Start of a painting: Ricinus Communis, the fairy of the Castor Oil Plant

The third of the Poison Flower Fairies is under way! For the initial sketch and photos of the castor oil plant itself, and all about this slippery character and its deadly toxin, look back at this post:

Actually this fairy should be called Ricina, not Ricinus, being female, so I’m not quite sure of the proper title of this painting yet. If I call it ‘Ricina Communis…’ I think people and google will assume I don’t know the proper name of the plant. Hmm…

Anyway, I have begun the painting.

Ricin Fairy: drawing
Ricin Fairy: drawing

This is the drawing laid out neatly on stretched watercolour paper… having taken about 6 hours just to draw out the outline after the sketch was actually finished. That’s the thing with these flower ‘portraits’ – I can’t easily simplify any details and it is becoming almost an exercise in botanical painting. It is a superb plant, though – the fruits being spiky balls that are so bright red and slightly translucent they seem to glow. We shall see how well my painting matches the original!

So I’m now on the the under-painting stage:

Fairy and seeds - blue under-painting stage
Fairy and seeds: blue under-painting stage
Ricin Fairy: finished under-painting
Ricin Fairy: finished under-painting

And that is nearly as far as I have actually got… more photos when I put the colour in…


  1. […] after the blue under-painting:… I can now begin adding colour to this painting. Adding colour to the Ricin Fairy […]

  2. […] this painting as it develops: Sketch and photos, and a little of the story of this plant… Start of the painting… Adding colour to the painting… And the final stage before the finished […]

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