I have been working on a little painting since last September which nearly went into the bin! I purchased some black water colour paper to try (Royal Talens van Gogh black water colour 100% cellulose paper 140lbs). It was on offer and once I started working on it I realised why.
For someone like myself, who paints very nitty-gritty, cellulose paper is like painting on rough bricks. Not good at all for botanical work (although I thought flowers on a black background would be lovely to do, ever since I saw a painting at Kew Gardens in Dr Shirley Sherwood’s Gallery of a pink rhododendron on a black background, but painted on calf-skin vellum. It was so vibrant I determined that day that I would do a similar painting sometime). The rest of this paper will be relegated for use in my “moody” painting sessions.
Late last summer (2020) I played tennis at Cambridge Lawn Tennis club where I am a member and there were a few pink Japanese anemones still flowering so I asked permission to pick a few. I came home all excited with my prize and could not wait to get started. However, after sketching out my drawing on white paper to transfer onto the black stuff I realised that I did not know how to transfer a drawing onto black paper! In the end I managed to scan the sketch in and print it on to the paper with a very feint green line. When I started painting with water colour, I was devastated that the paint just seemed to disappear! I tried with oil pencils, but that did not look good, and then with acrylic: better, but still not the effect I was seeking. Very disillusioned, I cleaned my palette and put the painting away.
Having been very busy up till Christmas and New Year producing a couple of little books which I published, I felt like painting a picture. I started on one of Turtle Doves (Blog entry), but lost interest as soon as I started it, so that went on the back burner.
I turned again to the black paper and re-drew the picture with white gouache and paintbrush. This worked very well, so I purchased a few gouache colours and set to work. This is the result. Not sure that I like it, but it will do as a starter.
Happy New Year to everyone, and let us hope that 2021 brings something more than lockdown!