1.  The most important watercolor technique used to portray white flowers is simply leaving areas of the paper untouched with paint. The white paper becomes the brightest sunlit areas of the flower. The darker background defines the edges of the petals, and the illusion of curving, rounded surfaces is created by shadows on the petals.

Masking fluid was used to reserve the shapes of the intricate stamens in the center of the blooms. Bright, warm yellow was applied around the stamens and to areas where the sun shines through the petals making them glow.

All my realistic paintings start with an accurate drawing, although the pencil lines are not visible here. I usually erase them as I go, especially in areas that will remain very light in the completed painting.
2.  Flowers begin to emerge with the first glazes of blue and purple shadows. Buds and leaves get an initial layer of bright green over the yellow.
White Cascade - watercolor demonstration of single white roses

5.  The masking fluid was removed from the center of each rose and the stamens defined with yellow, deep gold and a bit of green.

Most of the background is now filled in with foliage.

Background details were blurred and the bold lime green was toned down. It seemed too busy and distracting, pulling attention away from the blossoms. 

The rich blues and purples emphasized in the shadows give an exaggerated dimension to "plain" white roses.

The summer climate in the Tri-Cities is ideal for growing roses; plenty of heat, day after day of bright sun, and low humidity which discourages the diseases know to plague roses.

Photos used to create
White Cascade were taken at
the Kennewick Public Library where the Master Gardeners have a lovely rose demonstration garden.
4.  Filling in the background with a bold yellow will give more vibrancy to the subsequent layers of green.
3.  Deeper values and crisp edges in the shadows create the illusion of bright sunlight pouring down from the upper right corner.

The warm orange buds have more detail and most of the leaves have darker green glazes.
Step 1 of white roses watercolor painting demonstration
Step 2 of white roses watercolor painting demonstration
Step 3 of white roses watercolor painting demonstration
Step 4 of white roses watercolor painting demonstration
Step 5 of white roses watercolor painting demonstration

Watercolor Demo
White Cascade
Step 6 of white roses watercolor painting demonstration
The most important watercolor technique used to portray white flowers is simply leaving areas of the paper untouched with paint. The white paper becomes the brightest sunlit areas of the flower. The darker background defines the edges of the petals, and the illusion of curving, rounded surfaces is created by shadows on the petals.
White Cascade
SOLD      © 2009
All content copyrighted
© 2008 - 2018 by Lisa Hill
Credit cards accepted 
in person or by phone.