1. An often used technique of watercolor painting, called "glazing", involves brushing on thin layers of paint. Multiple layers of a single color will deepen that color, like the yellow of the violas in the upper right. Very dark or intensely colored areas might have ten or more glazes. The color used in the first layer will always influence every additional glaze applied over top since watercolor is mostly transparent, somewhat like stacking layers of colored glass.
I start with an accurate drawing as the basis of a realistic painting. Some of the pencil lines are visible here in the lightest yellow areas. I usually erase them as I go, especially in areas that will remain very light in the completed painting.
The blue lines and dots are masking fluid, used to save the very small or intricate areas of white that are difficult to paint around. Dried masking fluid is like rubber cement that does not stick permanently to the paper.
2. More definition and depth of color is developed by additional glazes of the same yellow and pink. Most of the leaves are now defined with yellow, and some blue has been applied to the background.
The perceived coolness of blue will help the background seem more distant.
Wearing Purple - pansy watercolor demonstration
5. Olive-green shadows on the yellow violas emphasize each petal.
All the lower pansies have their "faces" now, with the addition of browns in the center of each.
6. The blue masking fluid is removed and the purple pansies with their ruffled edges really stand out.
Highlights in the veins and folds of their petals are "lifted out" by running a damp brush over the purple paint in lines radiating outward. See how the initial pink layers glow through in the highlights?
I decided I didn't like the deep yellow areas in the petals of the violas in the upper right. With a damp brush, I removed some of the paint and blended the yellows together. In the last step, the petals look more natural.
4. The pink, orange and gold pansies take shape, peeking out from beneath the purple pansies, which have shifted from predominantly pink to purple.
More blue, along with green and brown, are added to the background.
3. It starts to become apparent how the pink underglazes on the central pansies will influence the blue layered over top, making it appear purple.
The leaves are now defined with the addition of green and a bit of blue.
7. Veins are emphasized in all the flower petals, and the bright white edges of the purple pansies are toned down. The sharp line between white and purple is softened, and some shadows are added to the edges to emphasize the undulating ruffles.
This bright, cheerful painting, Wearing Purple, was created in honor of my friend Jeanette, for the celebrated occasion of her half-century birthday. Far from "old", she has yet to start wearing purple and donning red hats! Although, a jaunty red hat can make you feel rather young at heart.
The idea for the painting comes from a photo of two purple pansies growing in her garden, with faces resembling
"little old men".
in the Demo Studio
All content copyrighted
© 2008 - 2012 by Lisa Hill
Credit cards accepted
in person or by phone.