Pencil drawing with watercolour painting of Lupins against shards of granite.

Blue Lupins Painted from Life Instead of from Photos

My knee started to go on a Manning Park hike up the Three Brothers, so I settled myself down amongst the mosquitos with my sketch pad, and did these drawings of lupins in the wild.

Pencil drawing of blue Lupins against a weathered log; the watercolour was added later.Pencil drawing with watercolour painting of Lupins up on a Manning Park hike up the Three BrothersPencil drawing of Lupins against shards of granite. I quite like the quirkiness that sometimes happens when drawing from life as opposed to working from a photo. Pencil drawing with watercolour painting of Lupins up on a Manning Park hike up the Three BrothersHere are some photos of Lupins when we came back through Merritt this summer.Blue Lupins up at Glimpse Lake, CanadaA lupin in the sun. I can’t begin to imagine how different the drawings would have been if I had done them from photos.Blue Lupin in the sun up at Glimpse Lake, CanadaAnother time I saw masses of lupins was in Arizona. This is a photo of the desert scene with Cholla and Prickly Pear Cacti amidst a once-every-four-year-bloom of orange California poppies and blue lupins. Because this was taken back in the days of film I didn’t actually see the photo until much later, and found the colours quite subdued compared to the way I remembered them.   in a desert in Arizona, USAThis is how I remembered the place in my mind and painted it in my sketchbook while I was still in Arizona – a sea of orange and blue. Again, if I had used a photo to paint from the result would have been very different. desert in bloom - Sketchbook from my 2001 Trip to ArizonaI’ve been thinking about the difference a lot as I paint from photos during this time of COVID. Moving around outside allows me to gather impressions and process them in a way that is totally different than working from a photo. The photos for some reason remove me from having a personal take on anything and I end up painting much too realistically. My creativity seems to be lost…

12 thoughts on “Blue Lupins Painted from Life Instead of from Photos

    1. This post was part of a discussion with a friend about artists and creativity – one of the conclusions was that the most important thing was a sort of obsessive passion – we have several friends with more talent than us but they don’t have the passion so they don’t keep at it. At any rate, your passion for photography shows through, and I bet you don’t even notice the time it takes…

  1. Very interesting Elizabeth. For one who has absolutely NO talent for painting I envy your ability to see and portray things differently. Excellent example of creativity!

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