Monday, 21 September 2015

Bouquet of Flowers

The first floor of the house I live has been sold recently, and the new owner of the flat seems to have moved in. I haven't met her yet but thought I'd leave a welcome card. I rummaged in a small drawer where I keep cards both used and new, but I couldn't find a suitable card to write on. So I improvised a watercolour painting. It was painted in less than 10 minutes. It's strange how this casual improvised painting was a lot easier to do for me, than paintings which is more contemplated...what's in that "contemplation"? They are the thought of "oh, I don't want to mess it up" "I want it to be a good painting" "If I put this colour here, it may all go wrong..." "It doesn't quite look like the photo I am working from." Etc etc. they don't really seem like helpful thoughts.

The thing is, I wasn't even looking at a bunch of flowers or photographs to paint from. This is really the concept of flowers...there isn't a species of plant that's identifiable by this painting. I put down a few brush strokes in a "flowery" colours and "leafy" colours and they still looked like flowers (I hope). I think I have learnt something useful from this little exercise. I can try to experiment with more casual and fewer brush strokes than fiddling about with many, and not so much sticking to how it resembles the original photograph.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Some Bird Sketches

Woodpecker - copied from a painting by Denis Clavreul

Shag - copied from a painting by Denis Clavreul

Grey heron sketched at Chiswick House and Gardens. Grey herons tend to stand still so it's a good subject to draw - was the thought I had, but once I started, the bird kept on twisting and turning its head and just wouldn't sit still!!


Canada geese and coots

These are the two species that are very common in the pond of this garden. There is a more exotic looking species, the Egyptian goose, but I couldn't see them near enough to draw. I should remember to bring my binoculars next time.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Monarch Butterfly

Danaus plexippus

"The monarch butterfly ... May be the most familiar North American butterfly, and is considered an iconic pollinator species. ... The Eastern North American monarch population is notable for its annual southward late-summer/autumn migration from the United States and southern Canada to Mexico. During the fall migration, monarchs cover thousand of miles, with a corresponding multi-generational return north." - Wikipedia

Just as we love the red admiral butterfly in Britain, monarch butterfly seems to be its counterpart in America. Since we don't have this species here (I am lucky if I could spot a red admiral even!), this was painted from a photograph.

I have seen monarchs' annual migration on wildlife programme on TV, but it would be really miraculous if I could see it in real life.