This painting won Highly Commended along with my other painting of the Lantern Flower below in 2011 at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. It is one of a few that I am very happy with. Its combination of dark tonal colours and crisp edges, with the translucent glass and waxy red hues of the leaf make a striking picture. The leafs gorgeous colours and dynamic shape inspired this unusual composition which took many hours, working from the actual still life set up only, to complete.
Here is the finished painting, I am quite happy with it and I’ve learned a great deal.
This painting has taken a couple of weeks to complete, and the hardest part has been the constantly changing lighting. I imagined that using a candle in a boxed set up would give controlled lighting conditions. Unfortunately it was very changeable, as the candle burned down (quickly!) the light changed in strength and direction, the shadows tonal qualities altered and so did all the colour hues! I went through about 10 tea lights too! The expense!
I have chosen a peculiar angle for this painting, it was the combination of hard lines in perspective and the tiny flower heads with their spiny stems which seemed to come together this way. I really enjoyed discovering all the hues in the lilac paper and seeing them in contrast with the flowers colours. It was my first painting on paper where I was covering quite a lot of the area with paint. I remember feeling nervous about whether the paper would cope with my part wet/ part dry brush technique – but it did!
A little picture I painted over a couple of days this summer, I like the weight of a sunflowers head and its rough and ready appearance. They are not delicate or beautiful but they are quite stunning, we had a really huge crop of them this year.
I am so interested in painting fabric. I think its folds, crinkles and shadows are like an abstract painting in themselves, and I could look at it and paint it for hours! Quite pleased with the fabric in this painting.
A bit more detail can be seen here, but the photo is not great.
This piece of wood is riddled with holes and it’s flaking and rotten. The textures were amazing and I kept being drawn back to it, so here it is on a plinth. I think the overall look is quite dramatic.
You can see that I am limited in my available space working from the dining room at home! I have to work quite close to the still life and haven’t much room to step back and assess the composition during painting, although I try to as much as possible because only distance can tell you what the painting looks like in “real life”.
Here is my work after a days hard slog! Its tricky but I think it will be quite good. When working on paper I just go straight on with paint, I don’t feel the need to use pencil because the accuracy of my brushwork when it connects with the smooth papers surface is good enough, I can still make changes within the painting as I go along.