Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Learning Exercise


Love in a Mist 29cm x 23cm watercolour

Having painted the pod of this lovely flower from a bunch I collected in Jean's Garden, I've had to rely on a photo reference I took some weeks ago to paint the flower. The result is disappointing. I'm not experienced enough in botanical art to make up petal structure I can't actually see. I also want this to be part of a series but I was so influenced by the actual background colours in the photo, the end result isn't faintly related to my earlier painting.

I decided to stop here on this one. I then played with the painting in Photoshop, replacing colour to see if I could make a version of this painting in harmony with the earlier picture.


Photoshopped painting

I think it would be more interesting. Any thoughts?

Now I have to go and make Tomato Chutney, which really puts everything into perspective!


25 comments:

Lin said...

Robin! These are stunning!! I LOVE them both -- the photoshop has a bit more contrast which makes the petals really stand out ... but both are incredible!!!!

caseytoussaint said...

My, Robyn - these are just incredible. Such fine detail, so elegantly painted! They're really wonderful.

brian nelson said...

What an intricate flower! Beautiful! Should be framed and displayed proudly!

juj said...

After seeing your pod when you posted it I had to go check out these amazing flowers for myself. They are stunning, and I can see why you are so interested in them.

As for your painting of the flower itself - I think it is simply beautiful, but the thing that I loved the most about the pod was it's isolation. It's such an interesting object on it's own that I think having any kind of background would have been distracting. I would suggest the same thing for the flower. While I like the color adjustment you made in Photoshop it's still a lot to look at and I think the flower kind of gets lost in that. Have you considered painting the flower in isolation? IMO not only would that help tie it to the other painting (regardless of color differences) it would also help highlight some of the things that make this flower so interesting (those thorny green spikes that surrond it).

Robyn said...

Lin - Bless you. I'm always delighted by your exuberant and oh so generous comments.

Casey - Thank you and welcome back from your holiday with all those gorgeous sketches!

Judi - I absolutely agree with you. I wanted to paint the flower in isolation but was frightened off by the challenge of painting white on white. I guess I have to give it a go. Thank you for the leg up :)

Claudia said...

Robyn, I like the original, just like it is! It's really good!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

Both are quite lovely. I wonder if it is the sharp contrast that is bothering you. To me the top one is very much as this flower would look at night. And very much like a fairy dancing in the garden I think.
Though I do love the white on white look very much - mostly line with just a touch of color. Breathtaking.

Joan said...

Robyn, This is beautiful!!! I love it with the blue background,as well as the way you changed it in Photoshop. I would love to see you do it in isolation too. It's such an interesting flower...very unusual. Very nicely done!!

mrana said...

Oh, but I think both are beautiful!!

Jana Bouc said...

I honestly can't imagine how you could possibly be disappointed wtih this painting. It is stunning and delightful and exquisite...I could go on. It really looks like a flower from a fairy story. I prefer the original for the colors and the contrast.

Africantapestry said...

I agree with Jana on your watercolor...I think it is exquisite and I don't miss seeing the petals, the suggestion is already there. It gives such great pleasure looking at it...the colors, the exquisite flower itself, even the busy, colorful background adds to the overall charm...I love it1
Just a quick tahnk your for your birthday wishes...how special it made me feel!
Ronell

Casey Klahn said...

It's a stunning and wonderful painting, Robyn.
I like the contrast structure of the painting, which is lost a little in the PS one.
I guess I would say don't make it too "perfect", keep loose, and keep a tight control on the values.
Really great painting!

Anita said...

Robyn - these last watercolours have been beautiful! Such a pleasure to see!

Dermott said...

Mmmm. One of those would look good in my buttonhole.

I'm saving up for a buttonholer. The short-term pain of buttonholing myself will be far outweighed by the pleasure of one of those sticking out of my breast.

Dave said...

The pod and the flower are stunning. These are wonderful flowers to paint.

Robyn said...

You've all been so generous in your comments. Thank you so much. I am psyching myself up to have another go at this.

Dave - Thank you. I should have mentioned that the first painting I had seen of a flower like this was your lovely, loose watercolour.

Dermott - I suggest you attend to your dirty ears before you start sporting a buttonhole!

Laureline said...

You're nuts. If you don't mind my saying so. I haven't read the other comments, so I may be repeating others's sentiments, but.... this is GORGEOUS! Who cares about petal structure?? Who cares about a literal botanical approach (though it has its charms and uses)? The combination of abstraction and detail is wonderful here.

Robyn said...

Laura - thank you:) You always know how to make a girl feel good.

Liz P said...

Robyn, these are truly lovely! I recognized the pod of this unusual flower right away, as I once worked at a flower farm where we used them in bouquets. They are beautiful with other everlastings. I haven't seen any in years, though! Thanks for jogging my memory.

Your watercolors are wonderful, and what fun, changing them in photoshop as well! You certainly are multitalented... all this, and tomato chutney too!

Karen Cole said...

I'm blown away by the way you have such control over your paint. I finally tried playing with watercolors last week and was stunned by how difficult it is. The details you achieve are wonderful. I agree with many of the others....they are both beautiful in their own way. The fact that we can manipulate on a computer is a miracle to me.

The simplicity of the first pod is still my favorite, though.

Robyn said...

Liz - Thank you :) I love the pods, I have a vase full of them in the lounge room. And thanks for appreciating my tomato chutney efforts!

Karen - Thank you, but I don't have quite as much control as you might think. Delighted to hear you are starting with watercolours too.

Brian - Apologies for the delay in publishing you most welcome comment. Somehow it got lost in the system. Belated thanks.

Katherine said...

You silly billy - the first one is lovely 'as is'.

Dermott needs a new photo with a flower in his hair. I just know he's got to be a flower child at heart.

Robyn said...

Katherine - thank you :) As for Dermott, sometimes he comes inside wearing half the garden! We have a stand of Pampas Grass that he circles, scratching himself. He's reduced it by half! I'll take a new photo of him but best wait until after his next grooming session.

Mary said...

Oh this is just gorgeous, I see a very personal style in this.

Robyn said...

Mary, thank you. You are so encouraging. I am desperately seeking a personal style :)

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