In the spring I like to paint the wild flowers since they are so colorful and my favorite painting theme.
Since I’m painting from life, I put in the poppies first before they wilt.
Then I start putting in other flowers, not forgetting about the equally important background which includes the glass pickle jar.
Here I am almost finished. Just putting in the finishing touches. Not too many.
The watercolor is almost finished here. I paint what I see and leave a lot of the white of the paper.
This year the wild flower season was brief. Less rain, less flowers…
I like to start a watercolor with a light grid to keep my parallel lines parallel. I start with a pencil sketch and then go on to pen and ink.
I tape down all of my watercolors to get the white edge of the paper. Don’t think you need anything expensive. I use carpenter’s tape, but it’s only there for a couple of hours. I wouldn’t leave it there for more than a day.
This is the white edge I’m talking about. When the tape is taken off, you have a white border.
Click Here is a really short video of the painting site.
Madrid is great!
In March the Cherry Plum and Almond trees are full of Pink and White Blossoms. I like to paint them because they brighten up the room and do the same in a watercolor.
I’m starting out with a grid here to keep my parallel lines even with the picture plane. The grid helps me fit whatever I want wherever I want on the paper.
The grid controls the Talvera vase so it is not lopsided. There are a lot of branches and blossoms to paint, so I don’t draw them one by one, I cast lines in the direction of the branches and mark some of the pink flowers that stand out the most.
I’m working around the picture plane trying to treat everything with the same importance, background and foreground.
When painting the white blossoms, I leave the white of the paper. What I do is paint around them leaving a blank silhouette. This is called respecting the white of the paper.
I work around the paper emphasising some details. I try to be careful not to make any area heavier than other areas.
When I’m pretty sure everything is where it belongs, I start in with a la prima, putting in the dark contrasting color in one shot in order to bring out the light.
I’m finishing up here. This is the moment when it can gain or lose. It’s the point of no return. I try not to get to that point, but it really is hard to decide when to stop.
I painted just a little bit more and stopped. I don’t have this watercolor anymore. Next year I hope to make another one in the spring.
This watercolor belongs to the series of My Favorite Bottles.
Here are a few steps in the painting and a tip for watercolor painters at the end about sending watercolors through the post.
There is something that I’ve learned about sending watercolors through the post and would like to share with other painters.
Recently I’ve sent some large watercolors in the post, so I had to protect them with sturdy cartons to ensure they didn’t get damaged. I realised that I could mat them myself for a bit more and send them through the post protected with a professional finished presentation.
I have a blog which explains how to mat a watercolor; the finishing touch is to cover it with a plexiglass. I’ve also learned that before you mat, the watercolor should be flattened by spraying the back with water, rubbing it down and putting it between two pieces of matting board with weight on top (books). Let it dry over night.
I’d love to hear your comments and questions. If you have better advice, I’d like to hear that too; one never stops learning.
Using a grid while painting from life helps you put the model in perspective.
Whenever people see that I have a grid on my paper to paint in watercolor, I’m always asked why I do it since I’m painting from nature.
I like painting directly without drawing because there is a looseness to it; it’s not that I don’t like drawing or am lazy or something like that. I like drawing too.
If you have a preliminary grid on your paper, it’s easier to place the model into space quickly. Your mind knows the proportions and where everything goes in space.
You are reading this blog, you paint or draw, so you are familiar with a grid.
Take out a piece of paper, make a grid, put a model in front of you whether it be figure, landscape or still life and try it with any medium. Try it as an exercise. I’d be interested to know how it went.
ps The penciled grid is easily erased if you are using watercolor.
This year, the spring was like an explosion of colors. We had a lot of rain and the flower season was abundant and long-lasting.
When I establish where the vase and blossoms go on the picture plane, I focus on my favorite part, respecting the whites and emphasising color.
This blue glass vase is one of my favorite glass works to paint. I got it at a second-hand store for five dollars. Maybe the previous owner will see it in a watercolor one day. In this post, I’m going to show the phases in making Red Roses in Blue Glass Vase.
I planted some California wild flowers in May, so I’ve been painting them. They are small delicate flowers. So I put them in a small vase.