Signs of Spring , with a Background!

Signs of Spring , with a Background!

So the days pass and I can quite easily forget whereabouts in the week I am, although having my 2 teenagers at home , trying as best we can to keep up the routines of home schooling does remind me ( a bit) . As a family we are all reaching out into the world via technology, each in our own little space. Things change quickly,  I need some sort of traffic light system on bedroom doors ...as I try to give back their laundry I realise that their Maths teacher can hear me asking ...is this your sock? in the background. Hey ho all in a day's work in 2021 I suppose.

So I know today is Thursday, and the day to write my blog, years as well as weeks have feelings associated to them as the seasons change. Even without the dreadful things that are happening this time of year always feels a bit sad, I passed my Christmas wreath by the back door, fading gradually 

I felt those sad mid winter blues that I think we can all be prone to around now. 

"Oh no" ( I hear you all cry) " I started reading this to cheer me up, and she's all downbeat" Well no not really, it just reminded me that despite everything I still feel similar feelings this year to every other year, although I do think for us all they are felt more deeply, and with a heightened sense of anxiety.

However, as I wandered around my garden I can see signs of Spring 

When I manage to drag my post Christmas self up the hill for my walk I marvel at the beauty I am lucky enough to see not far from my front door .

 

For me light is what I crave the most and to see a strip along the horizon brings a smile to my face and a spring to my step .

 

So with Spring in mind and with people asking me about my new found love of painting backgrounds what better inspiration than the snow drop ?

Now I don't want to over state the obvious, but snowdrops  are white , so to make them stand out , as with anything white, try to make what is next to them dark. Put your lightest lights next to your darkest darks.

So first I drew my snow drops.

Then I  masked them out, using removeable masking fluid. I also added a few splashes and dots with the fluid.

Then I wet the right side of the paper and dropped some masking fluid onto the that to represent some extra snowdrops in the distance....would this work ? ...I was experimenting now. 

Now to let the whole thing dry.....

I can also reveal that I have a bit of a problem....I can't help buying more and more paint and brushes...... So much so That I have palettes for different colours , helpful to me when I will be using a lot of one colour here is my green one. 

So once the paper is completely dry, and the masking fluid too, time to wet it again, a lot.

Then to flood it with colour, whatever you think best but remember the focus is the flowers so get the colour quite dark behind them. To make colour more intense use a minimal amount of water, to lighten it use more water.

Play around now , be free, and when you like it stop!

I then added cling wrap to the bottom left corner to give texture to the ground where the snowdrops were growing.

I sprinkled salt on the wet paper ( although I must confess I think the paper was a bit too wet and it didn't work as well as I'd hoped) . I use normal common all garden table salt.

Then when you are satisfied ....leave it...go away, leave it overnight for best results. Turn off the light and forget it till morning....

So now you can remove the cling wrap and see what magic has happened.

I then use a very soft eraser to remove the masking fluid.

If you look you can see the difference between the masking fluid applied on dry paper and that applied on wet paper.

Dry

Wet ( the edges are much softer) This could be used in a seascape, or anywhere else you can think of.

You can also see the salt hasn't worked as well as I holed but it has in the top left corner and bottom right.

You can't re-apply salt ( I know I've tried) but sometimes you just have to go with what you have . It can work like this 

Now to carefully paint the snowdrops, I won't go into too much detail as this blog is about the background. But I wanted to paint these carefully and precisely to contrast with the background.

Finally the greens and blues of the stems and a few tweaks to the background, I think this final photo shows the colours best, as light levels at the moment are making photographing my work quite tricky.

Have fun with your painting, and do what suits your style, I hope you are feeling ok, wherever you are and are still...like me looking for signs of Spring.

 

 

 


8 comments

  • Michelle

    Beautiful work as always and very inspiring. Thanks for sharing

  • Tina

    Thank you for all the wonderful tutorials. Your work is beautiful. I have tried using salt and cling film on some of my paintings but have never had any successful outcomes yet, but, I’m still trying.

  • Sue

    Absolutely beautiful. I love your work. Thank you so much for your blogs and your generous sharing of what you do and how you do it. I especially love your choice of colours (and would love to know more about the colour choices you make – particularly with flowers, seascapes and landscapes). Your composition of these snowdrops is beautiful and the purity and essence of these tiny but stunning flowers seems to just leap off the page! (And I could say that of so many of your paintings!) Thank you

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