Showing posts with label Spring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spring. Show all posts

Friday, 3 January 2014

More bulbs!

I know I've just posted about the tulip mothers but when I uploaded it I saw that I forgot to tell you about my previous bulb painting. They are also tulip bulbs. Very different though. These are very small and have no babies. They are not as silky and shiny as the "Black Hero" bulbs. They are rougher and have the colour of cinnamon. I really love these small ones. They are botanical tulips and look a bit different from the "normal", popular tulips you see everywhere.

So here they are. 6 Small bulbs of Tulipa batalinii seedlings. The scan took away the roots and detail in the fluffy parts a bit but you get the idea.
Not so sure if I'll paint the flowers of them, or of the Black Heroes. I just love bulbs more then the flowers they produce. But... you never know...

Thursday, 12 April 2012

A Bulb Drawing and Some News

A lot has happened lately. Really... a lot. I'm happy to say it's all quite positive. I finished a bulb drawing today, an interview about me and my art was published in Noorderland magazine, I finally built my new website (and it works!!!!) and I'll be teaching in a new course about drawing botanical art with coloured pencils. It's a lot.

First of all, let me show you the drawing. It's done in coloured pencil and it's a Crocosmia 'Lucifer' bulb which I pulled out of my garden this week. The contrast of the died leaves and the new, toxic green sprout is so nice. Well, I like it anyway :P

It wasn't an easy thing to draw in coloured pencil. I think it would have been more easy if I had used only graphite pencils. The hardest part of it was the fibre, straw-like part above the bulb and between the two dead leaves. White thin sprigs. Many of them too... Ah well, I managed it somehow and I'm rather pleased with the result too. That doesn't happen so often.

So... then there's the article, 6 full pages in a very nice magazine, Noorderland. A large interview, a lot of my drawings (nicely printed) and nice photos of stuff in my studio and also of me. So if you live in the Netherlands or there about, have a look.

Now, because I was going to feature in this big article I really had to update my website. And because I'm such a stubborn person that always knows best and never likes prefab website designs, I wanted to build it myself. I'm happy now with the style and all I need now is to build a little e-store to sell cards, prints and other stuff. So if you haven't done it already, please have a look at it. Some feedback is always nice ;)
Finally the 6-day-drawing-course. That will be (I really hope I get enough students for this) next June in the botanical garden "De Kruidhof" in Buitenpost. On my website is a folder with more info. It will be six days in three weeks time. I'm looking forward to it... sitting in the gardens there, peacefully struggling with all the plant material, trying hard to get it all down on paper.... Aaaaah..... splendid!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Spring is coming!

The very first sign of spring for me is when the Hazel (Corylus avellana) in my back garden starts to flower. The large yellow-green catkins dangling in the wind always make me smile. So fun that the male (the large greenish worms) and female (tiny red fluffy bits) catkins flower on the same twig.

I wanted to paint a larger twig than this but got a bit bored by the catkins. To be honest, I started to paint it very detailed but soon got lazy. And since I was doing it for fun I made a bit impressionistic catkins. At the end I put in some sharper details and shadows. I think I got away with it :P

Monday, 5 April 2010

That look...

I was drawing the last two days. I saw a photo last week on Flickr. One of my contacts uploaded a photo of a girl. It was taken in the 1930s or so. The only thing we know about this girl is her name, Ruth Akin. Her portrait was so impressive, it was on my mind all week and I just had to draw that face. There's something about that girl. Her pose, her mouth... but most of all her eyes. They tell a story and it could be a very big secret or a sad history... maybe she was just tired. I guess we'll never know. It was a challenge to draw her and I made three drawings of her. The final one was the best and I think I captured a bit of her mysterious look. I made her with black coloured pencil to get a very dramatic contrast, like the photo.
I must say that it was a lot of fun to do and maybe I'll do something like this again some day.

Ruth Akin

The other thing I did (today) is going to my nursery to sell some of my cards and to buy some plants for my garden. I bought Astrantia, Pulmonaria, Angelica Gigas and a few other beauties. After collecting all the plants I wanted, I went for a walk in the spring garden of the nursery. Many wonderful flowers already. Helleborus, Corydalis, Scilla and, the best of all, Fritillaria. Not the normal Frits but a very light, creamy yellow, 50 cm high beauty: Fritillaria raddeana. They were planted all over the garden and it looked so wonderful. The weather was cold and very wet but those flowers lightened up the entire garden.

Fritillaria raddeana

Another sweet surprise was a flower I never saw before. Well, not in this colour anyway. It had a name tag beside it and it said: Dentaria heptaphyllos. I couldn't find a lot of Dentaria heptaphyllos on Google though. But I did find out that it's better known as Cardamine enneaphyllos (Drooping Bittercress for normal people).

Cardamine enneaphyllos ~ Dentaria heptaphyllos

It's on my wishlist, just like that Fritillaria (funny that they both have the same pretty yellow I can tolerate in my garden... well... it's not very yellow at all.... Ivory.... Cream.... Lovely). Aaaahhhh.... spring :))

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 ;)