Watercolor Glory

I took this picture in a parking lot the other day.

Digital Photo - Morning Glory

Morning Glory
Digital Phone Photograph

I love the transition from white to pink to purple to blue. I am particularly fond of the color change from blue to purple.

Today’s watercolor experiment:

In a previous experiment I journaled my verbal thoughts as I went about painting: from initial idea to the point at which I stopped painting.   Today’s process was a little different.


I had the flower in mind as I started painting, but I concentrated on the color transition. Below is the first stage of my painting, in which I made a transition from white at the center to blue at the edges, with quinacridone purple in between.

Watercolor Study - Morning Glory Step 1

Morning Glory Stage 1

The suggestion of the flower petals was an afterthought, as you can see from the residual blue wash surrounding the blue/purple mix.  I did not refer back to the original photograph.

I was struck by the 5-sided star emerging in parallel rays from the gray ring at the center of flower. Two of the rays are almost hidden in shadow. Inside the gray ring is a white luminescent shape that is the very center of the flower.

For the second stage of this study, I used a narrow, stiff sponge, called an ‘elephant ear’, slightly wetted, to remove paint to make the lighter shades of color that form the rays.

Watercolor Study - Morning Glory Step 2

Morning Glory Stage 2

Also, at this point I re-enforced the dark blue of shadows.

Finally, I touched up the shadows of the flowers and painted a background of quinacridone gold, using a wet brush on dry paper. Referring back to the photograph, I noticed green in the background. I painted over the gold with Hooker’s green, lopping off some of the edges of the flower to conform, more or less, to the shape seen in the photograph.

Watercolor Study - Morning Glory Flower

Morning Glory Watercolor Study
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


I didn’t have much of a verbal conversation with myself in this experiment. I mainly painted from one goal to another. For instance, in one painting episode I would concentrate on the tones of shadows; another episode would see me concentrating on shapes, and so on.

As this method resulted in a complete painting, I think it is the best way for me to proceed.

2 thoughts on “Watercolor Glory

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