Posted on Thu 14 Apr 2016
We are approaching that time of the year again when our woodlands are filled with the aroma of purple blue scent, as the annual carpet of bluebells spreads across the forest floor. It’s an irresistible scene to the landscape painter.
As a long-standing member of the Society of Botanical Artists, I present five paintings of suitable botanical content to its spring exhibition each year.
As my interests lay largely in trees and forests rather than plants in general, I find myself searching through dozens of photographs I have taken over the past 12 months to choose various aspects from several to create new compositions.
As you can imagine, much of my work contains detail, using my favoured method of pen and ink drawings with watercolour washes, but the demonstration shown on the following pages requires a much quicker and freer approach. This involves a great deal of splattering using a medium-sized stiff oil painting brush, or a brush from a cheap pack you can find for under £2.
Splattering requires a little practice before launching a major assault. I usually hold the brush in my painting hand and flick the pigment from it by stroking sharply from an opposite finger. It is important to make the consistency of the pigment just right to ensure the splattering reaches the required density.
You will find this process therapeutic and rewarding and, of course, your palette can vary according to whichever season or floral colour you wish to portray. Please read through the demonstration and practise the technique first before you begin work in earnest. And, most of all, have fun with it.