Spring has sprung so I’ve gotten out the past few days to paint and sketch in our garden. I use a Yarka full-pan set of paints, a variety of brushes and either a 9×12″ Arches cold press block or 8×8″ pieces of Sanders Waterford cold press taped to a piece of foamcore with taped edges.
I really wanted to do the lilacs before they faded, so I focused on them.
I got so involved in what I was doing that I forgot to take any other step photos of this first one. My goal was to limber up for the painting season and catch the lilacs against the dark green of the English laurel behind it. I stayed with really simple shapes working, as one does with watercolor, from light to dark.
I then went around to the other side to do a close-in version of the lilacs.
I kept it loose, starting, as before, with a light pencil drawing and then laying in the lightest areas of color.
As you can see I treated the lilacs as simple shapes, not getting into painting individual flowers. I also paid attention to color temperature, starting warm in the lightest area and going cooler in the shadows.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with the way they came out. The roses are just getting started so stay tuned…
I love to garden! Besides being great exercise, it’s so satisfying to be outdoors with growing things and when it’s plants one has started from seeds even more so. Anyone with a bit of yard or an apartment balcony can garden. We’re very fortunate in having an acre which is about a mile inland from the ocean in northern California. The soil is very good. We’re in a sheltered location at the end of our street. I’m limited a little by our mild marine-influenced climate (USDA zone 9/Sunset zone 15/17), so plants that need hot weather or seriously cold winters are off the menu, but otherwise if one can find a microclimate here or there, there’s almost no limit.
I got some seeds started a few weeks ago and and plants in the ground are starting to flower, so I thought I’d share what’s happening this morning.
I’ll post again next month when things really get going. Happy gardening!
Unlike much of the country we’ve turned the seasonal corner out here in northern California. Unfortunately the day after day of nice warm sunny weather means that we’re not getting any rain, so we’re going into a fourth year of drought. At the moment, though, the garden is starting up again with the first bulbs blooming, plus a few other “early risers”. The Anna’s Hummingbird in the photo was in the yard at the end of last month. There’s usually hummers around in the winter and spring, dog-fighting for, well, just about anything it sometimes seems. This guy landed in one of the apple trees. I couldn’t get very close, so even with my long lens (Nikon 80-400mm) he was pretty tiny in the photos. But I thought it would be fun to share one of him in his full “don’t mess with me” display.
Here are some photos of what’s blooming today (all photos taken with a Nikon D750 and a Nikon 28-300mm lens):