Rosy Pink Camellia discovered at Chirk Castle, Wrexham
The Rosy Pink Camellia caught my eye with its twisting, folding layers of petals. It is a stunning Camellia and seemed to be forming a hedge at Chirk Castle Gardens. Camellias can be prone to damage in frosts, so they are usually planted in less exposed positions, but surprisingly they do make good hedges. They add a splash of colour before the rest of the garden has come to life.
Painting multiple layers of petals with watercolour
It is easy to become lost in painting layers of petals and to lose definition of one petal against another. Therefore it’s wise to observe the Rosy Pink Camellia before sketching out. Keep the sketch simple, try not to add too much detail in the drawing.
Sometimes it’s easier to start painting the outer petals first. I started with a pale pink wash, using the brush working from the inner edge to the outer edge of each petal. After the first pale pink washes, I painted a stronger pink mix, leaving the outer edge of each petal.
I didn’t worry too much about the petals making sense at this stage. Rather I focussed on painting a section at a time. I continued to add layers to the petals, always painting from the inner part of the petals. While the layers dried I added the first blue washes to the shiny leaves. The leaves were more yellow green in hue, compared to the Camellia leaves I normally see.
Adding more watercolour layers
Next I created a stronger, warmer mix of pink and applied this to the central petals. Making sure to leave the outer edge of each petal unpainted. Hence it being a Rosy Pink Camellia. Once the layers had dried I applied the blue wash to outer petals, to achieve a cooler tone and definition.
Then I used the green mix to paint the leaves, leaving areas of blue wash, to represent the leaf shine. I added several layers of green wash to build depth of colour.
Finally I created a blue/ grey mix for the shadows on the petals. I painted shadows on the central petals, brushing from the inner to the outer edge each petal. Some petals had more shadow than others.
Chirk Castle Gardens
National gardens are great resources for flower and plant subjects. Chirk Castle has lovely gardens, with great displays of Rhododendrons, Camellias and a beautiful Davidia tree. Not forgetting a gorgeous view. It’s near Wrexham and is owned by the National Trust. Worth a visit and has a lovely woodland walk, with gorgeous bluebells.