My first home-made video – the Pineapple of course

This is going to be a very short blog as my eyes are popping out of my head.

I finished off a long series of London Art College assignments this morning, intending to go back to the easel afterwards.  I was then asked to write a short article to go on the website for the Chichester Open Studios event in May. Naturally I decided to do something about the Pineapple, put it forward as a suggestion including the use of my first video tutorial.

I know that there is already a series of videos that you can find via the Tutorial page on this website, but those are professionally done. Back to this one video so far: I started filming and doing a series of ‘time-lapse’ pictures at the beginning of the pineapple painting.  This video comprises both elements covering the initial period and lasts about three minutes. I continued to film throughout the whole painting, so in due course I hope to release something that will show the whole pineapple develop before your eyes. But that is still in the cooking pot.

Following the query earlier today, I therefore logged onto Youtube and created a channel called Gaynor Dickeson. It contains just one video: ‘How to paint Pineapple segments with Gaynor Dickeson’ . Do enjoy and let me know what you think. This is the link: http://youtu.be/htu3A2mpFCo

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More pineapple segments

I have a feeling that posting the progression of this pineapple might be just a little boring for some. But on the other hand it also portrays the amount of work necessary and how I have to continually adjust the colours and the segments in relation to each other.

Knowing how I paint each segment in a rapidly changing pineapple is interesting in itself. Obviously I paint what I see, but I have to bear in mind that once all the segments are done, they need to be moulded into a complete shape. I can envisage that being the tricky part.

For this past week I have been painting every spare moment. My pineapple is somewhat further advanced than I am showing you here, but as this is a commission, I don’t feel it is right to show the completed work until the client has received the picture. The picture is far from being complete, although to date we have eaten four pineapples that were rather the worse for wear. They still tasted good though!

I mentioned that I take pains to draw the pineapple and arrange the segments appropriately. Once that is done I transfer this to my watercolour paper. But what happens then, particularly when I have to change pineapples? This is why I draw the segments in so they can easily be adjusted. I paint from life, therefore when I begin a new pineapple, I place it in such a position as to be able to find segments facing the same direction as on my original drawing.

Sometimes it can be quite difficult as every segment is different, and may not fit in too well. But so far it is going OK.

I have just had a thought. The Norwegian Botanical Art holiday workshop is over a longish period where one can work continuously and with guidance. A pineapple (although not of Norwegian origin) would be something one could work on. Do you fancy having a go? Look at http://www.gaynorsflora.com/page10.htm for details.

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What isn’t happening in botanical art at the moment?

Yesterday (Thursday) was the first of a three-day workshop. Most of the day was spent on composition and drawing. Whilst the weather was OK we used the time to choose flowers from the garden to paint. We were only going to concentrate on floating flower heads.

As many will know, the colours in the garden do no clash. You can put all sorts together and it still looks beautiful. Nature is a wonderful thing. Therefore putting together colours that are not normally considered to be conducive with each other really works well. Hopefully you will see some of the results.

Normally just the morning is spent composing and drawing ready to commence painting. However, the students this time became very involved in the technicalities of composition and they realised that their final painting will only be as good as there drawing. There compositions were finished by the end of the first day and they were ready to start day two.

At the start of today, the students had some good drawings to start painting and carefully they began to lay in colour. After a lot of concentration and hard work, they made some headway by the end of the day – but whether or not they will finish their compositions by the end of tomorrow is anyone’s guess. We shall see.

Anyway, a good time has been had by all so far – including me. They are a fun, hard working bunch of people.

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