Monday, 19 March 2012

Sepia Fritillary

I have picked  the first fritillary flower from my garden and some buds of this beautiful flower.   It is quite early this year as it usually does not flower until  the end of March and throughout  the month of April.  Each year I add another hundred  of the tiny white bulbs, I planted them in November to flower in spring.
 I have been drawing  in my square book with sepia Calligraphy ink and a dip in pen and nib.  I photographed it and then decided to colour in the background with a paintbrush and the same ink.
It changed the look of the drawing, the white shapes of the leaves seem to jump out of the page and  gives the leaves a three dimensional feeling.  The leaves cross over and make such lovely interesting shapes, this is how they grow in clumps and the sweeping leaves tangle up with each other.
The flowers are called "Snakehead Fritillary",  ( Fritillaria meleagris).   It is the wonderful chequered pattern on the flowers that attracts me and makes them one of my favourite flowers.   They are a delicate flower and only last a few days. I try to go and see them each day and enjoy watching them appear. You will notice it features on my blog header.  The bees love them and when they are out in full  flower, it is alive with buzzing  as the bees weave their way around the flower heads.

This is a photograph taken last year showing the flowers and you will see we have white ones too.  I am hoping for the same beautiful show this year.   At the moment there are just a few flowers out,  most of the plants are just growing and look like a strand of grass.  A heavy rain shower or a windy stormy day spoils them and blows the petals off.

Which do you like the best, the white background or the sepia ?
I will be drawing more of these beautiful flowers, hope you  like them.
Thank you for the lovely comments which I always enjoy reading.  Until next week Happy drawing .         Millyx


laurie said...

oh how I love these flowers, I also love sketching andpainting them, they are a challenge I find, such a beautiful job you did, I like the white!Both are beautiful though,

Susan Scheid said...

Fritillary are such elegant flowers, aren't they? I love the sepia wash, as you say, it really does make the flower stems jump out. I'll look forward to more, but then I do look forward to all your drawings.

Tammie Lee said...

such lovely flowers and an amazing amount of them dancing in your yard! I like both of your drawings... i find i can not choose one. You have captured the spirit of this lovely flower, beautifully.

Frances said...

Milly, I have not yet seen any beautiful fitillaries blooming here in NYC yet, so it's particularly good to see your photos and drawings.

Aren't these flowers wonderful subjects?

I am going to have to come back to this post in a day or so when I have more time and my eyes are less tired. I want to have a very good look at the beauty that you have captured.


martinealison said...

Je suis très intriguée toujours en observant la diversité des fleurs et ces dernières m'interpellent avec leurs damiers...
Une très belle interprétation. Un dessin vraiment magnifique. La couleur sépia en trame de fond j'aime beaucoup. Effectivement cela apporte un contraste intéressant.
gros bisous

Christine said...

Milly, I really enjoy following your interesting and inspiring blog. You are an artist with a unique ability of capturing the simple beauty of nature's gifts. Your drawings are amazing. Thank you for sharing your world and tips.

Lynn said...

That's one of my favourite flowers as well.

Not to be a fence-sitter, but I do love both versions of your drawing: the black and white for its stark and still qualities; and the sepia for the way that it seems to animate the plant.

Gill said...

I love Snakeshead Fritillaries but I cannot get them to establish in my garden so I am very envious of yours!
I love the drawings especially the sepia!
More please!!

Martin & the Magpie said...

Hi MIlly, your painting is beautiful..I have to say I prefer the white background!!
We had these as a cut flower in the shop last week and was amazed at how well they lasted..even put into florists foam ( a funeral tribute, they looked stunning!!) and got many admiring comments...transient beauty indeed and you have captured them so well..xx Kay

Sarah Morrish said...

I used to grow a selection of Fritillaries and these are my favourite.

For me the white background is my favourite - and I also love the flow of the drawing that comes across

Dan said...

These are one of my favourite spring flowers, but sadly they never seem to grow well in the garden here. I'm hoping they'll like the damp ground by the pond at the cottage better! I love the sepia background. I think it'd make gorgeous wallpaper or fabric.

acornmoon said...

I like them both but I think I prefer the black and white version.

Feathers said...

You have truly captured the beauty of these elegant flowers. I love both renderings, but somehow the wash seems to bring out the dance of the stems. Happy to know that spring is springing early for you too!

JP said...

wow - so beautiful and I love the way thesedelicate flowers come out before it really warms up - really like the sepia one

Pondside said...

How beautiful!
I like the sepia background best of all.
I loved the china and oak in your last post!

Kim Henkel said...

I have never seen these flowers before. They are delightfully beautiful! I love the colour and patterns, and shape and grass like leaf. And your drawing, oh so very very lovely. I can not say which I prefer, as they both have their own beauty.
I also wanted to mention if you are using small tea bags, you can use a fluid medium (I prefer matte) to glue them together with. You can also coat them with the medium to give them some body and make them easier to draw on.
I too drink a lot of tea!

suz said...

I've been fascinated with this flower ever since I saw it on your blog - it's new to me. I love the sepia background - you are right, it does give a three-dimensional feel.