Growing Lavender

Little One is having so much fun in her new home! One of the many things she discovered about moving to the Dutch countryside is gardening. Her boyfriend is showing her the ropes, and she enjoys this new hobby so much! Always a fan of fragrant herbs, Little One suggested planting some Lavender plants in the garden. Did you know that Lavender helps us relax? It also helps ward off insects like flies, but then attracts bees which is wonderful for the environment. And of course, I wanted to paint about it, although I have to say this idea was gradually developed as I got inspired by the lavender flowers in our garden…

From Some Scraps

Once again, this painting began with some excess paint I had been using for a previous artwork. I don’t like wasting good paint and prefer to wipe the unused ones on a blank sketchbook page from which I can “recycle” by recreating. Strathmore’s Mixed Media sketchbook was used for this. Whilst wiping it all off, I thought I’d have some fun even doodling a bit. And yes I’m so predictable, it’s going to be LIttle One again! I then added more excess paint on top whilst working on another painting. I thought I’d be bold and brush some purple on her hair! Now this should be interesting.

Leafy Background

So far so kawaii. In our home we have some houseplants, and from time to time leaves fall especially for the larger plants. We are still trying to figure out what plants and maintenance work best in the house. One day I came up with this bright idea of making imprints from these leaves as the patterns could look very interesting. This idea I adopted from one of Tracy Verdugo’s abstract classes! I gently brushed two shades of green acrylic paint on the back of the leaf, then placed it on the desired surface before rolling it with a brayer to ensure evenness. The result was amazing. I love how the those leaf veins create an intricately beautiful pattern! The process was then repeated over and over around the page. Even with the ghost printing, it worked really well as I let the color fade on the bottom of the page. How cool is it to try new things!

Developing the Painting Further

I then decided to fill the background in further by glazing over it with some Yellow-Green acrylic ink diluted with water. And now what next? How about some collages then? Seeing I had some huge rolls of Mulberry and Lokta papers I had recently ordered, I thought I’d try out some of them. I randomly grabbed some purple paper and just tore out bits and started glueing them on the sketch. Then it dawned on me. How about a lavender plant theme? That lavender theme seems to fit perfectly with Little One’s purple streaks in her hair!

Finishing It Off

I further worked on her hair more by adding some violet and lilac oil pastels (Sennelier) then some Fluid acrylic in Bronze and Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold. Then with a bamboo skewer I made a few scratches to give a more streaky look. Now what a pretty shade. I wish my hair could be that color too! The eyes were then filled in with Sap Green Hue Fluid Acrylic to go with the green background. You don’t see the green much, and only subtly. Lashes were then lined with some Black glitter pen and the whites of the eyes with white acrylic marker. As for the pink dress, I lightly glazed over it with some fluorescent pink acrylic ink to give it some shape, then filled in the collars with some white. And now… how sweet is that!!

It’s so much fun recreating from some scraps! Waste not want not when it comes to quality paint especially as they don’t come cheap. I also enjoyed experimenting with the leaf imprints and will definitely be using that idea for future artwork. Furthermore, playing around with the purple and metallic colors on the hair gave me another perspective on painting hair. And now, Little One looks ever so adorable hanging out in the garden in her bright pink frock, enjoying the fragrance of her lavender plants!

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