Botanical painting

I've been getting into botanical painting for a few years now, using a variety of media, most frequently watercolour.  I don't use these drawings in my commercial textile designs,  I do them for pleasure! I thought I'd share the evolution of  this latest Autumnal painting of oak leaves in various stages of growth and decay, done on a recent stay in the Highlands. Oh, the things you can do when there's no internet or TV. 

I start by studying the plant from all angles - I don't work from photos.  I make pencil sketches and notes on the appearance of the specimen in a sketchbook. Then I'll draw a pencil outline on Arches watercolour paper. The accuracy and time taken at this stage is really important to the successful outcome of the finished piece. Then the colours are mixed and tested out on scrap watercolour paper and the painting is built up slowly in layers. This was done with a view of the Cairngorms on the horizon. Bliss.....