1.  This painting was created using a lot of masking fluid and a process of pouring paint on wet paper. Masking fluid was applied to the petals in bright light. This will reserve the white paper when the paint is poured.

I learned this technique at a workshop with Robin Berry who is the master of masking and pouring, and the author of "How to Paint Watercolor Flowers" and "Watercolor Secrets: 200 Tips and Techniques".
Pink Peonies - watercolor demonstration of pink peonies
3.  When the magenta paint is completely dry, water was brushed over all the background area and green paint was poured in the same manner as step 2.
4.  Blue and violet are glazed over the areas of deepest shadow. 
2.  Using a wide brush, water is applied evenly over the entire piece of paper. Magenta paint is mixed in a small container with water into a creamy, but pourable consistency. After the paint is poured, the paper is tilted to allow the paint to flow, creating a sense of movement.

All the masked areas appear white or yellowish at this stage and it is easy to see the patterns of light and shadow on the petals.
5.  When the masking fluid is removed and the white paper is revealed, very stark edges appear between the white paper and the paint that has been applied. 

Using a stiff brush and water, the harsh edges are softened and blurred to develop curved forms and subtle ridges and ruffles. 

This masking and pouring technique works well for paintings where the subject is in very bright light with highly contrasting lights and darks.
Peonies flowers come in many different forms, much like dahlias - single, crown, bomb and anemone are just a few. In this painting, the colors and stark shadows are exaggerated for more interest.

Watercolor Demo
Pink Peonies
Pink Peonies
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