Rosarium Two

This watercolor sketch of the Descanso Gardens Rosarium was actually painted about a month ago, at the same time that I was primarily posting daily sketches of Cat Mandu. I knew that we were on borrowed time with her, and I wanted to share her drawings while she was still alive. The flowers will always be there, and so I am posting them now.

This was painted on location at Descanso Gardens at about 10 in the morning. The light is similar to that in Vista del Arroyo a few days ago and Rosarium Haze, only the sky was a bit clearer, so it’s not quite so hazy.

The page is 9 x 12, painted with tube watercolors, a dixie cup and a sable brush. If things go according to plan, I’ll also be making an oil painting from this sketch.


  1. lin
    July 28, 2006

    BEAUTIFUL!! AND SO RICH!! Do you find it easier to paint the scene again after you’ve done it once? I do — but without the excitement of the first time …. just wondering…

  2. Karen
    July 28, 2006

    Lin, I find both times are exciting in different ways. The first painting is the excitement of discovery and curiosity about how it will turn out. The second time is the excitement of refining the design and composition and seeing what more I can bring to it. They’re both good, just different. The second time is easier in some ways but not in others. If I am changing media (like going from the charcoal sketch to oil) there is still a challenge to reinterpret the material.

    I am reading the Van Gogh catalog from the NY Met museum of Art exhibit right now and I see that sometimes Vincent’s ink sketches preceded his oil paintings, and sometimes the ink drawings came 2nd – they were included in letters to his brother and others to show an example of his latest works (scans and photos not being invented ) So, I am stimulated by the idea of taking one image and reinterpreting it in different media – you learn from every experience.

    Draw draw draw paint paint paint pant pant

  3. Ann Fortenberry
    July 28, 2006

    As you know, Karen, I love both the Arroyo and Rosarium watercolors, and chased them on your Flicker, last night, as if I were catching butterflies in a net– first one, then the other, tring to see how you caught the light and space in YOUR net. It will be fun to see what you capture in oil.

  4. Jana Bouc
    July 28, 2006

    Beautiful! I love the composition and you do such a nice job on getting a good range of values. I noticed you have a new “signature” with your blog info at the bottom of your postings now. Do you add that in photoshop as a way of protecting the image and leading people back to where it comes from?

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