camelliaIMG_0099The first camellia blossomed this morning and I thought I would try to capture it in studies. I spent a long time with this and am not comfortable with the results but they have been a useful process to follow. I think I take so long because I am so new to these investigations still and it takes a lot of time to come up with ideas. Then the skills are not too good either. But I am pleased I am trying to work in lots of different ways.

So, I read for ideas in the Gwen Hedley’s Drawn to Stitch but couldn’t see a good texture to use as a base, so I searched on google for ideas on watercolour washes.  I tried two different ideas: first, a wash which I then textured with crunched cling film.  I quite like the soft movement it gives, although it doesn’t show very strongly in the photos.  Second, a wash which I sprinkled with salt. This lifts the colour out a little and gives a slightly spotted effect.

My first texture marking.

I used the clingfilm wash paper as a base. I used a putty eraser to lift out colour to give the white highlights, and added deeper watercolour to give the darker tones in the flower.The stamens were created with netting, painted ochre, double layered on.  I quite like this effect, although it is imprecise.

Second attempt was pastels. This is not particularly effective.  Too faded, no strength, not vibrant or details.  But that is good to know.

The third attempt, I gouache-painted a white spot on separate paper and printed yellow/ochre/pink stamens with toothpicks. Cut and pasted as the centre.  Painted crunched-up fibre paper with red/pink/white mix watercolour and when dry, cut out leaves/petals which I then scrunched and pasted onto the base of salted watercolour wash. I highlighted edges with white gouache.  The stamped stamens were not strong enough so I added the outside yellow cover of cord, chopped into small pieces. which works better.  The result is ok. The colour is too muted, because the fibre paper was a cream base and the watercolour was too pale.However I like the texture and I like that I tried lots of techniques to come up with something which I know is investigative, even if it reminds me a bit too much of some multi-media scrapping types of art.