''I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
when all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.''
Hey you lovely lot,
Couldn't resit typing the first verse of 'Daffodils' by Wordsworth, such a great poem and no guesses that I absolutely love daffodils. So what better subject for my blog this fine Spring Friday than a lovely cheerful 'host' of daffs nodding their heads in the gentle sunshine with a hint of April showers.
I began my piece by drawing out my composition from some sketches I made in my garden. I find it works best to use odd numbers of flowers and set them off to one side of the paper. I made sure to sketch very lightly as I don't want to overpower the light and delicate nature of the petals.
Using a spray bottle I squirted a little water over the centre of the drawing then using the Lemon and Gamboge Brusho to add my first layer of colour.
These Golden Brusho crystals will spread wonderfully with a little more water sprayed evenly. I also like to leave some of the Brusho undiluted for a nice textured effect.
I dried this wash of colour with a hair dryer and allowed some of the ink to flow outside the perimeter for extra flowery movement.
I then left this stage to completely dry whilst I mixed up leaf green and ost blue to get a range of lively green shades in my palette.
Using a brush with a good point I was able to gradually paint around my flower outlines to define the shape of the daffodil heads.
I made sure to create a strong contrast up to my pencil line around the flowers but then washed the green colour outwards with more water leaving areas of the white paper to still show through. Building an uneven outline that dances with energy and movement
Continuing around the daff petals I decided to leave some spaces for the stems too developing some abstract shapes in the background as well as splashes and drips. The Ost blue top right breaks up the green shades and hints at a fresh springtime sky as well as giving me an area to play with the idea of falling rain.
There were some areas I felt need a bit more tonal variation so I decided to paint a second layer of a dark green mixture mainly around the bottom left flower head. Also adding some green to a selection of the stems and leaves.
Once I was happy with the background I grabbed a smaller brush with a fine point and applied some gamboge Brusho to the inside of the trumpets as well a some lines on the petals that will indicate shape and depth.
My final layer involved a little diluted bleach to strip out some of the colour on the stems and petals as well as capture an effect of pitter pattering rain drops.
I am always very careful when using bleach and make sure I use it in a well ventilated room or outside. I keep a separate brush and water pot so as not to contaminate anything and often wear gloves to protect my hands. I also make sure to use an old brush as the bleach may 'eat' or 'dissolve' the bristles.
This close up shows the bleach lines dripped and gently splattered across the background. Lines directed to the flower heads with a few little splatters.
And here's what I ended up with! Daffs in the spring with a bit of rain :-)
I hope you like it and if you have a go yourself we would love to see what you create.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.