Tag Archives: floral portraints

Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas ‘Fire and Ice’

I have been working on this drawing for awhile now.  Adding different backgrounds to my flower portraits has been an idea in my head for some time, but I have had trouble trying to figure out how to do it.  I have tried before with smudgy type backgrounds (technical term there), but I have never liked it.

The idea for this background came to me when I was photographing some sweet peas last year and was looking at the great pattern of the stems and tendrils and thought they would make a good background, especially if I did them in grey scale.  This also gave me the chance to use my water soluble graphite sticks.  I always love the chance to play with new art supplies and it may even justify their purchase!

Although I am fairly happy with the result, I am not completely sure that this is the answer.  The sweet peas are cut out and are just sitting on top of the background, so nothing is set yet.  When I am not sure of a picture I have a few techniques I try to get another perspective on the work.

  1. Put the whole thing away and look at it again in a few weeks.  Not having seen it for awhile gives me fresh eyes to look at the work again to see if I really do like it or not.
  2. The opposite of this is to stick it on the wall where I can look at it for awhile to figure out what is not working.
  3. Taking a photo of the work is my third way of figuring out what is the problem, making it black and white can help, especially if you do not have enough contrast, as this is hard to tell sometime with coloured work.

If you have a different technique please share it with me as I always need help.

Last weekend I went back to one of my favourite nurseries, Lambley Nursery just out of Ballarat, as they had a garden tour and you could visit their sweet peas that they grow for their flower seeds, over 100 varieties.  The sweet pea I drew is from their garden last year and is called Fire and Ice.  I took a few photos, (over 70, but who is counting) and have included a few of my favourites for your viewing pleasure.

Might be a second Sweet Pea picture….


Rose – Pierre De Ronsard (WIP)

Pierre de Ronsard WIP (2)This is my latest work in progress and my favourite rose in the garden at the moment.  It is a big call to name my favourite rose, but Pierre wins.  Old fashioned roses are my favourite, the abundance of petals and the heavenly scent are major points in their favour.  I love the way the colours move from cream with a hint of green on the outside, to cream with a flush of pink on the edges in the middle, to a beautiful subtle pink in the centre.  The combination of cream and pink with the hint of apple green is stunning in this rose.

This particular climber has been in my garden for over eight years and is well established and producing magnificent blooms.  I find that my roses produce better blooms the older they get.  This is especially true for the old fashioned roses who tend to ball (go brown at the bud stage and never open) when young.

I have drawn this rose in my usual style with a under wash of sennelier ink then coloured pencil over the top.  It has been a great deal of fun to get back into this work again after a bit of a break and I have really enjoyed working with the beautiful colours of this rose and the challenge of making shadows in the cream rose work.  There is nothing like drawing a flower to make you really understand and appreciate it.


It has been ages since I last posted and the past 12 months have been very difficult.  My Mum passed away this time last year and after caring for her for so long and other major life crisis following on, I haven’t had the energy to keep the blog going.  My final blow was being made redundant a couple of months ago, just when you think it couldn’t get worse it does.  But it was a blessing in disguise and it has given me time to re-evaluate and make some new choices on what I would like my life to be like.  One of the clearest decisions was to take the opportunity to follow my art more seriously.  So for the last month I have been preparing my website and deciding on some business strategies and am looking forward to telling you all about them in the next post.