Ode to Summer – Rose garden


             Come summer and every  shrub, plant and tree seems to be blooming (wish this season would never end) but roses attract our attention almost exclusively….. so after two weeks of composition and drawing, I`ve my very own rose garden to paint. I`ve also included these adorable looking angel statues; the roses are from several other photos carefully woven together and around the statues so that they look like this place actually exists. The foreground roses grow along a wall perpendicular to the plane of the statues, then turn around perpendicular again so that there is another plane behind the statues (bg) along which grow roses again and purple clematis.

            Its really worthwhile taking the time to get the drawing accurate so that you save a headache later on while painting, a little bit off on the faces and the effect of the painting can well be ruined. I`ve started painting the angels and they have been a lot of fun, its on CP paper, and it takes washes well, I wanted a bit of tooth so that I get some texture for the stone. … These angels… Can you guess their age? (a special angel age?) Their control of body movements suggest to way older than toodlers but they look more like babies. Babies have heads that are large in proportion to their bodies (their eyes too appear huge in their faces(because of their large eyeballs), maybe to make their “Oh! wont you please pick me up” look, work better!), these proportions are sometimes used in paintings and sculptures of little children to make them look more pleasing to the eye.

           In this base wash, I`ve put in a very pale wash of Hansa yellow medium over the entire structure, except where the water is going to be. Its a nice sunny day and I want the sunlit areas to be warm.


                     I`ve started putting in the  first washes here with a mix of DS hansa yellow medium, MB rose lake and S cobalt blue tone (this has some sedimentary properties). Pushing the mix to a violet-grey or a blue-grey instead of a complete grey ensures that they don`t end up looking too drab.For the chest area (left hand statue), make a clear water wash extending to the shoulder but not in the arm region (so that a hard edge forms there), drop in light shadows (the light falls from the right hand side). In watercolor, you always paint from light to dark, but sometimes I like to put in some shadows (like in the wing) because it makes it easier to see what middle values are missing. How beautifully the statues emerge from the stone that is at the base…. Soft edges behind the leg region sets the thigh apart from the rest of the stone. The right hand angel is mostly in shadow, the stomach protrudes, so a highlight there…..


                  Stronger shadows in the wing, shadows beneath the locks of hair. The back of the head is in shadow. 


               Shadow at the left hand side of the face.., the shape of this shadow is very important. It defines the features. The cheekbone catches the light, the eye socket is in shadow. Keep limbs nice and rounded. Wet in wet washes give the appearance of smooth stone like marble but you can try wet on dry (maybe a bit of salt) for a grainier texture.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s