Monday, 9 July 2012

Flower "Step by Step" Loose Watercolour Painting

I've been asked to do a video on how I did the clematis but sounds a bit technical so thought a step by step might "break" me in before I go for the filming bit!!! My friend Susan Hall and I were chatting and she wanted to give this flower a go, we have been on-line friends and painting buddies for a good while now and the whole "loose" thing started with Susan so I have a lot to be grateful to her for....

This is the image Susan chose (one of Suzanne Wallick's lovely photos on Paint my Photo ) and I have to say wasn't sure how to begin. I thought I would start on the centre at first, then decided to do a full wash instead
Used opera rose, ub, may green, permanent rose, dash of green gold, paper is 20"x25" 200lb Hahnemuhle, so slightly smaller and squarer than full imperial. The biggest I have ever done!!! Tried to keep the pink/purple shades to the outside with darker shades in the centre. Now what to do next.... well first it needs to dry and then am going to try and do a mix of positive and negative painting defining some of the petals but by no means all but not sure at this stage where to do that..... exciting eh?


Thought I might be losing it here, kept going in before it was properly dry.... am always telling other people not to do that but I get carried away!!! Anyway I add paint then wash it away by adding clean water to the darker paint so that I don't get hard lines (you may notice the bg to the left is slightly lighter than the first photo.. that's because it had a hard line as it dried so I washed it away) and also let the colour bleed into other areas so that hard lines are kept to a minimum. I have made a mistake with the paper, as I had forgotten it has both rough and smoother sides and I have used the smooth for this whereas I much prefer rough.

Starting to see it now and I liked the "unfinished area to the left so decided to keep something of that as I continued to add some of the detail around the centre of the flower. Just kept adding a mix of darks both negatively and positively and washing away to pick out some of the petals. At this stage I was using some violet to give added depth to the darks. Another note about letting the paint dry, as I work on each area and wash away the paint I need to let each of those areas fully dry before I even think about going in again, otherwise mud will happen before my very eyes!!!
This is where it got trickier, deciding where to lose the flower head so I had a few goes and think this looked the best, at this stage it really is a case of keep stepping back to observe from a distance and tweaking it until it looks right to you. At this stage I also added a touch of chinese white for some highlights in the centre.

So that's the first step by step I've done, I usually forget to do the photographs in between but disciplined myself for this one. Would be very interested to hear your comments about whether you found this useful and would also be very happy to answer any questions you might have. Just leave me a message here or by e-mail and I will get back to you.

37 comments:

  1. Beautiful Judy, How did you manage to wash away the greens and soften the top left hand of the circle.? A stunning piece.

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  2. Judith, which violet are you using for the darker color? Did you lay in the area around the center with a very wet wash and just drop the Perm Rose and whatever violet you are using into it? Also looks to me like there might be a bit of blue in it--which blue? One more question, the lighter flecks in the flower center in the last picture, white gauche or salt or what? I don't see that in the earlier pictures. Sorry for all the questions but I love the technique you've used and would like to try it!

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  3. Hi Gina... I have a magic eraser.... it's a cleaning product available from paces like JML and it is the best thing to wash unwanted paint away with.If you check it out I think you can buy it on the internet.

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  4. Hi Judy, it is Winsor violet..... I think I have a Schmincke violet but it is the same number so should be the same.... have a few palettes on the go so not sure which manufacturer it is. I used Ub and added that with bits of opera rose, permanent rose and the violet to the darks. As for the centre, I dropped colour in then added water to let it mix and spread on the paper. As for the whites oops forgot to mention, added a bit of chinese white to that will add it in to the text... thanks for spotting that. Thanks for the great questions Judy, am sure it will help others too!!

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  5. Just seen this on Facebook. Marvellous finished product. Was delighted to see that you have done a step by step. By all means do a video. We all should make that effort.
    http://glenapp.blogspot.com

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  6. She is terrific --- been with her since the beginning and this lady has talent that she hasn't even tapped yet! I tried this today after more than 4 months not picking up a brush, and it is in the bin. Tomorrow is another day. Judith you are an inspiration to us all. Your talent is evident.

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  7. Great step by step and wonderful finished result Judith

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  8. Thanks Brian.... am working up to the video!! Do you just use a normal camera? I've just got a fuji digital which has a recording function and it does that quite well but not sure how it would be for something like this?

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  9. Susan, you've got me blushing now!! You have been a wonderful supporter of my efforts over the years and I will always be truly grateful to you!!

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  10. So pleased you liked the step by step Lorraine, never know how they are going to turn out but am pleased with this one especially as it is so big.

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  11. This is such a wonder to see. I love a step-by-step tutorial, it always helps to understand the thought process behind the finished product.

    Thank you for showing.

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  12. Thanks Teresa delighted you enjoyed, will try and do one or two more of these as I enjoyed doing it too!!

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  13. Brilliant Judith - I love step by steps - it's great to see how a painting comes together and this is one of your very best to date - just exquisite!

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  14. Great step-by-step post, Judith, and the painting is absolutely marvelous!!

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  15. This is definitely one of your best and that is saying a lot! Love the step by step. Please do more!

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  16. Lovely video Judith.

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  18. Am delighted you enjoyed the step by step Sharon and thank you for the lovely comment about the painting!!!

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  19. Thanks Konstantina, thrilled you liked the painting and the step by step, wasn't too sure about it at one stage!!!

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  20. Thank you so much Peggy I really appreciate your lovely comment as I know you have been viewing my work for a good few years now and yes I will be doing some more lol !!!

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  21. Lovely to hear from you Cherry so pleased you enjoyed the step by step!!!

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  22. Very well done Judith! Did you leave it to completely dry at any stage?

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  23. Thanks Helen, yes I did leave to dry....will add that to the text, really good point, had forgotten to put that in and it is very relevant..... not just an athlete eh????

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  24. Great step by step and excellent work Judith

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  25. Thanks Karen.... didn't want to make the step by step too lengthy and wordy as sometimes people switch off when faced with a large body of text but needs to be enough to give people the basics of it.

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  26. Gorgeous Judith! And I love your step-by-step... Thank you!

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  27. Am so pleased you liked Sherry...... need to get some more done but haven't been able to paint for a few days, have a busy few weeks coming up as well..... don't know how I found time to work!!!

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  28. Well done you! This is gorgeous and one I missed. I didn't know how except for some reason your blog disappeared from all my lists...so back on now. I have a bit of catching up to do here but no hardship there. Kettle is on and comfy corner waiting!!!! Bx

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    1. Hi Bx, thanks for stopping by... hope you have enjoyed your visit.... no idea where the links would have gone but at least you're back now!!

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  29. Thx for the step by step, Judith! Lovely work!

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  30. This is worth a retry. for me Thank you for posting this, I find it magical.

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  31. Thanks for the step by step, it's fascinating, and the result is very beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Margaret... this painting has sold now but was quite sorry to see it go!!

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