I just did this rose as a quick study to test my new watercolor pencils. Its based on a photo from a book about roses by Andreas Barlage. I love the by-line of his book, the sentiment for this love of roses is so simply put: Ohne Rosen geht es nicht! There is no literal translation to it in English but its meaning lies somewhere between Can`t do without roses and Doesn`t work without roses. This is what I love most in Germans, their love and care for plants and flowers and the pride they take in their gardens. One can see even very elderly persons pruning or weeding or generally busying about in their gardens on a warm Sommer Nachmittag. The next best thing I like about them is their sense of order. Who doesn`t marvel at their public transport system running like clockwork to the exact minute, one can probably even say second. When I was new here, I used to find it slightly amusing that they would start wearing perplexed frowns and generally fidget about if the clocked ticked to the next minute and the tram hadn`t arrived by then. Now ofcourse, after many years of living here, I too fidget about as I wait for the message announcing why and how long the Verspätung is. I think I`ve taken to this place like a duck to water.
The Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer line is made in Germany and they come with their own individual lightfastness ratings, something which is difficult to get hold of in colored pencils, so you can choose the colors which have the highest ratings. The watercolor pencils are soft and have intense chroma and you can work with them either dry or wet. I thought it would be fun to try them because you get more control with pencils. Also to an extent you can layer light on dark, so you don`t need that kind of discipline that regular watercolors require in that you have to get it right the first time. Just lay down strokes and blend different colors. Also, you can take a white or light colored pencil and go over the entire area softly smudging it. This will give an evenly blended area with a smooth finish, a dry technique called burnishing. Layer on darker colors if needed and repeat the burnishing. For the wet techniques, lay down strokes that follow the shape of the form you are trying to create, and gently go over it with damp brush to even out the layer (but you can still keep distinguishing marks). You can also dampen the paper first and then lay down the strokes which gives a different effect. Or dip the tip of the pencil (don`t dip the wooden casing!) in water and then lay down strokes. They can be combined with their polychromos colored pencils for mixed media work. Their range is color coded in different media so that you can combine them and not worry about colors standing out awkardly. Lots of exciting possiblities!
I painted this rose on WN CP paper, with Albrecht Dürer Ivory, Cream, Warm Grey 1, Cool Grey 4, Light violet, Light Cadmium Red, Deep Red, Madder, Pink Madder Lake, Middle Purple Pink, Magenta, Light Green, Emerald Green and Black (Isnt`t it great when you can get new art supplies, you feel like a child in an ice cream shop who can`t decide on the flavour because they`re all so verführerisch..erdbeeren, kiwi, bananen, pistazie….!). I also used the polychromos Light Cadmium Yellow for the veins. These are a bit hard and they leave an indentation mark, so if you draw in the veins with the colored pencil and layer on top dry on dry they will show even through a darker layer on top. (But if you wet it, the color will seep into the indented line)