Tuesday, November 1, 2011

More Watercolour Florals

 "Iris Power", 6 3/4 x 10 1/4", watercolour
available by auction here, starting bid $50

 Don't ask me why I cannot come up with more original titles for these paintings, any help would be appreciated! This is my watercolour demonstration from day 3 of my workshop. The idea was to combine methods from the previous 2 days into this painting. We worked on composition, trying to find good shapes, both the positive shapes (leaves and flowers) and the negative shapes (the shapes behind the positive shapes). Both must be interesting (ie: interesting edges, varying sizes) and compelling (powerful shapes) if you want to have a great painting.
We began this with doing our drawings on tracing paper, which made them easy to change without damaging the watercolour papers' surface. When the designs were good, we traced them onto our watercolour paper. Two ways to do this are#1) to place saral transfer paper under the tracing paper with its black side down on the wc paper (or make your own transfer paper by covering the back of another piece of paper with graphite) and then put the tracing on top and go over all the lines with a ball point pen or #2) hold the tracing paper design against a bright window and then put the wc paper on top -you should be able to see through 140lb wc paper well enough to see the lines, especially if you go over the tracing paper lines with marker. I used watercolour pencils to trace my drawing on the window, varying the colours as I went along (remember interest??)
Here is the painting part way in. I was careful to loose some of the edges into the white background space, bleeding them back with clear water so no hard edges were left. The colour was puddled in, at the correct values, thereby keeping things fresh and eliminating the need to wash over them again = the key to clear, clean colour! I have gone back with another watercolour pencil to define the centre left edge of the upper flower. Most of the watercolour pencil melts into the washes, so isn't a problem the way that graphite can be. This stage makes sure that you have some hard and soft edges.
In this step I have added more leaves at the bottom, and threaded one large leaf up the bare right side. I did this without drawing it first. I loaded up my brush with non-homogenized colours and let the brush make the form by twisting and turning it while drawing it up my paper. I did some scraping into it with a credit card, and drew into it while it was wet with a watercolour pencil.I dropped other colours into the bottom to suggest other flowers behind and relieve some of the green. I have gone in and separated some of the iris petals and to add some texture. Note that most of the original washes remain untouched. I also placed a bit more colour into the background at the top of the top iris to show more of its form.

There you have it! Some things done with a limited wet-on-wet method, and some negative painting. Both combine to provide interest, while the exciting purity of colour puddling lends the power.


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Virginia Floyd said...

Beautiful painting. Thanks for explaining your process. Watercolor is completely foreign to me, so i enjoyed reading how it was done.

Jane said...

I just love your watercolors!

Candice said...

I'm still amazed how much lighter w/c dries!

Maybe this could be called "Reaching for the Sun"??? Usually names come along with the painting process so it doesn't surprise me when you're teaching and you get no name :) Way too much going on!

Sharon Lynn Williams said...

Great title Candice -thanks!

Martha Lever said...

Your watercolors are GORGEOUS!!! Love them all. Your colors are eye popping and pleasing and...yummy!

Sharon Lynn Williams said...

Thank you so much Martha!