Sunday, 1 June 2014

White tulips

These Spring tulips didn't last very long and I'm glad I caught them when I did because within 2 days the leaves had dropped off! They were about 10 metres from my front door on a patch of public garden that is maintained by a nice bunch of volunteers in Stony Stratford. From a painterly point of view I quite like them just as they're fully open and the flashes of yellow are fully visible but you only seem to get a short window when they're like that. I keep reminding myself, if you see something worth painting grab it while you can!

'White tulips', 10x13, oil on board

The flowers bobbed about in the breeze so I had to focus to make some sort of sensible arrangement of shapes (both positive and negative spaces). After 'tuning in' you start to get a feel for the petal shapes. I liked the rhythms/patterns and the notes of yellow liven up the colour scheme. I wanted to have varied edges, some soft, others crisp and used an initial wash of red to compliment and break up the mass of green in the leaves. Considering the tulips were white, the petals had a surprising variety of tone and colour. The light was generally overcast, hence the cool notes in some of the tints. After about an hour and a half the sun had come out and the light bleached out the subtle colours so it was time to pack up and have a cuppa.

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