Tin of Allotment Flowers

     Took a bag of equipment for a sunny day of painting and cultivation at the allotment. I’ve been asked by Artists and Illustrators magazine to do a step by step and thought I should get some practise at remembering to take the photos! As I usually forget. The paintbox was once a White Nights box but over the years has become a mixture of everything from Winsor & Newton to Daniel Smith. The one Russian colour left is their ‘green’ which I love and probably shouldn’t as I don’t know how permanent it is; but very transparent and rich and clean. Easy to warm up with yellows and cool with blues.

Lots of patches of wilderness up there to fill up a shiny tin can from.

Green, green yellow, cerulean, yellow ochre, transparent pyrrol Orange (Daniel Smith, gorgeous colour) transparent yellow, burnt sienna, opera pink, cobalt blue, indigo.


First stages done with a chinese brush (goats hair?) and a Prolene sword brush, have tried a badger hair sword brush but found it too soft. The paint is mixed plenty wet, I want to keep it moving and not risk edges drying too fast as I work, particularly on a hot day. I would have used water spray but forgot to take it with me.

I drop water in to the paint from a bottle with tiny spout, found in the print department of our local art supplier 


Bottom picture is first stage complete, as it dries I keep dropping in more paint and more water to get the ‘deltas’ and ‘cauliflowers’ and am aiming to get a variety of tones Into the early stages,,if the first stage looks flat it’s harder work in the following stages to get it looking lively.




 The next stage I start finding the shapes of flowers and foliage in deeper tones, and by painting both positive shapes like the rose leaves on the right, and negative shapes, defining the stalks in the middle. At this point I’ll also start using coloured pencils and watercolour sticks. I like Derwents Inktense and Daniel Smiths watercolour sticks, both very rich and vibrant colours that work well into both dry and wet areas

This was done in an A3 Saunders Waterford watercolour pad , fairly heavy paper, I think 140lb rough, and slightly off-white.

4 thoughts on “Tin of Allotment Flowers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s