What’s on my drawing board, June 24 2017

Karen Smith - what's on my drawing board this week? June 24 2017
Karen Smith – what’s on my drawing board this week? June 24 2017

Lots of leaves

This weeks drawing board is full of tropical leaves as part of my Palm House series of watercolour paintings, sketches and large acrylic works, inspired by the architecture and exotic tropical vegetation of the Sefton Park Palm House – a three tier dome shaped Victorian iron glasshouse in Liverpool, England.

Top row: Sketch book with practice colour schemes for ink pen tropical leaves drawing, I’ve been experimenting using minimal colour palettes, and in my sketchbook I drew out some colour wheels to help me work this out.
Finished watercolour painting with a spiral staircase at its centre – unfortunately the paper I used was not up to the job of masking fluid and multiple washes, it rubbed and bobbled and even tore in places. So this picture is great as a reference piece, but it doesn’t pass my standards for art I put up for sale. Inspiration scrapbook open at a ‘green’ page. My oval plastic watercolour palette, with the colours I’m using at the moment: Winsor Blue, Paynes Grey, Hooker’s green, Sap Green, Phthalo turquoise (a gorgeous colour by Winsor & Newton) & lemon yellow.

Middle row: A5 loose leaf study on paper taped onto a piece of lightweight plywood. Swatch cards where I have tested my various watercolour papers for their robust properties after my experience with the picture on the top row! A completed small watercolour study of banana leaves in full sunlight, using multiple glazes to indicate light & shade.

Bottom row: All clipped to my A3 rough sketch pad – a swatch card for the central painting on my board, I like to work out the colours I will use before beginning a work. I use the A3 pad to try out colour mixes as I go along with my painting – rather than trying out a possible mistake on the artwork itself. A photocopy of a section of my current artwork, I take these photocopies when I have inked in my design on the paper,  this gives me the chance to try colour schemes and brush techniques before I get started.
A3 board with stretched watercolour paper and a half compete watercolour painting of grasses. Another little test colour mix card – for greens only – to make sure I’m not introducing a new type of green to the work by mistake – this image is using green/yellow mixes, so I want to make sure I don’t add any green / blue mixes. Far right- my Winsor & Newton sets of watercolour paints.

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