Botanical Illustration. Artist Code 1904. Magnolia soulangeana. Completed 7th April 2019. Original water colour on classic calf skin vellum, size 7″ x 5″. SOLD December 2019, private sale.
A two-day Master Class at Cambridge University Botanic Gardens for professional artists, run by Gael Sellwood, opened my eyes to the beauty of painting on vellum. I tried out several types but found the classic calf skin was a lovely surface on which to paint.
This is my first painting on vellum and will not be the last. William Cowley of Newport Pagnell are the only company in Britain to prepare and supply this product. They also receive visitors for tours to learn about the manufacture of their products, which I hope to take up with another artist friend—we had planned to visit but world circumstances prevented the trip.
The twig and buds of this painting were supplied by Gael for the workshop. I added the flower and leaves afterwards at home, using a resource from my neighbour’s garden. I felt the twigs needed something else (and I needed a bit more practice at painting on the surface), so took the opportunity to add to the painting which then looked more “whole”.
Even though the painting was marked as “NFS” on my website, someone still insisted on purchasing it, which was very nice.