Sunday, 30 December 2012


I have painted these flowers lots of times and was surprised that when I came to save it on my pc I found that it is the 10th effort as well as various paintings including Agapanthus, rather than single studies.
I still really love them and have tried endlessly to grow them. My painting partner, Jan, gave me a book on how to grow them for Christmas, so that we can both try to get it right,  and it was this book that set me off on another attempt to capture their elegance!

The painting was done in my by now familiar method, although I did try something a bit different at the end, but we will get to that later.

Fabriano Artistico Extra White 'not' paper, and a mixture of Daniel Smith and Graham Paints and my synthetic 007 series brushes.

I started with the wash using a mixture of the colours intended for the flowers, mixing the paint on wet paper, not on the palette.

I tried to keep it fairly light with lots of white paper remaining. This gives a bit more flexibility about where the heads can be placed.

I then drew out the arrangement, putting plenty of detail in the uppermost flower, and less in the second one. At this stage I pencilled in the stem of a possible 3rd flower head knowing that 3 is better than 2 in general

I painted in the two flowers and decided that I would need the third one, which I added without much drawing at all, using my laden brush to create each bud. By simply pressing the brush onto the paper I got some lovely shapes which I then connected to the stem that was already in position. By doing it this way, the 3rd flower is much looser than the other two, and hopefully disappears a bit into the background.

When the painting of the flowers and leaves was complete I realised that the background was far too pale, so I had a go at darkening it by simply washing colour over the already painted flowers. I don't think I have done this before. I usually paint the background around the flowers, but I wanted to keep it a bit looser and it seems to have worked. I had to be careful to use the lightest of touches, and not disturb the paint under the wash, but I think it has worked ok. This might not be my most exciting painting, but its lovely to have the studio back and it was great to be able to paint again!


  1. Lovely loose rendition of the blooms juxtaposed against the more definitively painted stems make another fine image.

  2. Thanks for the comment Mick. I am pleased that there seems to be some looseness in the painting. It is what I am trying to work towards. Happy New year.

  3. Thanks Peter. I think I must be in my 'Blue Period' as I seem to be painting quite a few blue subjects. Must look for something different. See you on Thursday maybe.

  4. Your magic again Yvonne, a beautiful painting. I can now see how the final washes can cover gaps in the initial wash. The agies are out here now and they make a wonderful display.

  5. Thanks Ray. I get so much from seeing how others paint, so its nice to be able to share tips on this blog. I am totally envious of you having 'Agies' flourishing. I see so few here, even in garden centres. Just have to make the most of what does flourish!

  6. You have a delightfully fresh style, I'd love to be able to paint like that! Unfortunately I was so brainwashed with gouache in flat colour I havent been able to get out of it, even when I use watercolour paints. However, I can grow agapanthus. In fact they grow like weeds here in country Victoria, Australia, and become rather massive. They grow without watering them, even when its 40 deg c, as it is today!!Be glad you are in cool UK!!5 hope I can learn from your technique.Thanks for sharing your skills.

  7. Thanks for the comments, Precious Worker. I know what you mean by flat gouache, but with a bit of trial and effort, I now find the acrylic white a really useful tool.
    Am totally envious of your agapanthus, but my recent gift book makes me believe that I ought to stop trying with them now. With all this rain it is hard to appreciate our climate at the moment!

  8. I love this piece the blues are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I am glad I found your blog and I will be following you now