Painting Kuching in Watercolour


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.

The hoya with the largest bloom! It was quite difficult to capture the correct colour though, because of the waxy reflective surface of the bloom. In the morning light it is a pinkish mauve but in the afternoon, it shows more burgundy. I have depicted it as more burgundy as I have more time to paint in the afternoon. Morning light changes fast!

I used a hot pressed watercolour paper I found at Popular Bookstore ”Campap” This paper would be very good for painting practice, but to show the brilliancy of professional quality watercolour paints, it’s back to those very expensive European papers. No way around it.

Meantime, it’s a dog’s life –

Sootie waits patiently every morning outside the bedroom door for her human to wake up and take her for her morning walk

Binkie takes a nap under watchful eyes…

I am still working my way through this book. Here is my attempt at purple. It looks good I must say, though I have never seen a real clematis flower!

This is my attempt at red and reddish pink – a peony.

A difficult subject and even more difficult to handle colours! I didn’t succeed at depicting a peony’s delicate petals, because this looks more like a kind of lotus instead.

Oh well, it’s back to my easel for more practice and more practice!

Here’s Binkie, now a happy balanced dog! Every morning she accompanies me on half an hour walk/run, eats two good quality meals a day, followed by a crunchy snack or two. Like my other dog Sootie, her favourite snack is Jacobs biscuit smeared with Lady’s Choice peanut butter. Note the new potbelly!


A rank amateur self-taught watercolour artist

July 2017
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