Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Bluebells, Easter Sunday


 

Bluebells, Easter Sunday
original watercolour with salt by Teresa Newham


A chance photo on our usual Easter Sunday walk to the nearby bluebell woods provided the inspiration for this new watercolour, Bluebells, Easter Sunday.  Perhaps it was the angle of the sun, or the way the light fell through those particular trees, but the scene seemed especially mysterious and brooding.


the view which inspired the painting
© Teresa Newham

I started with a sheet of Arches Aquarelle 300lb, some very wet washes of Cobalt Blue, Permanent Sap Green and Permanent Alizarin Crimson, and a lot of sea salt.  Initially I thought I would need at least a Burnt Umber for the trees but I soon realised it would be better to restrict the palette to the three original colours.


wet washes and salt
© Teresa Newham

Once the salt was dry I blocked in the main areas of foliage and bluebells, adding some splashes of green to the background and letting the drips run down the paper to indicate where the trees in the background might be.  Guided by the salt patterns, I began to feel my way into the painting.


early experimental layers
© Teresa Newham

When it was time to paint the trees themselves I referred to the photo again, working from the back to the front of the painting, until the position of the trunks seemed about right. To challenge myself a little further I used a half inch flat brush throughout, enjoying the mark-making which emerged.


using the photo as reference for the trees
© Teresa Newham

Once I'd put the leaves on the trees I stood back to see what else needed doing.  Everything looked a bit bright and floaty but once I'd included some shadows, and the bluebells and overhanging leaves in the foreground, I felt that mysterious atmosphere which prompted me to make the painting in the first place!


adding shadows brought the painting together
© Teresa Newham










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