Herb Posy

A couple of days ago I picked this tiny posy of chive flowers and oregano for the kitchen table. The little vase used to hold a reed diffuser; when the scent vanished I knew the bottle would come in useful for something eventually (the story of my life). I’d noticed the chive flowers start to bloom a week or two ago, their contrast against their blue/grey stems and leaves is perfect, although I think they look delightful with the oregano green too. I can’t explain why it’s only today, when the flowers are starting to go to seed, that I’ve got round to doing the sketch. Perhaps it’s because I knew I’d miss them for another year if I didn’t get on with it…

Chives watercolourHaving sketched out the outlines in pencil, I approached with watercolours, hoping to make the background more vibrant than usual. I sort of succeeded – it isn’t awash with my beloved Payne’s Grey, for once. The flowers and foliage were next, then finally the water and glass. Once the flowers were dry I decided that there wasn’t enough contrast there, so I dropped in some more purple into dots of water laid on top. I think this has given the flowers a bit more depth, although to some extent this is at the expense of the freedom and luminosity of the colours.

A note about borders: in my last few watercolour sketches I’ve decided to frame the pictures by adding a small white-space border (about 1-1.5cms) when I start. I draw this freehand using the sketchbook edge as a guide. Sometimes I like to use a large block of colour as background: running paint right up to the edge meant that occasionally I would mark the next page. The border eliminates this problem, helps me compose the picture, and also means that, when I leaf through my sketchbooks later, the pictures have a ready-made frame – and we all know how a frame helps a picture!

I’m learning a bit more every day…

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11 thoughts on “Herb Posy

  1. Nice piece of work and I’m glad someone else has noticed how pretty chives are, in flower. Sometimes it’s the “lesser mortals” in a garden that actually have the most charm.

    Liked by 1 person

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