New Year Primulas

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy New Year! I had a great break over the holidays. I hope you did too! I'm feeling refreshed and ready for the new year ahead. Over the holidays I found some time to dig out my paints and brushes and do some painting! I didn't get much of chance to do any painting last year but I'm determined to make more time for it in 2015. I really love the process! I picked up this pretty potted plant in the supermarket, it just caught my eye as I was walking by and I felt inspired to paint it! I used acrylic paints Winsor & Newton Galeria range, I've had them for ages and a 10"x12" stretched canvas. I took a few photos at various stages along the way as the painting progressed (in case you fancied a look!).

I used to paint from photos and rarely from life but I challenged myself to paint directly from life. It's amazing the colour variations that can happen when you take photos, especially with lavenders and lilacs, they can turn out very blue in photos. I did use a basic viewfinder, made from some leftover card at the beginning when I was blocking in the colour, just to help my eyes a bit! Oh, I tried a few different colour backgrounds but liked the pink the best!

I have a few 'proper' art palettes but I just prefer to use plates when I'm painting, I used two for this painting, keeping the pinks and purples on a separate plate from the greens and browns, so I didn't end up with a muddy mess! I've two matching plates, they belonged to my grandmother, so they're all the more special to me!

I worked on the painting over a few days, the light did change a bit but it was mostly cloudy so it didn't matter too much. I was hoping the plant wouldn't move too much, as in grow! I did find some of the leaves changed position slightly even though I didn't move the plant at all. I usually only work in daylight but I wanted a more atmospheric background, so I added some darker tones and shading at night.

I was determined to finish it fairly quickly, I find you can lose momentum with a painting if you leave it for too long. I can also get stuck in the detail in the latter stages, mulling back and forth over various elements and I have the problem of being a perfectionist so it never really feels finished or just right to me. But I've managed to recognize when I come to the point where I can say to myself, I like the painting and can live with it! Then I quickly varnish it so I can't change my mind! : ) So here it the finished painting, the one I can just about live with!

The flowers are Primula Obconica by the way, in case anyone was interested! It'll have to stay indoors though, it wouldn't be hardy outside here in Ireland, unlike it's various cousins. Ok, that's all for now, hopefully I've inspired you to pick up a paintbrush again, if you haven't in a while! : ) I'm working on some new hand-carved stamps and will share a post on that next week. Have a great weekend, I hope you get a chance to do something creative! : )


  1. Beautiful, Clare! Oh to have such talent! I hope you'll continue to share more of your paintings! Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks Lin! Happy New Year to you too! I wasn't sure if people would want to see my paintings on here!

  2. What an absolutely beautiful painting Clare!!! I especially love the photo you took of it on the easel: it shows how beautifully you captured the light and shadows.

    1. Thanks Helen! I love strong contrasts between light and dark in paintings.

  3. Wow I can't imagine being able to do this, it's fabulous!!!


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