An imagination of Nasturtiums

Some weeks back I was chatting with Drawing Connections about nasturtiums. We were talking about memories of seeing these plants in the Himalayas. I have since pulled out my photos that I took of the nasturtiums twining up wires at the Kumbun in Gyantse, in Tibet.

Nasturtiums in Gyantse

Nasturtiums in Gyantse

Now I haven’t quite got around to making a painting of that scene, but I did get inspired to drag out my Japanese paints, which sit in their box from year to year – too good to use, you know – and make this picture of nasturtiums, using all the colours in my paint box.

Spoiler alert, nasturtiums don’t naturally occur in all these colours.

Nasturtiums, Japanese watercolour paints

Nasturtiums, Japanese watercolour paints


  1. Lovely continuation of the nasturtiums exchange! The Japanese watercolours are distinctive in palette – what make are they? Came across Holbein’s Japanese wc series called ‘antique’ only last week. This kind of drawing is a wonderful way to revisit a place and memory, don’t you think? Thank you.

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    1. Ah, not wanting to appear like a total tosser – I don’t know the brand name because I bought them from a small (but perfectly formed) paint shop in Kyoto nearly 10 years ago. They are presented in low ceramic bowls about 6 cm in diameter, which is very lovely. I have a set of 12 colours. I have bought similarly presented paints in Osaka as well. But if you want to go completely over the top you might want to check out a shop called Pigment, in Tokyo I read about it recently and thankfully the online shop links weren’t working that day!😊



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