Painting Kuching in Watercolour

I had been working on this and I think I have made it too complicated. Now I think I should split it into 3 bird portraits – papa bird, upside down feeding mama bird and baby bird surveying the world!

Painted with Holbein paints on Fabiano Studio paper which is not, luckily enough, the best quality paper in my possession, now that I have to redo things differently!


Time Out!

Posted on: 13/02/2014

Apologies, readers!  I have no time to do watercolours the past few months – I am renovating my kitchen.  Will be back painting when the dust settles.  By the way, I rescued another two abandoned dogs….!!

Doing 3-D

Posted on: 29/05/2013

I have been planning this new sunbird and pigeon orchid painting.  I am still on the pencil draft stage, trying to work out the placement of the white pigeon orchids so I can get some depth to the painting. I am also still undecided on the background.


As I meditate on this 2-D problem, my hands are busy on working on something 3-D!


The pansy from a vintage tatting pattern book.  I had to crack my brains a bit trying to make sense of the vintage instructions.  Looks good, doesn’t it?  Using size 20 cotton thread, it’s about 7 centimetres across.

We don’t have pansies here in tropical Malaysia, but I am thinking if I tweak the colours it would look like some exotic orchid! I am tatting 3 pieces to sew on my cotton hat.

Pam Palmer’s Festival Elephant

Time to pay homage to tatting teacher and designer Pam Palmer!  I am so pleased to be able to tat up her design masterpiece, the Festival Elephant, in full colour glory.  Now that Lizbeth brand threads are available in so many colours, tatters should tat more Festival Elephants!


I was aiming for a fabulous Southern India colour scheme here.  I have appliquéd it onto a piece of red silk and intend to make this into a wall hanging by sewing the silk onto the centre of a dark blue 4 foot cotton dhurrie table runner, if I can find one!  Otherwise it’s going on a cushion. Wish me luck!


My attempt at Susan Armitage’s Poppy. As usual, the orange tones doesn’t show up well in the scan. I used Winsor & Newton’s Orange instead of the Schmincke’s Translucent Orange recommended, and Holbein’s Cherry Red instead of Daley Rowney’s Perylene Red. It was fun painting the crinkles on the petals and hairy stems and leaves.

Back online!

Posted on: 08/03/2013

Some time ago, I managed to get hold of this mangosteen fruit complete with stem and leaves and was happy to be able to paint it from life. However I couldn’t get the leaf colour right and then I was interrupted mid-painting and couldn’t get back to work on the problem further. I put the picture in a cardboard box to keep off the dust until I could find time to work on it.

 Well, today finally, aside from many other stuff, I got my computer repaired, all applications installed and working and here is my painting half eaten by some insect pest!  They are everywhere, not only on my orchids! 

 This insect had redone my brushwork by eating most of the green paint off the leaves and stem, and even did some realistic insect damage tracks on the fruit itself. 

 I can’t find whatever it is anywhere, could it be dead after ingesting Holbein’s Marine Blue, Viridian and Aerolin? Or did Dioxaxine Purple did it in? The name sounds poisonous enough!Image


BUT not a good beginning one for me because my computer graphics card died. And I have no time to make my Canon scanner work on my other computer running Linux..Because now I have to get repairs/replacement, Chinese New Year coming, spring cleaning, rain coming down, rescue some drowning orchids, walk and dry the dogs etc etc no time for painting.

Readers, please bear with me – I should be back posting paintings middle of February.

Okay, so I decided to tackle the tricky bit on painting white flowers on white paper and not make the flowers grey. Here’s my attempt at Margaret Stevens “Lilium auratum Virginale”. The tip I found most illuminating was to leave in a few pencil lines, even strengthen them a bit.

So, armed with new knowledge, I tackled these white cattleyas from the DBKU orchid garden. I didn’t see any name tag on the pot, but this cattleya is pure white with a peach flush on the lip. Holbein’s Shell Pink, unused for a long time in my paintbox, turned out to be perfect for that peachy wash of colour.

Painted with Holbein paints on Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140lbs hotpressed paper 9” x 12”.

I think my flowers still look rather grey though! Still I will have to put white flowers aside for a while, because my deep pink phalaenopsis orchid has just bloomed for the first time – I have to get busy with my pink colours and get the flowers down on paper before the insect pests beat me to it.


A rank amateur self-taught watercolour artist

September 2017
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