1. The transparent nature of watercolor is not a liability as some would have you think, but rather, it is the very thing that makes watercolor so versatile. Layers, or glazes, of color can be applied in any order. You CAN paint lighter over darker, just don't expect the dark areas to be hidden.
Here, rose is applied to build the foundation for the strong red-violet center of the flower.
A wet-on-dry technique was used and most of the areas were blurred and softened along the edges with a damp brush. The edges of the petals, leaves and stamen, and leaf veins were masked.
Sunrise - watercolor demonstration of a yellow hibiscus
3. The first layer of intense yellow is washed over the violet colors on the petals, carefully avoiding the areas that are to remain white.
Yellow and violet are complementary colors that, when mixed or layered, will each lessen the intensity of the other. This results in a neutralized gray/brown.
At this stage, the shadow areas might look dirty and just plain "wrong". This is where many painters will get nervous, begin to despair and want to give up. But, carry on, all will be well in the end.
4. More yellow is applied and an intense green forms ghostly leaves.
Paint was lifted off some of the dark areas on the petals. If I would follow my own advice and not worry about the shadows developed in step #2, I could avoid the process of lifting.I had to put paint back on the shadows because they weren't DARK ENOUGH.
2. I like to get a feel for the 3-dimensional form of the flower before glazing the "local" color, yellow in this case. Blue-violet is applied where the creases and folds of the petal will be in shadow. Painting this color over the rose in the center quickly shifts the color to red-violet.
5. Bright light creates hard-edged shadows, and glare on ultra-smooth objects like these leaves.
I went for a very bold presentation with the dark value, blue-violet background. The masking fluid was removed and the resulting edges softened.
Thanks to my friend Lory for this beautiful image.
Yellow hibiscus are not easy to find and this beauty was demanding some attention.
From a photo by Lory Adams
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