From the pilePosted: April 17, 2019
It was warm enough today to take a little tour of the mess in my backyard. I found a thick mat of oak leaves and enough sticks and branches to fill ten bins, but I wasn’t expecting to see any signs of life just yet. Surprisingly, though, I discovered some crocuses blooming near the shed, so I ran back in to grab my sketchbook. Seems like a miracle to see blooms, doesn’t it, after this difficult winter in Montreal?
For this sketch I really wanted the crocuses to look like they were emerging from a thick layer of leaves. After my pencil drawing I did an initial wash of diluted Burnt Sienna, painting everything except the flowers. When that was dry, I wet each bloom with clear water and added Cobalt Violet to the outer edges of the petals and let the full-strength pigment bleed into the clear water. The rest of the sketch was negative painting. I surrounded each oak leaf shape with progressively darker washes and shadow areas, and added a bit of splatter too, to reinforce the texture of the post-winter tangle in the garden. The darkest areas were saved for right around the flowers. Sketched in a Travelogue Watercolour Journal.