Saturday, October 29, 2011

Back to Watercolour!

 "Daisy Power", 11 x 15", watercolour
This painting is available at auction here -beginning price $125

Many of you will be happy to see that I have returned to painting in watercolour again. It is a medium that I have always loved, even if it is somewhat limiting for creative expression, as it requires a fair amount of planning before brush ever touches the paper. In order to circumvent this, I like to make a wet on wet chaotic mixture of sumptuous color, and then pull out shapes from it. This works wonderfully with floral forms as they are so forgiving. The form I am using is a 'daisy type' form -I have these growing in my garden, but I don't know the name of them -if you know, please tell me!  Below is a step-by-step outline of the process.

This is the first step. I have soaked my 140lb watercolour paper in the sink and then began puddling in analogous mixed of yellow through red. Make sure to put various oranges in rather than just go from yellow to red without the visual bridge of the oranges. I left a lot of white paper and into some of it I popped in a variety of greens (yellow-green through blue-green using different yellows and blues). Some of the green puddles into the yellow and some into the orange-reds, making more neutral greens. I have tried so save some of the white as well. Make sure to bring your colour all the way to the edges of the paper -you don't want white paper there as it will draw the viewer to the edges of the painting, and perhaps right out of it!
This is the next stage. I am finding some daisy shapes by negatively painting some parts of the flowers with darker mixtures of the colours in the underpainting. Don't always do the negative painting with green, if you negative paint with the flower colours, you have new opportunities to find new flowers under the top ones. I am very careful to vary my edges between lost and found around EACH flower. You don't want them to look cut out and pasted on. 
Further work on the painting, finding some stems and leaves as well. Notice that some of the flowers and leaves have positively painted parts as well as negatively painted ones -this adds variety and keeps the viewer intrigued. Try not to say ALL the flowers, leave lots of colourfully suggested forms. The question to ask here is, if it says flowers, how much more do you need to do to it? Stop earlier rather than overdoing it. Better to be 80% done than 10% overdone!

This painting was done as a demonstration in my current Watermedia Florals workshop. Please see my website for upcoming workshops.


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Alice said...

Your tutorials are excellent.
I have forgotten how to paint in watercolour! Honestly.

Sharon Lynn Williams said...

I don't believe a word of it!!But thanks for the nice compliment :)

Sharon said...

I am a beginner and I am a little confused by what you mean by negatively painted parts of the flowers. Could you explain that,or tell me where to find an explanation?

Sharon Lynn Williams said...

Hi Sharon: That is one HUGE question. Basically you paint BEHIND the subject, rather than on the subject, thereby projecting it forward. Check out Linda Kemp's website -she is a master at negative painting.
Hope this helps!

Jane said...

Thank you for sharing your procedure, lovely painting!

Shelley Whiting said...

Those watercolors are very soft and delicate. Beautiful and stunning work.

Sharon Lynn Williams said...

Thank you Jane and Shelley. Hope you stop by again!