playing with paint

February 6, 2012  in flowers, homemade

painted flower by Sania Pell

As I was finishing my winter flower post and looking at the hellebores that I had sketched with my camera, I had an urge to paint these beautiful flowers. I had been wanting to paint for a while and it gave me just the inspiration I needed. So this weekend I dusted off my acrylic paints, brushes, palette knife and palette and spent a few hours playing with paint. I had a few plain canvases around the house that I had previously painted with household emulsion in various shades of greys and greens, that I knew would work with my room decor, and used them as my base. I painted quickly and instinctively, rather than sketching anything on the canvas with pencil first, as I wanted to keep it free and use loose brush marks to make the shapes of the flowers.

painted flower by Sania Pell

As a full time textile designer in a busy design studio, I was always painting and drawing flowers in different styles and using different mediums such as ink, watercolour, acrylic, stitching and embroidery. That was a few years ago now but it felt good to get the paints out once again. The great thing with acrylic on canvas is that you can add to it later or paint over it and start again if you like, it just adds to the texture of the canvas.

painted hellebore by Sania Pell

I couldn’t resist photographing some of the flowers on the palette where I mixed the colours and on my desk – the splats, drips and marks making interesting combinations of colour and texture.

Hellebore by Sania Pell

As well as the canvas, I painted on handmade paper and I also stretched fresh cartridge paper on a board and used water for a floaty effect.

painted flower by Sania Pell

As the natural base colours reflected my home I knew they would sit happily in my room, with the hellebores positioned next to them picking up the colour palette.

art at home Sania Pell

I now have so many ideas having painted this weekend I think I’ll need to stock up next time I’m at the art shop!


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  1. elisa says:

    the watercolour is exquisite, i’ve been thinking about how much i used to love doing studies in still life using watercolour. i love that you just pulled the paint out and got started. x

  2. Laura says:

    Oh my goodness, how gorgeous!! Is there any possibility of posting some kind of tutorial on how to paint, for us who don’t know how to paint in such a beautifully free style, and have no idea where to start? I would love to paint some for my own home. I love your blog by the way, you’re very inspirational.

  3. allesistgut says:

    I really like you paintings. The colours are adorable. I often paint with oil colours and I love doing this. Thanks for your inspirational post. 🙂

  4. Robyn says:

    Absolutely stunning. You are a gifted stylist and artist!

  5. Toni says:

    Just SO beautiful! Please keep up the painting as I’m already looking forward to seeing the next one.

  6. Lovely! Is there anything you can’t do? xx

  7. lori b says:

    So beautiful! I enjoyed the previous post about the flowers but this post, AMAZING! The painting are so beautiful and simple, they truly reflect the heart of those sweet flowers!

  8. tina says:

    Sania, this is stunning. So pleased you got the paints out. How i wished I had studied textile way back when… I thought graphic design was more ‘serious’. Ha! Love the watercolour…you make me want to get out my paints:) x

  9. Sophie says:

    These are wonderful Sania! I always love the colour palettes you choose – slightly moody tones, yet still so fresh. Your paintings look fabulous and I love the way you’ve styled them up for us to see. I look forward to seeing more soon.

  10. Ruth Morse says:

    Sania, these are so beautiful and after seeing this blog I found myself at the garden centre today buying hellebores…….I live in New Zealand so at present they are just a few leaves. HOpefully come winter the flowers will appear and they’ll be as beautiful as yours! ;o) Thanks for sharing your talents. Ruth

  11. Jenny says:

    Such lovely colours! Has made me think that I must start painting again!

  12. Sania – your palettes are gorgeous and I love the texture of the flowers against canvas, paper and paint.

  13. […] on the planet. I know, I am just full of surprises today. Sania Pell recently blogged about this adorable DIY painting. It made me seriously want to make one…or at least buy a painting that looks just like […]

  14. Jane says:

    Oh Sania! This is a divine post. I adore seeing your creative juices flowing. I am absolutely enchanted by your watercolour – you’ve inspired me to get mine out tomorrow! J x

  15. Sania Pell says:

    Thank you everyone! I’m happy it inspired you to get your own paints out.


  16. You make it look so easy! Very effective way of bringing colour and a unique touch to an interior scheme.



  17. Cathy says:

    These colours ar just so stunning!! Thank you!

  18. These are so lovely! Since leaving college I’ve become a bit of a nervous painter but you’ve inspired me to have a go and just experiment. Time to dig out the old acrylics!

  19. beautiful, i have also just started painting again, quite liberating ……

  20. Mel says:

    Oh, this is such an inspiration! Love everything about these paintings, thank you X

  21. geisslein says:

    oh, these are so so so beautiful! I like!
    laku noc,

  22. Lisa says:

    Hi Sania,

    Your work is stunning. I wanted to leave a comment because I am an oil painter, and my style is similar to yours in that it is intuitive — check out my work!

  23. DJJP says:

    this is such an inspiration! Really like everything about these artwork, thank you…

  24. CTM Flooring says:

    Oh, this is such an inspiration! Really like everything about these artwork, thank you

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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

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