Over half term I got my watercolour paints out. It's been a long while since I last painted anything and I was feeling very rusty indeed, so I had bought myself a new set of watercolours as I couldn't find my previous set anywhere. It's a little travel set which is perfect for taking out and about with me. I can't help but feel excited when I open a new box of paints.
The little half-pans of paint are like brightly-coloured sweets waiting to be unwrapped. I love the tiny silvery brush too. I couldn't wait to get started. I knew what I would paint. A flower (of course).
I chose a fairly simple subject. A sweet purply-pink geranium from the garden. I had decided I was going to give myself an hour to see how far I got with it. If I don't time-limit myself I can go on for ever.
First I drew a faint outline in pencil. Hopefully you can just about see it.
Then came my favourite bit - finding the right colour. I loved playing around adding more blue here and then some red until I got as close a match as I can. Each petal is made up of several shades of deep pink and purple, and varies depending on where it's in shade or light.
Then I washed some colour onto the petals. It looks rather fuzzy in this picture because the paint was very wet and the light was reflecting off it.
Time for some green. The leaves were quite a fresh, yellowy green
This first layer was important because I had to decide which bits to leave white.
The petals needed depth. and some green at the centre of the flower,
as well as the veins on the leaves.
Next came some touches of red to the leaves, and the veins and centre of the flower.
From start to finish it took me an hour and fiteen minutes. It's by no means perfect and far more a quick impression than a detailed botanical illustration, but for a first attempt after a long break I'm pleased with my picture and am going to get my brushes out again soon. There's so much potential floral subject-matter out at the moment, it's just choosing where to start ...