Painting on vellum

My final week of my botanical art course and we attempted painting on vellum.


Vellum is derived from the Latin word ‘vitulinum’ meaning ‘made from calf’ and is in fact cleaned, bleached, stretched and scraped calf or goat skin. Preparing the vellum is a lengthy and skillful process but once achieved it is smooth and durable. The two sides of the skin are distinct: the inside and the outside or hair side. Look carefully and you can still see the hair follicles.


Painting on vellum is a different technique – when using watercolour, instead of using water you make your paint as dry as possible and use a tiny brush – paintstaking is the word. As you can imagine, vellum is very expensive so below are three paintings on bits of vellum 4” x 4”.


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