You .may consider thin the outlines I have drawn on these pages are \.00 stiff and forrnal and are 0 boring way 10'1.31'1 drawing plants. You would be righl .• of course, but for a short while wemust lake a clinical look, however brief. at a few basic facts .. You cannot build a house successfully without first drawing your plansand becoming familiarwith the general shape, or if you do you willprobably get your angles wrong and then nOlhing will fil together. The same prineipleapplies when you are building upa picture ofa plant. So stan by practising basic hapes. Your subsequent free·st),le drawing wi.1I be so much easier to do and your leaves will be in correct perspective wilh aeeurately placed lines. amI-not -asoonen happens in paintings - suffering from di located joints and fraeturedmidrib inmeted by the artist through lack of knowledge or through carelessness, These mistakes can be avoided if you learn to look. Stop rushing about. pa.use and really look at a flower •. any flower. even a common daisy is beautiful if you examine it closely.

It is not really essential to st.udy botany to becomea good painter of wild flowers, but a liule leamlng in. this ease.is not 8. dangerous th ing and the factsof'plaru life are so fascinating and intrigu.ingthm I hope you will not beable to resist buying a field guide to wild ftowers- one of mine, .1 trust - which will help you identify individual species; a correctly named flower is far more interesting to paint than an unnamed 'weed'.

Look at the general shape of your plant. see how the leaves spread their flal urfaee .. not their edges, to (he sky and how they are arr-anged on the stem so that as many as possible can receive the maximum amount of the solar energy required to keep the plant growing well. In ftg, .. 10 below you win see how plants achieve



this by various standard methods, each leaf placed where it will receive some light without. shading the one below. Then look at thestern of your pllmt (see ftg. u.) .. Is it curved or stToigbl (lhoughnever draw it with a ruler, for iii won', be as straight. as that): is it round, triangular or square? This is the point at which you can, at long. last. pick up your HB and draw sweeping strokes follewingthegeneralline or your stem. Go on drawing them, all ever the paper. not in short. hesitant dashes but with SWeeping confidence, and you win get it right before lang. Do not be tempted to add curves to a naturally straight stem just to pretty up your painting; it has been made like that for a specific purpose, to support. a heavy flower perhaps, and the plant would faU· nat on its face if i1 were designed in any other way. It isooly when man demand bigger and ever bigger blooms for hisgardenthat nature bas to be given an artificial prop. I have also sketched some of the protective covers and weapons that surround the stems (ftg •. 14), from bare. s.hiny skin. to wicked-.looking thorns, and the variety is endlessieven the hairs can dilfer one from another. some thick: and felted, others sparse and standing out at all angles. Thorns too can vary even within the same family: some roses, for instance, produce an Impenetrable forest of'thin, straight prickles at right angles. to thesternand others have strong. ba.c.kward~racin8 hooks; but you will net find .among them thorns which curve forward tOW8Jds the Dowering tip of the branch - although ] have seen begin ners make this mistake in theirpict ures - for they are swords which protect the plant from being de-voured by gr.azing cattle and from small climbingcrealures. (Tho-ugh the defence is 0.01 alwayssuecessful. for I have watched afield mouse shin up thcstem,. apparently unbanned, to sit in triumph at the top eating its bunch- or brunch? - of rose hips.)


Having drawn the general shape of your plant. noted its outer covering and the position and tbe angle of its leaves and how they join the stem. you must now look. at the design of the leaf in detail (8a. Z3) and try to think of it in skeleton form. The all-important central vein or midrib is the main artery and from it small veins radiale to the outer edges of the leaves, except in the leaves of the lily family. where the lines run parallel to the central vein. Collect leave from as many different plants as you can, and pick up and press the ones that fall from tall trees in autumn, and I think. you will be astonished to sec the variations that occur in the shape colour, thickness and even feci of them. to say nothing of the many decorative edg.ings, which vary from fineserrations which look as tbough they have been cut out with small pinking thears to tbe large, lobed indentations of the oaks, from the small fingers of maples to the huge hands of Horse Chestnuts. Draw your midrib first, again, as with the stem. in one continuous line (fta. ZI). This line must appear to be unbroken, even if you cannot sec all of it and however much it may curve. It must never be fractured or dis .. located anywbere along its length. The tip of the leaf may curl underneath bUI the line ,of the curve will always flow smoothly and graduaUy and never be acutely angled. After Ihis you can add the smaller veins which radiate from the midrib. but carefully check their positions first of all. They are placed precisely oppo iteeach other in some leaves. while in others they are arranged alternately. Sometime there is even an informal mixture of both within a single leaf .

Practise looking right through your leaf to the far edge. as though it were made of glass. There is something very satisfying about drawing continuous Dowi'ng lines that all meet up in the right place.


At. 25 Primrose

The cOIIStruc:don of flowers

It i not going (,0 be necessary for you to unpick the scams of aU your flower every time you wish to draw them but a in dressmaking, it help occusionally to

pread out the pattern, as I have done in fip. 25 and 16. check your mea urement and see how best to achieve a perfect fit. particularly where the tube of a flower fiLS into its calyx like a leeve into an armhole. I have already mentioned how many variation occur among leaves: these are as nothing when you come face to face with flower. All those lovely shape those intricate markings. the w!ly some look straight into the eye of the sun while others hang their head in shade. Some plants produce only one flower to a tern, others a

FlJ.lI P nk

Fli. 'Z7

peoI8I !IOU.

Iypa 01 004l'Y (on. 01 many

611'111n - n IlUtfOUNled

hundred or more in greal pike. corymb or racemes, umbels or panicles or any other splendid- ounding collective term for a uperabundancc of blo ms. The only problem is that the individual flowers face in all directions and you have got to get them right - fori take it for granted thar you wi h 10 draw flowers in a botanically accurate way. Thi does not, necessarily imply that your Hni hed ketch must contain every minute detail, unles you are working in an herbarium. If you prefer a freer style using only a minimum number of lines, so long as tl,ey ar in the righl plot s you can achieve excellent and recognizable impr ion of a plant which may look more alive than a more intricate drawing; and the reduct jon of detail to a mere

uggestion is fun to do.

AI. 19 Primrose

Fla. 30 Slrawbeny

Fla. 31

d '



Flowers in penp«dve

The lillie garden pink with its single flower divided neatly into five flat petals sits fair and round like a

mall plate on tOiP of its long. column-shaped calyx and provides u with the perfect-shaped model with which to practise drawing flowers in the correct perspective. Hold it upright and draw the simple T shope it present in profile (fta. zIa) and then gradually tum it toward you and draw a series of di • with a hole in the centre of each one leadling down through the throat and into the collar of the calyx underneath (fig • .JIb, e, d. These oval shapes will gradually become a full circle and the calyx just asgn dually disappear behind the flower. 'Think' your way through the flower a if it were gla . mark in the disappearing calyx with a series of dots until you are satisfIed you know how toachieve this vanishing trick accurately and easily. Then try the same exercise with a primrose or a polyanthu • turning the

back toward you a well a the front - it i equally important to gCI. the back right (fig. 29). Look closely at the calyx of a.ny flower you draw. It might best be described as a uitcase into which the Dower (and often the seed cap ule) i packed. Sometimes the calyx i discarded as soon as the flower opens, but if it is till present note how the lobes or points come between the petals which sound simple and easy until you come up again t a plant uch as a trawberry, which ha a normal calyx but also an epiealyx on top with its points up the middle of each petal (fla. ]0). Some plants, such as daisies. have numerous petals and so many points or bracts on the calyx that things get somewhat di - orderly. but again I stress use your eyes. It' all a question of looking and learning. Finally please do not cause injury to your plant by drawing the flower full-face and the calyx in pr06le,tbus dislocating its neck (fig. 31) - thi has been done on many occasions, and it i a mistake which is ea ily avoided.


1"111 .. 33 The advancing sta sol a pene I skolch or Blae Bryonv leaves and bemes. hom oUllines arawn

with Hand HB pane: Is 10 hni hed d tails and

shading wllh 28 nd 48 pencil

ketching outdoors

I ne er go anywhere without a pencil and u ketch pad if I can help it. Although my grandchildren like to have all my worn-out brushe and otT-cut of paper [hey are particularly avid c llectors f m tub f pencil" (t them anything under five inches i - h pefully - n tub), but I till manage to hid the fe the ha e overl oked in ari u p ket and handbag and J alway have a uppl in the caravan. Whut i m re I really do u th rn, anywhere and e erywhere. II ng ago decided to

I. p feeling self-consciou about ketching in public. butihi i not ea y I achieve. Arti I arc u ually secreti e creature. preferring Dot t w rk with the curiou public looking over a shoulder, lei 81 ne the all-seeing eye of a televi ion camera, which h vered 0 er mine

nly an inch from my fac • purring into my ear a I

painted m a through the filming of our W rid

b ut programme. That camera ured me f hy-

ne ' in on shot, orget your inhibiti n and ketch

herever y u are. I find an H B pen il i . the easi 1 and quicke I thing to use; a felt-tipped pen i excellent t 0 but d nOI. alway produce fine enough line for mall detail . I u e a ketch pad with a hard back to it. People inornwuU arc u cd to seeing meketching flower' in garden on pen Day. and their wner give me pecimen' to take home LO paint at I i ure. lam often oerwhelmed with their aener ilY especially on De

ca i n when I needed a particular magnolia for a

k. I wr te to as k the owner f a large estate for penni ion to pi k one small bud and wa mel by the head gardener, who proceeded LO saw off everal branche nOI only from the ne tree I wanted but from any others that caught my eye. overed with pink blo om and confusion. I walked through the crowds of ightseers, who I am certain lh ught I had violated the '0 ot Pick' law which every ne I ngs to break in uch a g rden.

Ha ing found. begged or borrow d y ur flower, you mu t d ide h w you are g ing t draw it. A quick ketch with hading like the one f bryony hown here fig. 33)1 Or a more formal botanical tudy like the drawing of the orchid (fig. )4)1 When you are hading. use the ide of the pencil and keep it a flat as possible, If y u intend 10 paint your flower then the drawing is ju I a means to an eod and mu t be done very lightly, u ing an H B, as few lin . a po ibl and no shading. Y u cann I rub UI pencil mark which have been painted ver, and a pale-c I ured petal d nOI 10 k go with a hard pencilled outline. T much pain 'taking drawing often poils the natural flow and line of the following painting,

Fla. J4 (rlghl) A detailed botan cal study of the Common SPOiled Orch d, the loutlines drawn with F and HB pencils. the shad ng done with 28 pencil



Getting the greens right

With mo t green the tempt lion to be lazy and u the colour traight from the tube or pan mu t be avoided from the outset. There ar a few exception: I think the five watereolou I have hown on the five leav in tig_ 3S are perhap the only one which are ufficiently true to nature to u oeca ionaUy on their own without mixing them with other colours. Of the live. a ide of

hromium i th mo I permanent and a rather paque paint; Terre Verte bring a lovely of( blue-grey tone to pine need I . etc, but it is lightly grea y and not en to pply well over a large area; Hooker' Green Dark i only ju t acceptable a a colour for leaves and

hould be used paringly; Sap Green and Olive Green are not alway permanent.

Green in all its infinite variety i the colour you are going 10 need more than any other for all or nearly all plan have me greenery alta hed to them at orne time ofrhe year and thank heaven for it comfortable, easy on the eye cooling ton and its ability 10 separate and complement all the other brilliant colours of nature in general and the garden in particular. Ju I imagine the horrific effect of a flower border crammed with red and pink. magenta and orang ifther wa no sea of green t separate them into i land of a ptable hades.

There are many people who e colour differently - orne are colour-blind and find red and green difficult to di tinguish a they merge one into the other; I can only go by the way'. colours myself. but I often think I m over- n itive to green in particular, and there have been several occasion when my quiet, re-

trained green have been over-printed in too bright and har h a tone, which ha worried me c n iderably, Any emerald green hould be av ided by the flower painter. This includ several of the hard vivid blue-

green found particularly in the gouache range or colour . Three of th , two gouache c I ,u and ne waterc lour, ar hown in tig. 37. tfy u are designing fabrics, or household goods - r choo ing a ring - emeralds are acceptable. but no leaf in the world i like them. one f the green sh wn in Ii .35 or one of the mixtures f c lours in fig. 36 r a combination of

traight primary hades. and k p your green quiet, cool and a uitable background t Howers.

Th bryony leav in tig. ]8 have been painted in a mixture of pale yellow Viridian and Sepia. nn unconventional mix. but it wor . AILh ugh Viridian hould never be used on its own ~ r laves. it i u ful in mixe . .) The ar a markedai ha had one nal layer of paint applied, with no attempt t vary it. In az orne of that colour ha been lifted otT with a lightly d mp bru h before the paint ha set, to give the leaf a light

hine and 10 indicate the veins. Thi i eay to do on Fa hi n Plate HP paper, . the paints rna dy sit on the

urface and can be r moved later if necessary. but rougher or thin paper: do not respond quite so ea ily and can be damaged in the pr . When using ueh paper it i better to leave the highlight unpainted and mark tbe pauern of the veins before you start, a in br. The low t leaf show how you n get much the me effect by uing either method. tn 33 more hading and colour have been added (0 emphasize the pattern of the veins. and in bz the edges of the highlight have been ftened.




_ PIIrmaneni Blue

Cad lum_

WMOf _



8nllll"1 GIn


Mlst!nle GrH1l

Fli • .18 Black Bryony


.atehing the colours of flow·ers

F .jt. 39

I ha e already mentioned that the flower painter will pr bably require orne additional watercol ur - or gouache c lour. (0 match particular plant. If you I ok at. the colour chart supplied by the milker' you may f(.;'C1 bewildered. for there are 0 ereighryshadesin the rti IS' \. atereolour range alone. Start by firmly clim.inu.ling the flilgiti,Yc colours. This reduce" the number considerably, bUl you \. ill discover, 10 your di rna perha ps, th a ti trem 0 e an the cerise II nd pu rples r rom the g uache runge and rno t of these hade from the warercolour runge. There i no permanentcerise, Permuncnt Magenta isa ruther muddy : hade in watercolour, The gouache Magenla is fur clearer. but i.t is n I absolutery permanent, However, mauves and purple are sufficientlywellcarered for. orcan be mixed sa I i sfactori ly, i npermaneru watercolour .

I n fig. 39 I ha ve ill ustra reda select ion of usefu lex Ira "lour for flowen .00 not overload yourselfwil.h (0 mon)' to begin \ ith, however (empting they look. A few clear. Ire h 'hades ueh lIS Lemon Yellow. Permaneru Rose. Rose Dorc,obult Violet. Win'or Violet and Permanent Mauve will f:,rJve you a good start, Neer be afraid to experiment with your colours, You will discover how to produce many Shade to match your Ilowers by mixingcolours together, . admium

W,nllQf VlOIel

W,MOIVoQilet ;.

Per .. nelll Ma~nI"



Pemumom MagentA (Willel'lXllOll r I

Yellow and Cadmium Red merge to give a glowingmarigold orange, Add Bright Red to Crimson Alizarin

if you want a lighter red. Mix Winsor 'li.oleL with Permanent Mag,enla or with blue or red to alter the

hade. Coeruleum may be too cold a colour on its own. so add a llttle French Ultramarine or Cobalt Blue to wann it. Cobalt Violet mixed with Cobalt Blue produces a lovely grainy effect not quite a complete mix, more a merging of two colours a that in parts of your painting cool blue will predominate and in others the wanner mauve will sbow through; thi is perfect for the light and hade of bluebell and campanulas. The different shades you can produce are endless. but keep your colours clean and clear by limiting the number of paints you use in anyone mixture.

Problem pinks

Having advised you firmly to reject all the fugitive pink , I am now going to make things worse by howing you ju t how difficult life for the flower painter can be without them. I have used one of the safe watercolours, Permanent Rose. in varyingdeplhsoftone for Red Campions and it is only jus: passable (81· 40). Bengal Rose in the gouacberange (III. 41 )is far more accurate - but fugitive. If however you do not have the two colour side by side. so they cannot be com-

Fil- • Red Campions

pared one with the other. then life and the Red Campion look a little more ro y. A touch of blue in the

hadows helps to create an illusion of the correct tone as well. Red Campions vary in colour a great deal and as they hybridize freely wil.h the white ones you will find flowers of paJ t pink to deep cerise growing 10- gether on the same tretch of roadside bank, which doe somewhat alleviate the problem. Other flowe . both garden and wild .. do not vary so much and you may well have t c mpromise and use the near I colour you can find - and avoid painting too many difficult pink in the future unl you change 10 a medium other than walercolours. But do not give up 100 ea ily,'a mere iIIu ion of the colour is onen all that is needed. Reds a nd blues stippled or hading into each other give the impression of varying shades from cerise 10 purples, according 10 how much you use of ither colour. You mu t experiment to get the effect you want. It is only when your work is 10 be used for publication that you can indulge in fugitive pain uch a Bengal Rose. Ro Malmsi on and Ro Tyri n (fll. 41) and ink uch a rmine 8g . .p). I your heart' content. for the printer will be able to catch the colour before it fad . I al 0 use these colours on my filing cards. as they are kept in the dark. and 0 fur they have remained in good condition. but I know they will fade in time.



BengaIAose (lugIMJ) IIIyer

2 IS

' .

• 11 . .az

Ce,mlned _ng

nk(1ug )

cIltlllld WIIl'I .....

Painting poppies

It is a relief to turn away from the problem. of pinks to paint flowers in glowing scarlets and redsc coleurs which areeasy to match in. permanent watercolours .. It all sounds very simple until yaurealize that real red is just nat British. lt abounds in the Far East •. wheresuch hot-coloured and exotic blooms sui.t the climate, whereas in .Britain the wild flowers aresmall, delicate and paJe in comparison but blend perfectly into the landscape and the saner lighl.ing.There are many red flowers topaint among the imported garden plants - from roses to giant dahlias, from gladioli 1,0 Indian cannas. all scintillating SC8.rlel.But among the wild flowers thal. (prefer to paint. there arejust three families which can. be called reel. Of theseonly thepoppies Haunt their scarlet for an but the farmers to admire; the other two are very different. The tiny Scarlet Pimpernel hides awayand only opens its pale orange-red face with its surprising magenta eye when the sun shines on it. The .last of the trio the Adonis or Pheasant's Eye, is likea small crimson buttercup, with a black patch on eacb sbiningpetal. but you will not find il casilyin Britain for this once common pretty plant has beenalmest banished from the cornfields by the use ·of weedkillcrs. So if I feci like splashing out with scarlet paint. poppies. both wUdand garden vari .. eties, arc my favouritechoice. I prefer their floppy, untidy shapes and crumpled petals to the stiff outlines and pure pe.rfecti.on of many garden plants. John Rus .. kin, who described flowers so vividly, wrote that the wiJdpoppy was like 'painted glass' and (his is what you must bear in mind when you paint it, keeping it transparenl and thin as oriemal silk. for wild poppies are glowing, fragiJeHowers. wbichquickJy do.fftheir petals to the passing winds, They must not bepainted ina tbick opaque layer of colour through which no light could penetrate - as, for purposes of demonstration, I have painted tbe petal in 6g ...... If you have applied your paint too heavily you can sometimes liftoff some of the colour before it dries (8g. +tb). using. a damp brush in thesame way as I have shown with the bryony leafioft,. 31. but this will oo"ly be successful. on a high quality HP paper.. [I is far better to begin with a thin. palewasb of colour, using Cadmium Red mixed with a touch of Cadmium Yellow (ftg. 4]a).Bothof these are 10vCly, smecthpaints 10 work: witb. This lirst thin layer is the ·sunli.gbt' in your petal .. You can then add a second wasbof deeper colour (ftl. 4]b). bUI. only here and there, to give you thesbadowsand finallya few hair .. likelines togive youth.ecreases in a fr~h"ly opened Howe.r. It was Ruskin too who wrote this lovely de .. scription: 'Gather a green poppy bud just when it shows the scarlet line 81 its side; break i.t open. and unpack the poppy.' I lind this an irresistible thing to do, for you unpack a searlet baU gown crushed intoa


(;admum YellOw

(;aamlum Red



gr«n suitcase whicbalways looks too smaU to hold it and is bursting at the scams. It .finaUy faUs to pieces as the flower spills outand fora brief time shakes its skirts out for the heat of the sun to iron away the creases.

More eomfieldftowers

Another transparent weed ofarabte land and roadside verges is the Field Bindweed. with trumpets of palest pink madeall in one. like a circular skirt with nojo.ins and with five stripes which broaden as (hey arc gath .. ered into the yellow waistband. In 01'· 4sa I have sill open the kirt to show you theshape, This .is a flower which you should practise sketching at aU angles (fig .. 4Sb e, d e), for you will comeacross thisshape many times. in Morning Glory, petunias and the larger species of bindweed. Fig. 48. shows more sbadtngin order toget depth into the centre of the fto·wer which must never look Oo.t. In Og.4Bb the bindweed has been deliberately over-painted: it. has lost muchof the tran-

parentquallly and i too opaque and heavy .. look.ing.

II is, important to know when to stop. The ftower in Og. 4h has the correct depth of colour .. BUI if )OU are in doubt, alway.s understate (as in fig. 4§C1aud e) rather than over .. paint such flowers·.

In fig. 46 I have paintedthe black patches which you will findal the base of each petal. of the Common Poppy, and added some lines in deep Cadmium Red 10 the right-hand petal inorder to make it lookcreased. I have also drawn. the stamens surroundingtbe future seed-bearing capsule 50 that you can see exactly how the parts fit together before I paint the who.leflower.

Com Marigold, which likepoppies, would dearly love to run riot in thecomtields if not controlled. is an entirely differently sha.ped ftower. Like otber members of the daisy fam ily. it is composed of hundreds of tiny

FlI." Com M.arigoki

florets -oneor which I have plucked out of thecentre ,and enlarged for you to see =all growing in a tigblly compacted disc surrounded by the large strap.like petalsor rays, which ore thickand opaque and made of pure gold (6g·.47). Sketch them in thesame way as I did the pink and primrose in figs. 281J1d 29. only this time you will have a di.fferent type of calyx,with overI.apping scales or bracts, each one fringed with the hairs w.hicb areoDint.e.resting feature of this plant.



R .. 46

Common Poppy

FI ..... Feld Bindweed


- v

2 large petal.

Com Coc:Ie



~ , I

2 ,mall ) pet Is


~."u I MJiyweed



1 r.



Flp. 49 (/rfi) ud SO Sketches In a cornfield. France


Putting the plants together again

Before I can paint my collection of cornfield flowers I must join the poppies to their terns, ketch the leaves accurately and paint them in a soft", light colour and then add the hairs which cover the Ieaf surface . I have also added fine hair to the stems f the poppies. and

hown you how to paint them and how not to paint them. You will often find Seentl Mayweed among the poppies and in this in . lance I prefer to ubstitute thjs member of the dai y family for it cou in the am Marigold. The while petal will cool and separate the lovely cia h of colours between the poppies and the Com Cockle. I shall leave some of the mayweed' petal unpainted except for their outline and others will be in hadowy, cool Davy' Grey. with a tinge of Lemon Yellow. The Corn Cock le Hower is nOI ea. y to match. Try Permanent Magenta, or a mixture of'Crimson Alizarin and Cobalt Blue. I have twi led my bindweed in an anti-clockwi direction (il alway winds anti-clockwise). The leaves must be kepi mooth. I paint them in two tages, leaving the vein pale but nol too obvious.


FlI_ 51 Cornfield, flowers, first stage

Plntltl&e It is first D.CCC$S8ry to decide on the com .. position of the picture., with the correct placing and number offtowers required to make a pleasing but uncrowded bunch. I want .it 1.0 look Ught and deUcalc, without 1,00 many contrasting colours. which is why I

have substituted tbe Scentless Maywood ror the Com Marigold. After lightlypencilUng .in. the positi.on of each ftower. I have painted the first washes of colour in the way] have a.lready demonstrated (pages 30 to 33), using Cadmium Red plus a little yeUow for tbe poppies.

AI:. 51 Camfield !lowers. finished painting

SetondstlgeBecause the basic layer of paint forthe poppies and bindweed has been kept very pale. it j,s possible to achieve the appearance ofthi'n. transparent petals by adding the creases in deeper shadesvThe shadows on the petals of the mayweed hove been

painted '1· ·0, tones Q. r· g- reeny-gr e .y.. -1··1 1'5 im peru . l I·· .

_______ - .. -- ..' L 00·0 pay

great attention 10 thefine hairs on the various stems and leaves. A magnifyin.g glassis belpful. Use a brush with a good point .. and paint the hairs deHcntelyand carefully in a soft colour, Never use black.


and hlghligbts

which I

ofrecn ribbon.

hapely is 10 eep th

Wh n you t p 1 nider all the p rt f f1 wer you ill realize h wimp rtnnt it i t depict them orrectly in order 1 bring OUl the plant" e senti I quality. It i no good painlin the nower benutifully if iI i utt ehed to u tern



Ippied 0lIl8

r ,



apes. spots Ind stripes

You hould practise drawing the d ffodil as though it were made of gIn. that you n accurately po ilion the ixth J)Ctal. whi h i aim I alway hIdden behind the trumpet. and fit the long neck of the nowcr into il column.

Learn how to control your bru h when applying fine detail uch a pol and tripes. which require only a leady hand a fine brush and nothing more. or less than continual proti I make perfect.

I am deliberately ugg ling thai for once you copy the n wer ponrnin on this page (ftC. 54). a an exercise in how 10 chieve the correct ba it hope of different flowers. Some are implt and easy to do. Muny are cnmained within a

ircle. A modern hybrid rosebud' triangular. BUl a daffodil i much more mplieated, and three arc! are in olved.

sh po 01 • daffodd

dJ nlhUll- wh'ID apalI add od I I hfUtna


PlIJadng wbite flowers

Mite on nlte I have always liked white flowers and bave now discovered how fascinating they are to paint To begin with you may think that it is impossible: to reproduce white Howers successfully in watereolours on a white paper without 8 painted background. but it can be done. In a medium uch as oils where darker background are normally added,.l,hey may be far easier to paint but they will look less ethereal. It is the effect of white: against white that I love. I cannot bear a black outline to any white flower; it looks hard and unnatural. although it is often used in book illustrations; I prefer a grey tone. I stan with a veTY fainlly marked outline, B mere touch here and there to guide me, using palest grey paint. You can use pencil if you prefer. but only the lighte t poible mark . I then like to watch my Dower gradually emerge as I paint the sbadows. These vary in tone according to the plant. They may be blue-grey. or tinged with cool yellow, or plain grey, such as Davy' Grey, which I use for some flowers. occasionally on its own or more onen mixed with various colours. Or I might use Payne' Grey- or Neutral Tint, or a mixture of colours excluding the greys. Do not be afraid to experiment with your colours. for white flowers are like a mirror and reflect many shades. If your flower i surrounded by leav then these will provide you with a natural background and fewer shadows need be added on tbe flower itself, but do not be tempted to twist leaves at awkward-

Fla. 55

looking angles or paint them in places where they do not normally grow, just to avoid having to tackle tbe not really too difficult task of white against while. When you first begin, gradually build up your shadow in layers of paint until you are satisfied thai they are deep enough and that they have fulfilled their purpose, which i to give form and shape to your Hower. When you feel more confident you can apply your paint in one bold layer if you prefer. Remember that there i often a pale edge to a turned-down petal which will make it tand OUI and 'Iift' it above the shadow it has ca 11 and also there will probably be a reflection of green from a leaf on the underside of a petal which adds a subtle touch of colour to the Dower.

There is no need to use white paint for flowers on white background . The paper provides pure, clean spaces between the hadow. of a whiter white than you can ever achieve with paint. Whatever you do. carefully protect these dean areas until the very end' don't get into the habit of dabbing unnecessary bits of shadow here and there or you will Hni h up with an over-all dirty-grey flower. If there are several flowers in the picture then a few at the back of the bunch, or underneath the main flowers, can be painted completely in shadow, which will greatly help to emphasize the ones thai are in the light, giving a three-dimen ional effect which i lovely to achieve. If your painting (ill looks ftat add a little deeper tone 10 exi ting shadows. gradually building them up until the Howers have shape and form but have not 10 I their pristine white highlighls.

palo VfIIY ou.lUntI nd pal shadln"

Fla. 56 An Illustration from .The Boo.kof Magno.II., by Nell G. Tresedtlf and MariorieBlarney, published .by Collins. Thl, painting shows 8' branch fun o'the while bloomier Micheli. doltto,pa, a, membefof the magnolia family. Therust·coloured buds add 10 thepainljng ananrac:dve brightness thalconl1asts whh Ihe coolwh. fIIowers.


White flowers on rinted paper A I have already menti ned. gouache paint are particularly effective on tinted paper. However, if you ha e no g uache available. watercolours 100 are perfectly uitable for use on the pal r paper. I used white g uache paint for the petals of the Californian Tree Poppie in fig. 51" but the rest of the painting, including the stamens, wa don in watercol urs. In fig. 57e I al 0 used waterc lour Ii r one petal. in rder to prove the point. The grey paper Iud (or the Tree Popple painting i nOI

pecially made for the watercolouri 1. I found it at our I I print r '; it' thick enough to lake paint well and I In a I, n utral hade of grey I wanted when I illu (rated rile • ild Flower of Britai" and Narthern Europe. I used it (or some of the page of mainly white flowers in that book and hove used it for a great deal of other work ince then. It i a useful tone for thi demon tration, for it i darker than the petal but paler than the hadow on tern and leave . ln fig. 57 I began to paint my while p ppy for you by lightly markin in the outline. u ing white paint here and there; if you prefer to use pencil, keep it very faint. When you become aecu torned to the hape of the flow r you can apply your first thin wa h of colour all over the petal without bothering to do the outline, which give you a lovely feeling of freedom and sansfaction. In Og. 51 I only marked in the po ilion of the

tern . I like to vary the opacity of thi first thin layer

of paint by adding more water here or extra paint there (fig. 57.) to get the effect of hadow and highlight and the extreme thinn of the petal of'these beautiful nower • which grow in our garden and look like ballet dancer in while tutu . If you like to leave one or two flower half-painted you can get an attractive out-offocu and distant look to them which greatly emphasize the more detailed Hower in the foreground. Thi giv your painting depth and distance, th threedimensi nail ok which I like much. Afier th I1r t wa h you can then add to the more opaque area , where the petal overlap for instance (fig. S7b) but do n t apply too much paint for these or for any other tran parent flowers. uch a bindweed (fig. 57c). A painting of bindweed on white paper is illu trated in 'fig .• SS; you can now compare the two ways of depicting this same flower. You can also compare the painting of MaglJo/ialel/ala (0&. 57d) with the one on white paper in fig. 55. A with all the pedes of magnolia with petals which look and feel like soft wbite kid leather. more paint i r quired to gel the 'feel' of the thicker opaque petal . Allow while paint to dry and harden thoroughly before adding tarnen to your Tree Pop ie . or shadow to any thicker-petalled Hower.

The terns and leaves of the Tree Poppies in fig. 51 have been painted in Terre Verte watercolour, with touches of yellow and of Payne Grey in the hadow. White highlights help to round ofT the tern .

,... Californian T .... Poppiel

More tinted paP'f'S

The tinted papers hown in fig. 59 are d igned to take pa lei. However. they are uitable - and exciting - to use for watercolourpaints. provided that you either buy lh'em readx-mounted or mount them yourself. Yen l,he thicI2'er:)lunmounled papers will cockle 'fwater i applied. To mount ttie pa~r, pread wallpaper paste

• on the back. allow the paper to stretch for five minut • then gentJy m th and roll it. under a heet of lean papera n I£» 8 piecl'of finn card or hardboard. Other tinted pnper!i are made peci6cally to take water paints and will not need to be tr ated first. To illu irate the effect of painting n different-col ured papers, on two of the papers in fig. 59' I huve shown a rose and two

petal from the fi t stage of my painting of . ummer Rower (8 .60).

fla. 59 inted p pelS

Fil. (i' Rose .• detail from fig, .. 6.2

Summer flowers

Fig .. 60 shows the first stage of a painting of a bunch of summer nowerson a dark-timed pastel paper.

First stage I painted all the nower in. while gouache iln the way I showed you whh (he Tree Poppie on pages 40 and 41. I allowed the paint to harden thoroughly fora whole dayand (hen begun a second coat •. using both watercolour and gouache in various shade . I began the leaves in Terre Verteanda mixture of blue and yellow. with a Iiule white. As the pict ure progresses I will add a film of deeper tones,

Secondsttge My reason for allowing the first layerof white paint thoroughly to dry and harden is that I do 1I10t want h to 'cloud' the lOP layer. ·of colour (and also possibly cause them to fade in time) by gelling mixed ito with them. I merely want it to act as a base to the pale shades in the flower which I have painted on top of the white and would not otherwise be able to achieve uslng water-basedpaints on very dark paper.

The finished painting is illustrated in fig .. 62.. You will see how additional layers of colour have been added and how the important details, the highlights and shadows in. the roses and (he garden pinks, make the Hower appear more full, rounded and alive .. As the final touch while was added to pinpoint the brightest highlights of the painting.

The rose which has been plucked from the finished painting and isillustrated in fig. 61 as well ha had several layers of paint applied to it on top or the inhial while. start ing with pale Cadmium Yellow and coniineing with ever-deepeningshades of Cadmium Redand flna.lly Crimson Alizarin, an of te ned and diluted with gouache in Naples Yellow anda little white. I used a mixture of Crimson Alizarin and Payne's Grey for the

hadows, which I wanted to remain warm-toned,

The leave throughout the finished picture have been painted in many hades from pale grey-green and ye.llow~green mix lures to deep tone sof Hooker' Green Darkmixed with Payne's Grey and Raw. Umber, to show you asmuch variety of tones as possible. Some heavy hadows help to emphasize the pastel tones of the Howers and some greens remain lighter than the tin ted paper of (he backgrou nd, with a ttractive resul Is.

Thi· is a method of painting (hal is far removed from the pure watereoleurist 's style and teehniq ue. I t is what I. callTun painting', I like to mate my Howers stand out paler than the background; I Uke adding shadows that are darker than the paper; I. enjoy working with water paints a if (hey were oil or acrylics and still being able to add finer details than I can with oils. I know I can obtain much the same effect using diluted acrylics. but I find watercolour more delicately toned, and more sympathetlc to use.


Startingwltb spring

Spn,ng begins early in Cornwall and I always resolve lopainl the very first flowers to bloom in .January and to continue throughout the year to fill m.y diary 10 overftowing with Hower sketches. I rarely succeed witb my annual pleasure much beyond March. but while it la.sls it is a delightful occupation which lean thor .. oughly recommend, for it makes one observant and' ever-watchful for new flowers. which is as exciting as painting. them. In 1982 I began my diary in February. painting individual plants which caught my eye (8g_ 63). First, the green~gold hazel calkins .. Many people have eyes only for these showy male Dowers and do Dol notice the tiny females bedecked with scarlet tassels which grow here and there 01.008 the branches, no

FI,. 63 SpdnQ flowers

bigger than u grain of rice bUI capable of developing into bunches or nut for squirrel .. dormice and human .. The golden Pu y Willow was outearly in March. It makes a lovely subject to paint for an aster card and is nota difficuila- il looks .. Stan with the pale grey silky body of the catkin - Davy's Grey is a goodcoJour to use - and then add the fine hairs of the stamensand finally dot on the golden pollen-bearing anthers, using Lemon Yellow for the highlighted ide andadmium YeUow Pale for the darker areas, sed fairly thickly thepaint win take' over the grey background quite successfulty, The delicately veined Wood Sorrel wa oon blooming among our woodland treeand not long after, i.n my troughscf alpine plants, the

ommon Au riculas Dowered. I like to pain t t heir mea Iy whiteeyes and deep Cadmium Yellow faces. The leaves are satinsrncothend blue-green .. Terre Verte yet again proves B. useful colour' note the pale edge 10 the leaves, The Spring Gentian is a tiny sapphire gem and is the only member of its true-blue family (0 grow in Britain, where It is rare and protected and must nol be picked. Plants and seed can be bought from nurseries pecializi.ng in alpines. It i possibly the clear t deep blue of

B.rili h wild flowers, but it. vari _ in lone from plant to plant. Thebe t are pure cobalt but never a intense in colour as the more famous trumpet gentians, so paint them with a thin film of blue lind then add a little deeper tone for thesbadows.

Before I found lime to paint primrose they no iOinger appeared here and there as pale. clear-toned individual . for byebruary they hod merged together and resembled !Jowl- of luseiou omi'h cream. I have painted a whole plODI growing in a woodland setting andiatroduced for tbe fi.rst lime in thi book some of the natural objects which were tucked around it. such a dead oak leaves (fig .. 64). These add interest to the picture, for they are part of the natural hubil.nl of such a plant, and they are lovely to paint, using the good earthy shade of tbe Umbers and Sienna and Yellow Ochre. I would like to encourage you to paint litter; notthe kind left around by human but the liner of nature in the form of dying leave and broken (wig under which you will discover many different-coloured mosses, lichen, and fungi and 'wildlife' in the hapeof ladybirds or a sleeping moth .. Thi mall world hidden beneath the woodland Door i rasci.na.ling to paint ..

Fill,· 64Pdmroses flowering inal woodland IEtUing

Composing the fI.owe.rs of summer

It is very tempting to pur too many nowersinlo a ccmpcsitlon, particularly in. summer when you feel you. cannot bear to leave anything out I have filled my bunch of summer blooms to the very limit but t have kept to old-fashioned couage flowers in soft colours, which makes it acceptable .in. my eyes .. t first picked a. full-blown rose for the star role, then added lavender, sweetpeas, a wh'itelily and some tiny miniature roses, and finally a whole stem of fruil from the strawberry bed. because I liked the clash of colours and also because the scent of old roses andthe taste of strawberries tcgetherepitomize summer .. I .first made a working sketch (flg. 65). placing the main rose near the base and the sma.Uer HowelS radiatingout from it to avoid a tOp"beavy look. Last of all I placed the lavender at the back, to add height. It is strange, incidentally, how flowers in. groups of three or five loo.k more pl.easing than groups of I wo or four. Then I triedout the va rious colours to see how they would blend together (ftg. 66).. These shades of pink. mauve and cream are very easy on lbccyc.and only the conlrasting colour or the strawberry will have to be watched as the painting progresses.


Fl .•. 65





Lemon YeIIoow ~ STeen

pM.l.emorI ~. cadmlurnRed

Firsl sllge Witho ing to add any details. I have wahed over every parloflhe pa.inlingi1n thin layers of paim in order to get (he right feeling ofcol.our balance .. I do not want anyone flower to predominate at thi ' stage, They must blend into a harmoniou and pleasing over-all effect. To achieve this I will keep the leaves andtheripest newberry slightly subdued, the former 10 act a a quiet background and the berry as a contrast in colour to the main rose but never n urpingitsstar part. I want to maintain the on. old-fa. hioned theme throughto the final. stage of this painting.

FlI- 61F'lowers from aSlJmme, garden. Ilrstsilige


Second stage I n the finalstageIhave concent ra led on keeping (he colours soft and delicate. while I add all the fine details whIch I so love to do, in order to bring out the texture and feel of petals and leaves. A few more leaves have been added at the base of the picture. Finally, hairs and prickles have been putin, andshadows of Paynes Grey have been painted over the greens to help 'lin' the Dowers and leaves and give the final: picture a feeling ef'depth and life.

Fill' 68 Flowers hom il' summer garden. Imlshedpainllng


Fl.I. 69 Hedg lOW findings


81 ck

otumn tints

The colours of autumn or all geth r diffi rent rr m the ones I u d for my umm r flo e . They or much deeper, but tb lovely muted hade r Yellow Ochre. the rnber und ienna of the dying leave mix well

with the eca ional brillian fwild berne .

Th leav f th mamental gard n I ,uch a

mapl • cherri and umachs, u ually produ bright and beautiful name C'OIOUf • but I am leaving the garden thi time and I king for wild fruits and berri in the e untry id for my painljng fig. 69). Blackberrie

alway aura 1 me a a painter: th unripe berri lart

gre nand rnduolly turn a ft rim nand finall black, not a dead Jack but a c lourful lack hich i for better mixed up from the primary colours, u ing

admiurn eUow, adrniurn R d and Permanent

Blue. than taken traighl out f a tube of ready-mad

bLa k paint, with it roth r lifele hade. Y u can ary

and c ntrol the mi ed lou mu h better and th

are far more luminous. orne berri will how purple

had . I have mu trated two lag of painting a ripe fruit: k p your initial wa h pale ( rage I), and add m re laye Ilnlil you hove the depth of col ur you w nt taking care to leave hi hlight in each of lh small seed-bearing berrie whi h make up the whole fruiting head (lag 2). A wander round the country lanes pr duced among other thing ., a dand lion clock,

hieh waned i seed to the wind before I could gel

it home fely but lill 10 ked auractive en ugh to

Old ar ... Be Ii




c.dmllJ1Tl VeUow C4dmumRIld

paint. J al 0 found a mall branch of wild pindl with bertie ofa lovely r pink' when a berry plil open 1.0 re eal the orange ed there i an exc.iling cia h of c I urs. Iud Permanent Ro . [or the overc at and

mi ture f admium Yellow and admium Red for the berries, If you pick pindle berne, remember that they are pi nous, and do [J t leave them Jyinga out where children may find th m.) Blackberry lea e are very ariable, not only in the colour of their dying bUI. 31 in hape, which i not really urpri ing one y u realize that there ar almo I three hundr d different kind" of black rry growing in Brit- in alone. each one varying in orne mall wily from the next, perhap only in ih hape of the thorns, or the am unt of hairs on the leav . The c I urs of the flo er vary from while I mauve-pink. For ur purp l am c ntent to call a blackberry a blackberry and to paint a fall n leafwhi h caught my eye beeau it was pure gold 0 er rnu h f i urfaee, ir t I bru hd a layer of dmium Yellow over the whole f the leaf (tog I). n top of thi • while it wa till damp, I added [I wa h of e a tly the

rru mi fcolours that I u for th ripe Iackberry,

The mix merg d into the yellow and made an attractive purpl -br wn lone tage 2 • The fino I detail .the ein and wrinkl • fall w d when the paint wa dry and can be n in fig. 70. The dhead of Old Man' Beard help (0 make any autumn pietur aura live. for they or gho tly und quiet a:nd fil] in the background ithout being 100 dominant. I added a quick pencil ketch t remind me to include me in the final paintin .

Having decided I would Iikea tinted background. I have cho ell acream paper on which 10 paint my wild aurumn harvest. The cream is 3. warm tone and yel pale enough to luke warereolour succes fully. The blackberne have been reunited 10 their terns ill order to

how you how they grow. I havecompleted their lea es and added a dead leaf. I have painted some rowan bertie 100 •. for they may come in useful one day. I like to take lime orr occasionally to add to my collection of working sketches. A fre h dandelion clock reached my studio in perfect condition ready for the final painl.ing. nndo did some ivy berries. picked before the wood pigeons could devour the lot: theyand the beech leave art quiet-tonedand fit easily into any scheme ..

The painting .ill1 fig.,lwa designed with two purpo es in mind. first, to bow you as muny different fruits and leaves of autumn as I could fit .i.n;and • . secondly, 10 warn you nOI 1.0 overcrowd your paintings .. It would be far more pleasing to the eye if 1 had PUI fewer plantsInto this picture. for these autumn twigs and branches are spik y bedfellows with awk ward limb and do nOI fit together so comfortably or harmoniousty as flowers do. So when you are planning your design you should remember lila.t if in doubt. leave out .... or paint two picture instead of one.



g.71 Wild 110"'851

'I' ,g. '72 Wml6r flowers


ven i:n a hard winter when thecountryside ha little ( offer the painter, agardencan usually be relied upon ~o produce some 110\ ers from a sheltered corner. In mhe mild \ inter of 1982 the spring flowers arrived very earl . But although the were mot welcome, I did nOI rhink cherry-pink polyanthus exactly fined the spirit. of the d ing year. The pale mauve winter-flowering Iris J.·IY.loSU. the delicate Winter Cherry and the snowdrop more truly represented the garden in its last sea on of the year (6g. 71.). A pale wa h of Win or Violet mixed with a hint of Cobalt Blue wa perfect for the iris. The fine marking were added when the paint was dr: . The delicately tinted cherry blossom alway look wa hed out by the winter rains. but manages 10 bloom on and off throughoutthe coldest months of the ear. To gel the right effect you need only a touch of pale t rim on Alizarinr Permanent Rose on our wet bTU h. The

nowdrop wa painted in the same way as the white Iilower described on page 31t

The small, buttercup-like Howers of Winler Aconite ha e II delightful ruff of green leave round their necks, Although they are classified as wild Hower ,in Britain (hey are more often seen in cultivation and spread like we-eds in gardens they happen to appro eof. They ob iouly do not approve of ours, \ hich i probably 100 acid for their taste. or the now scene in fig. 73 I combined workingdrawingsofplant from location a far apart as the Royal Horticultural Society garden at Wi Ie in Surrey, where I ketched the aconnes.uad our 0\ n home in ornwall, where in the hard winter

r 19 I I kctched a large clump of snowdrop. which I had dug up and planted in a bowl while they were in rull flower, They neverobject to uch treatment and it is a great luxury for me to be able to it and . ketch or paint nower In warmth and comfort at. home, while outdoors a typical Cornish gale is lashing the garden .. or now is falling,

Painting from ketches i le sari factory than workEng from live material but it is beuer than not painting alan, and if you take care to dale your sketche and rna ke note 0 f where you found the flowers, thei r particular habitat and which other plam grew around ~hem. you can eh se compatible partner and plan a grouping (hal looks natural.

And 0 I come lO the endof t hi diary r or a. II sea on with two very different painting : the one .infig. l1.

hows the Hower I picked on 8. \ a ITO winter' day and painted while they were till fre h. and the' one in 6g .. 73 how Hower: painted from pre ious ketches and from memory.

FJI:_ 73 Winter woodland



There are surprisingly few daysin the car when one can paint outdoor: in realcomfort, It is either too cold and wind} or too hot-and then the PUiOl drie before

ne has time 10 complete a sk . Bur lenjc puinting outd orsenormously in retrospect. So I.et" take OUl that uncornfortablcliule 1001. to di cover that thereis no hade what c cr tH the place ~ e want to p.aint the vic". 0 (hill the paper. balanced somev hut precari usly on our knees. almost blinds us withits glaring whitenes . his at this p intrhat I begin I wi h I. used oil and c uld land comfortabl in Ir ru of my easel placed where no unlightcould fall onit; bUI. weare . upposed 10 su .lTer fa r our art'. sake. so wa I the midges and Ior the first lime in this b ok I am going t pain:

me n wers within u landscape, with sk . trees and distant viewsa well as detailed foreground', hi" the

cry be'( way Fcapruring the pirit of a holiday spent in the c uniry ide: or f showing If our flower-filled . ummer garden t friends in the depth r winter, It is far m re per nal and sari fing than clicking aw a l)' with a camera. Other people can do that; you can be different. It will certainly take more lime than photographs. but it is", rth c cry moment you can spare.

If you decide ti SUIfl Wilh.' urgarden views. au can sketch in comparative ease, so take out 11 comfort-

"1r,:.14 The olpinegorden al Trelidden. an illusrration from FlowelS of (he Coumryside bvPhihp and Marjorie Blamev. published bV CoBlns

able chair and a mall table. find.1I pOI in the shade and choose a subject that is not I difficult 10 begin with. pcrhu p a mal I pa ved te rrace wi tha pal 0 f geraniums. or part of an herbaceous borderrather than <I I~I. rge vista, I r possi hie leave your pencils bell ind or on ly usc them lightly to mark in the po itions of certain objects .. such as step, or IUb of flower ; never pencil in the douds. for y u .. ill nOI be able to rubout the lines after you have painted 0 erthern and they \ in show through the pale blue y U u e for rhe sky,

1 painted the alpine garden picture (Og. 74) for our bo k Flowers of the ountryside, This painting is an example fa fairly nraightforward copy of a view of part of our garden but 11 view complicated by 11 Pili hwork of man different miniature plant. which have 1 be p rtruyed in a. certain amount or detail in the foreground in rder to make them recognizable .. but v hieh can be merged and mixed together in the background. 0 much detailin the di ranee would ha e p iled the far-av y and out-of-focus effect I wanu . ed to achieve.

The ky play' a mail and unimportant part in the alpine garden painting. but (here are limes when it becomes the d rninant feature and oecupie a large a rca of the painting .. a figs. 15.16 and 77 iUu.l.rate.


Fig .. 76

Fil. T7

FiR. 78 A bluebell wood

Begin b planning where you \ ani our kline

prefer rbl ff-eemre - and with u p nge damp ur

pre- (retched and well-secured sheet thick paper

n t. plea e not, a Him piece I rn from II cheap ketchbook. for it i nOI worth the effort of trying 1 apply rea II wet washe of paint ver rapidly c rrugating wa e f oggy paper. Paint mall' ky cape' all er your page and at all en 'on of the year. The colour' you use will ar ace rding to .. eather, The first f my thumbnail ket he (fig. 75) how a winter k. I painted the pule I cloud fir I in 11 mi turc of French

ltrarnarine ( r Payne' re). with Crim n lizarin

and ell w 0 hre, Thi combination pr duce a variety r tone' from alrno t lu ender I bi uit or cool grey. While the fir. t \ as h was "I ill damp I added touche of eruleum between the cloud 10'u ge I a cold. \ intry blue. Then I painted the darker. t rm clouds. To Ihi ketch I c uld add me foregr und plant . uch as tea sels left landing rhr ugh the winter month". The ther IW ketches (figs. 76 and 77 . h w summer kies, When ou paint a bluc sky, lope. our board 10 all "' the paint 10 n w with the bru h. The blue i alv ay pale t ncar the horizon and darker in the heaven. French ltrarnurine with u little \ arm obalt Blue gi e the mo ( uirable blue for ummer kie. In fig. 76 flower have been painted in the f regr und the land ape. If the n WCf5 are darker than the 'kyo II. the p ppie are here. they can imply be painted on top of the kyo Or. if you like. y u can alway p nge fT

orne r the blue where the n wers tire to g . Fig. 77 how another way of adding n wer : the buttercups

and dai ie ha e been painted in bel the kyline and

gra se filled in between them.

Fig. 78 als how flower in a landscape - a sea of bluebell in u mixture f bait Blue and bait

Vi let; ne plant of W d rrel, which wa painted

fir t of all. ha been gi en a more detailed finish to make it land out from the background and dominate the en.

e painring rn figs. 79 and 80 illu (rille quite a differenr appr ach 10 the .ubje t flowers painted within a lund. ape. here i hardlj any k r di. tarn view in luded. These J panese Water lrise gro be... ide ur p nd. and their I vel nO\ en; arc a huge as . up plates.

First rage I wanted the irises t

ubject in the picture, \ ithout an other flowers 10 di tract the auenti n. Becau.e the arc pale and deliC<J tel C I ured I painted them first f all, with UI I uching any background .• ind in quite u 1 t a detail in order to e tabli h the correct balun e f c lour and depth f I nc (fig. 79. hi' required a certain amount of painting in m mind' e e. I had a finn pre-f rmed idea in my head fju I h w I wanted the final picture L I k. I u ed a mixture of bah Diu' lind bait Violet ~ r the in c and ari u. hade green ~ r the lea e , keeping b th the flowers and the leave fairly pale, thai the, w uld tand ut from the backgr undo

cond sllige H aing e. ra bli .. hed I he c rrect tone' f the f1 wers but bef re ompleting the detail, I added the background. irst f alii painted a mall p rtrait o ur fa ourire i iror, (he kingfi 'her, \ h thinks the

ung trout wh c me up ur trearn and swim ar und the pond ha e been pUI there for hi. benefit. Thi

I ely, e ric-to king bird i its u regularly bUI not alway" , hen I need him a a model. so thi portrait wa d ne partly fr m mem ry and partly from the quick ketches I ha e made in the pa I. I placed the bird in the LOp corner in rder 10 balance the C rnp - 'iti n f the picture, I er often include some wildlife In m painting: f n wer , a bee or butterfly. II spider

r a bird, for they are all part f the natural \ arid of n wer and add inrere I to a painting. After all. there .. uld be ew plant if there were no bee 10 pollinate

them. r this picture I al wanted t • hov three

plane f dimini hing importance. first the d minant and detailed iri e in the immediate f regr undo then the kingfu her on the branch n the other side of the pond. painted in res detail than the n I; cr in order to estubli sh it, p iltion f ec ndury irnportan c, and be nd thi an indistinct rna' of f liagc I upp rt but n I engulfthe 1\ 0 main subject. The background ha

'en painted fair! dry. wei wa h f c I ur \ ant p • ible n such a mall picture f< r I wanted it the

time size a. you ee in fig. 80 -' I used the technique of the rniniaturis t and tippled in my dark col urs to a id piling the cri p urline f the plants. In a painting uch a thi but on u large scale the ba kground can be painted rn re wet. Hov e er. there i not ulv ay r om in ne' home for more than a few large painting, and thumbnail ketches of the garden. r

ic\ a a hoi ida: ' can be m re easily accomm dated and ar great UIIl to d. lthough m t art teacher urge one I produce big and b ld painting . there i


Fig. 79 .Japanes Waler irises. first 51 g

als a place for the 'mall and beautiful.

I n figs. 8., 81, and 83 I hu e illu trared I hree stages f painting a gentian from sketche I did in the P re-

blend ( rench ltrarnarine and bait Blue

il n t nl g d r summer skies, in m re ncentrated t ne it i also uituble for gentian'; leave tome

oft highlight. th ugh. r the f1 wer will 10 k too hea y.

First stage I lightly drew the outline of the plant and

ketched in the m untains. Then I painted the k and the fir t faint wa hes of different green for the tree and the meadow. AI Ihi rage I did nOI paint a er the gentian plant at all. I al 0 left small patche f clear paper here and there for the paler mead w n \ er 10 be added later.

&cond sla~e I deepened the colour' general] and painted in the pale flower _ Then I painted ne of the gentian n wers, I che k the balance f col ur.

Third siage inally I painted the gentians in full detail, and 0 an ther sou enir f ur vi it I . the m untain wa ready t bring h me.

Fla. 81 Gent an. first stage


A .82 Genlian. second stage

FiI.8J Gentian, rinished painting



The imple approach is not alway' simple \ 'hen it c mes 10 painting. f r you cannot hide anything

hind an ih r n \ r. and the mp -ilion I all-

important if)' u are to a hiev a pie 1 ing and liv ing portrait of one species from the bud right through I the ri eedpod.

In order to show you as many varieties of plant' as I c n wuhm one ok, I have added more flower to

me f my bunche tha n I would normally d . II w· ever. I passionately 10 e the "imple. cl an line of the more strictly botanical lyle of flower painting \ uh it uncluuered pa • and If you 1 0 find the imple approach more t your liking. und prefer ne n wcr 1 a dozen. then d n 1 reel y u have t change, for there i a pluce for all type of flower painting.

r muk no a log) for intr ducing yet another pecics of the poppy family here (fil: . 84 lind 8S), for

pplt;So make e llent m del!'. f r beginne a well as

for more e peneneed painters. This ne i. the cl h Papp). Like it relution I he ommon Poppy 11 has four pet' I r irnple utline, but an imp nant differ nee 1 n te i the stalk d top t the, ecdp d. whi h identi U~' it us a member 0 the Mecon p_ i group un ther member i the Himalayan Blue Poppy 0 beloved of

rd n r . The I urs f the el h P pp' ar harp and clear and mu I remain. o. and' Ith ugh gr enish shuding is essentiul 10 create II feeling of roundness La the crumpled tl.. reful not to verde it. K ep

me area cI un Lemon ellov with a l uhf admiurn Yellow,

.. • IW Skefches of Welsh Popp

F'Jc. 15 Welsh Poppies. finished painting

, . •


Photographing and painting flowers arc two cornpleiely separate art which, in my ca c. run parallelto each other and only occasionally combine. or a variely of rea on • I prefer not to paint. [lowers from photographs, We photograph the flowers because we enjoy doing it. and the resulting slide form anirnportant part of the talks we give. They are al 0 .8. quick method of recordingcertain facts and I later refer ro them for sped lic j n forma I in. sue hal he t ype of plants among. which II particular flower i growing. or the height of a plant. which can easily be judged by cornparing it to the surrounding vegetation or to some other familiar object. as in thecase of the thistles in Bavaria (fig. 88). when I acted as the yardstick .. In the other photograph on this page (fig. 86) I am sketching a plant of Alpine Lady's Mantle in the Pyrenee : this photograph i useful nly in so far a il shows the compact form of the plant. and how it gro'i S OUt of bare rock. It i vital for me to add a fairly detailed sketch of the \0 hole plant. accompanied b note '.and collect a lear or 1\1.'0 to paint later to show the pale .. serrated edges and the contrastingcolour and differcnt textures of the two ides of the leaves (fig,. 87).

F111.86 Skelchlnga planl 01 Alpine Ladv's Manlle. in Ihe PYJ'enee5

FiK. 87 Leaves 01 Alpine Lady's Manlle

HIt.811 SI.andmg among 91<1m thlslles. In Ballana

The two main reason why I will not rely on photographs for more thana pa ing reference are. first •. because the singleeye of thecamera will only show you a flat flower portrait, all on one plane. The only way .. at present. of getting a three-dimensional look is to throw everything beyond the chosen flower OUI of focus. or in deep hade. The result is effectiveand often unractive, but h.urdly helps the painter to get the neeessury details of the back view of the Aore. showing Ihrough from the other 'ide of the spike. Norean one gauge the feelofa plant, how sort the hairs are on the

tern .. or how velvety the lea es, II is 0 important actually \0 handle the plum and look at it from all angles. Secondly. even the very be t slides do nOI al· ways gi e quite perfect colour rendering; mauves and blues are pit rtieu lady vul nerable and vary considera bly from accuracy. The pbotographs on this page show Lizard Orchids in France. Fig. 89 how a Lizard Orchid growing among the sand dunes (again I am acting a the indica lor of it heigbt).Fig. 91 shows a plant in a woodland habitat; andHG. 92. i a closer hot of the same plant, The pai.nting in fig •. go shows detailsof Lizard Dowers at different stages of development. The Lizard Orchid is I ra nge , and a rare plant in Britain, It would bea crime to pick icand in Ihi co e photograph. together withthe painting of the florets. helped me later to paint the whole plant for a book. A cornplete drawing donen the p 1 would lake a very long time. for there can btl a many as two hundred nowers on each spike ..

l-'a.91 A lizard Orchid in woodland

;Fig. 90 Uzard Orchid flowers 01 differenlllages. of development

I h pe that thr ugh thi b k I hav been obi to encourage many of'you to tart painiin • however long

it was thal you I t held a bru h - r even if you h ve never held one. I hope t 0 that you will try painting the flowers of our garden and country ide. Rem mber what I wrote near the beginning of this book. If you practi • ou can only impro . If you ar not

timed with your portmyal of a particular flower. then find an ea i r one and tart again. and before long you will discover as I did that the first flower is nottoe diffie It after all. lmmen pleasure and tisfaction can found mong the n wers of th field a paint th m and enjoy yourselve .


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