Almost Just Joey ~ Workshop Day 3

Last days of a class that you have enjoyed is often tinged of regret. This last day of the workshop was no different, and I was determined to make the most of my time.

Just to recap, on Day 1 Helen Burrows worked us through tone, grey scale and mixing neutral tints, while Day 2 was about colour bias and other colour theory. There was a rose painting thrown in.

Day 3 was the time to tie it all together.

I chose a Just Joey rose. It was open and flouncy, with lots of beautiful curves and folds. There were strong highlights and delicious glowing depths. Just what a rose should be. By the way, whenever possible botanic artists work from the real thing, not photos. Therefore it helps to have a good supply, or paint things that don’t change much, like feathers and knobs of garlic! It also means that, before we start, we try to get as much information about our specimen as possible. Line drawings, tonal maps, colour swatches all help.

First step was the line drawing. This was much easier than the bud I attempted on Day 2. I am not sure why. More understanding of the shape? My eye was “in”? A fluke? Probably the last!

While I was drawing I was taking mental notes about the colours and the hues (which I think are tones with colour). I was also looking for the little details that make the drawing real ~ which line goes under, which go over, what happens at the end the curl of the petal and so on.

Then to the colour mixing and creating hue scales. A hue scale is like a colour swatch from the paint store. It helps to understand the range of that colour (hue), from the darkest of pure pigment to the lightest of washes.

I have admitted before that colour doesn’t always come easily to me. Part of my problem is that I am lazy, believing that close enough will be good enough. So while I did some hue scales, I could have done more. Consequently the colour I ended up using with was not accurate. So my painting of the beautiful Just Joey rose is also not accurate. To defend myself a little, I was conscious of time passing…..and the exercise was to see highlights and shadows.

My hue scales (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

My hue scales (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Hmmm. Could do better. The pencil letters are the paints that I mixed in order to get the colours ~ Quinacrodome Red, Quinacrodome Gold and Windsor Yellow Deep,  If I don’t record them, I easily forget.

On to the painting? Not quite yet. Next step is to create a tonal map/drawing of the rose. It is easy to skip this step, but I like it. Not only because I love seeing tone, but because it gives me vital information about the plant I am drawing. Then, when it goes to the compost, I have can still paint with reasonable accuracy. However, I have always done these as separate drawings. Helen’s suggestion was to do it on tracing paper, over the top of the line drawing. This is a great idea. The tonal work matches the line drawing

Tonal map (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Tonal map, created on tracing paper (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

Now on to the painting. Following those beautiful curves. Making the depths of the rose glow. Finding the nuances of tone. Understanding that on the rose there are 2 different sorts of shadows. There are the cast shadows, those made by another petal blocking the light. On my rose they were soft blue grey. Then there is the darker tone created by the light shining through the petals. These were the areas that glowed. And remembering not to get caught up in the detail of each area too soon. This was to be a first wash.

Line drawing with the paint, in progress. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)

Line drawing with the paint, in progress. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)

I only had time that day to get it to the stage shown above. Time was up, for both the workshop and the specimen! I was confident that I had enough information to be able to finish it at home. Not altogether the case, however. I wasn’t sure what was happening with the petals at the top left. I knew that the light was strongest on them, so I hoped that I would only need to suggest shape and hue. If the painting reads well (ie convinces us that this really is a rose) then our brains fill in the rest.

The next photo shows the tonal drawing, done on tracing paper, over the top of the work in progress. You can see how the tonal drawing helps to determine where the darks should be.

Line, washes and tone. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)

Line, washes and tone. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)

And finally, the finished painting!

The finished rose -- almost Just Joey! (Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

The finished rose — almost Just Joey! (Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

I am very please with the painting, especially as an early attempt at a rose. (It is available for sale in my Etsy shop. Either follow this link, or click on the photo.) Maybe now I am enough of a Grown Up Painter to do more roses!

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About anne54

Botanic artist
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18 Responses to Almost Just Joey ~ Workshop Day 3

  1. metan says:

    That is beautiful. 🙂 You have done a wonderful job of all the different shades in the flower.

    Like

    • anne54 says:

      Thank you ~ big hugs! Sometimes the paint flows in all the right places….

      BTW, how is your boy going at High School? All is well, I hope.

      Like

      • metan says:

        You can tell you enjoyed those classes, the rose looks so real. 🙂

        Number 1 is going far better than expected! I spent the last six months secretly preparing him for it so it wouldn’t be a shock to the system. He likes most of the teachers and has started making friends. Now when he gets in the car each night and I ask “how was your day mate?” he replies “really good!”. Amazing stuff!

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        • anne54 says:

          Good news about your son. “Really good” speaks volumes. I taught Grade 6 for a few years and loved to hear how they blossomed at High School. It was like launching them off and then hearing reports of an exciting new world.

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          • metan says:

            Really, my expectations were so low I would have been happy with an indifferent shrug as long as it wasn’t accompanied by a miserable face! To hear his happy voice and all the tales of the day is fantastic.
            It really is an exciting new world for him, not a little kid anymore! 😦 🙂

            Like

          • anne54 says:

            And the wish is for that you to continue to keep hearing his happy voice 🙂

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  2. acflory says:

    I am so glad you’re adding roses to your repertoire, Anne! And this first one is stunning. Go girl!

    Like

  3. Your rose is gorgeous and you have a gift for teaching. So exciting!

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  4. You have such a gift, Anne. I love botanical art. That rose is stunning. I’m glad you enjoyed your workshop.

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  5. Pingback: Friday Afternoon | Anne Lawson

  6. Pingback: The glories of watercolour! | Anne Lawson

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