Pansies. Maud Naftel (1856-1890). Watercolour illustration, 1886. Source Naftel, Plate VII. Here is another of Naftel's flower paintings in which the background shadows are important:<.p>

The delicate shadow which the flowers throw on the ground should be washed in first; a mixture of lamp-black and gamboge will produce the green-grey tones under the leaves and front blossom, and rose madder and black that under the violet petals of the profile flower, the edges being softened with pure water. Then wash a tone over the whole foreground and background, deep enough to make the bright yellow petals stand out as lights when they are painted, though for the present they must be left white paper. The purple petals may next be added; crimson lake and cobalt will produce the colour if put on full and luscious, the upper petal having more crimson lake in its composition than the lower.

The violet petals of the profile flower may be made with rose madder, cobalt, and white; the darker ones, crimson lake and cobalt; and the brown, crimson lake and Vandyke brown, or brown madder alone. For the further flower, use various gradations of burnt sienna and rose madder, here and there a little yellow madder; Vandyke brown or burnt umber added to the darkest parts.

The pansy, with its romantic meaning of "thoughts" (from the French pensées) and association with spring, was another particularly popular flower at this time, for example, seen in the patterning of Flora's dress in the painting by Evelyn De Morgan.

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Naftel, Maud. Flowers and how to paint them. London: Cassell, 1886; new ed. 1906. Internet Archive. Contributed by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Web. 12 March 2022.

Created 12 March 2022