I’ve wanted to paint one of Peter Carl Fabergé’s Imperial Easter eggs for a long time, but could never decide which one. I looked at photos for all the known eggs and found the Pansy Egg, which I have never seen before.
It was commissioned in 1899 by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia for his mother, Dowager Empress Maria Feodoronova. One of only two Imperial Easter eggs made in the Art Nouveau style, it is 14.6cm tall.
The egg is made of nephrite, gold, diamonds, white, red, green and opaque violet enamel. It rests upon a stand of silver gilt, in the shape of twisting leaves and branches which rise up to hold the egg. Five enamelled pansies surround the egg and the top lifts off to reveal the surprise, which is a heart shaped picture frame on an easel. On the surprise there are 11 tiny, red-enamelled wild strawberries with personalised monograms, which lift to show portraits of the Imperial family. The Pansy Egg is now in private ownership in New Orleans, USA.
The surprise was far too intricate to paint, as you can see from the photo I have included, but I had a go at the egg. I spent ages drawing the egg and all the details, to get the proportions correct. Hooker’s Green was the perfect colour for the egg so I painted 3 layers on Bockingford 300gsm NOT watercolour paper to achieve the mottled effect of the nephrite. For the silver areas on the pansies where the diamonds rest I used SAA Silver watercolour paint. All the gold areas I painted with SAA gold watercolour paint with Schmincke Aqua Bronze Rich Gold powder mixed in. The base looked a little flat with all the gold paint, so I used lemon yellow for the highlights and van Dyke brown for areas in shadow.
I am pleased with the result, but it did take a lot longer than I thought it would!
I created some bold Easter egg pictures to put in our bay window, so they can be seen from the pavement in front of our house. I live on Riverview Park in Gravesend and there are lots of young families here who walk around the roads every day to get some exercise.
Our Riverview Park Facebook page asked people to put pictures in their windows to make it fun for the children to spot whilst they’re walking around. I’ve painted a rainbow and the Easter eggs and also put a teddy in the window, waving at them. I’m an arctophile (go on, look it up) so I have changed teddies a few times :o)
The record seems to be 52 rainbows spotted in only 4 roads!
I painted on 300gsm watercolour paper in a pad from Hobbycraft, which makes a good sketchpad. I used a black Sharpie pen to make the bold lines of the eggs, and with the smaller eggs I used Schmincke Aqua Bronze powders in rich gold and silver, so they really shine when they catch the light. The bigger egg is painted in watercolours and I sprinkled the rich gold powder on the little red heart whilst the paint was still wet and it made a lovely scattered pattern.
Thank you all for continuing to send in your lovely paintings.
Here are two very attractive animal paintings by Suzan
and two beautiful soft pastels from Ruth; Kettlewell Bridge in The Yorkshire Dales and Fungi from The New Forest
and a detailed colourful pastel from Ann B.
Steve has used soft pastels to create his tiger, by using the materials and photo from the Paul Hinks pastel workshop that we’ve had to postpone. We will hopefully have the workshop at a future date. Steve’s tiger is very impressive, especially as he says that it was difficult to know in which order to apply the colours.
Lloyd has painted a picture of Deal beach seafront area, from one of his own photographs. It’s an oil painting on canvas and measures 800mm x 600mm. He feels he needs to tweak a few things, but it’s so good as it is, with so much detail. Hopefully we will all be able to visit the seaside again in a few months.
A few weeks ago the suggested subjects for our two sessions for April were published in the last newsletter. Unfortunately, life has changed the past couple of weeks and now we cannot meet for our sessions :o(
Here are a few more ideas if you plan on painting this month whilst at home, but it’s not compulsory! Other art groups are also suggesting ideas to their members, so please don’t feel overwhelmed, just paint any ideas if you want to.
Send your finished paintings by email to me (Tracy Q-P), or to Susan. If you can’t work out how to email a picture then send it to me on Facebook’s Messenger App, or email me for my mobile number and then text it or WhatsApp it to me. If you finish anything else, then we’d love to see it too.
Keep safe and happy painting!
Spring flowers – what’s in your garden now? Daffodils, tulips, snowdrops, bluebells etc
Paint loose like – Jean Haines, Ann Blockley, Joanne Boon Thomas
Botanical style – Billy Showell, Julie H King
Colourful with negative shapes – Susan Crouch
These artists are on Facebook, some have websites, and some have YouTube demos available online. Joanne Boon Thomas uploaded a loosely-painted tulip demo the other day.
Peter Carl Fabergé – Imperial Easter eggs, objet d’art, add gold and silver to your paintings with paint, paper or metal leaf. It’s 100 years since he died, so there are many online articles. Look at www.faberge.com and www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabergé_egg
Easter – a bonnet, egg dyeing, children going on an egg hunt, your local church.
Animals – hares, chicks, newborns on the farm or in the countryside.
Goddesses – Greek goddess Gaia, Germanic goddess Eostre.
Blossom – fruit trees in your garden, or from photos, be inspired by Vincent van Gogh and his blossom paintings.
April – rain showers, umbrellas, wellies, a wet weather still life, write and illustrate an ‘April’ acrostic poem.