I am tutoring four workshops at Ardleigh House this summer. On Friday the subject matter was floral art, but in every one of the set pieces there were other artistic challenges to consider. 

In the first painting of white hollyhocks the big challenge was the background. In the second painting of a single tiger lily the big challenge was curls on leaves and achieving 3D effect. In the third painting the challenge was a worm’s eye view of a hanging begonia and the moving sky in the background. 

My favourite of the three subjects was the tiger lily. It was a bit of a conundrum when working out the curls of the petals. In the initial drawing it was crucial to get the leaves balanced from one side of the flower to the other. When painting flowers, I do one of two actions regarding the drawing: I use very light pencil pressure to complete the drawing so I can rub out the pencil marks very easily as I work, or I use very hard pencil pressure and then I can rub out all of my drawing before I paint as when you use watercolour cold press paper, with a heavy pencil pressure you impress the paper and it is very easy to see the shapes you have created with your drawing. In this instance, I used light pencil pressure and rubbed out as I worked. The reasoning behind that action – I underpainted the whole flower with a light wash of yellow. When that was 100% dry I rubbed out the pencil marks. 

The Palette: lemon yellow, vermillion red, burnt sienna, light medium and dark green, all greens I mixed. With the vermillion red I made a range of orange colours by adding in varying amounts yellow. I also made a dark orange by adding burnt sienna to vermillion. 

I worked in glazes on this painting, where you let the layers dry before you add subsequent layers of colour. I worked light to dark and used a rigger brush and two small sized round headed brushes. 

The whole class worked extremely hard, there was a lot to complete! The personal styles of each artist taking part came across clearly.