Yesterday was one of those late Summer days when you know you simply must paint in your garden. There are a million other things I should have been doing but days like this in England are far too good to waste by spending them indoors. A cluster of Japanese Anemones are growing by my studio door and I have to walk past them each day to get inside to write my new book. Each day I have looked at these flowers dancing in the breeze and I have desperately wanted to paint them. I promised myself that before they were past their best, in their flowering season, I would aim to capture them in watercolour and yesterday I kept my promise.
Japanese anemone flowering outside my studio.
First stages of my anemone painting.
I started by just sitting, studying the real flowers in front of me. Then I began by placing centres using Cadmium Yellow and Cobalt Turquoise to form a lime green mix, but I allowed these shades to merge on paper, not in my palette. Next I painted the petals which are not pink. They have tinges of soft violet in them so although Opera Pink was my favourite choice of colour to use I added touches of violet to tone down the vibrancy of the pink which on its' own looked ineffective.
Once the flowers were in place generally I could then add detail for the petal edges. At this stage the painting looked so pretty and almost good enough to leave as it was.
Adding detail to define the petals of my flowers I bring my subject to life.
The sky above me was so blue without a cloud in sight. And these blousy flowers looked as though they could sit beautifully in a blue background. So I added one using a mix of Cobalt Turquoise and more Opera Pink. My painting at this stage looks like the image seen below..
" Dancing Anemone"
Now I have a choice to make. Leave my painting as it is and start a new one. Or add the green foliage. I could add the buds or spent flower heads also. For now I will enjoy the moment of looking back at this painting, thinking of the butterflies that hovered near me, and at one point landing on my painting while I was working. I listened to birdsong and felt sunshine on my shoulders. I was at peace. Painting cleanses the soul after a busy week, or stressful period in your life. For me this was sheer heaven.
And I can't wait to paint again today!
Close up of the detail
N.B. All colours in this blog post are by Daniel Smith, vibrant products that bring my work to life