or ended, depending on whether O asks me to resume or not.
Some flowers, lilies, roses and greenery. Painting from live rather than printouts of photos.
04.05: quick sketch to get a feel of where the flowers are to be positioned and to choose colours, though I ended up with the same as I find them most pleasing.
The flowers have died so this will not be completed.
There is a row of trees on the Heath Extension that look to me just like some creatures out of “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak; they made me wonder whether the gardeners intended to create that effect. The image I took of them seems split in two, the top half reminds me of “The Fountain” the movie by Darren Aronofsky, symbolized by the tree with the seed pods.
30.04: I went back another day, the trees put on leaf quickly and the sky was full of large clouds and vibrant colours: cerulean, purple and ultramarine, so I may use that for the upper part. Placing the characters first.
01.05: just trying to do ordinary watercolour style.
02.05: I am finding my equipment difficult to work with, the images I can print are not what I am used to, so as the image I see is not what I want it to be, in order to make the most of what it is, I decided to paint without my glasses. I call it ‘going with the flow’. Some of the time it can be helpful.
Note: What I love about watercolour is the colours, it is a sensual pleasure: a pleasure of the senses, seeing the colours flow together, blend in a myriad of ways or stand out. In the grass for instance, putting three colours together but applying them unmixed allows them to do their own thing; I would say it is where O can be seen to work as it is out of my control.
03.05: without glasses this looks ok to me, but if it is, it is only because it is O doing it.
Camellia japonica, I think.
The new imaging facilities available to me at the moment create clear virtual images but none that will print distinctly. This is what there is for me to work with now, so I have chosen an image I like, although it has no depth of field to speak of.
02.04: no idea of what the colours will be or the image either: the image is like a tapestry, so I find both the shapes and the colours difficult to identify.
03.04: in order to understand this image I have to do a measured drawing. I will deal with colour once that is done.
04.04: I can see Ferngully characters in this, Magi and Zak in particular, but to be honest I doubt they will remain prevalent. Even with the drawing done and colours chosen I don’t have any idea where this is going.
05.04: the image is still a blank for me (in the sense that it has not taken its own shape in my head, furthermore each line and dot seem perfectly placed to me as they are; I don’t want to change anything) so I have to do an outline drawing as invisibly as possible so it will not interfere with the watercolour.
06.04: … but remain as true as possible to the original picture which I like – still working on that. 09.04: and on…
10.01: I was sent a masking fluid that is not colourless and find this much easier to apply with a chisel colour shaper. As there is not much depth to the image I have to try and bring out the lights and darks, which are often found side by side, the masking fluid will help retain the structure and placing of the lights. By doing this only in some areas I hope to instil a sense of movement. I will go lights: yellow, blue, red and then darks, same order. That’s the plan.
11.04: actually started with darker yellow, and then added the highlight with Aureolin mixed with Raw Umber. Turquoise is always tricky for me, I’ve added Manganese and Winsor Green (B) to try to obtain a vibrant turquoise.
12.04: Winsor Green (B) makes good turquoises I find, with Aureolin, Prussian Blue or Manganese Blue.
13.04: On to the darker colours – still not sure where this is going. 16.04: and on… 17.04: it is taking shape, perhaps this will just be a Camellia.
20.04: the ‘flat’ image is mostly there. I am picking out the dark lines and some darker shades in order to give it some depth. I used the sketch, shading in where I wanted the darker shades, to help guide me, as it is easy for me to get lost in the jumble of colours and lines otherwise.
23.04: on to the detail, having removed the masking fluid which protected the lightest areas, starting with the reds, for no particular reason. 24.04: finished the reds, next the blues.
25.04: I have tried to add detail in the areas where I could see more contrast. I could carry on with this longer but, I think it would detract rather than add to the picture so, I shall call it done.
The previous paintings representing ‘La Courte Paille’ do not show what the songs mean to me so I shall not continue at present. They may show what O wants them to, or it may be that I am expected to try my new photo managing software, but I think the plan is to go back to painting from photos. La Courte Paille remains a project I would like to undertake and I may try again, from the beginning, at another time.
The Third of La Courte Paille.
I find it a challenge to paint without an image and am taking refuge in the visual clues in the words, which is not necessarily what I intended. I didn’t make a plan before starting, but just added the images as they appear in the song. Then I looked at the painting from different directions and tried to follow the image that appeared: a blue tit, I think. Not very sure of what I’m doing, I told myself ‘love it as it is’ which helped a bit. Then decided to try painting without glasses. There is no image to follow and my new glasses don’t feel correct at the moment, which is interference I can do without. But actually looking without glasses used to help me sometimes to see tone better, so I may continue with that for a while.
Perhaps most importantly, I tried to think what the song means for O, what he was trying to say by it when it was written/composed. I don’t know, but to me it seems that it is, rather obviously, about when things feel a certain way but it is too difficult to say it, for some reason or another. Hence it seemed a good fit that the image looks a bit like a bird, like when we tell one another ‘a little bird told me’ when it is too difficult to say it otherwise.