1. Traditional watercolor techniques call for progressive glazes of paint from light values to dark. A more unconventional method works in reverse - establishing the dark values first.
I have used this method on previous paintings and been pleased with the results.
Masking fluid was applied to the stamen clusters and to the bright white edges of some flower petals. This preserves the detail areas with no need to try to paint around them.
2. Glazes of pink and yellow blend beautifully with the blue-violet shadows. One can easily see the form and color pattern of the flower clusters.
Azaleas - watercolor painting demonstration of azaleas
Early spring blossoms in bright mid-day sun. High contrast and exaggerated shadows give an energetic intensity to these lovely starbursts of color.
5. The two clusters are similar and compete for attention, but the upper one wins out and holds our attention longer with sharper edges and shadows, more value contrast, and more color.
4. The masking fluid is removed and the stamens are painted.
A few detailed leaves hug the blossoms and the underlying background color is established.
3. Additional glazes of pink, orange and yellow begin to dominate the painting and subdue the stark shadows laid down in step 1.
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1.5" dark brown frame, 2" ivory mat with brown liner