Late summer

agapanthus_web

It may seem strange to be writing a post about late summer when we in the southern hemisphere are heading towards the beginning of summer, but the ideas inspired by seasons are continuing, as you will see if you look at the last few posts I have done.

This drawing is inspired by an agapanthus head which is at that late summer withering-up stage, the flowers gone over and the strong blue faded. This is the stage I find so entrancing with plants – the shapes that develop as the life ebbs away, they twist and turn and take on new forms.

The initial drawing was done with watered-down liquid pencil, with a brush, just loosely mapping in the basic shapes. Then I drew into the forms with pencil, intensifying detail and tone. A little colour was added with Prismacolour pencils. The support is Yupo, a strange, plasticised surface, which allows the watery liquid pencil to pool and crystallise where it is put on more thickly, as it cannot be absorbed into the surface. The coloured pencil slides on the surface, meaning it is impossible to add intense colour.

The drawing is larger than life at 43 cm wide and 29 cm deep. It may be finished, I’m not sure. Really, I like the details best – maybe I will use these as inspiration for further drawings. Following are three detail images.

Agapanthus_detail1web Agapanthus_detail2web Agapanthus_detail3web

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20 thoughts on “Late summer

  1. Goodness me, what a fascinating process you describe. I think I would have to see you doing it to properly understand. I don’t even LIKE agapanthus but I like your drawing very much. I think your drawing has an elegance that agapanthus flowers themselves don’t have (for my eye). You know, I could imagine this motif on a kimono! Perhaps the lack of colour adds to the beauty of the art work? If I could just use one word to describe your drawing it would be “elegance”.

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    1. I do enjoy elaborate processes, where one thing leads to another – very often over a long period of time. I can see that the drawing has a Japanese kind of feeling. I’m glad you don’t feel it needs more colour, this is something I have been pondering on. I do think the actual flower had a certain grace, so I’m pleased that has come through! Thanks Julie, always appreciate your comments!

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    1. Thanks Marian – I only used the liquid pencil for the base drawing, quite loose and working fast. It was a large brush which had a good point, so I could make big marks and more delicate ones, but the detail was added with pencils, normal graphite in various weights and a black waxy one for really dark areas. This was a Staedler Lumocolor water-soluble pencil.

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  2. Fascinating! At first I thought this was a black and white photo that had been manipulated. It’s so fluid looking and beautiful. The overall shape is outstanding. It’s bold and organic. I don’t think it needs color, it would distract from it’s beauty. There is so much to see in this painting. I feel as if you are taking us on a seasonal journey, which I’m really enjoying! This is really an outstanding painting. I wish I was in the Southern Hemisphere so I could see it with my own eyes and witness your process.

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    1. I hadn’t thought of it looking like a photo, but I can see exactly what you mean – using Photoshop tools you can get that swirling, softened effect. Hmm, maybe an idea to use in the future! I am very pleased you like it without more colour – my instinct is definitely for monochrome. If you ever make it down to the Southern hemisphere I would love to show you what I do – I think we would have lots to talk about!

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