Complicated colour

Detail of watercolour note on the colours I've used to draw a leaf, and the four colour studies on show at the Yurt Café exhibition

“It’s very green”, commented perfumer Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays of my selection for a taster set.

Visiting to collect, I dropped off a copy of my Water, Colour zine of live garden illustrations. The result was a fascinating conversation about how green straight from the tube never quite tells the story and the parallel notes in perfume.

So instinctive is my visual reporting that back home I decided to do something more methodical: to draw some leaves and log every colour that I used. Sit with nature, I find, and it shows you a lot more than you were expecting. Some greens were almost grey; other greens were so punchy that they needed highlighter. Each set of colours was complex, often layered for depth.

The results have found their way into an exhibition on inspiration at the Yurt Café in London’s Limehouse. It’s on until the end of May and my quartet of colour notes is for sale.