Cacti at Kew

After a lot of time teaching and not much time drawing and painting, it’s been good to get the brushes out and do some painting from observation at Kew Gardens. This was supposed to be a loose, light sketch of the Cacti in the amazing Princess of Wales Conservatory. However the danger with not working for a while is that I get rusty, and when I get rusty I get fiddly, and fiddle too much on details, all the more when I paint something from life. So this became a busier, less decisive painting than I would have liked, and remind me of my first frustrations with discovering oil paints. But nonetheless this was an enjoyable painting to make, in mixing blues and yellows into varied greens, in seeking a rosy glow through the glass as the late afternoon light streams through, and picking out the brights and highlights of spikes and hairs against the blue shadows of the plants.

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