Thursday 8 April 2021

Painting Nasturtiums

I have always loved nasturtiums. They are such happy and colourful flowers, and I find them very uplifting. Finding them growing across the road from my place, I collected some various colours and leaves and went about the 'botanical process'.

I did a basic line drawing which had various coloured flowers at various stages. It was only an A4 size so was quite different to my contemporary large scale work I have been producing for the past several years.

The drawing was done on tracing paper. I knew I would be changing things as I went along, so it is easy to erase and to add notes. It also gives a strong outline which is easy to see when transferring to watercolour paper.

To ensure I had good balance between the shapes and colours I photocopied the drawing on to 185gsm hotpressed watercolour paper, so I could work on the compositional balance and colours.

On the colour study above, I identified which leaves were front or back and also experimented with various underglazes and overglazes to achieve the glorious luminosity common to many of the nasturtium flowers.

I used masking fluid on the leaves which made the process of painting them much easier.

Before I had reached the final stages, I went to replenish my stock of flowers and leaves, only to find the gardener had dug most of them up, as the flowers were just about finished. No problem, as I had preserved a few flowers, just in case.....

So here is the final painting.  I also videoed the process so the videos will be available once I have finished the editing.

To see more of my tutorial videos, go to  and 'Video Tutorials'.

Happy painting!