Primrose lane

Primrose lane

Just when you think Spring is here and the weather is getting better, we are plunged into a cold snowy snap. Yesterday morning we woke up here in our little village to a covering of wet sleety snow, it hasn't rained here much at all during February, but it certainly made up for it in the past 24 hrs.

Me looking particularly glamorous in my wet weather gear

Oh well, I think that is what makes the UK interesting we do get lots of kinds of weather. 

The recently ploughed fields, the red Devon soil, all looks a bit bleak against the grey, wet sky 


Despite the weather the Spring flowers are bravely showing their colours. Devon is famous for the wild primroses that grow on the high Devon banks. I though in this blog I would show you how I incorporated them into this painting.

It is a loose painting with unfinished edges, inviting the viewer to head down the lane to see what lies beyond. The Primroses in the foreground, though take centre stage.

I began with a photo and an idea.


This lane was my starting point, but I adapted it a bit to make my sketch, finding a clump of primroses first , and placing them in the bottom left hand corner.

The first thing I did was to paint the sky, just a hint of blue ( cerulean) and a weak yellow ochre in the distance. The sky really is just a suggestion. 

Then while that dries I can start on the primroses. I use a small brush, and paint each flower carefully , a weak cadmium yellow, then a touch of Indian Yellow in their centre. I add a few shadows with cerulean blue .


Then I paint the leaves around them Sap Green with a dot of red, blues and yellows.

You can leave it like this if you want and come back to it with renewed energy, this is definitely a piece you can do in stages.

The next part is the right bank. 

Under painted in yellow ochre, then adding lemon yellow, sap green and darker greens, dropping them in wet in wet.

I add blue to sap green to darken it and get the hollows forming in the bank.Next I begin to add the winter trees, the furthest a way I paint in a blue /red mix so it pushes them into the distance. Add as many or few trees as you want. 

So now I am working more quick lt as I want to get in the bank around the flowers. A lot of wet in wet, I have all my colours ready, I am thinking of Sping colours, green gold, lemon yellow, sap green and adding darker tones behind the flowers so the 'pop'.

I have splashed some water over the paint and used a bit of salt, as well as adding another tree.

Keep stepping back and seeing where you want to add darker tones.

Finally I add the green down the middle of the lane and the shadows, using a mix of cadmium red and cobalt blue, this really gives the lane some depth






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i so appreciate how you detailed the process, such a sweet lane


Thank you so much for showing me how to use watercolors & paint the beauty of Nature. I long to learn to paint as beautifully as you do, in my own style.
Truly grateful for your sharing.

Linda Marten

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