I think this is the first original flower study I am happy with. The reason is that it has the looseness of style I have been trying to get, a brightness of color, and decent contrast.
I began by wetting my paper on both sides after drawing in the basic flower shapes, some stems, and leaves. All of the pencil lines are simply guides, but it did help. From there, I did the flowers with a wet wash, more water than pigment, to suggest the basic flower petals. From there, leaves in a light yellow green with the plan to paint darker colors over petals and leaves. Once I had those general shapes in, I placed the flower center in, allowing it to bleed into the leaves and petals as it would. Then I dried it with the hair dryer.
More washes came along using more pigment and less water, but still wet. I tried to suggest leaves and shapes, painting around the flower to create indents where the petals fell over the leaves in an attempt to create some depth. Again the hair dryer, probably multiple times. Finally details with a fairly dry brush, thicker pigment slightly dampened with water. This was done for some of the stems, the flower centers, and a bit here and there.
I am using my new palette, but I don’t think I really like the alizarin crimson that much. It is the “permanent” variety and seems rather dull to my eye. I tried to liven it up with other colors, like some blue and red and orange in different areas, but it is not as vibrant a red violet I would like. I will need to do a bit of research here.
So, at last, a sense of being able to paint flowers in a manner pleasing to my sense of what a floral watercolor should look like.
9×12 CP Arches, 140 lb.