Painting spring flowers

I planted some honesty seeds in my garden last year, hoping for some of the pretty ‘silver penny’ seed heads to paint.  I hadn’t really thought about the flowers that would preceed the seed pods and was pleased to see the clusters of delicate white flowers brightening up the spring.

It was when I saw the deep red of these tulips that I knew I just had to paint them, and the honesty flowers would provide the perfect counterfoil in the background.  I started with some greens, for the background and the honesty flowers in shadow.

Next I started on the deep red tulips.  It took several layers to get the strength of colour I wanted.

The advantage of working in this way is that you can move back and forth between the main flowers and the background, leaving each bit to dry in turn.