Monday, December 12, 2011

Robins - watercolour on gold ground

Robins - 18 x 18cms
transparent watercolour on gold acrylic ground

Exploring abstraction and still obsessed with gold grounds.  Finally settled on a combination of abstract and figurative styles for this favourite subject.  The presence of robins in our grey garden at this time of year is such a joy.

I decided to limit myself to transparent watercolour for this painting but I'm really missing a touch of white gouache.  Sometimes just putting a painting up on my blog gives me enough distance to decide if it's working. Perhaps you can help me decide?  The scan doesn't do justice to the richness of the gold shining through the transparent colour.

22 comments:

Sherrie Y said...

Even with the vagaries of digital photography, this is a deeply rich piece. It has, for me, the feel of an ancient icon... I don't think I'd put any white on this one. (Although I understand the compulsion for contrast.) I LOVE these background textures.

Robyn Sinclair said...

Hi Sherrie. I'm sure my interest in gold is the influence of the religious art I'm exposed to here. The texture of course is mypassion for printmaking. I love your comment. Thanks.

Cathy Gatland said...

I'd love to see this in real life, it looks gorgeous - I think white might distract from the subtle tones and textures. Beautiful!

vivien said...

I think I would put a little dry brushed white gouache in - but it really doesn't matter if you decide not to as it's so rich.

I am so envious of that gold ground! it isn't available here and would cost an arm and a leg to ship from the US :>(

Robyn Sinclair said...

Thanks, Cathy. :) I'm going to do another of these so will experiment with some white gouache before I invest too much in the painting. I have used it before on the gold ground and lightly applied it looks lovely.

Vivien - I don't have the gold gesso - I couldn't afford to ship it either. I took your advice and went for the acrylic. Worked a treat you clever thing. :)

Felicity said...

Gosh, this is lovely! It reminds me of the rich colours and patterns of the era of Edmund Dulac. I'm not sure I'd want to add anything to it.

Robyn Sinclair said...

Felicity, if only! It means a lot to me that you like it.

Ann's Art said...

This is lovely Robyn - the background goes so well with the birds.

(Can you believe it, the word verification is 'nests')!!

Robyn Sinclair said...

Thank you very much, Anne. I've had that happen before, maybe they search the tags. Most of the time I can't read the verification words!

Robyn Sinclair said...

Sorry, AnnI can't spell your name correctly first time either. :)

Jeanette said...

This really quite lovely. The darker palette against the gold works beautifully. I'd almost be afraid to add a strong contrast. The subdued palette makes my eyes search all over the piece.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

I feel the rich harmony of colours would be spoiled by adding any white. Its a beautiful piece of work just as it stands.

Robyn Sinclair said...

Thank you, Jeanette and Joan. Your support is most appreciated. :)

africantapestry said...

gorgeous Robyn!!

Robyn Sinclair said...

I just managed to delete a comment from Katherine Tyrrell instead of publishing it. All the fault of buttons being too close together on iPad 2. That doesn't mean I don't love iPad 2.
So now I'm going to copy and paste Katherine's comment:

Lovely piece.

If you do want to develop it further can I suggest you take a couple of photocopies first and experiment with those

If anything I'd go the other way and add some dark line rather than white. A touch of the jewelled coloured glass window maybe? I think white would be out of place.

Wacko, that worked!
Thanks Katherine. Actually it is possible to add a very soft translucent white with this technique but I'm going to quit on this one while I'm ahead and just appreciate your comment.

Thank you too, Ronelle?

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Goodie - you've saved me from having to remember exactly what I said! :)

I was thinking along the lines of very fine black lines. There's an artist I have in mind but the name escapes me for the moment.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I bet I forgot to say how impressed I am with your pages as galleries of your different works!

Shirley said...

I love these two pieces - the gold underpainting adds so much to both the gouache and watercolor paintings. Can you tell us exactly what you are using as gold ground? I've googled it - including Talon - without success. Is it just gold metallic acrylic paint?

Robyn Sinclair said...

Katherine, if you remember, I'd like to know about the artist and the thin black lines. Glad you like my gallery pages - it's made Blogger much more useful as a idiot-proof 'web site'.

Shirley - I've just been admiring the quilt for your anticipated grandchild. You are amazing!
Regarding the gold, I've experimented with so many approaches. Started last year with metal foil leaf on a gallery wrap canvas painted in oils. I loved that result but got into a bit of a mess with the metallic leaf. I really wanted to try real gold leaf next but you've seen the price of gold! So the hunt was on. I then tried gold gesso (Talens) which is really beautiful but inclined to lift when overpainted. I sealed it with acrylic medium for the India gouache painting. Also tried mixing gilding powder with transparent gesso and that was disappointing. For this last one Vivien suggested gold gesso and that works really well and is the least expensive solution. I have a couple of little sheets of real gold leaf in the cupboard - I might risk them for a tiny painting one day.

Robyn Sinclair said...

Shirley - I forgot to say you can buy a gold gesso from Dick Blick in the States (lucky you), that's what I wanted to try but shipping to Italy and the customs duty not to mention postal delays makes it out of the question.

Sue Pownall said...

Love this!!! Great colours and composition.

Happy Christmas Robyn

Robyn Sinclair said...

Thanks very much, Sue.

Happy Christmas to you too.

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