Monday, 12 May 2014


My favourite week at AVA as the subject was 'flowers' 
I felt it was quite important to paint from life, but on searching the garden, I found lots of flowers in bloom but only one or two of each sort. I was loathe therefore to cut any of them. I did, however, find half a dozen heads of Euphorbia, which I thought might be an interesting challenge in several ways.

I was sure that the mass of small flowers (I am sure someone will tell me that they are not really flowers but bracts or something) would present problems at both the drawing and painting stages and also the lime green would prove difficult to mix.
In the end, after a bit of trial and error, I used a mixture of Cobalt Teal Blue and Nickel Quinachridone for the green, to which I added Indigo and Quinachridone Gold to paint in a very loose background.I used plenty of water and dropped in the colours to allow them to do their own thing. I added some sea salt to produce the characteristic rings where some of the 'flowers' were going to be, and using sandpaper and an 'Intense' water soluble crayon, I added some dark speckling.

When all this was completely dry, I simply painted the shapes, having done a very small amount of pencil work just to define the outside limit of the subject, leaving some quite loose, others quite pale and on the left, others darker. As I worked the 'flowers' I added darker backgrounds so that I could see how the 'flowers' would show up. I then completed the background and the stalk, trying to add texture to it by splattering and more sandpapered watercolour pencil. It was fun to try something new, and maybe it will need a second attempt to get it right, but I am quite pleased with this first attempt and I really enjoyed the experiment.

                                    Watercolour and Acrylics on 300g Fabriano Artistico Paper
                                                                    28cm x 38cm


  1. A hard subject to tackle with all those little heads on euphorbia; the end result a really good painting.

    1. Thanks Jan. I could have wished it to have a bit more sparkle!

  2. A very high quality painting with a touch of the Ann Blockleys. :)

  3. Thanks Peter. I think we are all influenced a bit by the work of artists we admire.