Bluebell Blues

Theoretically I was painting sea blues and sheep, but every mix involving blue my mind was asking “would this fit into a bluebell blue?”. Ultramarine, phthalo, Prussian, cerulean…

I know it’s bluebell season, and I spent a bit of time taking photos of bluebells under the trees by the Uig community centre at the weekend, but I think the root of the quest lies in a conversation with my Ma about her trying to find a wool that was truly “bluebell blue”.

Bluebell Blues sheep WIP

I think part of the problem is that bluebells are blue-purple not sky or sea blue, yet the “blue” part of the name resonated so strongly. Plus the colour also varies with the time of day and how much shadow they’re in. I’ve also been wondering what other languages call bluebells, whether colour is still part of their name.

Bluebells in Uig Woodland
Bluebells in Uig Woodland

Here’s the finished painting on my easel, not a bluebell in sight.

Sheep painting by Skye artist Marion Boddy-Evans
(Currently untitled). 100x100cm. In my studio.

Word Promp Chart for June: It being the end of the month, it’s time for a new chart. You’ll find June’s as a printable .pdf here. Looking forward to seeing photos of May’s charts!


Related: Listening to Bluebells

4 Replies to “Bluebell Blues”

  1. Hi, Marion. When I was teaching the color wheel in my Painting 1 course I taught them the double split complementary color wheel. That meant using ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson to get the perfect violet (experiment with how much of each to get a true “grape” color). Of course I always did a demo for a guide. Blue-violet was then made by adding extra ultramarine to the violet. Adding white to this mixture might give you the color you are looking for. I always use flake white (yes, I know) because it is a visually warm white. Jim

  2. I love the textures in your sheep paintings. I see bluebells as warmer than blue but not as warm as purple. I start with permanent rose and ultramarine mixes and have touches of permanent rose with cobalt or cerulean. In watercolour both ultramarine and cerulean granulate which is useful for distant bluebells.
    I did a search for bluebell in other languages. Some refer to the bell shape rather than the colour.
    I wonder why the rhyme Lavender’s blue calls lavender blue, it’s even less blue than bluebells.

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