Thursday, 7 June 2012


Lots of times, I am never sure what makes me chose a certain flower as my next subject. I have been doing a lot of gardening recently, and a lot of metaphorical weeping as well, when the lashing rain has been particularly cruel! But still the flowers pick themselves up and bloom again, well....mostly. I had a small garden party for the Jubilee Celebrations, and I was asked by a number of people what is my favourite flower. It is impossible to give just one, but I do adore roses and clematis because they thrive so well in my soil, and I feel I get back what I put in. I do however really love Anemone Japonica, because they are star performers at the back end of the season and again do really well. Hence, out gardening I came across their sturdy shoots and pretty foliage coming up once again, and I know I am in for a real treat again in August and September. Maybe that is what made me decide!

As usual, I only used the photo to give me form and colour. I am sorry there is no photo of the drawing, but I started the work in the mid evening and experience has shown that the light is very poor for pencil drawings. When taking photos I try to consistently use early morning light as this gives the best results for colour rendering etc

I painted the flowers in exactly the same way as before, using a mixture of watercolours and white gouache, and painting the background as necessary to give shape to the white petals.

I continued with the painting until all three flowers were complete, and then added the stems, leaves and buds. I propped the painting up in the studio so that I could live with it for a while. Something was not right, and I needed to find out what it was.

I decided that there were two things bothering me. Firstly, the right hand upper flower had been drawn from the lower flower in the original photo.It had a large gap between two leaves, which seemed fine in the drawing, but seemed unnatural in the painting. This was easy to rectify by simply painting in another petal to fill the gap.

Much more seriously, I did not like the way the stems, leaves and bubs came across the front of the leaves, and I certainly was not happy with the way I had painted them. It was difficult to know how to rectify this. I tried at first to lighten them to make them less obtrusive, but they still jarred. I realised that the only way was to over-paint them with the gouache, but I was quite loathe to do this as I was afraid that this would make the central part of the painting muddy, and I was not sure if the colours below would seep through! As it seemed the only solution, it was in for a penny, in for a pound, and that is what I did!!

The painting pleases me much more now, and I am glad I had the courage to try the alteration. The photo is a little different in colour as it was mid afternoon when I took the photo, and I apologise for the evidence of slight undulations on the surface, but the painting was still wet when I used the camera. I could have waited until morning, but I wanted to get this blog finished. It is the third time I have written it, and the save button has sent it through the ether, totally disappeared, but that's another story!


  1. Really like your original painting, but I do see what you mean about the leaves and buds, they distract from the focus. Very brave of you to alter the painting and so successfully too, and yes the altered version works. Congratulations, great painting.

    1. Thanks, Ann. It is sometimes difficult to know how to proceed when just a tiny part is wrong, but I got away with it this time. The last photo was taken late afternoon, so the real colours are more like the next to last one. Thanks for looking

  2. Very nice.Perhaps a little more contrast?

  3. Thanks, Peter. You may be right about the contrast, it would give it a bit more punch. Will try harder next time!!