Branch with a cluster of ripe plums and caterpillars, Mrs. Smith; watercolor, roughly 10 x 10 inches (25 x 25 cm). Link is to the image page on Wikimedia Commons. Original is in the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
The image is credited to “Mrs. Smith”, based on a pencil signature at the lower right of the paper. Neither Wikimedia Commons nor the museum offer any clue as to who “Mrs. Smith” is, and I can find little elsewhere. The painting is dated 1830 and country of origin is listed as the UK. Beyond that, we’re on our own.
We can assume Mrs. Smith was a botanical artist of some skill if not of particular note.
Close up, she has used broad, painterly and seemingly casual marks to define her subject, but when seen from a normal distance, her colors and values are so accurate that the representation of the fruit, leaves, branch and insects is wonderfully naturalistic.
3 Replies to “Eye Candy for Today Mrs Smith watercolor of plums and caterpillars”
Speaking of relatively unknown painters, how about a post and some comments on Churchill’s efforts. Thank you for thelping work that goes into this site.
I haven’t used it since I was a teen. Any tips on using watercolor? Can it turn as vibrant as oil paints?
The vibrance is different, coming from the light passing through the translucent paint and bouncing back from the white of the paper. There is a great deal of information on watercolor on the web if you do a little digging. Try YouTube for tutorials.
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