Zucchini flower

Visiting an old house in England last year, my daughter and I came upon a wonderful walled kitchen garden, full of heritage plants, fruiting, flowering and looking magnificent. I took masses of photos and have enough material for many drawings and paintings. The first drawing inspired by this garden is of  zucchini (courgette) flowers, going over, twisted and crumpled. I did a fairly rough outline drawing across six A5 panels of heavy cold pressed rough paper, then worked into it, first with pen, then pastel pencils as a base topped with Prismacolor pencil. Now comes the conundrum – I have completed one panel, and put colour on all the zucchini flowers in the other panels, leaving the backgrounds white, with the black ink marks. I think I like the unfinished panels better. Alone, each one is an abstract image with characteristics of its own. Put together I feel the image is more mundane. So, do I just carry on and add colour all over each panel, then either still keep them as separate pieces or put them together as a whole, or leave well alone. When the panels are put together in a long line they take on yet another characteristic – unframable of course, but maybe that is irrelevant …

zucchini1web zucchini2web zucchini3web zucchini4web zucchini5web zucchini6webzucchini_allweb


Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

29 thoughts

  1. Conundrum indeed, always so many decisions to make – I am uncertain why you think the six in a row cannot be framed- is it because the result would be long and narrow? The flowers are beautifully expressed – you could cheat with your decision making – you have photos and you could run off some copies and play with them ? / or play with them in photoshop or equivalent. Good luck and I am looking forward to seeing how you resolve your challenge. Always interesting to see how others approach their problems. 🙂


    1. I suppose the six could be framed together – if it was horizontal it would be a very long frame, but that is a format I love. Your idea of doing work in photoshop is a good one, it does give a sense of what will potentially work. Thank you so much Veronica, I always value your comments.


      1. I’m pretty sure you had already thought of doing some trials with this in photoshop (or similar) just another little thought after you had been doing all those brilliant exploratory drawings over summer – you mentioned that the zucchini drawings were developed from photos drawings taken in England – what about developing maps of the walled garden in the background – combining the exploratory journey you began over summer?? just another line of enquiry !!
        (another piece)


        1. Ooh Veronica, what a great idea! I had still been pondering what to do with these, as I feel they aren’t finished as they are, and I find I am resisting finishing them all in the same way. At the moment I haven’t a lot of time (‘real’ work is getting in the way) and I am really wanting to get back to finishing the map drawing. Continuing an element of that idea into these is such a great linkage. Thank you!


    1. Thanks Gale! It wasn’t till I had virtually finished the first one that I realised I liked the unfinished look. It’s something I often like in other people’s work, a work-in-progress sometimes has more impact than when it is finished.


  2. My vote is for not fully coloured in, particularly if they are going to be shown together. Perhaps if they were being shown singularly the full colour ones would work. My other thought was maybe just a hint of green around the edges. This is a lovely drawing Anna and I just love vege gardens, how beautiful the walled garden must have been. Can’t wait to see some more. Karen


  3. Just to be contrary, I LOVE the finished panels. If it was my own I would want to take it as far as it could go. But as it is yours, you’ll have your own view. I like the texture of the fully drawn panels and the rich colours. These colours look so much healthier than plants in my own garden right now which are having their seasonal February caterpiller attack.


    1. I like a contrary view! I must admit, I do really like the finished panel, but I don’t like the composite image, and I think even if I took all of the panels to a similar level of finish I wouldn’t want to put them together in any conventional way, but maybe mix them up, or present them in a row or column. The colours are certainly richer than any in our garden now as well!


  4. Hello Anna. I just stumbled upon your blog, and I love this style. I’ve never seen illustration quite like this, and just wanted to pass on that I think its great! Look forward to seeing more of your posts. Best wishes, Helen.


  5. Beautiful zuchinni yellow folded crumpledness Anna !
    Will be interested to see if your conundrum is solved any time soon 😉


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