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Saint Pauls Cathedral

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A Spire of Saint Pauls, Painting the Cathedral by Jenny Armitage

A Spire of Saint Paul's (11 x 15 watercolor) $300

This is one of the twin clock tower spires of Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London.  I love Saint Paul’s Cathedral though it is nothing like the Gothic Cathedrals I fell in love with on my first trip the England.  Unlike England’s early cathedrals, Saint Paul’s was designed by a single man, Sir Christopher Wren and built over just thirty years.  The result is a clean coherent building rather unlike the the quirky cathedrals I first admired.

Wren designed and saw built numerous churches in the vicinity to compliment and be complimented by the cathedral.   But in the London Blitz practically the entire neighborhood was bombed and burned to the ground.  The cathedral is now surrounded by modern offices.  The Millennium Bridge now leads directly to it providing a very modern show case for Wren’s jewel.


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Bicycle Florence

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Waiiting Bike, Original Painting of Florence, Italy, by Jenny Armitage

Waiting Bike (13 x 19 watercolor) SOLD

This painting has sold, but you may still purchase a fine art print.

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Gothic Specter

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Gothic Specter, Painting of Christchurch, by Jenny Armitage

Gothic Specter (11 x 15 watercolor) $200

The Gothic archways surrounding the quads in churches and colleges have always intrigued me.  This one happens to be at Christchurch, in Oxford, but it could be one of hundreds in Britain.  The ribbed ceilings and the slanting light from the quad are always both beautiful and romantic.

In this painting I exaggerated the contrast poured the colors.


 

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Lily With Red Carnations

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Lily with Carnations (watercolor 9x12) $175.00

Yes there are red carnations in the painting. You just haven’t looked closely enough.

Both the carnations and the lily come from the Valentine’s Day bouquet my husband gave me this year. The Danish silverware vase was my Mother’s.  So the painting is a family affair.

The fact that the lily inevitably points out of the picture presented a compositional problem. I used the window frame to create a boundary to contain the eye within the painting.  Theoretically the window frame with lead the eye back around to the vase and into the painting once more.

I began the painting by masking the white edges of the lily, the stamen, and the smallest white highlights. Then I laid the window frame and background in with multiple transparent washes. I began the window frame with a mixture of cobalt blue and burnt sienna. I followed that with phthalo blue, and finally added a very thin wash of burnt sienna to tone it down. The window began with phthalo green and burnt sienna. While the wash was still damp I lifted it with tissue to create a mottled look. I followed that with successive layers of cobalt blue, phthalo blue, and burnt sienna laid wet into wet.  I made the background darker around the lily and lighter by the dark vase to add drama.

Next I under painted the lily with phthalo blue. I added the shadowed fuchsia with quinacrione deep red rose sometimes mixed with cobalt blue. The sunlight fuchsia is a combination of quinacridone red and cadmium red. I added the spots last in darker versions of the fuchsia under them. I painted the colored highlights in the vase in tandem with the lily. The carnations are cadmium red.

The leaves and stamen began with new gamgee (yellow). I laid a green made of new gamgee and colbalt blue over the top. The tips of the stamen are burnt sienna and phthalo blue.

This painting is currently for sale on-line through my Etsy shop.
Or purchase a print on Fine Art America.com.

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Three Coneflowers

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Watercolor of Cone Flowers

Afterglow II (8 x 9 watercolor) $60.00

Here are another three cone flowers from last Fall’s garden. This time I painted them during my gallery shift.

I altered my painting techniques a little from Afterglow I. I under-painted the petals in phthalo blue before over painting them in opera and dioxazine violet. I under-painted petals in phthalo blue too. I think the under-painting does add to the the three dimensionality of the flowers.

I also added dioxazine purple to the palette, working it in to the cones and the petals.


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Afterglow: Pink Coneflower

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Afterglow (8 x8 inch watercolor) $100

Painted from a photo I took in my front yard last year, this is a close up of my pink cone flowers (echinacea). Like mums and asters, coneflowers are a reliable late summer flower. In the late afternoon light they just glow. I only have five of them but I hope they spread like mad.

I began this painting with the center of interest, the cone of the the cone flower. I painted the bright orange parts of the cone with a combination of quinacridone deep red rose and cadmium yellow. I began with the brighter orange edge and worked my way down adding rose to the mix as I descended the cone. I filled in around the orange-red highlights with a mixture of burnt sienna and cobalt blue letting the colors mix on the paper. I worked some rose into the mix as I reached the rim of the cone.

I added the petals next with deep red rose, cobalt blue and quinacridone opera from Winsor and Newton. Opera is a vivid pink which I rarely use, but has it uses. Nothing else in watercolor produces such a florescent pink.

I added the background last with a mixture of cobalt blue and cadmium yellow, toned down with burnt sienna. Burnt sienna which is a red-orange desaturates green but not to the extent that green’s compliment red would do. I applied this mixture in tone wet into wet layer and and used a paper towel to lift some of the final layer.

This painting is currently available on-line through my Etsy shop.  Prints available through Fine Art America.com.

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