I am going to create a watercolour painting of my plant from Menindee, Cullen discolor. I have already written about identifying it, and the Beckler’s Botanical Bounty Project that I am involved in.
Now to show you some of the process.
I am still a developing watercolour artist, and feel much more comfortable with pencil than a paint brush. I have begun with a practice piece, as I have to work my way through the colours and techniques that I will need for the final painting.
Actually, before that, I want to show you some detailed drawings of parts of C. discolor. These were from the live specimens I had when working in Menindee. I wanted to get as much visual information as possible while I still had the living plant.
I needed to match the colours as accurately as possible while I had the specimen before me. I made various mixes and recorded the paints I had used. You can also see some of my notes and reminders.
Then I began the practice piece. Actually, it was the practice practice piece. As I was painting it I had a crisis of confidence, as I had forgotten how to paint with watercolour washes and do dry brush work. All I could remember were the faults with my technique, especially rushing to the detail too quickly and too much water.
After I had calmed myself down, I went back to basics. That’s the bigger leaf in this painting. I went bigger, slower and thought about what I was doing with each stroke. That helped me to understand how I needed to approach the work. And helped me realise that I could do this after all!
Thank heavens it was not the final, large work on the good (read expensive) paper! Finally I felt ready to begin the real practice painting.
I still have to finish this painting. Obviously the stems need to be painted in. The leaves need more work, which involves a lot more dry brush work. And they need highlights added to their edges. However, I am happy I have captured the texture of the leaves. (Remember, part of the identification for C. discolor is that the leaves are tomentose to hispid — rough, with hairs between stiff and soft/matted.) As well, I think I understand how to paint the furriness of the inflorescences. But the proof is in the pudding, as they say! Stay tuned for progress reports.
11 replies on “Starting to paint my painting — or practising for the practice piece!”
Fascinating process Anne! It’s not an easy subject and I think you doing a wonderful job so far. Best of luck 🙂
Thanks for the encouragement. It will certainly take time — and probably a number of brushes — but I am enjoying the challenge.
Looking forward to seeing more of this!
Now that I have made my efforts public I will have to keep going! I have a terrible habit of bouncing from one project to another — but not on this one! (I hope…)
Good luck 🙂
Anne! Lovely…and I so enjoy seeing one’s process. Thanks for coming by the Art Prescription! Happy Painting. I’ve just started this new project – Haiku O Gram – would love you to participate!
Let me know if you have questions!
I always love reading your haiku and seeing your paintings. I appreciate your support of my work. I will check out your Haiku O Gram project.
[…] I have been making a big effort to get my practice painting finished. Here is the next sequence of photos of my work. (If you want to catch up on what I have been doing, check here.) […]
So interesting Anne to see the process at work, it looks great and I’m sure you will do a fantastic job. I’m a big fan of all your work.
I especially love the tones in the Cullen, mmm perylene green might be my new favourite…
Keep at it, you are so skilled.
I’ve actually done some work on the proper painting. I will get around to posting some photos of it — soon!
[…] have finished my painting of Cullen discolor! It has taken me a while. In fact I wrote a post about starting the painting in December 2012. 😦 To be fair to me, I have painted lots of other works in that […]