Part 5: Exercise 5.1 – detailed painting of plants or weeds in garden

Brief

Make one very detailed painting using watercolour, acrylic or oil paint of the plants or weeds in your garden or nearby environment. Use a surface between A5 and A3 in size and paint the surface with a mid-tone colour first.

Trial sketches

I used size 8 and 10 flat and filbert brushes for these paintings and oil paint thinned with Liquin.

Part 5: Exercise 5.1 – garden weeds and spider’s web [oil on A4 Frisk lay flat sketch pad]
Capturing the spider’s web and drops of water were tricky, but overall I think I managed it to produce an interesting composition.

Part 5: Exercise 5.1 – unfurling fern [oil on A4 Frisk lay flat sketch pad]
I was struck by the raw beauty and fertility of this clump of ferns beginning their life in our garden for another year. Trying to capture this vitality was exciting. It would be interesting to compare this image with a similar painting of the end-of-season die back in the Autumn.

Part 5: Exercise 5.1 – thistles [oil on A4 Frisk lay flat sketch pad]
This reminds me of an image I came across in my researchGlobethistle, by the 18th century artist John Miller and I’m pretty sure that I must have been influenced by his thistle image when I was looking about my garden for inspiration.

Part 5: Exercise 5.1 – wild rose [oil on A4 Frisk lay flat sketch pad]
Again, I think I was influenced by my research notes in capturing this wild rose in the garden. In the notes I refer to The Paper Museum of Casino dal Pozzo and pick out a drawing in watercolour and body colour over black chalk by an unknown artist of a peony. My rendition of the wild rose is no where near as detailed as the peony – which is alright in my eyes, as it fits more in line with my slowly developing style, or painter’s voice.

Part 5: Exercise 5.1 – lily and contoneaster [oil on A4 Frisk lay flat sketch pad]
I like the depth of the water in the pond showing beneath the lily flowers and leaves and around the edge where the contoneaster drops in from the bank. Not quite a Monet water lily pond though.

Part 5: Exercise 5.1 – Aqualegia, lupin foliage, Japanese acer & stuff [oil on A4 Frisk lay flat sketch pad]
‘Off the wall’ – I have a corner in the garden that has a structure I built some years ago. The structure is made out of plastic rone pipes of different lengths with pieces of wiring and cabling emerging from the pipe ends. The structure holds and displays varying bits of technology gathered and used over the years and now discarded (see below for an explanation of the IT stuff mounted on the structure).

Finished painting

Part 5: Exercise 5.1 – finished painting – my IT garden corner [oil on A3 250gsm Bristol Board]
The IT ‘stuff’ includes a Nokia 100 mobile phone; a Canon VP1000 computer monitor; a Belkin mouse; a Gravio video game controller. Peeking from the undergrowth is one of our dog’s favourite toys ‘Mr Rudolph’. I think there is something Rousseau’esque about the naive, almost darkly primitive nature of this painting.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
27 June 2017

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