Thursday, 15 August 2013

Florals in Watercolour : Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks coming to life on my easel
using my  favourite "crinkle effect" technique with cling wrap.

Outside my studio there is a stunning hollyhock just coming into flower. This one towers over all the other flowers and is really tempting my brushes. I walked into my studio this morning determined to paint a hare for a gallery but couldn't resist painting these incredible flowers instead. The hare is still waiting! I have pink ,white, yellow and burgundy hollyhocks in bloom. The pink one is almost identical to my Daniel Smith Opera Pink shade so that was the one that really caught my eye first.

Readers of my latest book "Atmospheric Watercolours" will be able to find a demonstration for this subject on page 118 in the "Fabulous Effects" chapter.  Owners of my latest DVD "Watercolour Passion" can see how I apply the cling wrap to form the petals of each flower in my  carnation demonstration.

There are so many ways to apply cling wrap. Clever application makes painting complicated patterns very simple. You can see, in the close up below, how gorgeous the petals underneath the cling wrap look already. As an artist I will have very little to do to complete this fabulous painting.

 Close up of the hollyhock watercolour showing how cling wrap has created beautiful petal effects.

I do literally make the most of summer and my garden. I paint what I can when each flower blooms as I know their time to shine is very short.  In many ways I learn so much from nature. I remember my Stepmother, when I was a child ,often saying " Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today".  In the world of floral art that saying rings so true. Because if you wait too long the flowering is over and you have missed a great opportunity to paint something from life whilst it is at its best.

Hollyhock, opposite my studio door in my cottage garden

From my latest book  " Atmospheric Watercolours "

Page 118  Hollyhocks Exercise

"Simply Stunning Hollyhocks

When I look at any new subject the first thought that always comes to my mind is how I can bring it to life in watercolour. I consider the best techniques to capture the essence of what I see. The “Crinkle Technique” as I  call working with  cling film can be used to create stunning backgrounds or exciting foregrounds. However with well planned placement, this technique can be used to create complex petal formations for many floral subjects that could initially appear far too difficult to achieve."


My books are available from and my DVDs' are available from my web site online shop

No comments: