Thursday, 25 October 2012

Autumn Oak leaves

I have been painting a study of vibrant autumn oak leaves all week. The method used was the wet in wet technique for the first 2 or 3 washes and then dry brush with the details. The dominant colours are new gamboge, raw and burnt umbers and some quinacridones. The paper is Fabriano artistico 140lb which is quite good for wet in wet work.
The dead tree is drawn in graphite and it stands in a field very close to my house. I love its shape and look at it every time I drive past. I have drawn it a few times over the years.
                                        Here it is painted in Unison pastels about 5 years ago.

And again in pen and wash; the sinuous bark is highly textured and has a multitude of strange shapes that can be picked out if you look. It has been bleached, eroded and battered by the weather over the years and its broken limbs lie around.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Abbey and Leaf

Here's some latest work. The leaf is from a beautiful specimen tulip tree Liriodendron tulipifera which grows along the lane where I live and is now getting its superb autumn colours.
This leaf was painted with some granulating Daniel Smiths watercolours; superb for this type of botanical. My favourite autumn colours are PY53(new gamboge by W/N),  PY110 (by M.Graham), PO49 which is Quin gold by Dan Smiths and PO48 & PY150 (Quin. deep gold by Dan Smiths). The pigments PO48 and PO49 are hard to get hold of now so if you can get them do! Quin.golds are now usually made with a mix of PY150 and other pigments.

The other picture shows the ruin of Strata Florida Abbey (in graphite pencil).It's a monument close to my hotel. I love old ruins and ancient buildings so I will be doing more of these from my area. Ystrad Fflur means 'the vale of Flowers' in Welsh, so hence the daisies (which are taken from an earlier sketch in the summer). I also added the floorplan of the abbey to fill the gap!!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Remnants of summer and old trees

This painting is called remnants of summer and is formed from old sketches and bits from the garden. It has lacy Hydrangea flowers, a dying rose called 'Happy Times' with a separate rose petal , a canary shouldered thorn moth, poppy seed heads, clematis seed heads and dandelion seeds. The last 3 things are in graphite. I'm not sure if its any good or not but its all practise!
It shows the changing of the seasons,summer to autumn; a time of year I love. The little moth I found, drew and released again (none the worst!),its bright yellow fluffy body caught my attention and I had to draw it. The poppy seedheads are from Dublin botanical gardens and will remind me of some lovely people I met there.

I love taking photos of old or veteran trees, they are an asset to our countryside and should be looked after as green monuments. These two above are an old chestnut and oaks in Dinefwr park near Llandeilo. Here is a link to the ancient tree forum, of the UKs woodland Trust if you're interested too.

 I took these today after scrambling over barbed wire! Its a huge hollowed out ash tree quite near my house. I am aiming to draw some of these old trees and other monuments in my area; a break from botanical art.