I have a rather lovely little book called Painting Flowers in Watercolour, by Fiona Peart. It is a part of the 30 Minute Artist series. Since I love flowers and am terribly impatient it only makes sense for this month's series to be 30 Minute Flowers.
The first steps in the book are about getting to know your materials and your palette. An early exercise was to do this by making a big splashy page of puddles of colour... you don't have to ask me twice!
Then we start painting flowers with watercolour by using easy brush marks and lots of negative painting to create simple shapes.
I have a Stillman and Birn Journal which is just divine. It is a hardbound journal and the paper is 270gsm. However, I had a bit of thing for hot press paper when I purchased it because I do love drawing on the silky surface with ink and coloured pencil etc. I used hot press paper for my Flower Face series and loved it. For a clean illustration the smooth surface is lovely. But if you want to use watercolour in a more traditional painterly way, the cold press surface is far more forgiving. So obviously now I want to trot off and buy a cold press Stillman and Birn journal....
I repeated some of the paintings from the journal using cold press paper - not sure you can see the difference in the photos. The cold press paper handles more water, so I seem to have more cauliflowers appearing with smooth (hot press) paper than I do with the more textured cold press paper.
Using cold press paper, I had a go at Fiona's painting, Orchid (page 19 if you are following along in the book!). It's a bit different from the flowers I painted in my Watercolour Flowers series because there was no pencil drawing to begin with (eek - brave!)
Fiona advises building the painting up looking at the shapes like jigsaw puzzle pieces. Lots of fun. I decided this would be the first in the series. Can't wait to do the next one.
I am really enjoying this book. My one frustration is its size, however. The paintings are so lovely and there are step by step instructions for the projects in the second half of the book that include thumbnail photos. Given that the book itself is about A5 size these thumbnails really are jolly tiny! Bigger ones would have made life much easier.
The book is still a delight, though. Big thumbs up.