What’s on my drawing board, Nov 16 2017

Karen Smith - what's on my drawing board this week? November 16 2017

Patterns from the 16th Century.

This weeks drawing board is full of 16th Century Jacobean patterns featuring flowers and leaves (of course!).

Top row: Top sketch book with colour swatch samples for leaves, mainly yellows, blues and greens, lower sketchbook with gum leaf pattern in watercolours using tonal shades mixed up from Payne's Grey, Ultramarine and Crimson.
Square 6" x 6" watercolour sheets with Jacobean flower designs drawn on them ready for watercolour washes. A couple of completed designs using a limited colour palette of Phlalo blues and lemon yellow.

Large sketchbook with practice flower designs and research, once you get into the rhythm of drawing these flower designs its really good fun. I've been looking mainly at tapestries and embroideries from 16th century along with a few pattern books and find that the key features to these designs are side views of flowers - almost as though looking at a section sliced through the flower (like biology illustrations). The flowers are often loosely based on tulips, roses and carnations, they always have odd numbers of petals, and often leaves are drawn from flat from above. I've added a few of my own leaf designs and swirls to the mix.

Bottom row: Two more completed paintings using a turquoise colour scheme, I've listed them on Etsy. In the middle of the board a flower design is still being painted and I'm using Prussian Blue as the basis of this colour scheme - so more reddish blue than greeny blue. To create these paintings I've been taping them down with masking tape onto corrugated plastic sheeting, this is light and waterproof, and with a little gentle heating the masking tape lifts off really easily leaving a nice crisp 1/4" border round the painting.

I'm using layering techniques for these paintings, starting with a background wash then filling in the patterns with more layers to create deeper colours. Pentel water brush pen. Rectangular plastic palette with my Winsor and Newton tubes of paint - a great Ebay purchase for about $3! it has nice deep wells for paint mixing. Just to the right half in shot is a practice painting, for testing colours on before committing to the final painting I'm working on.

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