Emerging Apple Blossom

Emerging Apple Blossom (Watercolour)

Emerging Apple Blossom (Watercolour)

It’s Friday again… my hasn’t this week gone quickly? I know! I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but this year has flown by so far. The garden is changing faster than I can cope with as Summer gets closer and I think the grass has been taking lessons from Jack’s beanstalk, so I really had to find an hour today to cut it.

Later on I stood at my drawing board and wondered about continuing with the Alpaca, or putting a few more marks on the Plum Blossom, but something had caught my eye while I was outside… just three small clumps of leaves unfurling on the apple tree with little pink buds nestled in the middle of them. Too tempting!!

So I headed back out with a camera and here’s the start of a study… incidentally, the colours here are fairly true to life, they really are the most amazing pink!

Springtime Ornamental Plum Blossom, Pt. 2

Ornamental Plum Blossom (Watercolour)

Ornamental Plum Blossom (Watercolour)


So, today I’ve started earlier and pinched an hour half way through the day to paint. The dog isn’t over the moon because it’s pushed back his walk time, and he is a creature of habit… but I’m sure it’ll do him good to learn some flexibility 😉

I’m quite excited to immerse myself in Plum Blossom again, especially as it’s completely disappeared from the garden now – it’s sad how quickly it all blows away, but it does remind you to grasp the moment! As well as excited, I’m also nervous about that large expanse of background and trying to fill it with foliage type splodges without painting every leaf… I can’t imagine how I’m going to do it and not create mud. Anyway, I made a start with some slightly darker pigments around the edges of the main flowers and now have to consider what do to in the top left, which is a bit blank at the moment.

As you can now see, there’s a honey bee on the central flower and I would love to capture it’s fuzziness… I did try, but the pale yellow I used spread too far and disappeared. Perhaps I can add a light halo at the end instead. I might have lost one of his wings too…. there is a little masking fluid to save the whites, but I’m not sure now that it’ll be enough.

Still happy 🙂 , more soon!


Best Dress & Party Balloons

Best Dress & Party Balloons (Watercolour)

Best Dress & Party Balloons (Watercolour)

The sun is shining! The past two days have been lovely and warm (after a small morning shower) and suddenly I feel more energetic 🙂

Yesterday I cut the grass, which was up to my knees, and dispatched three loads of washing before laying down a light sketch and soft first wash of a new practise piece taken from a photo of Jim’s niece at his brother’s wedding in June this year. Today I added the rich dark background with a mix of Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Burnt Umber. You can still see the strokes of the one inch brush I used, unfortunately, so I’ll have to see if I can blend it a bit better at some stage.

Mind you, I must remember this was started as a practise, it’s on the back of another experiment (I’m trying hard to think of a better description than failure 😉 ) and isn’t supposed to be for keeps. Loving it so far though… the paper is a big factor in this, it’s a sheet of Arches rough 300gms and it holds the water in a totally different way to the Bockingford I have been using, giving soft rich colours which move about easily on the surface.

I’m looking forward to seeing what tomorrow will bring…



Magnificent Magnolias, Pt. 3

Magnificent Magnolia (Watercolour)

Magnificent Magnolia (Watercolour)

After Friday’s playfully loose warm up I felt brave enough today to try sloshing in a loose background on the original painting I started last week. I knew it would never look as soft as the warm up because the flowers had already been so carefully painted in, but it has certainly changed the look of the piece.

I rather wish I’d used a larger brush as I’m not too happy about the brush strokes you can still see, and there are lots of hard edges, but this is only to be expected when using lots of water as the pigment has plenty of opportunity to migrate to the edges before it dries. Luckily, it’s mostly possible to soften these out later with some clear water and a tissue to dab the colour away.

Anyway, I’m still feeling positive about my progress this time, despite it not being perfect… and I’m still looking forward to where this might go as well as trying it again with a few different tweaks.

Magnificent Magnolias, Pt. 2

Magnificent Magnolia (Watercolour)

Magnificent Magnolia (Watercolour)

Oh, what fun you can have painting a subject you like!  I’ve had a very rewarding session today, even though my painting hasn’t been as skilful or as successful as for the first sitting of these beautiful blossoms.

Two reasons come to mind for this:

  1. Warm Ups: I just couldn’t bring myself to ‘waste time’ warming up today, I went straight into lifting heavy weights, as Jean Haines would put it. I consider myself lucky I didn’t do more damage 😛
  2. Masterpieces versus doodling: The first session of this painting was a warm up, I never expected it to work at all, and so today I came back to the piece with “expectations”. Instead of nice flowing experimentation I found myself trying to make every stroke perfect.

One day I might learn from these lessons that I can recite so well… for now I feel I’ve been extremely lucky and didn’t totally screw it up, which constitutes a pretty darn good day in my books 😀 .

P.S. The picture was taken in artificial lighting (I painted into dusk again!) so the colours are as close as I could get.