Thursday, 3 November 2016

One Way to Make your Flowers Look Part of the Compostion

I have been playing with some ideas for my Winter Florals workshop I am running on the 22nd November and I love Christmas Roses. we have some deep purple (almost black) in our garden but they aren't flowering yet so I searched for an image and found this one by Glennis Weston on PMP.

I did my drawing which didn't include all the flower heads, just 3 and created my composition from there.  As all the petals had a white edges and I needed to find a way to make them part of the background without losing those edges. Normally I would wash some of them away but decided to work a bit differently for this one

 I used the following colours Quin Magenta, Turq, Cad yellow, green and I masked the stamens before I started painting making sure it was completely dry before I began painting.

I then did my background alternating my colours , throwing the paint and water until my paper was soaked.... instead of waiting for it all to dry, I started another painting... more of that another day!

The bg had dried with lots of cauliflowers and I really wasn't liking what I was seeing and in fact didn't like any of it for almost the next hour!! I worked on the petals in an almost botanical way, adding layers wet in wet and wet on dry until I was getting some shape to them and although you can't really see any of the magenta in the image I added it to my petals (well it is my painting!!) together with the other 3 colours in my chosen palette, keeping some areas very light and darkening others. I then moved back to the bg and created and then lost some of the leaf shapes and only then did I feel I might just rescue something from what I was beginning to think was a total disaster!!

I stepped back a bit when I had added a couple of the dark areas and moved around the piece with touches of dark here and there and losing some of the leaf edges as well.

By adding those touches of colour which are in the bg into the petals I feel the whole painting pulled together and I have ended up really happy with the result... just shows we need to finish our work, often beyond the point of where we feel we are overworking and as we have been discussing in a fb group recently, it is better to finish a piece and overwork it than not finish and be left wondering what to do. By working on them further you free yourself to try different things and learn so much from the process and there is a chance you will get something you like out of it!!


  1. Lovely stamens -so you masked them first then painted later with cad yellow?? was going to attempt red hibiscus but pesky stamen v tricky. Will use your trick.

  2. Enjoyed your blog, Judith! I used to sometimes give up on a painting rather than letting it took me a while to learn that it takes a bit of time to develop the painting. Sorta like fixing my hair in the morning.....if I keep at it for a bit, it will turn out much!


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