Saturday, 4 May 2013

Trying something new.


Though I haven't been getting any time for art recently, I was away on holiday for a few days the week before last and I decided to have a go at painting a flower by following the instructions in a new book I have by Michael Lakin. He is a wonderful botanical artist and I thought it would be interesting to try his technique.

The subject is a Rose and included with the book was a tracing, so I can't take any credit for the drawing. The painting process was hugely different to anything I've tried before. It involved putting on pale graduated washes, letting them dry, and then adding another, gradually building up the painting in layers. I know some of you already work this way and I was keen to experience it for myself. In total I put on something like 7 or 8 layers. It was interesting putting a wash of French Ultramarine on top of the Cadmium Red petals ... something I would never have dreamed of doing.

I started the painting nearly 2 weeks ago and it has taken me 3 sessions in all to complete it. I was surprised at what a slow process it is. I shall definitely try this method again soon but I'll leave it until I have enough time ... it's not a method to be rushed, that's for sure.

And big apologies for not getting round your blogs as much as I'd like ... I'm missing all your wonderful art.

32 comments:

  1. It looks lovely John.I am also changing my way of thinking when I am painting. I bought some primary colours to learn more (they are mentioned in one of my pages at the top of my blog). Now I am trying to mix the colours with different layers on the paper instead of mixing them before putting them on the paper. But sometimes it feels, strange I know! :)It changes a painting totaly with each layer of paint! But it is fun. And it is very satisfactory because you feel that you learn so much from it. Don´t you?

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    1. Thank you Catharina. That's an interesting process you're working on. I've never heard of mixing watercolours on the paper. I'll get across to your blog to have a look as soon as I can. ;)

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  2. By the way: happy to see you here! :)

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    1. Thank you very much ... you're a sweetie. ;-)

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  3. Hey! Welcome back, stranger!

    I have been also doing multi-layering only using acrylic washes by way of Golden fluid acrylics. I haven't had your degree of success, but at least I am painting (after 75 years). I'm currently on painting #10

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    1. Thanks for the nice welcome John. Wow, painting #10 ... I've missed a lot. I'll get over to yours for a 'butchers' as soon as I can.

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  4. It is fun to learn new techniques, isn't it. I like layering, but 7 or 8 layers is a lot! I'm not sure I would be as patient as you. The result is beautiful, John!

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    1. Yes, I felt that 7/8 layers was a lot but, as you say, it was fun trying something new. Thanks Judy.

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  5. This is beautiful John. It's a technique that suits botanical illustration, but I wonder whether you could use it for your other paintings as well.

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    1. Thank you Keith. I'll work with this technique for a while but I think I'll only use it when the subject suits it. It's too slow and time consuming for regular use and I think I'm too impatient. lol

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  6. You did it beautifully, John! That's a gorgeous rose.

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  7. If this was your first time for glazing I do admire what you've accomplished. Your rose is beautiful. 'The Perfect Rose'.

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    1. Thank you very much BJ. Yes, this was my first attempt at glazing but having good, easy-to-follow instructions, helped a lot.

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  8. Well it looks beautiful John! I use the layering technique too and it is quite time consuming. I keep trying to find away around it but haven't found anything up to par just yet. :)

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    1. Yes, I've seen you mention layers and glazes on your blog. If it's good enough for you then it's good enough for anyone. Thank you Crystal.

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  9. Glazing can get really wonderful translucent effects - especially in landscapes or seascapes. I use them a lot but it is very time-consuming and one needs a lot of patience. You did well.

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    1. I'll persevere with the technique Jean but I doubt I'll have the patience to use it all the time. Thank you very much.

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  10. What a great work John! I started out with botanical painting, and I know how difficult it is and how long time it takes, you did an amazing job !

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    1. Thank you very much Jane ... maybe there's hope for me yet then. ;-)

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  11. Fun to try new things...I don't usually do more than four layers! I think your drawings are better than this one, but understand it was just an exercise. Hope you get more time to paint soon...me too ;0)

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    1. Thank you Trudy. I'm very flattered by your comment about my drawings. Yes, I hope we're both back to painting very soon. ;)

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  12. Beautifully painted Rose John. All the best mate.
    Vic.

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    1. Thank you very much Vic. All the best.

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  13. It's fabulous John! Really love it! I also use the layer technique, only with oils. It's a slower process but the colours glow :0)

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    1. Thank you Sandra. Looking at your beautiful layering was one of the things that made me want to try this.

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  14. Good morning John,

    What a lovely painting. You did a wonderful job using the layering technique. It's beautiful.

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  15. This is lovely John! I have recently tried the layer painting as well. I'm so impatient but it's fun. This is wonderful.

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    1. Thank you very much Suzanne, you're very kind.

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  16. Hi John!... A lovely "first." Layering teaches an important vitue for us all - Patience! As the old saying goes:

    One gets out of something what one puts into it. It proves true here! Well done!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,
    Bruce

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    1. 'Patience' is right Bruce. I'll certainly use this method again several times to really understand it. Thanks for your insightful comment ... much appreciated.

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