Saturday, 20 August 2016

Painting white

I was lost in Hestercombe Gardens on a beautiful summers evening!  There was not much time to spare to find the small opening in the trees where I was to see a short drama production – I didn’t want to miss it and was striding along with purpose!
Catching a glimpse of something bright along the side of the path was enough to make me backtrack  to take a second look.  It was a single foxglove, backlit and standing tall and solitary against a dark green background.  My quick snapshot photo doesn’t really do it justice – it simply glowed.  I had to try and capture this moment on paper.  So just how would you tackle this tricky subject?  On closer inspection, there is actually very little white on the flower and the bits you can see really do accentuate the strong, low sunlight.  With watercolour, you have to be mindful of where you wish to see white.  Leaving dry paper where the white needs to be gives the brightest highlights.
The small painting is my interpretation of what I saw on that lovely evening at Hestercombe Gardens.  One day I hope to paint the whole foxglove – a custom frame would be needed as I can visualise a very tall narrow painting!
These moments are a reminder to make sure you have camera with you all the time, you never know when a glimpse of a subject will give you inspiration for a painting.
The gardens at Hestercombe House are truly beautiful.   On the evening I visited, the scent from the roses was amazing.  Well worth a visit.