The Watercolor Flower Artist’s Bible – Review

Leave a comment

The Watercolor Flower Artist’s Bible: An Essential Reference for the Practicing Artist by Claire Waite Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


My newest art book is the gorgeous Watercolor Flower Artist’s Bible: An Essential Reference for the Practicing Artist, edited by Claire Waite Brown.

This is quite a comprehensive volume. It starts out with a section on watercolor supplies and explains the most common techniques watercolorists use. Several tutorials encourage practice with these, e.g. “Combining wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry,” “Using Masking Fluid” and more.

An analysis of flower shapes follows. Here the text explains the look and structure of the various flower shapes (like bell, trumpet, cup and bowl, etc.—eight in all), delving into how they appear foreshortened and reflect light from different angles. Of course a real flower example is used in each case. (For example, in the trumpet section, a Daffodil is the example).

A Directory of Flowers section follows that. In this part you find a picture of each flower and a link to the instructions on how to paint.

You can also find flowers by color in the colored garden section that follows the directory (“The Red Garden,” “The Pink Garden,” “The Yellow Garden,” etc.) that ends with “Berries and Leaves.” Each garden color chapter is introduced with watercolor paintings by accomplished artists. These are followed by details of specific flowers in the color family and include color swatches of the particular flower’s blooms and instructions on how to draw and paint one example.

To help you even further in finding the flower you want to attempt, you can go to the comprehensive Index at the back, where each flower is listed (alphabetically) and linked (in the Kindle edition) to its page in the book.

This book is chock-full of information and tips. However, my favorite aspect of it so far is the artists’ paintings that begin each colored garden and are sprinkled in other spots throughout. Talk about eye candy and inspiration to improve!

I purchased the Kindle edition of the book, which I read on my iPad. It’s easy to use propped on my desk during painting sessions with no need to fight stubborn book binding. Also I can enlarge the images to my heart’s content.

I’m sure this book will be one of my most used painting references in the months ahead.






View all my reviews

A Lent Conversation – Week 2

Leave a comment

This is the second instalment of a Lenten conversation between Laurel Archer, my poet friend, and me providing some art. This week I sent Laurel a painting as a prompt. She responded with a poem.

The Hellebore plant was new to me when I moved to the coast (we didn’t have it in Saskatchewan, at least not when I lived there). This beautiful perennial blooms here in early to late spring with blooms that customarily face downward. It’s a plant that, even in bloom, looks penitent. Perhaps that’s why it was given its common name “Lenten Rose.”

I’m delighted with Laurel’s poetic response that reflects her experience with this lovely spring flower and takes us deeper.

Painting: “Lenten Rose” – © 2021 by Violet Nesdoly, Watercolour on 140 lb. cold press watercolour paper, 9×12 inches

Poem: “Promises” – © 2021 by Laurel Archer

Spring Collection

2 Comments

Rhodos

Collage of Rhododendrons (Photos © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Spring Collection

Polka dots, ruffles
salmon pink haute couture
let’s hear it for Rhodos
sweet, classic, demure,

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All Rights Reserved)

************
Prompt – Inspiration:
Around this time of year, the rhododendrons start opening in all their glory around here. This carries on through May. This April 2014 poem was inspired by rhododendrons.

~*~*~*~*~

VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

Save

carpet

Leave a comment

P1030318

ground cover
carpet fit for royalty
purple periwinkle

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

**************

Prompt – Inspiration

A walk outside in spring is always inspiring!

~*~*~*~*~

VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

Save

Summer pickings

13 Comments

As we made plans for the summer, I knew our back-and-forths would make it hard for me to do much writing. So I decided to keep it simple and combine poetry-writing with my love of photography… a sort of haiga.

Here are three gardens I snapped in last little while (sadly none of them are mine).

calendula

Garden galaxy
Milky Way turned molten
June Calendula

~*~*~

hollyhock

Hollyhock—so cute
in flouncy summer sundress
of rose seersucker

~*~*~

IMG_1329

Summer sky blossoms
celebration petals spark
a garden party

*********

PF-2This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Books 4 Learning.

 

Spring’s Debutantes (NPM ’16-Day 16)

3 Comments

Spring’s Debutantes

Party deb Pansy and, before her, Crocus
whisper in royal shades of an amethyst queen.
Frilly Lilac and loose-limbed Wisteria
trailing scented clouds of hocus-pocus
languid on trellis and bower lean.
The starchy Tulip sisters dressed in flames
bring to this dance a daring new criteria,
strut a bold contrast to spring’s purple dames.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

***************

Well, we’re over halfway through the month and still on track for writing one poem a day!

This poem is in the form of a san san—a new form to me. The 8-line san san has a set pattern of rhymes (a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d), and is supposed to contain three images. Read about it here.

Tulip Festival (NPM ’16-Day 9)

1 Comment

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All photos © 2016 by V. Nesdoly

Tulip Festival

A few tulips are beautiful
acres of them stunning—
bouclé strips of colour
in the palette of Spring:
red, peach, yellow, pink
orange, variegated, white, wine,
varieties named for memories
and with imagination: Rhapsody, Lolyta
Christmas Gift, Graya, Kelly, Charade.

They are April wine,
goblets capturing light
suffused with light
petals luminous in morning sun.
No competition here, each variety
from giant orange decanters
to delicate pink thimbles
spreads its own elegant carpet.

We bow homage, lean in
kneel, prostrate ourselves
with cameras of every size,
wander into rows and selfie-stick-snap
smiles and natty hats
among the rainbow blooms.

On the highway, cars and trucks
thunder by this colourful miracle
while we wander down the sawdust path
towards the parking lot
hands full of U-Pick life
and a whole memory card of pixels
to brighten next January.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

**************

A trip to the Abbotsford Tulip Festival yesterday was the inspiration for this poem. (Interestingly, yesterday’s prompt at NaPoWriMo—which I read after I wrote the poem—was to write a poem about flowers; I guess it was meant to be!) The slide show above contains only a few of the photos I snapped.

July prompt: flowers

Leave a comment

Jesus, teaching about flowers - Artist unknown

Jesus, teaching about flowers – Artist unknown

It’s July and the season of flowers where I live. One look through my photo collection will show you how much I like them (maybe it’s because I’m named after a flower!).

Not many flowers are mentioned in the Bible, though, but there are a few.. For example:

  • The shape of almond blossoms was to be part of the decoration hammered into the golden lampstand of the tabernacle – Exodus 25:31-36.
  • Grape blossoms and pomegranate buds are part of the sensuous imagery of the Song of Solomon – Song of Solomon 7:12.
  • Mallow and broom are mentioned in Job 30:4.
  • Several Bible writers mention the flower of the grass  and flower of the field as reminders of how brief and fragile our life is (1 Peter 1:24-25; James 1:10-11).
  • And finally, we have the lily. Lots of lilies:

– The lily shape was to be the inspiration of the design of the Sea (a huge ceremonial basin that was part of the temple furnishings – 2 Chronicles 4:5).
– A scented lily, dripping “liquid myrrh” was the image the Shulamite used of her beloved (Song of Solomon 5:13).
– A growing lily was the example Hosea used of what Israel would be like after returning to God from her backsliding (Hosea 14:5).
– Jesus referred to lilies as examples of life lived completely free of self-care and dependent on God’s care (Matthew 6:28-30; Luke 12:27-28).

This month let flowers prompt your writing.

Perhaps your main character will be named after a flower, or your story will be set in a garden. That doesn’t mean it has to be a story of sweet innocence. Lots of nefarious things can happen with only flowers looking on.

Perhaps your essay will tell of flower-growing memories, or of how your black thumb makes you feel snubbed by flowers.

Perhaps your poem will take its inspiration from a specific flower becoming an ode to that flower, will make that flower iconic of other things,  or will expand on a flower painting or photograph.

Let the flowers of the Bible and July inspire you and your writing. Happy blooming!

(Check out my Pinterest board of Bible flowers)