Friday, 12 June 2009


I picked up this little succulant in my local florist's. It took 6 days to paint (during 'out of work' hours). Some florist-shop workers are overwhelmingly interested when I tell them I'm after something to paint; others just look bored and are clearly waiting for me to stop fingering their blooms and get out the shop. This one was definately of the latter species.

Echeveria peacockii: Native to Mexico, it begins life as a dumpy little rosette, expands, then puts out two long tendrils upon which are borne small, waxy orange-pink flowers. The leaves and stems are covered with a glaucous bloom that rubs at a touch. This characteristic is tricky to paint in watercolour & I had to keep the washes very dilute. It was a nice excuse to use the more 'gay' pigment range - viridian, transparent yellow and opera-rose after a term restricting my students to a traditional, sobre palette.

Just as soon as I'd laid the final brush-stroke, my daughter came in and exclaimed, "Ooh that's pretty", as she reached across and touched the left flower spike. The stem promptly snapped of at the knee! A sure sign that the job was done.

The scan doesn't really do it justice even though I've tweaked the colours and contrast a little but it appears very low-definition compared to the sharpness of th original.

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