“Your first watercolour painting”

This is intended to show that we have understood and learned the techniques shown so far and are able to find a way to express this in the form of a painting, so washes, lines and patterns seem to be in order.

I wanted to keep this relatively uncluttered so have been thinking of using a white orchid on a dark background.

Watercolour assignment 01

A6 size sketch, H pencil

sketchbook 01020 sketchbook 01021 sketchbook 01022

starting to gather ideas in my sketchbook, about backgrounds and colours

Watercolour assignment 01b  Watercolour assignment 01d Watercolour assignment 01e

1)A3 Watercolour NOT 300gsm, H pencil, masking fluid – practicing on full size.

2) Background Alizarin Crimson mixed with Viridian, salt and some scraping on base. The effect of the salt has turned out much stronger, the crystals really look like little snowflakes in places. The difference I think is due to the larger quantity of water I added, because it is a larger piece of paper. It’s a nice effect but I am slightly concerned that it will distract from the flower. Also on a technical point, when brushed off, some of the salt stays stuck to the masking fluid; I will have to see whether that shows through after removal of the dried fluid.

3) Removing the dried fluid around the lower half of the painting (salt did not seep through) and painting in the leaves, stem and pot. The green of the leaves is not turning out as dark as I wanted, but I am not sure if that will be a problem, it may be good to have such a bright colour to bring the plant forward.

Watercolour assignment 01

4) The finished image. The salt did prove trickier to remove from the flower petals as I had applied a second wash, also some of the masking was not very accurate, which is hard to spot until you start to paint around it and then I did not want to start washing away paint, but I enjoyed using the techniques I learned. I used the masking fluid again to highlight two little white branches that emerge from the middle of the flower which made doing the centre a lot easier. I’m glad I used the salt in the background and think it adds to the picture rather than distracts from it.

Looking for inspiration from other artists, I could find mostly only oil paintings which depicted flowers on a dark background, which were a lot more formal and detailed. I did find two which did inspire me; one by Hercules Brabazon Brabazon painted circa 1887 and looking surprisingly modern which I liked, and another by David Hockney which looked similar to what I wanted to achieve, called Lillies 1970-1. Both these paintings are in the gallery alongside my blog.