Saturday, 23 June 2012

More eggs - and egg cases !

The theme of eggs from my last posting seems to be continuing, at least for this one anyway !

My friend Jill, gave me some eggs from her family chickens and I just loved the subtle change of colours between the 'peachy' coloured eggs, and I thought the white one would be a challenge to paint.

I used Daniel Smith watercolours and several of the colours that I have granulate, which in some cases does help to portray the texture and tone.  There was quite a bit of  'wet-in-wet' in this painting and at times I wasn't quite sure whether it was going to work.

Eggs from Aurora, Twinkle and Star

Now for more eggs, or rather egg cases !  I hope to be working on some illustrations for the Hants and IOW Wildlife Trust Marine Team, for them to use for educational resources.  So I took the plunge this week and started the first painting.  I wanted to complete one for them to review, before I go full steam ahead with the others.

The egg cases are from species such as Skate, Ray and Dogfish, and I had previously found them along the strandline after high tide.  The have always fascinated me and I love their 'group' name of 'Mermaids Purses'.

Mermaid's Purses

I am reading a really good book at the moment, and it will appeal to those of you who are fans of the nature-writing genre.  Strands - A Year of Discoveries on the Beach is written by Jean Sprackland.  I first came across the book when excerpts from it were being read on BBC Radio 4. 

It says, This is the ultimate beachcomber's book.  A series of meditations prompted by walking on the wild esturial beaches of Ainsdale Sands between Blackpool and Liverpool, Strands is a book about what is lost and buried then discovered, about all the things you find on a beach, dead or alive, about flotsam and jetsam, about mutability and transformation - about sea-change.

In a chapter dedicated to Mermaid's Purses, the author tells us many things about these strange, almost mystical objects and goes on to say that her daughter, when young, used to collect them and use them as purses for small coins - the innocence of childhood ! 

Away from eggs and egg cases now.  I have always wanted to spend more time using colour pencils, so one morning everything else was cast aside and I sat down with my Ann Swan book (Botanical Painting with Coloured Pencils), and some luscious dark cherries that I had bought from the supermarket.

There was a good exercise in the book using cherries of a similar colour, so off I went.  I had most of the colours she had suggested, so that was a bonus.  What I did love was how the picture gradually emerged to look like glossy spheres of juicy cherries, in a different way to how a picture evolves with watercolour.  I was pleased with the result, but a further study of a single grape was not fit to be made public !

Off to one of my favourite counties this week - Dorset, for a few days of print-making at a friend's house :)

Happy Painting !

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