Sunday 3 May 2020

Poppies and Daisies in watercolour for beginners PART 2

I'm back with the next stage of our wet into wet challenge, once you get the hang of moving the paint, you are then ready to take things a bit further and create a small painting or study.

Remember to make sure your paper is taped down (or it will cockle and you will be working in rivulets).

Begin again by thoroughly wetting the paper using the Golden Leaf brush, then using the Classic Round brush and Permanent Rose, or a similar pink, drop in the flower shapes and some splashes of colour. The shapes will begin to spread out and a halo of lighter colour may appear floating on the water surface.
Clean the brush out (or use a second brush, which I prefer to do) mix a strong Turquoise, press the brush firmly against the paper and drag the brush in between the pink sections.

The colours will remain separate providing you avoid mixing them with your brush. 

Let the paint flow freely and avoid pushing it about at this stage. Move the paint without lifting your brush, keep it on the paper unless you want to release more paint or indeed want to refill your brush.
If you are using a synthetic brush, you may find the paint 'drops' out of the brush rather than 'holds' it making it more difficult to control. Its not you! It may be the type of brush you are using.

Once you have surrounded the pink shapes with the background colour, use a bright Green to intensify the colours.
These three colours will now be touching and swirling round the paper but not mixing together. The whole sheet of paper should still be wet.

This next stage is the important one where you need to begin moving the paint. If you have practised this, you will have discovered the balance between how wet the paper needs to be and how much pressure you need to apply in order to move the paint.

Whilst it is all still wet (use the water spray if yours has started to dry) now is the time to move the paint with your thumb to create the white areas. Push firmly away from you. If the paint is wet enough it will flow back a little creating a nice clean shape of white paper.
These are simple stylised daisy shapes, nothing botanical about these flowers at all and no drawing is needed, just decide where your painting needs light areas and add a daisy shape.

It’s more about balance and colours at this point rather than trying to make or copy a picture.

Once I have added more daisy petals I then introduce some Shadow using the Half Rigger brush, dropping in colour where I want to suggest a flower centre, or just speckles where I want to darken areas.

If the paint starts to pool I can tilt the board slightly to make it flow better or I can let some of the excess liquid soak back into my brush.
Using a palette knife, or in this case the end of one of my Perspex handled brushes, I can move the paint away into thin lines in much the same way as I moved it with my thumb only this time the result is a thin shape. It is also possible to move tiny sections creating spots of white within darker areas.
I continue to add splashes of colour building up the picture. It is important to keep the picture wet all the time, use the spray if you need to but avoid the surface pooling.

Each painting or study will be totally different as you respond to what happens on your paper. Its only a piece of paper! so get practising.

You may find lovely sections within your experiments that you can cut out as cards, such as this example.

Don’t waste any of your experiments, the more you do, the more you will understand watercolour (or acrylic inks if you are using them).

My next post will be about 'fixing problems' and adjusting the results you have created. I hope you will join me for that, and meanwhile, stay safe, stay at home and keep painting!

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