"The simplicity of form, the drama of rich, intense colour, the joy of challenge, and the challenge of endurance... The piece, when it is over, is not what is made, but how it is made." ~Andrew Kuntz
©Still-life sketch with blue bow, January 29, 2014
By Laura Leeder
Every painting starts with an idea that is visualized first in my minds eye. I then photograph the collection of items, in a variety of still-life arrangements choosing the one set-up that speaks to me best. Almost always the flowers included are from my own garden, this one; a blue hydrangea that presented me with it's first blossom this summer after being dug up and moved 2 years ago.
What a gift! Hence an idea for a painting was formed. While photographing I am thinking about the mood I want to convey and choosing items that best help me achieve that feel. Strong cast shadows, texture and transparency are important elements in all my paintings, as are the references to nature and the nod to slower, more peaceful times.
The clusters of petals on this hydrangea are pretty to look at, but, a nightmare to draw. So I am simplifying the number of petals while referring to my photographs to ensure that I don't lose the over-all shape of the blossom or it's feeling of abundance. This is the hardest part of the process for me. Patiently, fine-tuning the sketch, adding the important details, making corrections and checking for balance instead of grabbing my brushes and charging into my watercolour paints!
Thanks for stopping by,
Laura Leeder, Watercolour Artist