Saturday, March 30, 2013

Birth of a Watercolour - how I painted Blueberry Fizz

Last week I treated myself to a bunch of blue anemones.  I think they're my new favourite flowers with their velvety petals and amazing blue colour.  I set about trying out colours in quick sketches and discovered that W&N Smalt combined with cobalt violet were perfect, and the granulation of both pigments was beautiful.  

Blueberry Fizz - watercolour, 15" x 11"Not for sale

Starting with a simple drawing to guide me, I added some tiny spots of masking to reserve a few highlights and, once that was dry, wet the paper before dropping in colour.  Remember the pencil lines were only there to guide me, the wet paper allowed the pigment to spread and soften edges.


Then it was simply a case of building colour and form, working on individual petals by wetting then adding more pigment.


 Purple/blue flowers can easily look flat and lifeless, but my choice of pigments helped to keep things lively. I used some ultramarine and quin. magenta for darker areas on the petals, always being careful to allow textures to show through the washes.


 Now the detail in the centre, bringing in one more colour.  Indanthrene blue was perfect for the dark centre, and texture was added by sprinkling a little salt in the wet wash.


I had one more decision to make...... what about the stem?  The flower needed some form of support, but the yellow-green stem would have looked incongruous among the blues and violets.  I decided  to suggest a gently curved stem with a purple wash, hard edged on one side and fading out so there is no edge on the other side.  Done!


12 comments:

Victoria A. said...

Beautiful painting! Watercolor flowers are one of my favorite! I love blue and violet together :) So vibrant and fresh!

Studio at the Farm said...

Gorgeous! And the light swipe of purple was perfect for the stem.

Mercedes Ares said...

Hermosa combinación de colores en esta fresca acuarela!!! HERMOSA!!!

Natalie Sokolova said...

Adorable :)
love it

oleos de aurora cabeza said...

encantadora . me encanta

Neesie said...

A stunningly beautiful painting. The blending is incredible and I'm in awe of your talent.
Fabulous colours which just happen to be my favourite. :D

renate said...

Wow Ruth:) Beautiful style and the stems are gorgeous!

Shelley Whiting said...

The flower is very airy and lovely. Beautiful work.

arts said...

fancy floral!

Ballie (Bennarda) said...

Gorgeous, wath a beautiful coloring, so lovely> I love them.
Bye, Ballie (Bennarda)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! A very nice painting. Thank you for sharing how you did it. I must try it out myself!

António Jesus Batalha said...

Estive a ver e ler algumas coisas, não li muito, porque espero voltar mais algumas vezes, mas deu para ver a sua dedicação e sempre a prendemos ao ler blogs como o seu. Se me der a honra de visitar e ler algumas coisas no Peregrino e servo ficarei radiante, e se desejar deixe o seu parecer. Abraço fraterno. António.
http://peregrinoeservoantoniobatalha.blogspot.pt/