This morning I attended my weekly art classes and managed to complete my watercolour painting! It took me a few months because of interruptions with holidays and illness but finally it’s done. I feel that the preparation, that is outlining firstly in pencil, was more difficult than the actual painting as I needed to make the plants looking as realistic as possible with all the folds and curls, as outlined in a previous blog, Watercolour Preparation: Sunflowers.
The painting itself took 2 or 3 lessons to complete. Here, I used Sakura Koi Water Color pans with traditional Japanese brushes which work just as well. Although I’ve gained some experience with watercolouring by practising at home, it was great having some guidance from my tutor, Sugawara-sensei. Like adding some red and orange for the shadows and lines on the yellow petals to give it some brightness and lift. For the leaves, paint in yellow first and then layer with green on top. Leave the veins unpainted and then fill in later with a lighter green colour. For the reverse sides of the leaves where they curl, mix with white.
Keeping his advice in mind, I used blue for the shadows on the stems and leaves. I decided in fact, to add a bit of cobalt blue for further vividness. And what a great thought that was, as it certainly made them pop out more! The middle of the sunflowers were dotted in with a dry brush using red, black and navy blue, along with the brown shades. For the edges of leaves, I scumbled in the paint for that prickly texture. So here goes:
I thoroughly enjoyed creating this painting. It was certainly a challenge trying to draw and paint as realistically as possible as much of my style is more abstract and animated. Great to have some practice too on focussing on shadows and highlights for more dimensional and depth. Next week, I’m planning on doing another watercolour painting but on still-life rather than natural objects. Always great to try different things!