Wow, what a difference a day makes, we seem to have been sitting under blankets of grey drizzle here in Devon for days then yesterday , the skies were an unbroken cerulean blue.
A walk through mists ,and ancient oak woodland at Fingle bridge
then to emerge into the sunshine, what a joy. It was cold but the sun was such a welcome sight.
If , like me, you struggle sometimes the depths of winter when light levels are low I would take the advice to get outside ( if you can) just for a few minutes. The light will always be brighter and there will be something to see to lift your spirits.
So as we head hopefully towards Spring we turn our heads towards the ground, Looking for the new shoots of growth. among the first of the intrepid flowers are the snow drops, and I love to try to paint them .
Never easy painting white flowers onto white paper , but there are ways.
I begin by sketching out a group of flowers. Then carefully painting the green stem . Try to capture the detail, the highlights and the shadow. The devil really is in the detail here.
Can you see I use lemon yellow , then sap green and then add indigo to make it really dark.
Then the flowers themselves, the petals. i use cerulean blue and a mixture of cadmium red and cobalt blue to create a shadow colour.
Be subtle but bold.
Then just keep going, paint what you see, not what you think you see. You can paint lighter petals behind stems as the stems will be darker and therefore appear in front of the flowers.
I am still going, giving myself time to look at the detail and try to replicate it.
Now I am working on the greens again. There are lots of greens, from acid yellows to blues and darker greens. It's the contrasts and attention to detail that make this piece work.
Now I move onto the fleshier leaves and I want to use as many colours as I can.
Finally I stand back, add a bit of colour into the sky and when completely dry get rid of any unwanted pencil lines.
Hoping for lots of new growth, longer days and signs of new life, the cycle begins again and I am so glad to be around to witness it.