Friday, March 31, 2006

It's the same tulips........again! (but no red stripes this time)

So this is the same bunch of tulips as those you saw in the last two posts - but when they started to open up they made really nice shapes and I decided to do them again but this time without the red stripes.

So I set them up in the same place, drew them again (now much more open than before) and changed the colour emphasis. Got most of that done fairly fast and then pondered the background for days and days and days!

This is coloured pencil on Arches Hot Press watercolour paper (I'm using the 14" x 20" block at present). The size of this one is 12" x 16.75" (which is a slight mistake and this may well get cropped - suggestions welcome!)

I've also included a couple of samples of the background from scans so you can see what I'm doing. It's a sort of scribbling/open hatching approach with the hatching marks using every direction so no one hatching direction dominates. It is also deliberately open so that the optical mixing of the colours in use is easier to achieve. This also helps to achieve subtle transitions and soft edges. And it's absolutely brilliant for making coloured greys.

I hope you find it interesting - but this is the reason the background doesn't get finished so quickly. It's not the speed of doing it that's the problem so much as the speed of me making my mind up that the mix is about right!

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  1. Katherine, this background technique does take a long time. I've worked like this before and it's almost meditative (even though I tend to get impatient). But the results are beautiful and worth the effort. Your work is beautiful. Thanks for posting close-ups. :)

  2. This is lovely -- and I liked seeing the closeup of your background technique!

  3. I've been sitting here all evening at my kitchen table, several thousand miles away in Phoenix Arizona, staring at a glass bowl filled with majestic yellow tulips wondering what to make of them. Befuddled, I logged onto your blog and saw your beautiful work! Thank you for the inspiration!!

  4. Kathleen, Linda, Elizabeth - thank you all for your comments

    And Elizabeth - it was really nice waking up on Saturday morning to yours! I always open the comments I've received first thing when I open up my inbox each day - and it was so nice to read your comment as I had also been sat last night staring at flowers and wondering what to do!!! (Lilies this time ;) )

  5. I really appreciate you showing the closeup of how you did the background, it makes a lot of sense to not let any one line dominate. I especially love how you did the vase, the reflections off of it are fantastic.

  6. Darla - we had a really excellent project in the coloured pencil forum at Wet Canvas started by my very good friend Louise (Weezy) called "Classy Glass Class". We all ended up being able to do glass much better as a result. Copy and paste this link into your browser to find it -


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