'The Tanglewood' by Amber Caspian

'The Tanglewood' by Amber Caspian

Wednesday 20 March 2013

The Birth of a Painting - Part II

Untangling the Tangle

Continued from Part I. Once the composition is transferred onto the watercolour paper, I will usually draw the image out in pencil and develop it further then paint and finally use a pen.  However with this painting, after drawing out the figure more clearly and working out the top middle section, I dived straight into the pen-work...mainly because the briars were so entwined that I needed to make sure I had got them right... I had to be careful not to go over bits that were supposed to go under the figure...and I wanted them to go over and under and around each other like celtic knot work...

The Tangle Revealed
...the next bit was great fun and reminded me of colouring in as a child... First I painted the roses, hips, buds and leaves, to remind me that this is where the fresh growth is. I wanted to paint the briars leading up to those bits a lighter green to show they are still alive... I painted up from the roots, as if the paint was the sap is rising...

The Sap is Rising
...eventually the image grew and entwined around the girl...

Entwined and Entwirled
I decided to leave the girl in pencil as much as possible to show her softness against the sharp briars, the background grew into a landscape of a dream and her hair became birds flying free as she longs to be...

Green Girl Dreaming

I painted the girls dress grass green with large daisies emblazoned upon it to represent her life force and innocence. Her hair grows lush and long and entwirls with the briars in strawberry blonde strands....

Finally the landscape and birds are picked out with a light wash of paint around the edges to enhance the hills and trees.

In a Tangle (Briar Rose) by Sarah Turpin

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