Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Whilst carrying out a construction job in the garden, I noticed that the cyclamen were just starting to put up tiny buds, and it reminded me that I had taken some photos last year that might do as a starting point for a painting. I have, also to admit that I love the paintings of Yoko Nagayama ( an artist whose web site was sent to me by Peter Ward ....thank you Peter ) and she has painted a wonderful very freely painted study of Cyclamen.

I started by doing a fairly accurate drawing of a group of the flowers, vaguely following the photograph, but trying to keep the flowers in a tight cluster.

This proved to be a bit of a mistake, as I wanted to have lots of lost edges and to achieve this, I needed to wash in the background. The result of this was that later in the process, the pencil lines became almost impossible to remove! The wash should have come first, and the drawing second.

However, by doing it this way around, I was able to lightly blot out patches of leaves and petals that I thought would need to be lighter.

I started with the leaves so that I could use water to blend a dark base upwards into the pale pink, and I also wanted to paint the stems in before tackling the flowers. So it was just a case of painting leaves and flowers and adding darks between the stems until all that was left to do' was to loosely paint the flowers.

I started with the very strong 'Opera Rose' at the base of each flower, added lots of water and tried not to have too many identifiable petals across the top of the painting. It was at this stage that I discovered that I could not remove the pencil lines, so I had to resort to a bit of Gouache to cover them. It seemed to work well as I was able to add more water to the edges of the petals and get them to bleed into the background.

I added a bit of dark in places to ensure that some petals were pushed a bit forwards, and others were pushed back, and then a final good splattering of white acrylic gouache and the painting was complete.


By my standards, this is only a smallish painting, 32cm x 22cm and is painted on Fabriano Artistico Extra White, 300g Not paper.


  1. Lovely and dreamy Yvonne thanks for the detailed process

  2. Thank you for the comment. It turned out exactly as I'd hoped, which is nice.

  3. A lovely composition Yvonne, and beautifully painted. I too enjoyed the detailed process shown.

  4. Thanks Ray, Its lovely when folks enjoy looking. Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. This is a wonderful painting Yvonne. I love that soft background.

  6. Thanks Ann. I am trying to keep it all as loose as possible, so glad it appeals to you.

  7. Another fine demonstration for which I thank you. Your decisions about edge control are particularly instructive. An image with delicate and firm passages that sustain interest.

  8. Thanks Mick. I do not intend the posts to be demonstrations, but I suppose the teacher in me makes them come out that way. I am always pleased if they are interesting or helpful.Your comments are always welcome.

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  10. A very gentle painting love the use of lost edges.

    1. Thanks Jan, your comments and support are always welcome