Thursday, 17 July 2014

Searching for the right color [Sweet Pea]

I'm currently visiting my parents who live about 7 hours from me. Every time when I'm here in summer I take my camera and go for a long walk in the area. There are many gardens here and I always take thousands (literally) of reference photos. Here are my Mom's favourite lilies from her garden. They smell so beautiful.

I always take lots of photos of one plant, I try to place a focus point on every main parts of the flower, for example on every petal if there is a need. Also I try to take photos from different angles so that I could choose later the one that I like the most.

Yesterday I found very interesting plant, it's called Sweet Pea. It smells beautifully, it has lots of flowers and the flowers have a wide range of colors. I thought it would be a very good plant to practise choosing the right color. So I decided to paint some of those beautiful flowers taking specific note to achieve the best color I can. 

Fortunatelly I took my art supplies with me so I could play with colors already. I took Fabriano Artistico HP paper, which I cut into smaller pieces, because I knew I would do some sketches here. I read somewhere that the right side of the paper is the one with watermark. Unfortunatelly, when I was cutting the paper to smaller pieces I forgot to mark the right side. But FA paper has a specific texture on both sides, each one is different. I remembered how was the texure when I was painting the Vicia Cracca, and now I tried the other side (the "wrong" side) but I found it very good, maybe even better than the right side. 

Because I don't have an actual living plant, I have only photos, so I work from the photos (I know, I shouldn't, but I see nothing wrong with painting from the photos. It's better to paint from the photos than don't paint at all). 

For my first flower I chose the one with purple-reddish petals. I took another piece of paper, placed it next to the painting, and started mixing my colors. I love greens, but purples (or violets - I have no idea what is the difference in english), especially very deep purples are my favourite as well. 

I laid down the first washes with mixes of Permanent Rose, Perylene Violet and Mauve.

After I laid the first layer, there came the "oh no" moment, when I started to think whether I should stop and try another time and with another flower. But I took a break, and came back with new view. I laid down next layers, they were getting darker and darker and started to look quite nice. I found that the mixes of Alizarin Crimson + Perylene Violet and Alizarin Crimson + Mauve + a little touch of Perylene Violet make beautiful deep purples. 

I laid down the last layers. I noticed this flower has a matt surface of the petals, especially on those which make a triangular shape. I chose to use a white gouache with a little touch of Payne's Grey Bluish to make that matt surface.

And here it is, my first Sweet Pea. I'm going to paint another one tomorrow but I don't know yet which color to choose, there are so many colors of them!

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