So I’m back! Yay! It was a long journey, but finally I’m back and I feel I have new power to paint and create something new. But my hands also feel that they haven’t been painting lately, so I have to start with something easy, just to exercise.

I decided to check out my old photos I did last year or earlier. At that time I was taking a lot of photos of things that I wanted to paint in future. I was thinking about botanical painting then, but I didn’t even dare to try it. So now I looked at my photos and I chose garlic flowers. Well, I know there are a lot of different kinds of garlic flowers and I have no idea how it’s called in english, but at least I know it’s a garlic, because when I picked it up (it was growing near the road) I could smell a garlic from one meter.

I took tens of photos of it, at different stages of blooming. I choose 5 different photos, where the flower is completely closed, and then it’s opening more and more and finally it’s fully open. As usual I had a problem with composition, but as it’s just an exercise I thought it’s not really so important. At first I wanted to place the elements from left to right to show how the flower is opening, but finally I placed the last stage in the center, and all the other stages are on the left and right sides.

Because autumn (or fall) is really close here in Poland, the days are shorter and it’s starting to be dark quite fast. I like autumn, but I don’t like when it’s starting to be dark so quickly, because I like to paint with a daylight. And in this case I have only couple of hours (if I have a free day!) to paint. I have a daylight lamp, I sometimes use it, but sunlight is sunglight :D

OK, so here is what I’ve done today:

I noticed that the more I paint in botanical style, the slower I paint. I don’t know why. I think I put more attention to details, I want the painting to look realistic and I’m constantly correcting it. For example this bud on the left side. I thought it would be easy, it’s just a bud, simple, tear-shaped, nothing complicated. But, let me tell you, I was painting it for about six hours! Maybe it’s also because of the break I had, maybe. But when I was looking at this bud closer and closer I started to see more and more details. More and more colors, and shapes, lights and shadows.

The second bud starts to bloom. The colors are more violet. The petals are violet and green and that green gives a nice contrast to violets around.

The third element of the composition is finished. It was quite a challenge, because this flower (again) has lots of colors, far more that I expected. They all look like they were glowing from the inside, like there was a little lamp inside of it. This flower is in a full bloom, I have two more flowers on the right side which are in the middle stages of blooming.

The flower on the right side was the most greyish. I decided to mix all three primary colors to get a rich grey and it was perfect. Main colors which i used to paint garlic flowers were:

  • Winsor Yellow PY154 + Ultramarine Blue PB29 + Purple Magenta PR122 – this was my gray mix;
  • Winsor Yellow PY154 + Permanent Green Olive PO62|PG7 – greens;
  • Gold Ochre PY42 + Permanent Rose PV19 – subtle salmon color on the middle flower;
  • Purple Magenta PR122 + Perylene Violet PV29 + Winsor Violet PV23 – violets.