From photos...... to an idea...... to finished a painting....

From photos...... to an idea...... to finished a painting....

In our house we are well and truly into summer holiday mode, my kids are growing fast and both at high school ,so for us summer means late nights and even later mornings. Trips to meet friends, lifts into town and beach days. So my schedule has been turned upside down . I have to fit my painting around family life.So with all that in mind as well as ideas swirling this week I embarked on a larger painting I could work on in stages, days of work went into in and it could be left in between. 

In our village there is a bench and next to it a large lavender plant, sitting there last week it was covered in bees, I took several photos



Now I had to choose my favourites and put them into an order that made visual sense ( to me a least) . I wanted different bees in different poses. I printed all the photos off and and cut them so I could lay them next to each other , move them around until I was happy. I wasn't aware I was following any hard and fast rules on composition, but I did know  I wanted .

Once I was happy with them I took out a larger piece of paper A2 I think and started to sketch them , remember you are in charge you can put them where you want



Now I can start to paint. I painted left to right across the page so I didn't smudge my work , and tried to let each bee shine.



one down six more to go, and that is how it went for the next few days , working on my bees, listening to the radio, putting paints down to pick up one child or drop off another. Not a bad way to while away the summer holidays.



I wanted to keep the lavender loose , try to show how intently each bee seemed to be working on each flower. I left the bees on my work bench and studied them carefully there seems to be at least two kinds of bee in the painting .


I finally finished the bees today after 4 days work, ( very unusual for me) .

At the end of next week we are off to Anglesey where I shall hopefully do exactly the opposite, quick on the spot sketches.

Try to fit your painting to match your mood and timescale, that way it works with you not against you, and make sure it is always fun x








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Thanks for all your comments bees and lavender a winning combination

Rachel Toll

Thanks Mia, I love to paint and for others to like it too is wonderful for me

Rachel Toll

Hi Annette yes your lavender bush. I was waiting for a lift in the evening sunshine and was annoyed they were late then saw all the bees and got some wonderful photos. Finally realised I was waiting on the wrong day !!!There seem to be a lot of bees around here which is wonderful for me x

Rachel Toll

I am so ‘in love’ with your work … my husband was a surgeon /his hobby was painting – oils .. however his brother (architect) had talent as well … his medium, watercolor … pleased that I ‘found’ you on Facebook. Kind regards mia

Mia Ibanez

Pleased to see that my lavender is still going strong, at least I take it that it’s my old one! Have planted about a dozen lavender in Scotland but they don’t seem to attract the bees like they used to in Devon, mind you, there are no hives nearby so that could explain it.

Annette james

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