Scarlet Honeyeater and Grevillea in Watercolour

Scarlet Honeyeater and Grevillea – Watercolour – 20x20cms – AVAILABLE


‘Never again… never, never, never again… will I paint Grevillea’ I recall saying a decade and 20 grevillea paintings ago… and here I am painting grevillea again and loving every single millimetre of its divine, magical tapestry of colour and form unfold on my page. Dont pay any attention to me. Even the Gods laughed at this declaration, the very next day sending a commission for TWO grevillea paintings to my studio desk. I stopped resisting them a decade and a day ago…  I do love them but man, are they a new level of complexity, that is surely true! Its work for the deep inhale, exhale, steady hand and steadier mind. I have that.

‘Scarlet Honeyeater and Grevillea’ is a study in watercolour. My ongoing series of small bird paintings are 15x15cms, but this ones origins started from my recent small bird painting workshop, exploring Scarlet Honeyeaters as our focal subject. Marj Kibby generously allowed us to work from her original Scarlet Honeyeater image which Id fallen in love with and it proved to be a wonderful workshop subject embraced by all. With the conclusion of the workshop I really wanted to keep working on this study, creating a larger work of it amongst a gorgeous grevillea background. Once I returned home I started on the additional drawing and set about rendering the botanical elements to complete the painting as it seemed so worthy of more.






As soon as pencil touches paper you are reminded of the madness that is a painting like this, even at a far smaller size than some of my previous works. Brush to paper brings grey pencil and white paper to life and the rest is put into place for perspective. It must be a love affair, and it always has been for me. So stepping into the grevillea flowers, my Scarlet Honeyeater painting begins to evolve into something more substantial and its a wonderful experience to see it emerge. Millimetre by millimetre it takes shape, days pass easily and slowly it comes together.











Here I begin to shift to the lower half of the grevilleas, more of the same but the subtleties shift, moving between highlights of warm and cool to accentuate more depth and interest in the painting overall, but also in each tiny section of an individual flower. Each is a painting in itself. Here the bottom flower starts to spread across the left corner as I make my way towards the initial grevillea flowers. What a fantasy of beauty, an explosion of colour, a language of love it is.


Ill be here a while…. but ill be back soon with another update on the completion of the flowers.

















A little further along, the grevillea flowers are complete and Im starting to develop the background. Its a painstaking, exacting process. I like the contrast in this painting, the slate grey has a gorgeous, delicate mauve to it, the intensity makes the flowers really pop.












Eventually the background comes to a close too, capturing the fall and form of the blue green grevillea leaves suggested in the distance and the crazy free formed structures of the seed capsules in all their fascinating, beautiful stages of maturity. Its such a tough subject to paint in a realistic style, but goodness, arent they fabulously gorgeous!

And with that we come to the conclusion of ‘Scarlet Honeyeater and Grevillea’. Thank you so much for following along with the development of this one, taken from masterclass to a complex, finished painting in my typical style. Im actually really pleased with the outcome, its bold, rich and delicate all at once and its a really lovely piece. Certainly Ive enjoyed creating it!





‘Scarlet Honeyeater and Grevillea’ is 20x20cms in size and is currently available. Let me know if you have any enquiries on this original 🙏🏻