Friday, 29 March 2013

Grey Leaves on the Green Giant

Coffee arabica painting in progress by J R Shepherd - Inky Leaves
Lots of greens to paint in this coffee plant

Yesterday was a day off from Kew, so I spent it at the drawing board in the studio, working on the big coffee plant.  The night before I had worked on some of the leaves higher up, which meant standing for a couple of hours, but yesterday I wanted to sit down. I am making a lot of more progress on the bottom part of the painting because I am lazy and want to sit down all the time! So with less leaves to choose from I decided to start the tricky ones on the left which have the sun shining on them.

It's amazing - the coffee leaves are almost white. Really tricky to do but completely worth the effort. I am pretty pleased with the results of a days labour. Definitely went for quality rather than paper coverage! It took ages to get it right. Lots of Winsor and Newton French Ultramarine in the mix, and Daler Rowney Mauve making this part of the painting less 'green'. I have a little stubby brush which is great in these scenarios. I used it a lot for Sally the Savoy and it's brilliant for blending the edges of washes to give an overall feeling of smoothness. I find this is particularly good in the lighter areas where you are using the colour of the paper in the body of the subject.

A close up on the coffee leaves (in progress)

I hope to get a few evenings of painting done next week after work so I can start filling out the top a bit more. As you can see - there is still lots to be done!
Coffee arabica painting in progress
Coffea arabica painting in progress


  1. Stunning work, love the zoom xx

    1. Thanks Claire - I like the zoom too - so much fun!

  2. Jess this is going to be a sensational painting - well it already is.
    I am very impressed by your perception of varying hues of light and how you have gone so deep dark where needed.
    It is already leaping out ...

    1. Ha-ha! Thanks Vicki - I wonder if I'll ever be able to sell it (wouldn't mind it for myself!). This beauty was also inspired by a dream I had which I think helps me with the painting process and makes me 'get lost' in it.

      LOL - the only problem with going so dark is how much paint it uses. I am going to have to get more tubes!