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…

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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