Hope you are all well and keeping safe. This time of enforced isolation for many of us feels strange and abnormal. I am lucky enough to work from home and so I am used to time spent in my little studio on my own.

However I did make a conscious decision , when I moved to home working not to cut myself off from the world , I like to keep in touch and meet up with friends regularly, as well as doing some teaching including workshops etc. when I can.

I miss my book club, my weekly visits for coffee, just a connection with others. That bear hug when you see a good friend again, all taken away ( for now) . I know it is for a greater good, and I am sticking to the rules ,as I want us to come out of this time with as few people hurt as possible.

But then I realised I also connect with so many people via technology, part of the reason I set up my FB page etc was to keep talking to people when I am alone in my studio ( like I am now). Little did I know when I started that I would be able to connect with people in New Zealand, America as well as Hampshire or Birmingham. Links have been forged , and yes it has helped my business no end, but it has also helped keep me connected to the world. That feels lovely just now , knowing that my art reaches a few people everyday and we can have a chat because of it.

So I continue with my blogs, rambling on maybe just a little too much. Today I though I would keep it simple, so people might have a go. Looking ahead to the summer I thought i would show you how I would go about painting an allium.

Firstly as always I like a simple pencil sketch to get me started.


Today I am not going to focus on the bees, but if you want to add some a few of my other blogs talk about painting them.

If you look at an allium, it is reminiscent of a dandelion clock. I want to highlight some of the flowers against the darker middle , so I paint a few of the tiny flowers around the allium first.

This should show you what I mean.



I am using rose madder and a lemon yellow with a darker green for the centres. Now I am going to mask off the little flowers using masking fluid and a paper clip, so I can make the area behind them darker.




Go carefully , paint each little flower with the masking fluid then leave it to dry completely !



I have tried to show you ( above ) that the masking fluid goes translucent when it dries. Also test it with your finger, it may be a little tacky but  none will come off on your finger if it is completely dry.



Now we are painting the darkest part of the flower, the real centre of the flower head, behind the masked off tiny flower I have painted. I puddle a dark colour made up of alizarin crimson mixed with cobalt blue.



Then while it is still wet the paint I start to pull out the stems which hold the tiny flowers. Now I am being much looser. I want lighter stems and darker ones as well as some in green. Be bold, let your brush dance, and go for the different shapes at the end of the purple stems. I mix the colours as I go, try and be spontaneous and see what happens.



Then leave the wet paint to dry completely before you rub of the masking fluid, you may have to repaint the tiny flowers a bit as rubbing off the masking fluid can also rub off some of the paint.Oh yes and |I painted the stem letting it fade away down the paper

Then I added my bees, but you could add more alliums, or leave it as it is.

I find ways of painting different things and each new subject is a new challenge, but the more you do the more you feel confident to try something new.

I do hope you are safe and well, and whatever you like to do either reading , drawing, cooking or binge watching Netflix. I hope you manage to enjoy some of it over the next week and maybe even pick up a brush! Happy painting x

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Beautifully painted and explained! Thank you. I’ve never before been enticed to paint the Allium flowers, but now I certainly am! Waiting for another frost on Monday before they will actually open in bloom! They’re ready, but the weather isn’t cooperating! Thanks again!

Pat Dolan

Rachel we love your work and stumbled across this today.

It is lovely and gentle and I have shared it to our page to bring some joy to our clients in these trying times.

Thank you

Sue and Pete
aPad4Paws 5 star rating with Plymouth City Council with DEFRA Licence No: A021Best British Newcomer at the UKWeddingAwards for Dog Chaperoning at YOUR Wedding provided by aPad4Paws uk/weddingawards


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