I love art and flower’s
Hi! I just noticed your Painting Holiday course in Åsgårdstrand. Do you have such course in Stavanger (or nearby) as well? I would love to participate but cannot at that time
Inger Andrea Olsen
Hei Inger, I’ll reply in English as that is the language in which you wrote to me. I haven’t any workshop planned in Stavanger at the moment, but if there are several of you interested, I would be willing to come there and teach. Jeg bodde i Stavanger for 15 av de 25 år jeg levde i Norge! Vennlig hilsen, Gaynor
Hi I’m a big fan of your work, i was wondering what watercolour brand you prefer and think is best to paint with?I’ve also wondered why botanical artists use watercolour and not acrylic is there a specific reason? thanks
Hei Leah, thank you for commenting on my work so positively.
Firstly about why botanical artists are more likely to use watercolour than acrylic. I can of course only answer for myself. I know that with the combination of perhaps acrylic inks and acrylic paints I might be likely to be able to paint delicate detail, but for me I feel acrylics might be too heavy looking although I know acrylics are vibrant colours. Perhaps it is my lack of skill with the medium.
I know that when painting something where I need something very white, the White of the paper is the best white – if you have to use white paint, the White becomes dulled. If I painted with acrylic I would have to use white as I understand the whole surface is covered with paint.
Wherever possible I try to use watercolour paints that are transparent and rarely opaque. This keeps the colours I choose, more vibrant.
There are quite a few flower painters who use acrylics and some also also use body colour, but there are fewer who use this medium for pure botanical art and illustration.
I also use coloured pencils as they are translucent and again one uses the White of the paper as the whitest are.
The watercolours that I have in my palette are mostly Winsor & Newton, although I have one Maimeri – Cyan. It is the same phthalocyanine pigment as W&N Winsor blue green shade, but not quite so strong and therefore very useful to me. I also have one Sennelier colour, several Daniel Smith and one or two Schmincke.
I hope this answers your question.
yes thank you
You show photos of your classes. Every one had a orange holder they put there sketch book on to draw. What are these called and where are they available to purchases? GAil
Hei Gail, they are from Ikea. I think they are really intended for having a laptop on your lap, but are really useful in a class situation as they take up little room and are at a good angle for smallish artwork.
Hi Gaynor firstly can I say how beautiful your work is I am in awe, I have been working with colour pencil for some time now and am having problems with mixing realistic greens then I saw yours how do you manage it?!!!!! I have been thinking about buying some Caran D’Ache would you recommend buying the full set or just a few? I watched your tuition on YouTube and it’s opened my eyes to a different way of applying the pencil to paper, I have been to several classes and was told to press harder with the pencil to get depth of colour you are absolutely right the soft application of colour lends it’s self to better quality ŵork and so much more enjoyable and dare I say relaxing, thank you so much for sharing your tips kind regards Lynne
Hei Linda, thank you for those lovely words.
You asked about Caran d’Ache pencils. They are a fairly soft pencil although you can get a good point on them. They do have a lot of good colours, but the greens I use most are Faber Castell, in addition to some of the pale pencils from Caran d’Ache that they don’t have. I normally advise my students to get the colours as they need them as many of the colours in whichever set you use, you probably won’t use. In particular the blue-greens, because when using a pale colour with them they often turn a ghastly shade of green that isn’t really botanical.
But, I have to say that I have the sets for several manufacturers. My excuse is that you never know which colour you might need and they are all subtly different.
Good luck with your pencils and I am glad my technique makes sense to you. Gaynor
Hi Gaynor I was at your class on Tuesday at Highnam which I thoroughly enjoyed. I think pen and ink work is my thing now! I’ve already ordered the things you recommended but can you tell me where you get your distilled water? Thanks Linda Joseph
Hei Linda, I’m glad that you enjoyed using pen and ink and will continue to develop your skills with it. I believe that you can get the distiller water from a normal pharmacy. Good luck with it all. Gaynor
Hi Gaynor, I am a faithful follower of your’s — love your work and your obvious passion. I just finished watching your video of a poppyseed case done in graphite and would like to know how your pencils are sharpened. They don’t look as if they’ve been sharpened with a pencil sharpener. Regards, Lynne
Hei Lynn, thank you for getting in touch and for your very positive comments. As luck would have it, I also did this video last week. It is one i have done for my online course and therefore not available unless I send the link. Here it is: https://youtu.be/Rx8PF_P9ZuA. Using graphite you need a very sharp pencil with a long lead. But when using coloured pencils, I use a rotary sharpener such as one made by Rapesco. Although that gives a lovely long point, it still isn’t sharp enough for graphite, thus the need for a craft knife of some sort. Good luck. Let me know what you think of the sharpening video. Gaynor
Thank you so much for making this video. What amazing little daggers you’ve been able to make and how helpful to know that there’s a very good reason for the long point. I think this will be a huge help with my drawing of fine details. Again, thank you. Lynne
You are creating such beautiful art. Congratulations. In some ways, some of your black and white drawings remind me of Escher, probably because of your level or detail. I love the youtube series,
Thank you very much. I’m not sure what Escher would have to say! His work is so extremely well planned it is incredible.
I just moved to Norway and I am very interested in botanical art. Could you recommend me any clubs societies to contact? Thank you!
Hei Sophie, it is good to hear from you and I hope you will enjoy it in Norway. If you let me know where you live then I will have a better idea of who I can put you in touch with. Generally speaking there does not seem to be the same amount of interest in botanical art, but that’s why several people who are interested in it are trying to turn this around. Tone Minde is the person to get in touch with about the Norwegian Botanical Art Society, a new started society. Send me your email via the contact form on my website and let me know where you live.
I will be holding a workshop week I Åsgårdstrand, the last week in June. This is in Eastern Norway, south of Oslo.
I can imagine that you might very well be living in Stavanger. If so, I remember that there used to be a very active group of expat wives there, and they might very well have a group with this interest. I look forward to hearing from you. Gaynor
I am so happy that you offered your help. I just write you a message, I hope you got it!
Are you having an open summer studio this
August? Regards Denise and David Lancashire Meddys brother
Hei David and Denise, I’m afraid we won’t be doing it this year, but you can still come round when you are in Bosham.
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