Sunday, 27 September 2009


Cydonia oblonga sketch

Yesterday Michiel Thomas, a friend I met on Flickr, came to my house to buy one of my drawings. He brought me a large branch from his Quince he has in his garden. On the branch were 3 quinces and I decided to draw one of them. I first made the sketch and today I added the colours. Here it is :)

Quince ~ Cydonia oblonga

Thursday, 24 September 2009


I love Autumn. But then again, I suppose all botanical artists love autumn. So much going on, so many beautiful colours, not to mention all the fruits and seeds...
In my previous post you could read I'm working a bit more with watercolours now. Also trying out some things to combine the coloured pencils and watercolours. Valerie Oxley told us that it shouldn't matter how we come to a good result, as long as we get a good result. I got to experiment with that when I made a watercolour of the rose hips of one of my roses, Rosa moyesii 'Geranium'.

Rosa moyesii 'Geranium'

I started to make a watercolour of it. But in the end I wasn't totally happy with the way it looked. I worked a bit too much in the red and it got a bit grainy and muddy. I remembered what Valerie told us and thought 'why not'.
I got some coloured pencils out and saved the painting. It looks much better now and I'm glad I did what I did.

Rosa glauca

Next I tried to make a painting of a rose hip I picked from my Rosa glauca. That didn't work. AT ALL. It was hopeless, even my pencils couldn't make that one better. So this time I made the rose hip again, now using only coloured pencils. Sometimes things just don't go as you plan it I guess. But it doesn't matter... as long as you get a nice result in the end.

Now I need to think about what to make next... it's autumn and there's so much choice...

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


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:

Arum italicum WIP

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'.

Hydrangea serrata 'Grayswood'

I picked some of the most interesting flowers off the shrub (naughty me) and painted them.

Grayswood WIP

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.

Hydrangea serrata 'Grayswood'

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....