Orange! A Marmite type of colour.

This week as I wandered around the garden wondering what to draw, mulling over my skills, I realised that I had been avoiding flowers with too many petals.  Too hard, too complicated – nah not for me, I can’t do that yet.  Despite my doubts I left the garden with a marigold in my hand, and decided to give it a go.  As I sat down and started drawing in dawned on me that it was not the shape or the number of petals that was going to be the problem but the colour.  What a bright orange, what a singeing eye popping colour, it really does not look like a natural colour – it is just way too bright.

Orange, is a strange colour, many people don’t like it and I can understand why, it is very fierce and in your face, it is a Marmite type colour, you either love it or hate it.  Maybe not quite like Marmite as I have converted from hate to love.  My conversion to orange came many years ago when I was still a quilter and a completely lurid piece of orange fabric came into my possession and dominated my stash.  I decided that instead of throwing the fabric away I would use it, and I pieced it into one of my very first ‘art’ quilts, and found to my surprise that it was the orange colour made the quilt sing.  The quilt was not brilliant but it opened my eyes to the magic of orange.  After that, most of my textile work had a sprinkle of orange sparkle and were all the better for it. (Apologies for the rubbish photo)

Orange Squares Quilt by Sue Hagley

First ‘art’ quilt made in 2002

Back at the drawing board, I was struggling with both the colour and the shape of the marigolds and now that I have finished a few and photographed them and looked with new eye I can see how wobbly they are and how very ‘off’ I am in places and how I have failed to match the orange.

Marigold flower in coloured pencil

Wonky flower

Marigold Bud in coloured pencil

Bud

So although not satisfied at all with my coloured pencil efforts, I really enjoyed the pencil drawing, a marigold when studied closely has a complicated and interesting shape, the leaves wrap around the stalk and they twist and spiral outwards.  The bud is tightly wrapped with a calyx with spikes that curl beautifully.  I found the structure fascinating and a real challenge to draw.

Graphite drawing of marigolds

Graphite drawing of marigolds

Graphite drawing of marigolds

Graphite drawing of marigolds

Graphite drawing of marigolds

Graphite drawing of marigolds

 

 

 

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Orange! A Marmite type of colour.

  1. occasionalartist

    These drawings are great and I will put my hand up as a lover of orange. I also find these multi-petalled flowers difficult. I drew a gerbera in late 2012, and it was one of the hardest flowers I have ever drawn and it gave me real problems. Karen

    Reply
    1. Draws Shoots and Leaves Post author

      Thanks for comments, looking around the garden yesterday I found a Cerinthe in flower, do you have them? They are the most amazing blue purple colour so I think this might be my project for this week. S

      Reply
      1. occasionalartist

        Oh, I have not seen these before, did a quick google and now I want one. Most amazing colour and such a great shape. You have to draw this one and I am looking forward to it. I also under paint my drawings, nothing flash I just put down a wash of the main colour to make the pencil quicker to lay down and give more intensity to the colour. I use coloured ink as they give my work a more luminous quality, i can assure you no major technique is used just a bit of a splash about. K

  2. JJ ColourArt

    I agree about the multi-petalled flowers, alas, they cause problems for us all. 😉 I love your graphite drawings and studies Sue–been browsing for a couple of weeks on your blog and you have such a knack for it.

    I was wondering about the paper you are using? It looks quite textured in the photos–not sure if that’s just the camera or if it really is. I did one watercolour and coloured pencil piece on cold-pressed watercolour knowing that the texture was too much for the pencil but it turned out fine–you really need to keep the pencils sharp too. Hot-pressed paper is much better for it. Also Canson Mi-Teintes paper is nice for coloured pencil. One side is less toothy and I use that.

    I bought a Stillman and Birn Zeta sketchbook recently which has smooth, heavy paper–I expect it will be great for coloured pencil. I tend to mix watercolour underwashes with coloured pencil–I find I like the look better and it makes it easier to blend. You can also put watercolour over coloured pencil to even out the tone. It will resist part of it but if there are speckles showing from the paper the watercolour will smooth it away. You might find that suits you. For me the watercolour underwash is the most helpful–saves my hand too.

    Reply
    1. Draws Shoots and Leaves Post author

      Hello JJ, thank you for the advice, you are right the colour work is just in an ordinary sketch book, (bog standard cartridge paper) so I am working with unsuitable materials which does give me a handicap from the start! You know what it is, I am too mean to use my lovely (expensive) paper for practice. I like the idea of the watercolour mix, and can see how it would work, so I might give that a try, just a bit dubious as it would set me off down another ‘medium’ route. Thank you for your kindness in taking time to read and comment on my efforts. Sue

      Reply
  3. Christel Kiley

    Marvellous quilt! Just wonderful, so clever! Brilliant! You inherited the love for orange from your mother!! I have a wonderful orange sunrise from my front window every morning! Do you still have this quilt?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s