Painting All My Plants!

I mean, I think the title is pretty self explanatory,
today I am planning to paint all of my plants. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for
quite a while now. It’s one of those ideas that has just persisted. I want to do it in more of a way of documenting
my little plant-babies and something that’s going to be an ongoing project where I can
carry on adding to it as I acquire more – which I’m sure I will. I’m just gonna start with the ones that were
around the house, so not the ones that were already in this room. Just the ones that you saw me bringing in. So I think that leaves me 9 to do in this
video. I have been just noting down what they are,
just so I can keep a track of that, and I’ve been looking through my encyclopedia of house
plants to make sure I have it all right. And there are three that I didn’t know the
names of so I sent out a little thing on my Instagram stories to see if anyone can help
me with that. And to keep everything consistent, I’m going
to stick to using the same tools, hopefully across the board. So I’m thinking postcard size would be really
good and I’ve actually got this little postcard size sketchbook from Jackson’s- I’ll have
info on everything linked below- but it’s like a plain postcard sketchbook; so i’s got
watercolour paper on one side and postcard on the other side. I’m hoping to do all of them in the future
in this size, starting with today. And I’ll be using-… trying to decide whether
I want to use gouache or acryla-gouache. Then I’ve got my standard flat brush. And I think I’m gonna start with this guy;
this is Rafe, he’s our snake plant and he’s in this pot from Sainsbury’s, I got this for
my birthday a few weeks ago from my mum. He’s one that I have had quite a vivid image
in mind of what I want the painting to look like so I think it would be a good one to
start with and we’ll see what kind of timing I’m gonna be running on, how long this one
takes and how long it looks like the rest of them will take me. But I’m looking forward to starting this project,
looking forward to seeing what I end up with. [music] Okay, so here’s the thing; I think that that
turned out really well, I’m really happy with it, I think it looks great. However- and don’t get mad at me- is it what
I was going for? Not really? I dunno- it’s not the style I was going for,
also it took way too long. I want more of my blocky, loose, just more
relaxed and more dynamic style in this. And I think where I went wrong was a few things. I used a different brush than I said I was
gonna use, I said I was gonna use my flat brush, ended using a smaller one and I just
started really zoning in on details. Also when I’m filming, I just tend to do things
a bit differently to normal, it’s like painting with someone looking over your shoulder. And also, finally, I guess just because this
was the first one, I was going in quite cautiously, just trying to get everything right. So, the goal now is to probably just set up
the overhead camera setup just so that I can get that to the back of my mind and paint
more loosely. Also maybe speed things up a bit, relax a
bit more, get some music on, use my flat brush and nothing else. Maybe. Maybe not even sketch. But yeah, we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes, but I do wanna… speed
things up, get it looking more vibrant and more dynamic and a bit looser and a bit sketchier. However, I do think that this turned out really
well. I’m not gonna re-do this one… yet? We’ll see how it goes with the other ones
as I carry on, see if it goes with the collection. Also you guys really came through with the
plant question that I asked on my Instagram so thank you so much to everyone that answered. I’ve got all the answers now that I need so
I know all of the species around me so I can start labeling them and write down their names
and what they are! Having a more passive camera setup definitely
helped but I still found the process for this one to be a little bit hesitant, a bit stunted. Also, I don’t know how much of a difference
switching to a flat brush actually made other than speeding things up a bit. That said, this one took just over an hour
which- for a painting this size- is a little bit over what I’d normally be aiming for. The little lady that I am painting is Raphaela. She is Rafe’s best friend as we got them both
together from the Nunhead Gardener, our absolute favourite place to buy plants. Dangerously addictive. But these two never leave each others sides. Raphaela is a Pinstripe Calathea or Calathea
Ornata. She has got these really cool pink stripes
down her leaves so Ozzy chose this striped pot for her. After Rapahela, I painted our big boy, Caspar,
who, thanks to you guys on Instagram I’ve identified as a Dracaena Fragrans- or a corn
plant. He was our very first moving-in present here
in the new flat and the first bit of greenery outside of the art room. In fact, I think we had him before we had
our sofa, or any real furniture downstairs at all. My uncle showed up unannounced at our front
door with him and it was just one of the best surprise presents I’ve ever received. All three of the plants that I’ve painted
so far live together in the living room, which is the only room that Thierry, our cat, gets
to roam around unsupervised. We keep our toxic-toxic plants either in the
bathroom which he has no access to at all, or in rooms he’s only in if we’re in them
so we can see if he’s eating things he shouldn’t be. The Dracaena family of plants are actually
toxic to cats and Thierry has actually had a nibble of Caspar’s leaves before but thankfully
with no effect. And since then-which was about 5 months ago
now- he has stayed away, so Caspar stays in the living room for now. We did move our other Dracaena, our Dracaena
Marginata; Ramona, who you’ll see later, out of the living room because Thierry just kept
going for her leaves. Also, regarding the snake plant, I know that
can give cats upset stomachs but from what I’ve read, they’ll have a bite and not like
the taste and then they’ll leave it well alone. And Thierry hasn’t been interested in the
snake plant at all so far. Plus he has ample cat grass to graze on, if
he ever wants to. It’s the next day now, already. I think I was definitely overly ambitious
in thinking I could get them all done in one day, especially with the late start that I
had, but I am hoping to be able to finish the next 6 today. We’ll see. The issue is that it’s Monday now which means
that I actually have work to do. So I started this morning, probably about
an hour+ just getting through all the emails that came in over the weekend. I’ve also just sat down and planned out the
rest of my week. Don’t think… that I have any orders in the
shop which means that I can probably spend all day here, don’t have to go anywhere. So what I’ve done is, just prioritised this
painting project over everything else that I have to get done this week. And then the rest of the week, everything
else is kind of crammed in, which really means, I need to finish these today. Hopefully. The issue is, I’m really liking these, I think
these have turned out great and I’m now thinking these would make a really great postcard set
for my shop. It’s been over a year now since I added anything
new to the shop and I just think these would look great. I think they’d be great postcards to send
out to people but also to maybe put in a frame and hang up. So I would love to make a postcard print set
out of these. And then, obviously, as soon as I start thinking
about something like that, I start thinking I would love to make stickers to go with them. So I’m creating more work for myself but,
we’ll see how it goes. We’ll see how I get on today. So next up, I’m going to be painting Violet
who is our Alocasia Amazonica or Elephant Ear plant. And Ozzy named her Violet after the purple
underside of her leaves. Again, shes another one that Thierry has had
a nibble of. And again, they are mildly toxic to cats,
which we didn’t know when we first brought him home, we already had her. They’re supposed to cause irritation of the
mouth and throat. Thankfully, he had no reaction to it and he
has steered clear since but it has left her in a bit of a sorry state. A lot of her leaves are a bit worse for wear
where he would like nibble and spit it out. But she did flower recently for the first
time which was really nice, didn’t even know these plants did flower. The issue with Violet that I have- and I’ll
cover her ears for this- I’m not really keen on this plant, I don’t really like her. I don’t know…. shes got a kind of sinister
look to her. So I’m hoping that I’ll get to know her a
bit better through the painting process. Discover a new love for her… but we’ll see. Hopefully, she’ll be quite an easy one to
paint and that’ll set me up for the rest of the day to really power through with the rest
of them. I think as soon as I decided I’d be making
these for print, my mindset shifted. I felt a bit more pressure to make sure the
finish on them was worthy of offering to other people, the type of thing that people would
want on their walls, or want to send to friends. And that was both good and bad. It helped me really put 100% into what I was
doing, but it also meant I spent longer agonising over everything. My painting of Violet went decently, I was
happy with the outcome, though it didn’t make me like her any more. I’m sure she’s a nice girl, just not my cup
of tea. Next I worked on Mugz, our money plant. He was a present from Ozzy’s mum when we moved
in, and Ozzy named him. Mugz is a name we joked about for our first
child, Mugz or Osmosis Jones, neither of which I think I’d name my child but very apt for
a plant. This painting went pretty smoothly actually,
I had a good idea of what I wanted to do and I felt like I was able to execute it. The only thing I’d change would be the background
colour and maybe the outline colour as well, just in hindsight, I feel like this one doesnt
fit as well with the rest. But Mugz is our son, so he gets to be a bit
different. Then things started to go downhill a bit. This is where the pressure was setting in,
not only to produce something print-worthy, but to get as much done today as possible. I started painting the background for the
next one in acryla gouache. Painting around Mugz’ leaves had been the
most tedious and I was moving on to Ramona, our Dragon Tree- the dracaena marginata I
mentioned earlier- and the thought of painting around all of those thin leaves was… just
not gonna happen. While I waited for that to dry, I got started
on Jean, Jean Wiques, who was another one you helped me with on instagram. A ZZ plant apparently. I don’t know why we named him Jean Wiques,
but I remember that it was a mutual decision between Ozzy and I and we had definitely been
drinking at the time. He was a moving in present from my dad- I
think plants are the absolute best moving in present- they’re just the best present
in general. But this fella is poisonous to cats so he
lives in the bathroom. Luckily he’s super hardy, doesn’t mind the
low light, lack of attention, damp etc. The painting of him on the other hand…. I lost my mojo a bit. Wasn’t loving it. So I went back to Ramona. I wasn’t sure how I was going to approach
painting those leaves. And… I wasn’t overly keen on what I ended up with. This is where, if I’d been doing this just
for my own fun, I probably would have settled, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I could
do better, so I switched off the camera, and decided that was enough for one day. With fresh eyes, the next day, I worked on
Jean Wiques again, and this is what I ended up with. I still didn’t know what I was doing with
Ramona, so I decided to paint Quinn next. Quinn is our Peperomia Angulata and she lives
in the living room in this lovely pot my mum made. I don’t have much to say about this little
lady, but painting her went really smoothly and set the tone for the rest of the day. I finally felt like I was finding my feet,
getting a consistent style down, and feeling more confident in my mark making. Just in time to paint my baby boy. This is my little angel Antonito, my adorable
little guy. He’s a Moses-in-the-Cradle plant – bit of
a mouthful, also known as tradescantia spathacea ‘sitara’- and I just love him. He’s so cute. And painting him was an absolute treat. I loved how the colours turned out, it feels
so lively, really strong contender for my favourite painting of the collection. My confidence was short-lived though, as I
got back to my final painting, back to Ramona. I spent a little while thinking about how
I might tackle it, I took a few pictures to see if that helped- I was actually surprised,
I thought I’d mainly work from photos during this but I ended up painting every one of
the plants directly from life, and I think that helped give them more of a stylised look. And that’s the direction I ended up going
in with Ramona, but not before another failed attempt at painting all of her. Eventually, I zoned in on one portion of her
leaves- why didn’t I think of that sooner?? – and it worked out perfectly, and fits so
much better with the rest of the paintings. So there I was with 9 paintings that I absolutely
adored, a project that I thoroughly enjoyed. Was I finished yet? obviously not. I then decided to try my hand at these cute
little watercolour doodles of each of the plants as a whole, just to show them in relation
to each other size-wise show which pots they’re all in. And yes, I did turn these into stickers, which
is actually why we’re here in the office- been a while since we’ve been here right guys? But the stickers and the postcards came today-
look how cute these little stickers are. So these will be in the shop now, by the time
you’re watching this. And this has been such a fun project. It’s given me a real kick up the bum to be
more creative, more adventurous with my work. And I’m really looking forward to continuing
to document my plants in this way and building up a little print collection of them. So if you are interested, you can get all
9 of these postcards with the stickers included, all as one batch, you can also get the stickers
on their own. But otherwise guys, I’m so grateful that you
came here to join me for this little project. Thank you so much for keeping me company,
and I’ll see you soon for the next video, Bye!

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