Thursday, 31 October 2019

Autumn colour




October I - watercolour & salt
Teresa Newham

A couple of weeks ago my iPhone and I went for a walk around the local lanes, to take a look at the turning leaves.  There was plenty of colour about, which inspired me to try another couple of paintings in the same style as  August I & II.


Autumn colour
© Teresa Newham

 I stretched a couple of pieces of paper and laid down some base washes of Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Violet, Raw Sienna, Gold Ochre and Venetian Red, scattered salt over them and left everything to dry thoroughly. Then I took the salt off.


initial washes, dried with salt removed
© Teresa Newham

I added in trees and grass with Permanent Sap Green and Transparent Yellow, and on impulse used the Venetian Red to create leaves and branches in the undergrowth, tempted to leave the yellows and oranges behind them untouched.


adding foliage
© Teresa Newham

Something was needed to resolve the background, however, so I added some orange leaves. Again, I could have left the paintings as they were at this stage - but the glowing background reminded me of a forest fire, which was not the effect I intended.


is something burning?
© Teresa Newham

To extinguish it, I painted in some more Permanent Sap Green, which contrasted well with the reds, yellows and oranges around it.  There's still a lot of green about in October, after all . . .



finally finished
© Teresa Newham

Taking another look at these paintings now, I realise that the Cobalt Blue and Cobalt Violet are what really brings them to life. It's certainly fun experimenting with all these colours, and I already have an idea of how I can use them again!


October II - watercolour & salt
Teresa Newham





Tuesday, 15 October 2019

fiery flowers for One Square Foot




August I ~ watercolour & salt
Teresa Newham

Back in August, I set out to paint a piece which had to measure exactly one foot square, including any framing, for an art exhibition* in Hitchin. As the exhibition was to take place in October, I had in mind something autumnal involving fallen leaves, perhaps with a touch of copper or gold printmaking ink.


brightly coloured initial washes & salt . . .
© Teresa Newham

My subconscious, however, had other ideas, and presented me with a palette so vividly Mediterranean that I had no idea what to do with it, until I took half of the initial washes off with damp kitchen paper and turned the whole thing upside down.


. . . dried, toned down & turned around
© Teresa Newham

I was making two paintings, in the hope that at least one of them would work.  I added in some trunks and foliage using Permanent Sap Green, to contrast with the Quinacridone Red, Transparent Yellow and Cobalt Turquoise of the base layer.


trunks and foliage taking shape
© Teresa Newham

The salt pattern suggested sunflowers, and I thought some white daisies would look good in the cool areas.  I made the flowers by painting the negative space around them - something I don't do much, but I'd been reading Anne Blockley's Watercolour Workshop and some of it must have stuck . . .


flowers emerging from the washes
© Teresa Newham

Going with the flow, I adjusted the paintings as I went, wondering where these fiery tones had some from. Then the penny dropped - they were the exact colours of the materials we'd been using at my amateur operatic group to make fairy costumes!


the finished paintings
© Teresa Newham
.
The pictures only came properly to life when I added the centres to the flowers. There's a rich glow to these pieces which I rather like.  I had no idea what to call them, so they've ended up as August I and August II.  I hope to do more like these - there are twelve months in the year, after all . . .


August II ~ watercolour & salt
Teresa Newham

*  The charity exhibition "100 Square Feet" in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association will run until 2nd November 2019 at The Art Nest, 4-5 West Alley, Hitchin SG5 1EG.