The Secret Gardens
Hi y’all! Carrie here from @scribinggrace With the release of my second curated collection with Vanessa at The Sprout Creative, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a little bit of the “behind the scenes” that goes into the palette conception and curating process. Vanessa has collaborated with a few different artists for various collections so I cannot speak to their exact process, but this is how she and I combined our talents for the Spring and Fall Secret Garden Collections.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that I loooove painting florals, leaves, wreaths, bouquets...all the pretty flowers are my jam. When Vanessa asked me to curate a collection I knew that the colors I chose would have to be the “perfect” botanical palette. While I draw some inspiration from fellow watercolor artists I’m actually inspired by real-life florist accounts more than anything else. I find the color combinations and arrangement of real flowers just stunning and easier for me to paint since I’m not trying to recreate another artist’s style and can instead look and the flower shape, light source, and coloring in its original form. So, to begin choosing my collection colors I pulled up my trusty Instagram “saved posts” and scrolled through the tons of saved floral photos and tried to identify what colors jumped out to me the most...either because they appeared in every photo (hello gorgeous greens!) or because they jumped off the screen (I see you ruby rose and begonia!) and those were the anchors of my palette.
From there I chose shades that complemented those colors (and didn’t duplicate a color that Vanessa already had in her entire collection). For example, in the Spring collection I chose sap green (fern green), sap green dark (moss), and quinacridone magenta (ruby rose) first. Then I added indigo because I wanted a color that could be almost black for detailing and diluted down to a beautiful rich blue. Next up I added quinacridone purple (orchid) and yellow ochre (marigold) to add another color in the purple/pink/red family and a rich golden yellow.
Once I had my ideal colors from my inspiration photos, I did some “matching” of those colors to actual watercolor pigments. I like to look at the watercolor lines from Daniel Smith and Winsor and Newton to do this matching because they have pigment names and numbers, which I can then pass on to Vanessa for ordering purposes. For colors that include more than one pigment we don’t know the exact recipe of course so that’s where some fun experimentation comes in! Vanessa and I will brainstorm a ratio to start with, and she will start mulling and swatching, and we work from there adjusting the recipe until it’s the perfect shade! Once all the colors are final I chose individual names and named the overall collection and that was that!
The Fall Secret Garden Collection a true continuation of the Spring Collection. I added colors that complement and expand the palette to include a deep maroon, bright true red, vibrant orange-yellow, bright lemon yellow, green gold, and rich violet. These 12 colors are truly my dream palette and I hope y’all feel the same! This collection’s release also includes the option of a custom Sprout Secret Garden watercolor tin. I did a cute redesign of the Sprout logo to include botanical elements and watercolor patterned vinyl! I’m in love with them! A big thank you to Courtney at @one.good.girl to helping me with the tin decals!
I hope y’all enjoyed this little journey along the process of creating the Secret Garden Collections and curating a collection in general! Remember you can curate a palette too if you become a Tree level Patreon of Vanessa’s! So check that out if this process fascinates you!
I can’t wait to see your beautiful art using the Secret Garden Collections!
See you on the ‘gram y’all!