Starting to paint my painting — or practising for the practice piece!

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.

 

Cullen discolor growing at Menindee. It loves the sandy red soils.

Cullen discolor growing at Menindee. It loves the sandy red soils.

A small section of the stem that I will eventually paint.

A small section of the stem that I will eventually paint.

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.

Drawings from my sketch book

Drawings of C. discolor, from my sketch book

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.

IMG_6682 IMG_6683

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!

The practice practice painting.

The practice practice painting.

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.

The practice painting -- still to be finished, but almost there.

The practice painting — still to be finished, but almost there.

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.

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About anne54

Botanic artist
This entry was posted in Beckler's Botanical Bounty, Botanic Art, My art work, Plants and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Starting to paint my painting — or practising for the practice piece!

  1. Hedera says:

    Fascinating process Anne! It’s not an easy subject and I think you doing a wonderful job so far. Best of luck 🙂

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  2. metan says:

    Looking forward to seeing more of this!

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  3. beverlydyer says:

    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!
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/118828868/calling-all-artists-haiku-o-gram-tm
    Let me know if you have questions!

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  4. Pingback: Finishing the practice painting | Anne Lawson

  5. Denise says:

    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.

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  6. Pingback: Painting — Cullen discolor | Anne Lawson

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