Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Turnip in watercolour






















I've taken a complete break from drawing in order to concentrate on improving my watercolours. It would have been easy to keep drawing and keep the blog updated but I've never been very good at doing two things at once and I knew if I didn't give 100% of my attention to watercolours it would go on the back burner, yet again, for a year or two.

Of course, it's going to take years to feel in any way comfortable with watercolours but my being able to post something here and feel reasonably OK about it is a pretty major improvement for me! It's a combination of drawing from life and using Billy Showell's DVD (Fruit & Vegetable Portraits)to follow which colours to mix and how to put them on. Her turnip was a lot darker, more purple than mine, which was more pink with a yellow tinge so I had to add some colours of my own too. Initially though, I followed her advice to use a mix of Winsor & Newton French Ultramarine and Quinacridone Magenta and a touch of Cadmium Yellow Pale for the main colour, and for the green shoots, a mix of Cadmium Yellow Pale and Winsor Blue Green Shade. After that I deviated as my turnip was a lot more yellow and used a very pale wash of Yellow Ochre and after that dried a little Neutral Tint as the shade underneath it had a 'dirty' grey look to it. I added a little red to the base of the shoots as a shadow and to make them blend in. I took the Yellow Ochre down the root and blended it in to Neutral Tint.

I stopped as I wasn't too sure how to improve it - not because it couldn't be improved but because I don't yet have the techniques or the finesse with the paintbrush! I can see it needs quite a bit of refining, although I'm not going to fuss over this particular painting but keep up the practice and hopefully that will come.

12 comments:

Double "D" said...

Felicity,
I think this is great and look forward
to more watercolors from you.

I really like the blending of colors in the turnip
it's self. Nice and free flowing. This is up to you but
the only thing I would do is to add a little of the body color up into the stems of the foliage.
It takes a long time for us to decide how to approach a style with watercolor. From the very tight and precise to the spontaneous quick statements with colors flying. Once I get back to painting I'll be leaning towards the more spontaneous approach. We'll see how that goes.

In the mean time I'll be enjoying watching your creations evolve here on your blog. Again I think this turnip is great!
DD

Felicity said...

Thanks so much Doug, I really appreciate your advice! I never thought of taking body colour up the stems, I'm going to try that now.

Yes, style - I didn't want to go this tight but I guess that's just what's going to come out! I do hope it will evolve a bit looser over time though!

Hope you are making a good recovery and look forward to seeing more of your beautiful watercolours very soon!

Wilfred said...

Hi Felicity,
I think this is a great image! It's great that you've decided to branch out and try your hand at this difficult medium.
Looking forward to your future watercolour uploads!

Teresa said...

It looks great... and your signature look has successfully carried over into watercolor. I'm envious! ;-)

Felicity said...

Thanks a lot Wil! Early days, but I hope there will be a few worth posting!

Thanks so much Teresa! :)

alison staite said...

:o) Ahh, big thumbs up! I look forward to seeing what's next!
Alison

Carolina said...

Hi Felicity!
Watercolors seem to me like a totally different world, difficult to land safely on! You're doing so well, and dedicating yourself to it, that it all seems to be a matter of time (a couple of months tops) for you to feel free and ready to start your own creativity using this medium.
Way to go!
Big hugs,
Carolina

Felicity said...

Thanks a lot Alison! Will keep chugging along and see what happens!

Thanks Carolina for your encouragement - I need it! ;) Yes, they are so alien but I discovered, for me at least, the key is in my mind and how I approach them. Getting rid of the fear and just allowing myself to play has made all the difference.

caseytoussaint said...

From where I'm sitting, this looks wonderful! And I agree with Teresa- your beautiful, precise drawing style seems to be showing through.
It's so difficult to start a new medium - you are doing really well!

Felicity said...

Thanks so much Casey!

Paula Pertile said...

I love it! (And not just because I'm into roots these days.) And I love Billy Showell too, and have that same book. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Pat said...

I like the way you have painted this. The control of your line and color is great. Ready for publishing.