Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Colour from the Season - Snapdragon yellow

I've been looking at these Snapdragon's in the garden all (questionable?) summer long - they seem to go on and on. Their season has lasted all through August and though the seedpods are now spilling seeds everywhere, they are still flowering madly. Drawing them felt full of nostalgic fondness, outlining their dragon like heads and mouths in red ink for a change which was all I had to hand...

Hard to resist doing this, see below, (very) short clip featuring a rather beautiful multi - coloured Snapdragon to the music of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic zero's - 'Up from Below' !

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Colour from the Season - Crab apple red

Just as I'd sampled the Rowan berries (last post) with a link to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's crab apple and rowan berry jelly recipe, a friend came around with a shoe full(!) of crab apples - which of course would surely be in season at the same time. So here they are - sharp citrus colours...

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Colour from the Season - Rowan berry orange

Berries are ripe and in season, these vivid orange/red ones are Rowan or Mountain Ash berries. Uncooked the berries are slightly poisonous, but they're good for making jelly and wine - just found these Guardian blog recipes for rowanberry wine and also Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's crab apple and rowan jelly...perfect!

My notebook records the colours of a moment in time, one branch, one flower, one designer's selection and perception. Another week on and the orange berries may have all turned red. At first glance the colours of the Rowan could appear to be only the flaming red berries and bright yellow/green leaves. Look closer and the less ripe berries are still orange or even warm yellow, the branch and stem are a dusky soft red, the leaves are spattered with brown. Documenting sets of between three to six colours for each subject, giving these (for the moment) equal importance, and telling a fuller if perhaps not the complete colour story.

...from my seasonal colour notebook.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Colour from the Season - Begonia red

I never used to care much for Begonias - always thought that they were a bit on the brash side. Now that I'm on the alert for interesting plant colours it's hard not to notice them as their petals are (as my dad pointed out) pure pigment colour. The more I studied them the more interesting they seemed and their colour intensity is spectacular. Two completely different flower forms, a male and a female on the same stem - that's a very close relationship !

Third attempt to capture them and I finally thought I had something of their personality - Yesterday was one of those days - upset the bottle of ink, washed out the paint brush in my tea etc...

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Colour from the Season - Honesty seed pod cream

Honesty seed pods are ripening, they've turned from their unripe shade of green to multi colour deep purples, reds, green yellows and gradating tints of of cream. Soon they will become the parchment thin, transparent discs for which the plants are mainly grown - though it seems to me that this in-between stage is especially attractive...

(the flowering colours of Honesty can be seen on my April blog posting here)

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Colour from the Season - Rosa Rugosa hip red

In May I documented the colour of the Rosa Rugosa when the bushes were covered in roses. They still have a few flowers on the dense bushes but now the hips have taken over as the dominant feature. The tomato like fruits have what are called long persistent sepals - these strange leafy protrusions coming out of the bottom of the fruit are visually extra-ordinary and great to draw!

Although the red and green are strong and contrasting, the less saturated orange and brown shades soften the overall intensity of the palette...

I tasted them to see what they were like (very rich in vitamin C but remove the seeds first!). They're a bit like a soft apple or pear but with slightly more citrus, not bad!

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Colour from the Season - Petunia phantom black

Adding an touch of drama to the Petunia market. The complementary contrasts of deepest purple/black, green and a very unusual shade of yellow. Loved by hummingbirds apparently, but as their habitat's a few thousand miles away, sadly I don't think that they'll make it as far as my garden..!

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.