Helen Campbell

“…It is vital that colours are as close to the subject as possible. Because light changes all the time for me working from life would be impossible. Therefore I work entirely from photographs as this allows me to take time with my compositions. Mastering photography has been an important part of the process, allowing me to record each part of the plant and replicating its colours using photo editing software.” Helen Campbell

I am glad that Helen has highlighted problems with capturing the image of flowers from life and she has been perfectly honest about it. Many artists do not forward knowledge or insight about their process and try to keep it a mystery.

For myself I enjoy drawing from life, but to get round to painting them would be a different story, the flowers would be well shrivelled by then. It seems that I too would need the photographic aid but this would not be possible without an expensive professional camera, as I have long time noted that ordinary cameras such as the compact digital although with lens does not even give enough information for my line drawing. This is also an answer to the person who asked me why I was spending time trying to accurately draw a flower when there were machines such as cameras that could record them. Only if you have enough money! Should not an artist benefit from practising their drawing technique anyway?  Gesturing lines in different directions in a fast motion as was suggested is not my cup of tea and would simply not get adequate results. Further to this the same person said that careful studying and drawing of plants was only for those who could not draw. If anyone took too much notice of what this person suggested they would have given up even trying to become an artist.

honeysuckle helen campbell

Helen Campbell`s Honeysuckle…There is a central crown of short tubular shaped cupped petals surrounded by longer cupped petals. Then there is a giant leap in length, shape and formation of petals, curling upward and backward with protrusions curving outwards and downwards. Their also lengthy stamens also reach forward, making the composition of this flower very unusual, perhaps resembling a spider, only much more beautiful.


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