A small watercolor of California Wildflowers Yellow orange, blue, violet and pink small flowers

California Wild Flowers

California Wild Flowers 2014

A small watercolor of California Wildflowers Yellow orange, blue, violet and pink small flowers

California Wild Flowers 2014 Watercolor on Arches 300 gsm 16.5×12 cm “6.4×4.7”

The last time I was in California, I got a sack of wild flower seeds and planted them on my terrace.  It took a couple of months and these dainty little yellow, blue, pink, violet and white flowers all started blooming at once. I like to paint them.  

White Almond Blossoms in Talavera Vase Watercolor March 2017

This spring I was only able to paint one watercolor of the white almond blossoms. They bloomed, it rained, it was windy and they were gone.

Talavera Vase 2017

These are some of the steps taken.

Starting out with the vase and flowers

I started out by putting the vase and the flowers on the paper first.

Focusing only on what I see

Then I start working around the paper putting in the colors and shapes I see.

Looking for contrast

Here I start looking for contrast.

Looking for depth

Looking for depth.

Looking for Atmosphere

Looking for atmosphere too.

 

Three Still Life Watercolors

Vibrant color and immediacy is what I like the most about the watercolor medium.  consistent practice is important whether inspired or not.

Vase 1a

I start with the idea of putting the exact shape and color.

 I use a grid here to keep my parallel lines parallel. I paint little pieces at a time so I can transfer the color and shape exactly as I see it.

Vase 1b

I work around the paper always going to a blank part on the paper instead of building up any one area.

I want the painting to have balance, so work on different areas going to opposite places on the paper and touching the corners as well.

Vase 1c

Since I used an a la prima technique, I stopped when the surface of the paper was covered.

I was happy with how it turned out, so I did two more water colors the same day.

Vase 2a

I started out with a diamond grid.

Even though I wanted to use the same exact technique, I didn’t.  I painted larger areas and didn’t work around the paper.  The left side is too heavy for starting off.

Vase 2b

Finished Watercolor

Since it was too heavy on the left side, I automatically tried to balance it out by making the right side heavy too. I finished quickly to start again.

Vase 3a

Started out with my favorite part.

 I focused on the flower and built around it, trying not to fill in large areas to start with.

Vase 3b

Working around the paper.

I wanted to give the same importance to every object but I got hung up on the white rose and gave it too much attention neglecting the glass work.

Vase 3c

Finished Watercolor

No matter how many times I paint this motif, there is always something new and different in each flower and reflection.

Small Watercolors of Flowers in Vases

I like to paint small watercolors of colorful flowers and transparent glass filled with water.

Bouquet in Crystal VAse 1994

Bouquet in Crystal Vase 1994

These small still-life paintings date back from the 90’s to  the present 2016.  

They are all post card size 5.5”x 7.5”or smaller.  I started off making this size in the mid-eighties to send as post cards.

Almond Blossom in Raku Pinch Pot

Almond Blossoms in Raku Pinch Pot

Almond Blossoms are really nice to paint.  In the spring there are a lot of these trees in Madrid.  I sent this watercolor to my Mom.  When I go to California I see it on the wall.

Pea Flowers in Purple Vase

Sweet Pea Flowers in Purple Vase

 I remember visiting someone who had sweet peas growing in their vegetable garden, I couldn’t resist taking some home to paint them. I’m going to have to get some sweet pea seeds.

Red Bottle with Ceramic Dish 1994

Red Bottle with Ceramic Dish and Irises 1999

The Red Bottle is one of my favorites. I bought it in the mid-eighties at the Salvation Army in the Gaslamp Quarter when I was living in sunny San Diego.  I’m always on the look out for beautiful glass bottles and vases.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Red Bottle, kumquats and Sugar Bowl 1998

This watercolor is wet on wet with my favorite red  bottle.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

kumquats and Glass Bottle with Pinch Pot 1998

 What I like the most about glass are the reflections; especially clear glass with water in it.

Red Bottle with REd Flowers 1998

Red Bottle with Red Flowers 1998

I paint a lot; not everything turns out.  It doesn’t matter.  I like to include everything I see around my model.

Bouganville in Purple Vase 2011

Bougainvillea in Purple Vase 2011

I go to California often, almost every year.  I like to paint the flowers in my Mother’s garden.  Bougainvillea is so fun to paint.

Bouganville in Crystal Vase 2011

Bougainvillea in Crystal Vase 2011

Sometimes I paint the motif twice.  Here I changed the vase.  I like this vase; I like the fact that you can see the stems and leaves in the water.

Roses in Crystal vase 2011

Roses in Crystal Vase 2011

Here is the vase again with my Mom’s beautiful roses.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Glass Bottles on Shelf 2012

I like colored glass. They have everything I like, color, shape, transparency and reflection. 

RedRoses in Greek Vase 2015

Red Roses in Greek Vase 2015

Someone gave me this vase.  I think it’s beautiful with the vertical grooves imitating a greek column.  This one got sent off in the mail.

Red Roses in Glass Vase 2015

Red Roses in Glass Vase 2015

I like to do more than one painting to try a different view.

Poppies in May 2016

Poppies in May 2016

When the spring comes around, I go a little crazy.  I can’t stop painting.  Spring is such a bright season full of color and warmth.

Poppies, Daisies and Red Roses 2015

Poppies, Daisies and Roses 2015

You can really see the difference of the light in the spring.

Red Glass Bottle with Orange Poppies 2016

Red Glass Bottle with Orange Poppies 2016

These are California Poppies and wild flowers.  I brought the seeds from California and planted them here in Madrid. I recently sent this one to my Dad.

Small Red Bottle with Wildflowers2016

Small Red Bottle with Wild Flowers 2016

I wanted to paint my model with the reflection in the mirror and on the table.

Chartreuse Bottle with California Wild Flowers 2016 B

Chartreuse Bottle with California Wild Flowers 2016

This is the latest small watercolor.  A friend told me that the color of  this bottle is chartreuse.

 I’m glad she told me.  I had never heard of that color.  Thanks to her the title isn’t yellow bottle with wild flowers, but Chartreuse Bottle with California Wild Flowers. 🙂

 

 

White Almond Blossoms in Crystal Vase 2015 – The Watercolor Art Making Process

White Almond Blossoms in Watercolor.

Here in Madrid, Spain the almond trees are in full bloom in the first week of March.  The flowers have white delicate petals with a touch of crimson in the middle. These blossoms are fleeting; I don’t catch them every year.  Sometimes it’s windy and they blow away and decorate the ground before I can paint them.  How do you paint white flowers in watercolor?  You paint the space around them to give them shape by respecting the white.

Almond Blossoms in Crystal Vase 2015 - Watercolor on Arches 300 GSM - 15 in x 11 in - 38 cm x 28 cm - $70.00 USD - Unframed - contact: victoriaangelesolson@hotmail.com

Almond Blossoms in Crystal Vase 2015 – Watercolor on Arches 300 GSM – 15 in x 11 in – 38 cm x 28 cm

Start the painting lightly.  Since the flowers are white, they are formed with the white of the paper, so just paint the background with a light color until you start building up contrast and color.

Start the painting lightly. Since the flowers are white, they are formed with the white of the paper, so just paint the background with a light color until you start building up contrast and color.

Heres a close-up.  You don't need to pencil in all of the flowers,  just fill in the negative shape.

Here’s a close-up. You don’t need to pencil in all of the flowers, just fill in the negative shape.

Continue working around the paper, trying not to concentrate too much in any one area.  Treat everything with equal attention for harmony.

Continue working around the paper, trying not to concentrate too much in any one area. Treat everything with equal attention for harmony.