Today’s watercolor experiment:
I am working on another painting of a real flower, taking my time because it is for a special occasion. However I took the opportunity today, to be carefree about my brushstrokes and my composition.
I wet the entire paper before I applied any pigment. I used to do this quite often, but not recently. I used a mixture of permanent alizarine crimson and ultramarine blue to approximate a purple color for the petals. I drew them with my paintbrush. I didn’t wait long enough for the paper to dry sufficiently, so I ended up with fuzzy-edged bluish-red flower parts. (The petal on the far right is a particularly egregious example of this fuzziness.) I used the pinkish, ultramarine rose (Daler Rowney) for the petals on the side of the flower opposite to the purple ones. In between the four purplish petals, I interdigitated three egg-plant colored petals (using more ultramarine blue than permanent alizarine crimson in my pigment mixture). Finally, I used Hooker’s green for the base of the flower, from which the petals emerged.
Beneath the head of the flower, I drew two flower buds in different states of development (or decay). For these I used Hooker’s green and lemon yellow. I painted the stems with a combination of Van Dyke brown and yellow ochre.
I did not capture the entire flower on my watercolor paper. Some of the petals would extend beyond the boundaries, if it was a real flower. This was not important to me. I arranged the flower and buds as if they were pressed and preserved. I like that the these faux botanical parts are positioned as if they were some treasure, revealed when an unsuspecting person turned a page of a book.