Hawthorn Berries watercolour painting, capturing the bright red berries
Hawthorn berries are the subject of my watercolour sketch today. Their vibrant red berries really draw the eye amongst the rusty brown branches of the hedges. Luckily I’m a Shropshire artist, living rurally, so I only had to go out into the garden, to draw these luscious berries before the birds consumed them. Also the gorgeous berries start to darken after awhile and I wanted to paint them before their vibrance was lost.
Painting hawthorn berries watercolour outdoors just as the rain starts
So originally I planned to paint the hawthorn berries in situ. Therefore I managed to set up a makeshift table, by turning an empty old plant pot holder upside down. I placed the materials I needed on top, such as jam jars of water, paint brushes, sketch pad and paints. As usual I used my small old rickety wooden chair to sit on.
Firstly I looked for a branch with a good ratio of berries to leaves. Then by observing the berries I sketched them onto the paper with a pencil. The initial drawing looked too busy, leaves and berries had become entwined. Therefore using the erasure I removed some of the leaves and berries.
Just as I finished the pencil layout the wind picked up and then the rain started. The rain was driving at me and no umbrella would have stood the winds. So I quickly abandoned my painting set up and retreated to the studio.
Hawthorn berries watercolour painting in the studio
I like to paint my watercolour sketches outdoors, but sometimes the weather is too harsh and I end up completing the original watercolour paintings in the studio. I clipped a small section of the hawthorn branch to help me in painting the colourful watercolour.
First I created four palette mixes from my three primary watercolour colours, a red, green, orange/brown and dark brown mix. I used one small watercolour brush to paint the watercolour sketch.
Observations of the hawthorn berries and leaves
Being a watercolour artist means I use a process of adding layers of watercolour washes. As each layer dries I add another layer of paint. Each time I am building the depth of colour of watercolour paint. On observation I noticed the leaves had darker edges on their serated tips and the leaves were starting to turn an orange/ brown colour. I tried to capture this is the hawthorn berries watercolour.
I noticed how the berries are usually in pairs and they either spray upwards or curl downwards. Also the thin stems on the berries turn from brown to red as they reach the red berry. Hopefully my watercolour paintings reflect all that I observe.
Watercolour painting of Hawthorn Berries completed
I painted several layers of watercolour washes to the hawthorn berries painting. Each time waiting for the layers to dry before adding more. It took patience and time to complete the Hawthorn berries watercolour sketch. I call it a watercolour sketch, because it is an individual study of one subject, on a small scale. There is still lots of detail within my watercolour sketches and the subjects I paint vary from bird watercolours to botanical paintings.
The final hawthorn berries watercolour painting. All original watercolour sketches are available to buy ready-framed from my shop.