I decided to make a few sketches of the gorgeous display of buttercups that I pass regularly at this time of year (before they are cut down by the council!). I must admit to rarely sketching ‘in public’ as I am embarrassed in case someone comes to take a look. But I got a small folding table to sit on, some pencils and felt pens, my sketchbook and camera and set off.
I tried to make some close up studies looking at the shape of the petals; the way the stems divide, what the buds and seed heads look like (top left and right); also the distribution of the flowers (middle left); a ‘realistic’ study at bottom left and a more abstract version at bottom right. In the centre are an actual petal; and some little, simplified shapes that are my impression of the buttercup heads.
I took some photos as colour/distribution of colour references. The red signs in the back of one shot are a point of interest and contrast for the eye. The combination of grey and yellow appealed most to me. Here is a sample:-I played about with one of the images in Paint Shop Pro, trying out some different effects, and grayscale, which I though would be useful for highlighting light, medium and dark areas. The pattern one was interesting – like wall paper or fabric – maybe a way to come up with all-over designs? I like the simplification of the mosaic images – reminds me of Bridget Riley, whose work I have been studying over the last few days. Simplifying the real world, but providing clues for the eye to make sense of it. (Not quite the optical effects of some of her paintings, though!). The 16 colour version might be useful for narrowing down the colours in a composition, although it seems to have decided that the road was more pink than grey.