Lime buds

I’m watching out for ‘budburst’, that magical time when as the name suggests, the leaves burst from the bud and spring (for me at least) officially starts.

These past 11 months have involved a deep and through scrutiny of the plants and animals I have in my immediate surroundings, hence my journalling and drawing practise. I noticed the lime buds on the mature trees alongside the farm track were a bright vivid crimson red, which I’m not sure I have particularly noticed before.

I clipped a couple off and brought them home to paint. I decided to use a sheet of white Khadi paper, and gouache in alizarin crimson and burnt umber.

I added a little of the burnt umber to the crimson to darken it but I kept to these two colours, and I’m really pleased with the result:

I haven’t done any shadows as I wanted to focus on the colours rather than going for trompe l’oeil.

I need to get some more paints as many of these are a few years old and my usage has been rather sporadic in the last year or two. Does anyone have tips on how to rehydrate dried tubes of gouache? I dunked my brush in the water and took the paint direct from the tube but that wasn’t ideal! Also, does anyone recommend a brand of gouache? I have only ever used Windsor & Newton.

I will be uploading another bird journal video next week, and if you’d like to buy any of my other artwork, do please see the “Buy” tab, or do go and favourite my Etsy shop for updates.


  1. Love the lime bud illustrations. Interesting what you’re saying about close scrutiny of plants. I remember a few years ago looking closely at Horse Chest Nut tree flowers for the first time and thinking how beautiful they were. I suppose normally we tend to see the effect of the whole tree in bloom – which can of course be pretty amazing. I guess it’s all about “taking time to stop and stare”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, and for me it’s doing the same walk frequently causing me to look in more detail as I’m not getting the ‘big change’ from one week to another in quite the same sense.
      Thank you for your kind comment – they were fun to paint! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jennifer, I’m an illustrator and use a lot of Winsor and Newton paints and also have some older, dried up ones lying around. I do the same as you, I apply a wet paintbrush straight into the tube, but I cut the tube in half first, so you have easier access to the paint. As it’s all dried up already it doesn’t matter if it dries again. It works for watercolours and gouaches both for me.
    Love your work by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh thank you so much – I think I’m going to try getting some Schmincke next as I use that brand for my printing but the W&N are great, and I’ll carry on with them for now using your top tip.
      And you’re very kind, thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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