Wednesday, 24 August 2011

I will be spending my lunch breaks here


Lucky me! I have decided to spend my lunch breaks here for the forseeable future... This is the Waterlily House at Kew Gardens and is my chosen patch for my next painting. It is my favourite place and one day I will have one of my own, full of lilies!

Yesterday I spent a rather long time working in my sketchbook, trying to capture these really luminous colours. However, what I am having trouble with is the water. I have never painted pond water so close up before. It's almost black in most places, but in some there is the pale blue sky reflecting back at me or the leaves of the climbers all around the edge. The thing is, pod water in a confined space like this behaves differently to large water volumes outdoors. The light acts differently and the movement in the water itself is different. This is a very tricky subject to choose, but I appear to like a challenge!

In an attempt to understand how other's have approached this sort of subject I have been looking at other artists working in watercolour. This has helped a little. What I have noticed it you can either paint it in a stylised way, or you can be more precise - but there is definitely no middle ground!

This is what I would describe as an accurate painting of water. This has been painted by Tracy Hall.


This is very peaceful and still, but not really like the water in waterlily house. By Bunny Griffeth.

I really like this for capturing the reflection of a blue sky, but I'd need to put more black in. By Julia Swart

The reflections in this painting by Serena Rose are stunning, but to me the colour of the water is too blue and looks a little unnatural.

So... on that note I am off to look at the pond water for half an hour. I am hoping it won't be as busy as the other day - too many faces in the water!

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