This week I finally finished off a commission which began last year. It's a painting of the sweet pea 'Cupani' on dark vellum, which will be making its way to its owner in Seattle this coming week. It's been a long time in the making, as many paintings are - from buying the seeds and growing the plants in the garden, initial studies and sketches to the final painting all takes time.
|Finished painting of Cupani Lathyus odoratus on dark veiny vellum |
|Botanist Father Cupani Img. Wikimedia Commons|
Compared to modern day cultivars, this is a much more conservative looking flower, the hairy slender stems usually bear just two flowers, which are relatively small, however the colours are stunning with a rich red maroon, and blue/ violet wings with a paler keel inside, most outstanding is the perfume of the flower. Dr Uvedale succeeded in growing the flower which soon became popular in the 1700's, being given the name 'Cupani' and marketed commercially by around 1730. Our modern day cultivars descend from Cupani, so we have much to be thankful for.
|Within a couple of weeks Cupani is scrambling all over the garden|
|Studies, revealed that some stems have three flowers but most only have two, Later on I decided to stick with what is typical in the final painting.|
|The finished study page shows different aspects of the plant, an enlarged dissection in graphite, notes about the plant, dates and colour mixes. This process makes composing and completing the final piece much easier.|
|On the light manuscript the colours are more vibrant and venation is still visible|
|Comparing surfaces, left study page, centre manuscript and right dark veiny vellum|
|A small study on a scrap of dark vellum, after discussion with the client we decided this was the best option|