Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Colour from the season - Sunflower yellow

Young Sunflowers rotate their heads throughout the day to track the sun (called heliotropism) and driving past fields of them, almost every single one, in each regimented row, is facing the same direction. Therefore, on one side of a road they may all be facing you, on the other side you are looking at their backs, amazing!

Challenging to draw - I almost stopped here. A bee considered landing on my notebook which was very flattering...

Are there any flowers more full of Summer's sunshine? Hello August!
...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Colour from the season - Passion Flower blues

I'm starting to think that using slower drying oil paint (in an Impressionist style) might have been a better bet in such very hot sunlight, rather than my usual dip pen/ink/acrylic notebook sketching. Drawing this flower a few days ago in the Pyrenees (where they were wildly rampant), the paint dried before I had time to colour a single petal, the ink persistently clogged the nib, the flower wilted and then closed as I drew it (do they only last a single day?) and I was also wilting in the heat. So...

...not so much passion in the sketch of this extra-ordinary flower, but strength and sharpness of shadow and a fabulously intense colour palette...


Phew !

...from my seasonal (Mediterranean) colour sample notebook.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Colour from the season - Wild Artichoke Thistle purple

Globe Artichokes growing wild at the edge of a small field of gnarled vines. As I started drawing this one, an entire army of earwigs marched out of it!! Delicious with butter and lemon, but worth growing I've always thought, for these reptilian heads, their architectural leaves and their astonishing purple spikes...

slightly overheated drawing outside in fierce sunlight.

...from my seasonal (Mediterranean) colour sample notebook.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Colours from the season - Corn grass yellow

Ripe Corn coloured grass, Dragonflies (not drawn yet), strong shadows, Poplars, Summer sunshine, lazy days! These grasses (unidentified) were far taller than me and a single graceful detail from the landscape.

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Colour from the season - Cornflower blue

Cornflowers are a very unique blue, looking them up I discovered why!

"The ions that bind in cornflower blue
Roses are red and cornflowers are blue, but both flowers are coloured by the same red pigment. This conundrum has puzzled people for 90 years, but finally scientists have worked out what makes cornflowers blue, publishing their findings in Nature. Kosaku Takeda of Tokyo Gakugei University in Japan, and colleagues, used x-ray diffraction to investigate the structure of the cornflower pigment. They discovered that the bright blue colour comes from the arrangement of four metal ions, which bind to a complex of six different molecules, made up from two pigments. This pigment structure is completely different to the pigment found in other blue flowers. A strategically placed iron ion and magnesium ion give the blue colour, while two calcium ions give the structure stability. "This tetrametal complex may represent a previously undiscovered type of supermolecular pigment," says Takeda".

from The Guardian Thursday 11th August 2005.

They remind me of Van Gogh paintings - perfect with Poppies! Difficult to match such incredible Iron and Magnesium ions against printed CMYK colours(!) but here's my very best attempt...

Happy 4th July! and very Happy Birthday to my son Josse! xx. This is a detail from his Graphic Design degree show at Central Saint Martins a few weeks ago. He's designed a Font which can't swear - brilliant!! See more of his work at..

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.