Spring to Summer

The last week of Spring is approaching but it sure didn’t feel like Spring in the Netherlands, does it? Temperatures continue to be under 19℃ everyday plummeting to around 12℃ in the evenings although thankfully for now, it remains sunny. Hoping that this summer will bring some warmth and energy without soaring to extreme temperatures. And hence, I thought a cute colorful watercolor painting of Little One wearing and surrounded by pretty flowers would cheer us up!

Pencil Sketch

On my Strathmore’s Visual Journal for Watercolor, I set about sketching. Little One all flower power again with flowers in her hair and a cute T-shirt with what else but a flower on it! And there she is holding her new flowery handbag and happily posing in the garden surrounded by tulips! When I began painting the background, I realized I had forgotten to take a photograph of the pencil sketch but, oh well, here it is anyway…

Watercolor Painting

For watercolors, I was keen to try out my new set of pans by Kremer Pigmente from Germany. What makes them special is that the watercolors are hand made, derived from natural ingredient including plants or minerals. The result is rich vivid colors, and even quite saturated in appearance as opposed to too transparent. First started with the sky followed by the grass…

Once the background was completed, I continued with the subjects still with the same set of watercolors. Kremer Pigmente also has other sets of watercolors which I also introduced in this painting, including the greyscale and neon colors. To make the hair more streaky, I firstly drew some strokes on the area with brown and green aquarelle pencil (Caran d’Ache Prismalo) before spreading the color with a wet brush dipped in some brown. The rest is straight forward. Amazing how vibrant many of the colors came out, particularly the teal, greens, yellows, violets and orange. The neon pink, too, of course.

Finishing Touches

Whilst the painting turned out to my liking, I decided to take the extra step, as usual, and add more. The smiling eyes were firstly traced over with dark brown aquarelle pencil. Then a bit of texture was introduced on the center of the flower on the dress with Daniel Smith’s watercolor medium which was quite unintentional; I decided I didn’t like the purple and layered on another color but shortly after regretted that and tried to reverse it by spreading some of the medium (it’s like gesso but for watercolor), letting it dry before repainting with the original color. Another beautiful mistake! Finally some fine details with a white gel pen. And now we’re good to go!

I love how vibrant the colors turned out in this painting! Kremer Pigment really does produce some fine quality watercolor; the fact that it is handmade and derived from natural pigments does speak for itself. In terms of quality, I think it’s at par with Japan’s Kuretake Gansai Tanbi although the colors are livelier. And I love how the subjects, Little One especially, pops out so beautifully. Looking forward to painting more with this set of watercolors again soon especially as the summer approaches!

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