As you probably know, I work a lot with coloured pencils. I never liked watercolours very much... or the watercolours didn't like me... I don't know. Anyway, painting with watercolours always was a struggle and never fun to do. I found my coloured pencil more friendly and willing to work with me. Lately I started to paint a bit more. I think it was after the botanical art course with Valerie Oxley this spring. She showed some tricks and ways how to deal with various problems. It inspired me to pick up my brushes again and try some small things. You've seen the Blackberry and Redcurrants. They worked out surprisingly well. I have no idea why it is going so much better than before. Maybe it's because I take my time and use less colours when I mix my colours. Lately I've done two more paintings. One large and one small and still in progress. Actually I think I won't finish it this year because I have other, more important, stuff to finish too. To be honest, the first, large painting, isn't finished either... here it is:
These are the berries of the Arum italicum. Now, I must add that these berries are no longer floating around. I've added the stem last weekend. The bright orange colours were very new for me. I never did something so extremely orange before. The most beautiful orange I got from mixing Opera Rose with Cadmium Yellow (both W&N). Some berries have some Cadmium Red deep hue glazed over them, some have a bit of Opera rose or Cadmium Yellow glaze. The green was even harder. It stayed too mossy... too yellow... finally I tried to make it better by glazing with a bit of Hookers Green mixed with Lemon Yellow. That did it.
The other painting is going to be a bit of a project. I started it last weekend while I was demonstrating Botanical painting in my favourite nursery "De Kleine Plantage" in Eenrum. In the gardens were a lot of Hydrangeas. The most spectacular colour of deep dark red I found on Hydrangea serrata 'Grayswood'.
I picked some of the most interesting flowers off the shrub (naughty me) and painted them.
Now I want to paint a lot more of these flowers with these amazing colours on the sheet. Like they are sprinkled on the paper. I think it will look very nice.
Now, I'm not going to switch over entirely to watercolours. I love the pencils too. But it was a nice surprise to see the painting is going so much better now, with less struggles and with more fun than before....