. We do not have anything as sophisticated as a workshop, it is just a small group (max 25) who meet weekly to paint a set subject. We are all at different levels with different styles and media, but we are able to benefit from each other's expertise. It is a lovely group.

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  8. You've captured a fresh and clean backdrop for the beautiful flowers. I always look forward to seeing your work.

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    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comment

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  9. You can just re run lots of my usual comments. Love the approach, the generosity of sharing and the quality of the final piece.

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    1. Thanks Mick. Glad you like this one. More in my comfort zone with this subject. Will be interesting to see what emerges from the group session on Abstracts this Thursday!

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  10. Sorry to have been so long in replying, but have been away. Thank you for the lovely comment, glad you continue to enjoy the posts

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  11. This is absolutely stunning !

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  12. Thank you Jane, I am glad you like the painting and hope you nwill keep looking at the posts.

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