“Summer Assortment”

What makes a great Flower painting? Can you tell us more about your painting “Summertime Assortment”

Flowers have always been my most favoured choice of painting subject.

Their bright colours inspire me and I nearly always use them in my landscapes. Watercolours are my favourite medium for depicting flowers as the translucency of the paints mimics the delicacy of the petals so well.

“Summer Assortment”was painted as a demonstration for an art club in the summer. It is a larger painting than I normally do in watercolours, but I felt it had to be big because I was being watched from a distance by quite a few people. I had a vase of flowers on a table next to me which I was using as a visual aid, but added extra blooms to create a better balance and composition. I used a large brush to quickly sketch in the flower and foliage positions and then added more detail later. Because I had to work quickly to a time limit, it meant that I didn’t have time to fiddle and could only concentrate on basic shapes and colours, which I think worked well. As it’s quite a large painting, I didn’t want to add a mount and make it even bigger and heavier with glass, so I used cold wax to seal and protect it, like a varnish, and framed it like an oil painting with a wide frame

What techniques do you bring to your oil paintings such as “Blue Bell Wood”? Do you have a favourite technique? If so, why?

When painting in oils I usually start with an underpainting of acrylic onto primed MDF board, which I can cut to whatever size I want. I use acrylics to start with to get the basic composition because they dry so quickly, unlike oils, and can be painted over in about 30 minutes when they are dry.

   I like to create texture with oil paints using a palette or painting knife which also helps me to create loose and impressionistic pictures as you have to simplify shapes with the knife and its much harder to create detail.

“Woodland Flowers”

Lastly, can you tell us more about what influences your work?”

Walking and driving in the countryside; watching travel and nature programmes; looking at photos in magazines and on the internet and looking at other artists’ paintings. As well as using all these ideas to stimulate my imagination, I love to paint outdoors, weather permitting, as it makes my style much looser because I have to paint faster. Being surrounded by nature and the constantly changing conditions is a very enjoyable and challenging way to paint.

Vibrant colours are my trademark and I am aiming to become more abstract in my work as I enjoy simplifying what I see in front of me or from a sketch I’ve done. I’ve always been a great admirer of the Impressionists, in particular Claude Monet, but there are many more modern artists who equally inspire me

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