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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > August 2018 > Flower power

Flower power

Caroline Saunders talks to Vivienne Cawson, whose floral compositions evolve organically to capture a moment in time, using the unpredictable effects of watercolour


Dancing Cosmos, watercolour on Saunders Waterford High White Rough 300lb, 141⁄2x223⁄4in (37x58cm).

‘To make an interesting composition with movement I arranged the flowers as I painted. I used warm and cool pinks – quinacridone magenta and permanent rose. For the yellow centres, I marked wet Indian yellow with Caran d’Ache Neocolor II wax pastel and grated watercolour pencil over the wet paint for texture using a course sandpaper. I like the way the pinks are brought down to the bottom of the painting, making it more solid.’

Vivienne Cawson’s work is fresh, vibrant and contemporary. ‘I put down dark, strong colours directly onto the white paper, without building up layers, as a botanical painter might.’ She creates different areas of interest so that quiet passages contrast with busier ones. ‘I choose not to give all the information, it’s amazing what the brain will complete.’

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About The Artist

Welcome to our August issue packed with practical, how-to articles and demonstrations to help inspire and guide your drawing and painting over the summer months. Our top team of professional artists and tutors are passionate about sharing their ideas and technical skills to help you learn from their experience. The issue is brimming over with features covering all media and subject matter, including advice from Paul Riley on the advantages and benefits of using water-mixable oils and Robert Dutton on how to incorporate the use of acrylic spray paints to great effect in your mixed-media work. Watercolourists will love the different approaches and ideas shared by Vivienne Cawson (flowers), Amanda Hyatt (tonal impressions), Geoff Hunt (working en plein air), Robert Brindley (street scenes) and Julie Collins, who offers some great ideas about colours and colour combinations for painting trees. All this and more, plus look out for the 'swipe for more images' and hand logo to see even more images from our wonderful artists. And don't forget to enter the last of our summer sketching competition challenges set by Adebanji Alade, with prizes up for grabs from GreatArt!