Bees in a Border

gouache and watercolour

gouache and watercolour

I wanted to do something a little different from the usual puddles of well mixed paint and decided to start this one by drawing the shapes (and around the white rudbeckia) with the actual tubes of paint direct onto the paper; in this case, gouache, because I wanted something ‘meatier’and wanted to get away from too much careful drawing with the paintbrush. I did faintly draw the rudbeckia so that I wouldn’t paint over them accidentally.The I took a large chinese paintbrush (cheap) and moved the paint around, delineating the white flowers and smudging the purple. I then drew in some of the stalks with the paint tube. I’ve had tubes of gouache hiding in a drawer for years, since my days as a textile designer, so dug out the ones that hadn’t turned to rock, and here used violet bluish, permanent yellow deep, chinese orange, linden green, and olive green. Its painted on Khadi paper, 300lb which is stretched and very thoroughly gummed down and stapled as it has a habit of tearing away from the board as it dries.

second stage

second stage

There isn’t a lot of work in this piece, the idea being to keep it simple and energetic. Here I’ve filled in the space on the left, and painted in some faint grasses with a thin mix of cobalt blue and raw umber

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Then I add the bees, which are very delicately painted in watercolour, and added a few more stalks with Daniel Smith watercolour sticks, which are gorgeous, pigment rich, and add a unique texture to a line. I also use Derwent Inktense pencils, which are water soluble and come in all sorts of lovely colours
The finished piece is 30 x45 cm

Some details below

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