Rebecca Ali

Student Rebecca Ali has been creating some beautiful botanical artwork on our Botanical Painting Diploma. Her colour swatches are even stunning, they could be framed and displayed! We have added two of Rebecca’s paintings along with some text about each piece too. We hope you find them inspiring!

I chose the red grapes as I love the colour. I love the way the grapes fall. I had them held up by a peg on a large glass, as I thought this was more effective representation than lying them flat and painting them from an angle as I thought this may be a little outside of my current skill set.

The highlights are not as light as I would have liked. I think this is because I wet the entirety of the grape, as I did not want water marks around the outside of the highlight areas, but some of the colour leached into my highlighted areas, even though I did not put any paint near those parts. I am still getting used to how much water is required on the page and the grapes are smaller than the fruit and leaves of the passion fruit.

I did five layers of wet on wet and then went over the painting with a dry brush to give the grapes definition. I also did a graphite drawing of the grapes. I am a very slow painting and was concerned that my selection of grapes would have to be eaten before I could finish them! Overall, I really enjoyed this assignment.

I chose the passion fruit as it grows in my garden and I love the way the leaves and fruit sit on my
fence. In January, I did a live drawing sitting outside and decided to do a graphite drawing to highlight
the light tones, mid tones and dark tones as I could not sit outside to paint this painting (also, I was
concerned that the cockatoos and possums were going to steal the fruit before I had the chance to
finish the painting!).

I took some photographs and samples of the leaves and the fruit (when it was ripe). I used these live specimens to mix the colours of the leaves, stems and fruit. I also used the live specimens as a reference guide for the watercolour painting. I was a little disappointed with the underside colour of the leaf. It is different to the front part of the leaf, but it appears to be exaggerated on my painting. I checked the colour of the leaf with my colour swabs, and it appeared (on paper) to be the right colour. I used masking fluid on the actual passionfruit. It had small white dots on the surface. I was a little disappointed with the dots, as they appear larger than they should be. I used a very fine paint brush, but when they appeared to big on the painting, I went over it with a toothpick to refine it.

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