New Artwork: Fuchsia
I find Fuchsias weirdly fascinating. I think they look like some sort of alien flower experiments that have not quite been able to hide themselves on planet Earth. They are a tropical flower, which might explain their way out colours and petal structures. They are native to Central and South America.
The first step in my painting was to arrange the composition how I wanted it. This flower was going to be a macro style pop art flower - big and bold and pink in the centre of the page, so a pencil outline was the first step.
The purples used in this painting have been Art Spectrum Flinders Red Violet and Flinders Blue violet with Payne's Grey in some of the darker sections. The pinks used are mostly Spectrum Crimson and Windsor Newton's Opera Rose.
The petals were painted one by one, taking care that the colours, light and darks gave a three dimensionality to the petal shapes. The background is Art Spectrum Sap Green, but I have gone over it with a couple of layers of Lemon Yellow after it dried, as I wanted a more lime, pop art / tropical colour to the background. I'm happy with how it turned out. It looks really vibrant and a bit out there, which I think captures the spirit of the Fuchsia.
This original painting is available for sale here.
Flower of the Week: Azaleas
The bright pink Azalea bush outside my front door has been flowering the last few weeks with the Southern Hemisphere Spring weather, so I thought it would make a good topic for the flower of the week.
Azaleas are flowering shrubs in the genus Rhododendron. They bloom in Spring with their flowers lasting several weeks. They prefer shaded areas and like to live under or near trees. These colourful flowers are native to Asia, Europe and North America. In addition to their beauty, Azaleas are also highly toxic. In the past, receiving a bunch of Azaleas in a black vase was a well know death threat !
On the left is an older painting of mine of Azaleas (2005). I tried to capture the colourful nature of the petals. The original was sold a long time ago, but prints of this painting are available here. Gift products with this colourful design of Azaleas are available here. On the right is a painting of "Azaleas in a Pot" by Claude Monet, an impressionistic interpretation of these flowers.
The Rhododendron festival in Blackheath (Blue Mountains area of NSW) is on every year to celebrate the coming of Spring to the Blue Mountains area and is on right now until the end of November. The main parade and festival stalls etc... will be on the weekend of November 1st this year. More information about the annual Rhododendron Festival here:
NEW PAINTING - Butterfly Koi
My new painting of Butterfly Koi is complete. Butterfly Koi are also known as Longfin Koi or Dragon Carp. They have longer fins than traditional Koi fish and are actually a crossbreed between Indonesian river carp and traditional Koi. Because they are not a pure breed, they are actually not very popular in Japan or Asia or among Koi enthusiasts. They are more popular in North America.
So the middle picture shows my initial sketch in pale lemon yellow. Because I don't use a pencil sketch for the Koi paintings, I still need to map out the positioning of the fish on the page, so I do a very pale wash to indicate the composition. The next step in the first picture on the left is to build up the colour on the fish. From my analysis of my reference photo, I found that the fish had blue and purple running through it as well as the dark orange splotchy scale pattern and a white head. I haven't used too may different layers, as I wanted the bright colours to be very pure and stark against the white head and later the pale green pond.
I 've also used the salt technique on the orange body - sprinkling salt over the wet area and leaving to dry then brushing off creates a splotchy pattern suitable for fish scales.
After the fish have completely dried (a couple of hours), I have painted in the watery background - first by wetting the background with plain water with a large brush, then dabbing the colour (Pthalo Green, Ultramarine Blue and Paynes Grey) onto the water which makes the colour run and disperse, then adding the cling film onto the wet background and scrunching it into a pattern and leaving it to dry completely. The pattern it creates denotes a watery background.
This original is for sale here or the print of this painting is available here.
Flower of the week: Tulips
The Floriade festival in Canberra (Australia) has just come to an end this past weekend, having showcased a huge variety of Tulips, these colourful bulb flowers that bloom during September / October Spring season in Australia. Last year I was fortunate to travel to Canberra for this fantastic festival and took hundreds of photos for reference photos for future paintings. I'm drawn to the simplicity of the petal shapes and the dramatic beauty of a field full of tulips, such as in the middle photo above.
Tulips are a Spring blooming perennial bulbous plant with showy flowers. Most tulips produce only one flower per stem with petals usually cup or star shaped, with three petals and three tepals to a stem. Tulips come in a variety of colours except blue.
On the left (above) is my painting of orange coloured tulips that I did probably almost ten years ago. It's one of my older paintings, so it's high time I pay some more recent attention to this beautiful colourful flower...
Below are two paintings of tulips by one of my favourite artists Georgia O'Keeffe. One (left) is a close focus rendition of the centre of the flower (Pink Tulip 1926) and one shows the more classic tulip shape (Pink and Yellow Tulips 1925).
Back to the Creative Drawing course and this week's exercise is all about exploring multiple perspectives by creating a composition with a variety of simultaneous viewpoints. Here my drawing is divided into sections to create a series of small drawings within a drawing. Each section represents a different angle or perspective of the subject (one of my son's LEGO creations).
The inspiration for this exercise comes from an etching by Giambattista Piranesi (1761) (below left) "Diagram of temple construction" where multiple perspectives are presented within a single format. He shows the enlarged construction details in the top and bottom panels. Well... I can't really compare a drawing of LEGO to one of a great temple... but nonetheless I enjoyed this simple exercise - it reminded me of technical drawing activities from school ...
Flower of the week - Camellia
The Camellia is also a late Winter / early Spring flower that has been blooming all over Sydney in recent weeks. It's actually native to Eastern and Southern Asia. Camellias are shrubs or small trees with thick, glossy leaves and the flowers are usually large and colourful. Colours range mainly from white to pink and red, as can ben seen in the photo on the right.
On the left is my macro style painting of a Camellia. I was trying to capture the intricate petal shapes in a close up form to show the pattern and abstraction that nature can present.
The painting in the middle is a darker pink Camellia showing the glossy, waxy leaves of the foliage against the bright, dark pink petals. This painting has been a popular print on Fine Art America.
Below are two Camellia paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe. They are also close up style renditions of pink and white Camellias. The dark green colour of the glossy leaves on her white Camellia painting are actually closer to the proper colour than my leaf colour... I didn't analyse the colour correctly and it should be darker, not so yellowish !...
Sacha Grossel is a practising Visual Artist from Australia.