Wednesday, 31 March 2010


It's spring. That means a lot of blue flowers in my garden right now. Scilla, Muscari, Hyacinth and also the first Pulmonaria or Lungwort. I have many different variaties in my garden of this lovely perennial but today I painted one of my favourites. Pulmonaria angustifolia. It has extremely blue flowers (although the buds have a rich magenta colour) and the leaves are green (not variegated like most Lungworts). It was a quick study and a small one but I loved to try and catch that electric blue colour.

Pulmonaria angustifolia

To get the right colour I used French Ultramarine, a bit of Violet and a little Paynes grey. To make the perfect colour for the shadow (in the blue) I mixed French Ultramarine with Cadmium Red. A wonderful mossy green I got by mixing Paynes Grey with Raw Umber. A really nice surprise that was :)

Saturday, 13 March 2010

How Dutch can it get

Orange Tulip
In my last post I said that I don't like tulips. I guess I should have written it a bit different. I like tulips in my garden or in a vase on the table (hey, I am Dutch you know) but I just don't like painting them. I don't like painting flowers in general. Too much showing off their beauty or something.

Sometimes, however, you have to paint other things too. Tulips for me is something new and different. Lots of colour and smooth shapes. It's definitely stepping out of my comfort zone.

Today I painted an orange tulip. Very Dutch, being a tulip and being orange. It was fun. This one was bending over a bit so you could almost look inside. This showed the overlapping petals more than the previous tulip I did. To give the tulip more depth I made the shadow parts really dark. I always like a bit of drama ;)

Spring please...


I've so had it with this winter. It was too cold and too dark for too long. I really need spring now. To get myself a bit of spring-feeling I bought loads of tulips this week.

Next month I'll join a botanical painting course again. This time the tutor will be Anne-Marie Evans. The theme that week will be tulips. I'm not a tulip fan. I never painted them before. Well, I had to last year in the previous course. But never voluntarily.

Today I did. One of my tulips is now also a watercolour. I thought it would be good to get some practice with my watercolours and the tulips before the course. There will be more tulips to come. Anyway....This is a very girlie one but it was fun to paint. Hope you like it too :)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Scarlet Elf Cups

Winter seems a strange period to go hunting for mushrooms. But there are a few that only can be found in this period of the year. The Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha coccinea) is one of them. It loves snow and freezing temperatures. This fungus grows on decaying branches in damp spots on forests floor. It's a rare fungus in the Netherlands... or so they say. Winter, snow, freezing cold and crawling under bushes isn't a very pleasant combination for most people, so it's not surprising it's not such a common sight.

Scarlet Elf Cups

I painted this little group of Scarlet Elf Cups like they were found. On the branches, with moss and dead leaves. I first painted the Fungi because I knew they loved the cold and damp.... not my dry and warm studio. The interior of the cups is bright red and very smooth. The outside is lighter and orange. later they turned even lighter, almost white. Maybe that had something to do with the dry, warm air. They are quite small, about 2 cm.
The hardest part was to paint the moss around the mushrooms. So delicate and fluffy. But I decided not to get into details too much since the focus should be on the fungi. I think I managed to do it. Creating this very tiny little world from the forest floor.