I wish I could have drawn these hydrangea leaves from life. Sad to say, although we have hydrangea growing, the little bush has struggled to survive my husband’s yard-mowing. Time after time, he’s mowed right over the hydrangea, so it’s amazing really that it’s still even trying to grow. We have more hydrangea bushes ordered through the Arbor Day Foundation, and once they arrive, we’ll plant them and put a little fence around them all. Maybe that will keep my husband from inadvertently mowing them down.
After yesterday’s graphite and gansai time, I was eager to do another plant painting. When I saw an illustration of hydrangea leaves in the Barrington Barber drawing book I’m reading, I decided to make my own copy of it.
I really enjoyed doing this graphite drawing and then colorizing it with my gansai. This style helps me keep that “looseness” I’ve been finding and loving. With this piece, I let the lines and colors blend together, I let a few “blooms” blossom on the page, and I just played with lights, shadows, and dabbing in background colors.
This painting was made on the new “Bee Inspired” watercolor pad I purchased yesterday. I really like the paper. It’s much better than the other inexpensive brands of watercolor papers I’ve used before. Certainly it’s not the same high quality as Arches or other “top” brands, but neither is it as costly as those. The 50 page pad can be bought for under $10.00. It will certainly keep me busy for quite some time to come.
Yes, there are places where I could have done better. Here and there I got too much water; other places I got too much gansai. Overall, though, I can feel my watercolor techniques beginning to improve, and I like this playful “coloring page” style — where there are very visible lines. As with my daily drawing practice, paintings like this are boosting my confidence. When I see that I can make very “quick art” that’s nevertheless got its own sort of charm to it — and I do feel this has a bit of charm — it inspires me to continue my art studies, making me feel that when I’m ready to do “more serious” works, I’ll be up for the challenge.
I’m even thinking now of spending more time with watercolor — using my gansai, of course. I’m starting to develop more of a feel for watercolor painting, and I’d like to explore it a bit more. Especially now that I have watercolor paper that I can enjoy using. It hasn’t buckled and warped like so many other papers I’ve tried. I’m very pleased with it.
Now, I’m heading back to my kitchen table. These hydrangea leaves were only the first of several projects I hope to complete this morning. Time for me to go draw a little more!