Tulips are another must at this time of year. The leaves are often more interesting than the flowers themselves. Although they were actually standing in a jug, I decided not to include it as I wanted to concentrate on the leaves. I’m hoping by later in the week the flowers will have become more relaxed about being painted.
The final fling
The final phase of the daffodil ‘thing’ I have had this week! Although the flowers are still thriving, it is probably time to look at something else. They were a beautiful present which couldn’t help but brighten up the day – a lot of days actually. They always seem to be a cheerful flower and bring a much needed burst of colour into the world at this time of year.
Daffodils and lemon
The Daffodils are starting to open up now and showing more of their colour, and are just as good to paint. I love the different greens along their length from the very yellow-green at the bottom through the blue sheen along the stems and so dark in the shadows between stems and under overhanging petals, and back to yellow green again as the buds begin to open. Mostly I used lemon yellow and French ultramarine with just a touch of permanent sap green in places. I always want to paint them as much as possible every year as I know they wont last for ever.
They have been lining the drains around here for most of the week, and whilst I am not too sure what the process involves, it has clearly taken a great many vehicles of all shapes and sizes, pumps, generators and swarms of orange-clad men in white helmets who, between sporadic bursts of manic activity, did a lot of standing around, talking. Which was most fortunate for me, once I realized they weren’t going to be changing position very often, as it gave me the chance to try and draw them. They mostly stayed still except the one on the left in this sketch who kept wriggling his legs I think in an effort to keep warm, but for all I know he could have been rehearsing his part in an upcoming pantomime. Anyway, they seem to have lost interest in our road now.
Painted in Moleskine A5 sketchbook.
The snow may have gone, for now, but the memories linger, thanks to a painting I did looking out of a window where I had no need to worry about freezing water or fingers. I used New Gamboge, Permanent Rose and Cobalt Blue in the sky and some Raw Umber in the buildings.
A taste of things to come?
Snow in November – Thanks to Storm Arwen. You either love it or hate it, viewing it as either magical or a threat to life and limb. It’s certainly magical to paint, and in some ways simplifies the landscape into areas of cool blues and violets against areas of warm siennas and ochres with a few slithers of untouched paper.
Of course, the difficulty with watercolours is if the water hasn’t frozen, your fingers probably will, so if you are somewhere where you are unable to sit in a car, it might be a good idea to memorize a simple view or make a pencil sketch to work from when you reach home – alternatively you could just paint the view through the window.
A memory of Summer
With Winter fast approaching it is good to have a memory of Summer and the thought that one day it will all return. Meantime, there is always something to enjoy in every season. All you have to do is let it find you.
I saw this view while I was washing the car this morning. The autumnal colours of the trees bringing this usually shadowed corner out into the spotlight, if only for a little while. By the time I had finished the car and sketched this, the sky was beginning to look a lot more grey. I used New Gamboge and Burnt Sienna for the main tree.
Another time, I might not align the lamp post with the edge of the refuse bin quite so well. Originally I wasn’t thinking of taking it as far over to the right, but it just happened, you know?
Painted in a hardbound A4 sketchbook Stillman & Birn, beta series.
The last three
Today, three pears remain uneaten, although if those we had last night with chopped pecan nuts and maple syrup were anything to go by, I don’t expect them to be around much longer. Apparently, Pears ripen from the inside outwards, so there is no point in prodding them while still on the tree. You have to lift them off gently just before they drop. When you come to sketch them, you have to try really hard not to make them look too much like old-fashioned light bulbs!
After many years of trying, our little Pear tree has produced fruit which has reached full size. It’s a race to paint them before they are eaten, but I hope I may manage a few more.