I have a small gravelled area in my garden surrounded by a wooden fence on one side and a stone wall on the other. On the gravel is a bench to sit in the shade. It’s a good spot to survey the determination of various weeds that continuously make this area their home. Herb Robert loves it. It sneaks under the wooden fence and from its’ base the stems sprawl sideways, upwards and downwards. With fern-like leaves, small pink flowers and a slightly wrinkled fruit it’s as if the deep dark red stems seep their colour slowly into the fresh green leaves until the whole plant has turned a deep burnt red.
Geranium robertianum is an interesting plant to paint, the sprawling stems lend well to composition, the leaves have a lovely movement to them and there is plenty of detail to get to grips with.
I used a palette of burnt umber mixed with red ochre for the stems, rose madder with violet for the flowers and green earth (Sennelier) with sap green for the leaves. I used burnt umber, raw umber and burnt sienna for the roots. I painted Herb Robert on one of my last pieces of Fabriano Classico 5.