Those of you who drop into my blog on a fairly regular basis will know that I have been dabbling in botanical illustration and attending classes. I started my second year in September and have just completed picture no 7.
I am beginning to feel less intimidated by the watercolour paint. Although I have used pastels and acrylics in the past I was completely panic-stricken when I came to start using watercolour. I had got it in to my head that you couldn’t build up layers or it went muddy, that it was difficult to blend and that it was difficult to remove mistakes. I have learnt, very slowly, over the last year from my first picture that none of this is true and that watercolours are just as user-friendly once you understand them and if you have an excellent tutor as I do.
It is a joke in my class when the tutor tells me that I have to do something finely. I’m the new girl and some of them have been going for years and produce stunning work. Stuart, the tutor, says you need to do the roots finely – I laugh “but I’m too heavy-handed”. Much merriment ensue, but not as much as when someone sets out all their painting stuff and then realises their subject matter is still at home. Anyway I’m getting there and think the roots on the narcissus bulbs are better than the ones I did on the beetroot a while back, I have more control over the brush. I was shocked when I started the classes that we use one brush for everything, it’s all about control and fine points – so not me!!
Having stared intently at the bulbs for the last three lessons I can tell you that they are truly beautiful with very complex ranges of tones and colours. I am really pleased with my latest effort. Next I am going to do some autumn leaves just like my first picture but hopefully as I have learnt a lot this last year I will be able to take it to a new level.