In April this year I was asked to design a wreath of sweet peas for wedding stationary. The beautiful wedding was a few weeks ago. I am happy to be able to share with you a little bit about the process and the final piece!
We had a few emails back and forth regarding ideas for flowers to include in the wreath for a lovely summer wedding, but in the end sweet peas were decided on! A funny co-incidence that this is the second sweet pea commission I have done - they do somewhat epitomise the english summer, though.
Work in Progress
I used my usual method of painting preparation... I draw my work out on cartridge paper (lots of rubbing out and refining). Once I was happy with the drawing, I then trace using an ink pen onto tracing paper. I draw onto the back of this tracing with pencil, and then lay it on my watercolour paper and imprint the lead from the back onto the paper by tracing again. This technique, although time consuming, means that I can transfer the design onto watercolour paper without ever actually drawing onto (and rubbing out on) the paper! I will do a full blog post on this soon as until you've done it, it can be a little confusing!
Once the design is on the watercolour paper, I can start to paint - not without doing lots of practice studies first!
My method: for the sweet peas, I drew in the fine veins first with a teeny tiny brush (size 2/0). After the veins were in place, I started to lay my washes of varying mixes of purples, blues and pinks. My favourites in this piece were: Quinacridone Rose (Daniel Smith), Indanthrone Blue (Daniel Smith), Permanent Alizarin Crimson (Winsor & Newton).
I loved watching it slowly build into a wreath! I didn't work with much method to be honest - I seem to remember doing the flowers, then needing a break of purples and pinks, and changing to the greens of the leaves!
the final piece
I was really pleased with how this wreath turned out. This design was used on the front of the wedding invitations (I didn't design the invitations themselves).
This was such a fun project, and I would love to do more designs like this in the future - maybe something other than sweet peas this time!
I hope you've enjoyed seeing this work in progress, and the final piece!
You can see my other sweet pea commission here.