Monday, 14 April 2014

Horse Chestnut Mad!

Spring has begun here in Wales, the hedgerows and woodlands are bursting with fresh green leaves and delicate blossoms. As the days get warmer and the nights get shorter, I am still painting/drawing/obsessed with Horse Chestnuts! My family are fed up of me talking about them!!
My bud-burst painting is complete, such vivid colours in the bud when they flush crimson and release their sticky residues. 


Below is a full sketchbook study including the flowers, not out fully yet but it won't be long. The little white furry flowers have lemon yellow blotches inside which turns to crimson when they age or get pollinated.
You can see an old leaf scar drawn in which looks like a horse shoe complete with the nails; these were the vascular bundles of the stem that took water up towards the leaves. This could be another reason for their common name of horse chestnut.


Below another painting of the unfurling buds is being tackled; they are just so beautiful. Also they have such an array of interesting textures for the painter, from the furry, spider webby leaves to the stickiness of the leaf scales. Here I have used gum arabic mixed in with the paint, just a little. This retards the drying time of the paint and also gives a sticky, shiny look, hopefully anyway.


I have been out looking for local trees, below you can see the interesting, flaky textures of the bark.


 Below is a lovely tree in a local woodland; they are not so common to find in woodlands in Wales as they are more of a parkland species, so it is lovely to come across one. Their large leaves add a diversity to the canopy and their large flowers are almost exotic.


Well this post is my 100th post, I can't quite believe it. So thank you to all my followers and fellow artists, I'm not sure I'll make a 100 more!

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful studies and photos, Claire. You know so much about its lifecycle too x.

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  2. this is beautiful and I love the sketchbook spread! I would like to ask you a couple of things, if you don't mind. Did you use gouache for the buds texture? or you just worked around the little veins? Also, which sketchbook did you use, is it heavy cartridge paper or watercolour paper? thanks :)

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  3. Thanks Marina, I used white gouache for the furriness. The sketchbook is not an expensive one, it's from winsor newton I think and it's just cartridge paper! :)

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  4. Those buds look wonderfully sticky Claire, i'd be almost afraid to touch the page! :-). I hope you keep on and do 100 more blog posts btw: the world needs blogs like yours. I enjoy the combination of art and science in particular... not to mention the exquisite work...

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  5. Thank you Erica, that's a wonderful comment, :) xx

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  6. Love your artwork, Claire, and those studies are wonderful. I hope you keep blogging... your enthusiasm is infectious!

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  7. Congratulations on your 100th post and here's wishing for 100 more :) Love this post - I so enjoy seeing artists' sketchbooks and plans prior to the painting - and, the first painting is just so elegant and delicate and lovely. Beautiful work, as always!

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  8. Congratulations on your 100th post Claire. Beautiful work and beautiful attitude to the natural world.

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  9. This is a beautiful page of studies Claire. I really love your woodland paintings. :) Wow, 100 posts! How time flies.

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  10. Thank you so much,I appreciate your lovely comments so much :) xxx
    I hope I keep writing the posts and inspire people to appreciate and look after our amazing world.

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  11. Amazing work Claire, you did choose a great subject, hope you follow them to conker stage. I love your sketchbook pages , so interesting.
    Thanks for your comment. X

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