Painting Kuching in Watercolour

Archive for November 2011

I call this a Chinese New Year phalaenopsis…masses of flowering plants are imported from Taiwan during the festive season. People buy them at festive prices to give to relatives and friends as impressive, beautiful gifts or to decorate their own houses for New Year. And normally after Chap Goh Meh (Fifteenth Night of New Year) the orchids start to die off to the dismay of the owners, who then pour even more water and fertilizers into the pots.

Dear owners, do take a close look at those clear plastic pots – they are filled with tightly packed spaghnum moss! The orchid roots are rotting away in the constantly wet medium and normally it is raining all the time during New Year. So if you want your phalaenopsis to survive after Chap Goh Meh, carefully remove the moss, soak the plant in a fungicide, then repot in a new pot with charcoal and coconut husk. Put it in a cool windy area, water sparingly every day and it should stand a good chance of survival!

This is the variety with ‘harlequin’ spots – it looks quite unusual and rather ugly! Like measles or a nasty allergy rash.

Painted with a limited palette of Holbein’s Opera, Rose violet, Carmine and Ultramarine blue for the shadows.


White Vandas

Posted on: 09/11/2011

Wow, I can’t believe how busy I’ve been lately – have only managed this quick study in the past month!

I composed this study from photos taken of the white variety of Vanda Miss Joachim in the DBKU Orchid Garden. I like the challenge of painting white flowers! I’m still using the Cartiera Magnani paper which meant I had to be extra careful with my washes as it is impossible to lift off any mistakes from this paper.

By the way, it is an Orchid Garden, so what are bromellaids doing there? And surely there are more to orchids than rows and rows of vandas, dendrobiums, more vandas….oh well, at least entrance is free!


A rank amateur self-taught watercolour artist

November 2011
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