Hydrangea Leaves

I wish I could have drawn these hydrangea leaves from life. Sad to say, although we have hydrangea growing, the little bush has struggled to survive my husband’s yard-mowing. Time after time, he’s mowed right over the hydrangea, so it’s amazing really that it’s still even trying to grow. We have more hydrangea bushes ordered through the Arbor Day Foundation, and once they arrive, we’ll plant them and put a little fence around them all. Maybe that will keep my husband from inadvertently mowing them down.

After yesterday’s graphite and gansai time, I was eager to do another plant painting. When I saw an illustration of hydrangea leaves in the Barrington Barber drawing book I’m reading, I decided to make my own copy of it.

Hydrangea Leaves — Graphite and Gansai 9 x 12 Watercolor Paper

I really enjoyed doing this graphite drawing and then colorizing it with my gansai. This style helps me keep that “looseness” I’ve been finding and loving. With this piece, I let the lines and colors blend together, I let a few “blooms” blossom on the page, and I just played with lights, shadows, and dabbing in background colors.

This painting was made on the new “Bee Inspired” watercolor pad I purchased yesterday. I really like the paper. It’s much better than the other inexpensive brands of watercolor papers I’ve used before. Certainly it’s not the same high quality as Arches or other “top” brands, but neither is it as costly as those. The 50 page pad can be bought for under $10.00. It will certainly keep me busy for quite some time to come.

Yes, there are places where I could have done better. Here and there I got too much water; other places I got too much gansai. Overall, though, I can feel my watercolor techniques beginning to improve, and I like this playful “coloring page” style — where there are very visible lines. As with my daily drawing practice, paintings like this are boosting my confidence. When I see that I can make very “quick art” that’s nevertheless got its own sort of charm to it — and I do feel this has a bit of charm — it inspires me to continue my art studies, making me feel that when I’m ready to do “more serious” works, I’ll be up for the challenge.

I’m even thinking now of spending more time with watercolor — using my gansai, of course. I’m starting to develop more of a feel for watercolor painting, and I’d like to explore it a bit more. Especially now that I have watercolor paper that I can enjoy using. It hasn’t buckled and warped like so many other papers I’ve tried. I’m very pleased with it.

Now, I’m heading back to my kitchen table. These hydrangea leaves were only the first of several projects I hope to complete this morning. Time for me to go draw a little more!


  1. My now deceased husband was the worst about mowing down plants, even when they were pointed out to him directly. My mother went so far as to put tomato cages around her roses to protect them from his lack of attention during his good intended actions.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I understand. I fenced off my entire flower garden. I blamed it on the dog (who did think I planted flowers for her to dig back up and enjoy as a meal) but it was also so that he wouldn’t attempt that area. Go mow everything else hun, I’ll get this spot..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My husband was a terror with a lawnmower. Nothing small enough was safe. Bless his heart though he was trying.
        Mom didn’t give him a second chance with her roses, putting those bright orange tomato cages around them the moment she saw they were coming back.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I definitely want to look for a small wire fence. Just something simple but noticeable. I am amazed at how determined that hydrangea is. It keeps coming back!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice Hydrengea, we have 2 types of them, in the Front Yard, we have an Endless Summer Hydrengea that blooms in pink and blue, then in the Backyard we have 2 huge White Hydrengeas. Hydrengeas are an amazing plant and keep their flowers a long time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope we’ll eventually have a bush that’s big enough to bloom. If my husband keeps mowing them down, they’ll never get there. I don’t recall what type our bush is. We bought it last year at the end of the growing season. Now we have several more on order through the Arbor Day Foundation. They’ll be arriving at the right planting time for our area. We will definitely need to put a little fence around them. I think hydrangeas are so beautiful!


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