2.  The masking fluid allows me to paint right over the spines with brown to develop the shadows on the stems.
Orange Blossoms -  cactus flower watercolor demonstration

5.  Various greens are applied to the stems and the masking fluid is removed from the spines. The ones on the shadowed side of the plant in the lower right get an exaggerated blue and violet color.
6.  More greens are added to the main part of the plant. The spines affected by the bright sunlight are mostly yellow and yellow-green.

When framed, Orange Blossoms
measured 25" x 36" and was purchased by a customer as a Christmas gift for his wife. Lucky girl. I was tempted to keep this one for myself!
4.  All of the flowers and flower buds have several glazes of red-orange.
The fully opened, front facing blossom in the lower left is the main interest of the painting. 

It commands more attention due to its position and orientation, lighter value and yellow glow in the center.
3.  Bright yellow is applied to the centers and brightest edges of the blossoms. By painting with red-orange over top of the yellow areas and the red-violet shadows, beautifully formed orange blossoms just seem to materialize on the paper. 
Watercolor painting of orange cactus flowers by Lisa Hill Step 1
Watercolor demonstration of orange cactus flowers by Lisa Hill Step 2
Watercolor demonstration of orange cactus flowers by Lisa Hill step 3
Watercolor demonstration of orange cactus flowers by Lisa Hill Step 4
Watercolor demonstration of orange cactus flowers by Lisa Hill Setp 5
Watercolor demonstration of orange cactus flowers by Lisa Hill Step 6
Watercolor painting of orange cactus flowers by Lisa Hill
1.  Using red-violet (phthalo blue and quinacridone rose), I began building a value pattern by painting the shadowed areas of the orange blossoms. I use this method on many of my paintings. By modeling the form right from the start, I have a better sense of the 3-dimensionality of the various parts of the painting. Most of the spines have been covered with masking fluid.
My neighbor grew these striking Echinocereus cactus, known as Hedgehog or Claret-cup Cactus. The vivid red-orange blossoms seemed to glow in the bright sun.

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Watercolor Demo
Orange Blossoms
Orange Blossoms
SOLD   ©2013