Wednesday, 29 June 2011


During spring planting time I was looking for some exotic plants and came across this DATURA deep purple with lime green member of the Bragmansia family. This one, unlike an earlier posting of Angel Trumpets which has its blooms hanging down, has them growing upwards to the light.

I decided to sketch them yesterday, sitting at the bottom of a garden lounger so I could get on a level with the blooms rather than peering down from my little patio area. It wasn't until I had nearly finished, that I realised the sky had gone really dark and there was thunder and lightening drawing near and I was feeling cold in my summery top and skirt!

Needless to say, they were sketched and painted into my new Columbine garden sketchbook. Here are the left and right side of my second double spread.

... and try to imagine this watercolour alongside on the right hand side of the book:

The dirty pages are from balancing my watercolour palette on the page as I worked on my knee!!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Some while ago I painted an acrylic of a typical scene on the North Norfolk coast from photos I took at Blakeney, combining fishing nets, lobster/crab pots and boats. I was never really satisfied with it but I had put a lot of work into it. So over the past couple of weeks I have repainted it with oils trying to develop a more atmospheric piece. I've always loved doing interesting skies and I think this one (from imagination) works well with a feeling of movement.

Above is the final result of the 20" x 24" box canvas. I used my Michael Harding oil paints King Blue, Phthalocyanine Blue and Green, Terre Verte, Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre and, of course, lots of white (Titanium).

Below is when I thought I had finished it, until I noticed the skyline on the left was rather higher and did not portray the typical Norfolk flat landscape. I think the revised horizon above gives a much more distant and atmospheric feel to the painting.

Below I've added an image of a very early stage, from which you will see I changed all the net supports (buoys or whatever they are called!) to creamy white and worked more on the net tones, before going on to develop the landscape, water, sky, boats and lobster pots . Lots of fun.

I might look at some of my other stored acrylic works I have not been satisfied with. Somehow using oil gives a completely different feel to the painting.

Monday, 13 June 2011


Thinking about another subject to go with the FAIRY FUCHSIAS watercolour on Lana Vanguard I posted earlier, I eventually came up with the idea of ANGEL TRUMPETS, not only because of FAIRY and ANGEL connection but because both flowers hang down. I had recently planted a DATURA, which is from the same Bragmansia family but its trumpets grow upwards and the one I found was dark purple with soft lavender edges. Maybe once it is in full bloom (currently has ten buds) I'll probably paint that as well.

Here is the finished watercolour 20" x 24" on my trusty friend Lana Vanguard. Like the FUCHSIA painting, I added black marker pen to accent the shapes of the main blooms.

This is how it began:

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


We often sketch flowers from the garden when my ladies group meet on Thursdays. Last week I picked this little spray of what I think is an Alexandra rose climbing over my little corrner wooden garden house to use for my first sketch in my new Columbine covered sketchbook I showed in a recent posting. My watercolours were just perfect for those petal washes of soft peach tones.

I did this little second sketch with Stabilo 45 brown fine liner pen to show where the Alexandra roses were climbing. It makes a lovely double spread with the roses on the first page of my new sketchbook. There are a couple of garden chairs up there, but they made it too complicated and difficult!! As you can tell, I simply used my waterbrush to spread some of the water soluble ink from these Stabilo soluble pen lines - it took seconds!.

Friday, 3 June 2011


After creating my iris and hibiscus watercolours on Lana Vanguard, I found I still had two further frames to match, though bigger at 20"x 24". So I got down to working on one of these last week and here is the start of my THREE FUCHSIA work.

I must have been mad because I drew it in with my LAMY PEN with Noodlers Lexington Grey ink but before I started adding watercolour washes I rubbed the lines with a soft cloth which made them blury and light. Nothing like experimenting as you go along!!

This is the finished piece, from which you can see I added background colour. I decided this because of the white sepals, but at the end I added black permanent marker pen to bring out some of the shapes - and I could have left the background white to match my earlier works after all!! Ah well such is art when you work my way by making decisions as the work develops rather than have any preconceived ideas.

Here is a close up of one of the finished flowers, so you can see how the watercolouor re-acts to Lana Vanguard.

Originally I had planned to do a strelizia, then had ideas about tulips and then poppies and finally when I got the Lana Vanguard sheet out the thought of fairy like fuchsia flowers just overwhelmed me. Wonder what the one to match will be!??