Edible colours

A swatch of cut paper representing the shapes and colours of rose petals, and sketches and colour notes on roses, a sage flower and a daisy

“Held in lime, dipped in pink.” That was one of my notes as I made a colour swatch of a daisy. Why? Well, for our Studio Snack episode on edible flowers, because colour is what they so often bring to a dish, my creative experiment looked at that by way of drawing and making.

Drawing in nature, one of the big surprises is always how complex colours are. Pale pink rose? Look again – you’ll find hues and hints you’d never notice at first glance. So I drew and alongside each sketch, I made a colour swatch.

Playing with the petals, I made and painted a ‘swatch’ of them, and a flower made from the petals of three roses to show the difference in shape, size and colour.

Making a post-bound paper swatch of rose petal colours (using scrap from an old paper swatch) reminded me of two things: the value of physical processes in looking at the mechanics of an idea and how flat colour simplifies something that’s a lot more complicated in nature.

There's a creative experiment in the making of each episode. Listen to our conversation about that, and why we think it's of value, in the latest episode, here.

And for more on my garden reportage sketching, read about my zine Water Colour and see the archive of my three-year lockdown project Dispatches from a Small World.