Recently the photo of this rosebud kept appearing in my image library. It is from our garden and the plant was gifted to my partner by his friend to commemorate the passing of his mother a few years ago. The rose is called ‘Mum in a Million’ and has a wonderful scent in the summer.
This rose has kind of become a symbol of remembering lost ones in our household. We often talk about his mum when we sit around the patio, just by the rose. And since it made itself known to me so often, I decided to paint it. Another reason for being compelled to recreate it on paper was because a dear friend has lost her beloved dog recently.
What’s interesting about this rose is how the stems and leaves start out as a dark maroon colour in the spring and gradually become a dark green through the season. This same colouring is also obvious on the sepals, which gave me a little difficulty during the painting process. What also struck me was that although the rose is seemingly a typical rose pink colour, there’s a fair bit of red in the petals as well.
Because I’m currently experimenting with different styles, I opted for an ink and watercolour combination. My main aim was to get the lights and darks correct and I’m mostly pleased with how it turned out. I haven’t added a background, although I toyed with the idea and tried it in my initial sketchbook study.
Painting this rosebud gave me an opportunity to try my new Winsor & Newton and Daler Rowney pigments; Winsor Red, Cobalt Blue, and Transparent Yellow. These are absolutely beautiful colours and I particularly liked how the Cobalt Blue and Transparent Yellow mixed to make this very natural looking green.
Here’s my sketchbook experiment, but please excuse the completely out-of-proportion (and deformed) drawing!
The final painting is made on Hahnemuhle watercolour paper which is 15 x 20 cm.