Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mountain wild flowers - Pen and wash

These two small postcard sized paintings were painted for the October Plant Parade challenge in the floral forum. The challenge was to choose high altitude wild flowers to paint.
Both these paintings are of flowers from the Pyrenees Mountains. Doing these brought back memories of my holiday in the Pyrenees a few years ago. It was May and the mountains were covered in all sorts of tiny wild flowers - just breathtaking. In particular, the gentian was very striking with it's brilliant blue.
Blue Gentians
Pen and wash on watercolour paper
10x15cm (4"x6")

Mountain Irises
Pen and wash on watercolour paper
10x15cm (4"x6")

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

White anthuriums in pastel

White antheriums in pastel
A4 size on black la carte pastel card

Another anthurium painting from photos taken at Parc Pheonix in Nice.
The unique shape of anthuriums always make them interesting to paint. I combined this with another of my favourites - painting on black. In this painting the flowers live up to their common name of 'flamingo flowers'.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Red and White Amarylis Macro oil painting

Red and white amarylis macro
oil on linen canvas
50x50cm (20"x20")
I started this a few months ago when I first started using oils. At first I wasn't happy with the way it was turning out. I couldn't get the form and shadows correct. I gained a bit of knowledge about oils over the next few months and when I continued it went much more smoothly. I think I've nailed it now what do you think?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Abstract Morning Glory in acrylics

Another blue flower painting, this time an abstract in acrylic.
Abstract Morning Glory
Acrylic 30x30cm (12"x12") on canvas board 
To Contact me about this or other paintings HERE

I used one of my own photographs to paint the basic outline keeping the design abstracted as much as possible. I then painted in the flowers and backgrounds also trying to keep the blocking in abstracted. I think it worked well and I am quite pleased with the way this has depth as well as 'flattened planes' -if you know what I mean LOL.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Red Poppy on Black

Red Poppy on Black by Marion Hedger
30x30cm Acrylic on box canvas
NFS but commissions accepted
I painted this for my Mum on her 80th birthday as poppies were her favourite flower.

I started with a black gessoed canvas, roughly sketched in the flower and then started scumbling in white paint for the highlights. After obtaining the basic shape plus shadow areas, I used a yellow for the brightest part of the petals followed by red. I used a scumbling technique throughout varying the layers. The shadow areas were left quite lightly scumbled, with more or less pressure depending on the extent of the shadow.

Some of my Zazzle product featuring this painting:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blue Delphiniums in Oil Pastel

This is the second painting for the blue flower challenge on
 Blue Delphinium
30x40cm (12"x16")
Oil pastel on black Somerset Velvet paper
Somerset velvet is a printing paper and it has a nice soft springy feel. I love using it for oil pastels and soft pastels. I also like using black as the background for florals as the black makes the colours sing, as is the case here where the blue really zings.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blue Anemone Acrylic Painting

I've been looking some photos of my paintings and I see there are several that I haven't shared with you. I shall try to catch up and post them over the next few days.
 In November 2009 I hosted a challenge in the Floral Forum of The challenge I set was to paint blue flowers. This was my first entry:
 Blue Anemone by Marion Hedger
Acrylic on canvas board 20x20cm (8"x8")
At about this time I had just joined a local painting group who were participating in a local fund raising event by donating paintings for sale. I gave them this painting and it sold, but I have no idea for how much!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Anthuriums on Parade

Anthuriums on Parade
Oil pastel painting by Marion Hedger

 A local botanical garden has several different types of antheriums in their glasshouse and I think they make fascinating subjects. I couldn't resist this composition and trying to capture that smooth waxiness of the petals.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hydrangeas at my back door, 1 hour challenge

I entered this painting into the weekly challenge on The challenge was to paint from nature using a limited palette of cadmium yellow light, cadmium red, ultramarine blue and white, just using 3 brushes - a large, medium and small, and to painting it within an hour.
Hydrangeas by my back door
Oil on gessoed board 20x30cm
These hydrangeas are already past their best, and believe it or not are brilliant white! After they have flowered, they then turn this pinky/greeny/grey colour, almost as if they are spent from the beautiful show they put on. I just mangaged this within the hour and I tried so hard not to fiddle. This was harder than it looked and I think I fussed a bit too much on the hydrangeas, but it was fun.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Bonanza Oil painting

This is another one of my loosening up exercises, this time base on one of Richard Schmid's work.
Summer Bonanza after Richard Schmid by Marion Hedger
Oil on canvas
41x33cm (16x13")

I started with an acrylic wash in pale blue. Then using a 1" wash brush, I brushed in some loose, random stipes using red oxide diluted with odourless mineral spirits, followed by a few loose brushstrokes of green. With a very small brush I then indicated the position of the main flowers and then went straight to using thicker paint. I tend to work all over the canvas, mixing my colours as I go and also on the canvas. The final stage was the highlights on the rose to make it pop. This was painted alla prima apart from the intial acrylic wash.

My next step is to use my own photos as the basis and see if I can keep the momentum going without getting too tight.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rose Trio oil painting by Marion Hedger

I am on a quest to loosen up my floral oil paintings I have been scouring the internet for modern day artists that have the 'knack'. I have been studying their work and practicing my technique.

My work has gradually become looser as a natural progression, especially since I have been using oils - did I say that I love oils? - but I want to achieve that looseness that looks effortless (Haha!). I have long admired the artist Dreama Tolle Perry so decided to base this one on one of her wonderful rose paintings. This is the result
ROSE TRIO by Marion Hedger
Oil on canvas panel
41x33cm (16x13")

This is mostly alla prima, and I really enjoy this style. Initially it is quite frustrating as I wonder if I have it right and will the paint behave, but then all of a sudden it happens. I still use an underpainting of sorts and gradually build up until I find I have enough paint that it 'flows'. I am hoping that my technique will improve so that I can achieve the same result but more directly.

I'd be interested in what you think of this style.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spring Irises Acrylic Painting

Spring Irises by Marion Hedger
40x40cm (16"x16")
Acrylic on canvas
I started these irises in the spring of 2008 from life as these were growing in my garden at the time. I left it unfinished until recently as I was unsure of how to finish it. It was my first attempt at glazing with medium and I wasn't enjoying using the glazing medium. As I am used to using the acrylic straight from the tube, or thinning with water if necessary I found the glazing medium sticky and not very satisfying as a 'painting feeling'. I eventually finished it off by using water to thin the acrylic in certain areas and undiluted acrylic in the front flowers. In fact it did not need to do much more work on it as adding the highlights suddenly lifted it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Magnolia Still Life

Magnolia Still Life
 by Marion Hedger
Oils, 40x40cm on boxed canvas
This painting was painted using an old watercolour painting as the basis. The original was painted on grey paper as an experiment. It originally had just the one open magnolia on the bottom left and three buds. When I came across it again, I thought "That doesn't look too bad" so ,as I am still in my oil phase, I decided to paint it in oils. Disaster. The comp did not look right at all.

When I analysed the original, I think it worked because I had painted it on the bottom right of a large sheet, and this gave the open flower lots of breathing space which it didn't have when transferred to a 40x40cm canvas. After looking at lots of magnolia photos and playing around with the comp, this is the end result. Let me know if you think the composition works.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Magnolia Trio Oil Painting

 Magnolia Trio
by Marion Hedger
40x40cm Oil on boxed canvas
This month's challenge in the Floral/Botanicals forum of wetcanvas was that beautiful spring flower the magnolia. This was painted from a combination of two photos, one of my own and the other from this month's host.

Unfortunately I have no progress pics as my camera gave up the ghost. The good news is that I have now bought myself a new DSLR - so from now on, my photos should be top notch - but first I have to learn how to use it LOL

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cup cake fun

After the success with my bronze iris, I started on a yellow iris. Yellow is such a hard colour and I have found it hard work. I decided I needed a break from the concentrated work and had a bit of fun with these. Cup cakes seem to be the rage at the moment - and the best part is that they have no hip expanding calories!
They are all 5"x7"
Acrylic on canvas board

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Art exhibition this Sunday

On Sunday 22nd May I will be participating in 'Journée des Chevalets' - A day of the easels - along the Promenade des Flots Bleus in St Laurent du Var, here on the riviera. This is where several local artists, from all over the Côte d'Azur get together to display their art to the public en plein aire. During the summer months there are several  'Journée des Chevalets' and 'Artistes dans la Rue' (Artists in the street) days located in the various small villages around here. The old villages provide a superb backdrop for the art and as a non-participant in the past, I have always enjoyed going to 'have a look'.

This is the first time that I will be participating in a group event like this. Please come along and have a look if you are in the area.
Some of my artwork that will be displayed:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bronze Iris - Oil painting

Bronze Beauty
Oil on box canvas
by Marion Hedger
This is on my easel at the moment. Not sure if it is finished so need to look with fresh eyes tomorrow.
Here, in Provence, Irises are king at this time of year. This is one that I planted a couple of years ago from a small rhizome. It looks wonderful in real life with a beautiful colour that changes from almost black through to a red purple and a red bronze with orange highlights depending on the light. I have tried to capture some of that colour and I really enjoyed painting it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Calla Lilies in oil pastel WIP

Calla Lily Lights by Marion Hedger
30x40cm oil pastel painting on blue colourfix paper

I have some lovely calla lilies growing under the shade of my magnolia grandiflora. They give a great stately display from early April until May lightening a shady corner. Here are some WIP pics.
The drawing with reference photo
Stage 1 blocking in the lights and darks

Step 2 - breaking up the masses
For some reason, I do not seem to have a stage 3 photo, but it was more of breaking down the masses working towards it looking real.

Stage 4 the finished piece

This started out as a study for a larger piece but I liked it so much I worked it up into a finished piece, although I will probably create a larger version at some time in the future.
Oil pastel works very well on colorfix paper allowing several layers to be added to achieve a real richness to the painting.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flower Studies in Oils

I have recently started using oils after joining an oil painting group each Friday. I have found that I really like the feel of painting with oils and it is fast becoming my favourite medium. I still have much to learn and so far I have only painted (not quite) alla prima.
I was hesitating how to start, and in the end decided just to go for it. Here are a couple of the flower studies that I did and are my first attempt at florals in oils.
Cosmos Fancies by Marion Hedger
20x20cm (8"x8")
Oil on canvas board

Poppy Stance by Marion Hedger
20x20cm (8"x8")
Oil on canvas board

Sunday, April 3, 2011

AVF Watercolour Paintings Exhibition

Last week exhibited two of my watercolours at a watercolour and porcelain painting exhibition held at the Salle des Meules in Vence. The exhibitors are all part of AVF, an organisation that helps newcomers (and not so new) to the area settle in. It organises many activities and is a great way to meet new people. Each year the members of the watercolour club hold an exhibition together with the porcelain painters club. It was not a for sale exhibition, more a showcase of the artists' work.

This is one of the ones exhibited, unfortunately the other photo has too much glare to show up well.
This was painted for as a learning exercise from a watercolour by talented artist Fabio Cembranelli. Thank you Fabio for demonstrating your technique on youtube.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Adeniums Oil Pastel Painting

Oil Pastel 30x40cm on black Somerset velvet paper

Another painting created for a wetcanvas challenge. Thanks to Dewi for introducing me to these beautiful flowers.

I chose a black backgound for this painting because I love the way the black makes the oil pastel colour really sing. This also works for soft pastels, and gives a more vibrant look to the painting.

Somerset Velvet is a printing paper. It has a soft springy surface and is ideal for pastels.


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