Lady Vansittart Camellia
(Camellia japonica “Lady Vansittart”)
“Vibrant pinks and reds and the movement created through the attitude of the shiny, curled leaves sees this botanical come alive within the bounds of a relatively formal composition. I was fascinated with the three distinct color patterns in its large, double blooms. The potted plant was kept indoors until I had finished drawing and taking color notes in situ; so I could relax and take several days to work without the flowers wilting. Light pencil gesture lines on the sketchbook page were gradually worked into definite outlines to support the rendering of the patterns of color – an enjoyable phase that took approximately three hours per flower. Graphite rendering of shadow shapes and values within the petals’ complex color patterns were completed separately on tracing vellum as a reference for painting. Photographs were also taken as backup. Color work for the finished painting began with subtle washes or color pencil for shadows followed by the application of transparent watercolor glazes to create the general color of leaves and petals. (The only areas of white pigment are the tiny highlights on the two dewdrops.)
Media: Watercolor and color pencil on Fabriano HP watercolor paper. Three pigments are selected to create a unified palette that sees a full range of color seen as relating to the particular plant.
Original image area: 29x26.5 cm (11.5"x10.5"). Both the original and prints feature a decorative gold border and hand applied gold lettering
The original painting is available for purchase.