This course takes you through the interesting challenges of painting of one of the most iconic spring flowers. We will look at the problem of painting white blossom on white paper, how to compose and draw the complex pattern of flowers, green leaves and brown bark, and how to drop in the delicate shades of pink on the opening blooms. It is a course where there is a lot to learn, but is very rewarding.
With this subject, there is no shortage of plant material, so we should be able to choose a natural composition and construct a design of a size that suits us best. Careful adjustment of the components of the buds, flowers, unfurling leaves and glimpses of the branches underneath, with careful drawing, will provide a bright, optimistic painting. There is plenty of opportunity to work up a design to satisfaction before we paint. We will draw on layout paper so components can be adjusted before transferring the image to finish paper. Handling of the paint will need to be done with finesse, but the techniques are not difficult to learn since the individual areas of colour are small, helping maintain control. All will be demonstrated as we go along. It really is an ideal opportunity to learn to handle the painting of white flowers because the areas of shadow are not so large, and a flower can be quickly sketched allowing techniques to be tried out and practised before working directly on the painting.
Please bring with you
Watercolour paper, 300g/m2 smooth, hot pressed like Fabriano Classico 5 or Fabriano Artistico HP. A limited supply of paper will be available from the tutor.
Graphite pencils for drawing (suggest HB or B and H or 2H)
Pencil Erasers – putty rubber ones are particularly useful
A container for paint water – a clean jam jar is fine
Paper towel kitchen roll is really useful for controlling brush loading
Watercolour paints, which might be half-pans or tubes, it doesn’t matter, but they must be artist quality. Useful colours from Winsor and Newton range might be Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine, Winsor Yellow, Scarlet Lake, Winsor Red, Quinacridone red, Winsor Violet, Winsor Orange, Permanent Carmine, Light Red, Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Permanent Sap Green, Neutral tint and Payne’s Grey.
Watercolour brushes, good quality (preferably sable), capable of forming fine points, preferably down to size 0, but again they can be borrowed for the class.
Mixing palette, e.g. a white plate or saucer, don’t buy anything special!
Please do worry if you do not have any or all of these items. In two days it is unlikely that we would use anything approaching the full list, and key colours will be available from the tutor.
Please bring your own blossom, if you have a favourite and particularly if you are non-residential and can bring in your plants fresh, but please bear in mind we will only be able to study one variety for each person. Otherwise specimens will be supplied by the tutor.
The following items can be purchased from your tutor
Layout paper, tracing paper and trace-down paper will be supplied as needed.
Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire HP16 0BD
Roger is a botanical illustrator who works in watercolour and coloured pencil. He is a long standing fellow of the Society of Botanical Artists where his work has been awarded a certificate of botanical merit, and has been used in their publications. He has exhibited at their annual exhibition in Westminster since 2004. In 2016 he was awarded a gold medal by the Royal Horticultural Society for his work illustrating plants. He is a member of the Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration which fosters the links between botanists and illustrators and he has an honours degree in botany. In 2018 he was a participant in the day of international botanical art exhibitions and as a member of the Association of British Botanical Art, represented the UK.