Hello again, from a wet and windy Devon, I was getting used to the sunshine everyday. Breakfast in the garden, my tea breaks looking at the flowers. Ah but how times change, and that is one of the joys of living in Britain. We do often get to experience four seasons in one day. So now my garden has had it's longed for drink, I would like to get back to glorious sunshine we were having, rather than the November -like weather that has taken over.

However we can't always get what we want, and for now the skies look grey and the rain hammers down. I think it doesn't help mood, the greyness. We are all ( globally) experiencing difficult times. Maybe looking towards the future is difficult, and home is the only place that feels safe. One unexpected bonus from my watercolours has been my growing enjoyment of poetry, from my own feeble attempts to some lovely verse written by others. I was asked recently if I had a religion, I don't really but I do believe in kindness, in being kind and letting people show kindness to me. So before I go to bed I read myself a poem and this one really struck me yesterday 

from At Set of Sun , by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"If we sit down at set of sun,
And count the things that we have done,
               And counting find
One self-denying act, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard;
               One glance most kind,
That fell like sunshine where it went,
Then we may count that day well spent."

So with this verse ringing in my ears I though I had better write my blog for this week, and demonstrate one way of painting foxgloves. This was requested by someone who follows my facebook page , and then at least I can say this day was "well spent"

So firstly I drew my foxgloves.

Then looking carefully at my reference photo I used a paperclip, dipped in masking fluid to add the white circles in the trumpets of all the flowers.


Nest I use a spray bottle and wet around the flowers and then drop some permanent rose onto the paper , so they merge into the background a bit.

Now let that dry, and begin on the flowers, look where the light hits them, I want to create different tonal values. So the top of the flower is simply the whit of the paper then it gets darker where it is in shadow. I use a mixture of permanent rose, arizilian crimson and cobalt blue to darken it. I also use some very weak yellow ochre at the top of the flower.

Can you see I also leave a white line between the tones, 

Now you have practiced one trumpet you can move onto the others. This is a nice one as you can pick it up and put it down. You can see I have also used cerulean blue a little, in the flowers.

I have also begun to paint in a few small green leaves, using sap green, yellow, and a tiny touch of red.

Now it's getting interesting , we need to create the darkness inside the flower, and it will show up better if it next to a lighter part. Use the pinks ( above) with some blue in them to create a purple colour, and use that as the dark part ( the inside) of the flower.

Then gradually get lighter towards the edge, and  add some pinker tones to show the edge is crimpled.

it's all good fun and can take as long as you like, I have also added some darker shadows to the little leaves. 

When all your flowers are painted, let it dry completely and use an eraser to rub off the masking fluid.

Finally you need to add a shadow in the trumpet at the top where the masking fluid looks too white

Hey presto , foxgloves! You can make them more wet in wet if you dare, or more precise if you have that skill, watercolours are not a precise science, go with what you like.

Have a lovely week, hope the weather improves, and try to spend your days well x


  • pineapples

    I just found out about your blog , and i am loving it! Thankyou so much.

  • Dianne

    A lovely little demo Rachel, it gives me inspiration to get back to my works in progress. From Dianne Vagg Artist in Adelaide Australia. It is cold and wet here too.

  • judith

    Great painting and thank you for the demo. I get so much inspiration from your paintings. We have so many foxgloves in our garden this year and this has spurred me on even more to paint some. Thank you.

  • Ruth Schad

    Thank you so much for this Rachel, I’m going to have a go today.

  • Kate

    Thank you for your very useful step-by-step guide, Rachel, I will be having a go at this. I used to live on the edge of Exmoor and foxgloves remind me very much of there.

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