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Nature Art: Quinces in Bloom - Explore

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Nature Art: Quinces in Bloom

The Japanese quinces are in bloom in California! Winter must be ending...

I found these bright flowers last week in San Francisco, almost a month before they will be blooming out here in Maryland. After their flowers drop, quinces become twiggy, non-descript shrubs. Their thorns are legion, but their flowers are so welcome in March!

The San Francisco mornings were frosty, so I had to draw many flowers before my hand relaxed. Lovely green and yellow finches flew through the quince branches on their way to pick through the lavender, nearby.


Finally, I got this contour drawing, above. Back home, I mixed cobalt blue on my watercolor palette, wet the paper around the flowers with clear water, and touched the wet paper with a bit of the liquid blue paint. This made the sky.

I mixed the oranges and reds of the flower petals next. I didn't want to wait until the blue background was completely dry, so I charged in to paint the petals with a round brush. I tried to leave a narrow space between the orange and the blue, so the color wouldn't run, but I missed a spot in the top flower.

Sometimes it takes a while to warm up when you're drawing, but keep going, especially when you are excited about your subject!

-- Sue Fierston paints and teaches just outside of Washington, D.C. in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As a painter, she works in acrylics and watercolor and is in the middle of a series called "100 Flowers." As a teaching artist, she works with teachers to bring art into their classrooms in grades 4-8. Her posts focus on her nature-themed art collaborations. For a look at her paintings or more about her teaching, check out her website at

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