The Kew Book of Painting Orchids in Watercolour


by Vivienne Cawson

Paint inspiring, luminous orchids in watercolour using this practical, contemporary guide from respected artist Vivienne Cawson, published in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Out of stock

Vivienne Cawson’s luminous painting style and considered use of flat or patterned backgrounds gives her work a contemporary, beautiful feel all of its own. Published in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as a celebration of their annual Orchid Festival, this stunning book teaches you how to paint a selection of orchids in watercolour.

The book contains a thorough techniques section that guides you through Vivienne’s decision-making, colour-matching and painting process. It teaches you how to capture form with speed and confidence, practise painting different leaves, flowers, and roots and create different textures with paint. The book contains exercises that will hone your skills and encourage your artistic intuition, followed by three complete step-by-step projects that feature a range of flowers in wild and still-life settings. The paintings feature touches of watercolour pencil and crayon, along with panels of gouache, which complement the delicate watercolours.

The book is interspersed with images from the Kew Art Collection, showcasing the rich variety and beauty of this much-loved family of flowers.

Table of Contents

Preface 6
Introduction 8
Tools and materials 10
Choosing complementary
elements 14
Inspiration 18
My approach 22
The world through your eyes 26
How to start 28
Understanding colour 34
My palette 37
Local and reflected colour 40
Using a range of tonal values 42
Matching colours 44
Basic watercolour tips and
techniques 48
Creating pattern and texture 52
Flower techniques 56
Leaf techniques 60
Root techniques 64
Composition tips 66
Project 1 70
Project 2 86
Project 3 98
Over to you… 127
Index 128