Thursday, 1 May 2014

The sketchbook effect

It’s three months into our sketchbook exchange now and I’m feeling more relaxed about my contributions. As an Art teacher used to say to me, “There’s no need to get so anxious about a painting, nobody’s going to die!” Yes, she had a way with words...

East Auquhadlie Pines, Winsor and Newton inks

I painted East Auquhadlie Pines as a contrast to my last painting of snowdrops. I limited the colours to two Winsor and Newton inks, Black and Peat, so I didn’t have to concern myself with colour mixing and could concentrate on tonal values. I also wanted to try a different medium from watercolours.

I was surprised to see how many different hues the inks separated into as they reacted to the paper and when diluted with different amounts of water. This wasn’t my intention, but one of those unexpected accidents that I was happy to go along with.

Snowdrops, the end of darkness...

I find the long, dark winters where I live a struggle, but when I see the first snowdrops peeping above the black soil my heart lifts. To me the first snowdrops mean spring is on its way and the days will be getting longer.

Snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis, graphite and watercolour

“According to legend, the snowdrop became a symbol of hope when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. When Eve was about to give up hope that the cold winter would never end, an angel appeared, transformed some of the snowflakes into snowdrop flowers, proving that winter eventually gives way to spring.”

Perhaps because the snowdrop is so important to me, I felt I couldn’t do justice to its beauty and so was disappointed with my painting. White flowers are notoriously difficult to paint, though!


  1. Gorgeous post and really lovely painting and studies, Lorraine :)

  2. Really lovely sketches Lorraine and love that you used a limited palette to create such a wonderful painting.

  3. Great work, I love my snowdrops, and the fact that they're important to you. They will be to me now. Thanks. Never realised the pines were in ink, ond only two colours. Brilliant.

  4. Love so much the landscape, the B&W snowdrop and the watercolour (practically everything) !!!