Saturday, 4 July 2009

SBA Assignment 3, Leaves and Greens

I always loved painting leaves, so was looking forward to this one. Here's an autumn leaf, beech leaf on vellum. This assignment is is all about mixing greens and painting leaves.  It's a good idea to create a leaf library for reference!

Leaf library

A minimum of eight leaves to paint for this assignment- difficult part is choosing which ones. There is so much to choose from at this time of year in the the garden but I've gone for as much diversity in adaptations and colour e.g. shiny, hairy etc. Leaves are: (top row) Pulsatilla vulgaris, Althea rosa, Euonymous fortuni, (middle row) Trifolium repens, Stachys byzantina, Lilium auratum, (bottom row) Papaver somniferum, Polmonium pulcherium var. hidakanum 'Purple rain', Cotoneaster franchettei, Leycestaria formosa.

probably could have added a bit more on both the lily and pheasant berry leaf . I always think that leaves should never be overworked and should have clean edges. Over painting is a total no no! so thats what I try to keep in check.

Opium poppy lefaf. I love these leaves, the colour ( overall a blue biased green but with that interesting lemon colouation)  and the texture and that venation, it's a great subject to paint.  I build up leaves using transparent or semi transparent colours, and, if its a tonally light leaf I use high light value colours, e.g. cerulean and lemon yellow. 

The Stachys was Margaret's favourite! Agian light leaf = high light vale colours! dry brush over a wash to give the effect of softnes and hair......thinking texture here

A different coloured leaf! this lovely dark Jacob's Ladder from my garden ( all were) I like the two tone green /purple look. Add the purple over the green wash when it's completely dry. Little cotoneaster at the bottom. A blue wash first for shine

Margaret Steven's was the tutor for this assignment, I got a very good mark for this and some really nice comments, she particularly liked the Stachys, with the pale hairs. And also the use of dry brush and fine line work. personally I thought the Hollyhock and Euonymous were poor, too detailed. I would have marked myself down for that one, but thought the others were ok.Margaret criticised the Euonymous saying iot was a little too dark and the lighting could have been better. Again she picked me up on fiunising off the base of the stems! Must pay more attention!

 UPDATE May 2015
Here are a few leaves painted since I finished the course. I like to teach leaf painting now - could spend forever painting them! Decaying leaves are my favorite but I like a smooth shing green leaf too!
Decaying lime leaf on vellum

Work in progress

Cherry on vellum
Red maple

Another maple....falling through space

Another lime
Rhododendron and the process below

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