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Painting Flowers in Watercolor

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This is a post from Belinda Del Pesco’s Art Blog Belinda Del Pesco.

Painting Flowers in Watercolor as a Meditation

I’m painting flowers in watercolor as a meditation this week. I snapped a photo with my cell phone of dwarf Daisies in a hammered brass cup outside in the sun. Printing the image on plain printer paper in black and white helped to focus on values. Working small makes it easier to sit anywhere in the house or the yard to paint. All you need is a chair and some art supplies. Making art is a salve. (Read Shari Blaukopf’s post about drawing from life to stay nimble, and away from the news.) Are you drawing or painting this week?

I snapped a photo of this tiny flower bouquet outdoors in the sun. It was printed in black and white on plain printer paper. If you’d like to practice painting flowers in watercolor, with a focus on values, you can use this photo too. Right-click the image and save it to your computer. Print it and paint something. :)

Painting Flowers in Watercolor Steps

Starting with a loose, simple pencil sketch on watercolor paper, I painted the background first. No hard lines; all wet into wet watercolor washes. You can do this too, with a lot of squinting to see and map the lightest and darkest patches. How soft are the transitions between the light, dark and mid-range values?

Still wet: painting watercolor glazes with transparent layers of pigment on wet paper to keep the edges soft and diffused.

Paint Slowly, Squint a Lot

Using watercolor glazing techniques, I added layers of watercolor, one after another on the brass vase and the foliage, working around the flowers to preserve the white of the paper. The values are built layer by layer, slowly, letting them dry while working other areas of the painting in sections.

When I got to the white circles where the flowers were, I painted a yellow elipse in their centers for stamens first. A shadow was cast on most stamens, so that was added loosely on the yellow with a sap green. The color of the sky was used to suggest petals, but again, loosely. I didn’t paint each flower, and every stem. I trust that your eyes and your smart brain will fill in the missing details to understand that this is a loose watercolor painting of flowers.

Don’t Forget the Option to Lift

The last layers were applied to the darkest shapes just above the rim of the vase. Painting with a variety of greens in flat layers on the foliage was easier than painting every stem. Keep in mind that after a solid passage of dark green pigments dry, you can lift watercolor with a clean, wet brush to ‘suggest’ stems.

After the watercolor dried, I added a few petals and dots with white watercolor to increase the “flowery-ness” of the bouquet. :)

Community + Sharing

If you paint the same image in watercolor, tag me on social media so I can see your watercolor. Feel free to draw the image in graphite as a value study, or create the same image in colored pencil. Wherever you share it, let me know so I can see the goodies you create this week.

Daisy Applause 6.5 x 5.25 Watercolor (available here)

Checking in with Each Other

How are you doing? Are you able to make something creative this week? Have you been you cooking, sewing, knitting, collaging? Will you tip-toe into sketching in pencil, playing with watercolor, or adding pen and ink to old watercolors? Can you balance the consumption of news with tea and art books or inspirational artist’s blogs?

In stressful seasons, mini sessions of making art serves to calm and center thoughts on something fun. Creativity is a respite.

Collage Cascade

Thanks for the emails and comments on collage in the last post. The imaginitive collages you’ve made (so far) just slay me. I loved every one of them! Thank you so much for sharing them with me, and on putting them up social media. The resourcefulness to collect materials for your ideas was amazmo. I especially loved searching the real estate images on Zillow to grab a photo of a beloved but sold grandparents home for use in a family photo collage. Good job, JR!

Artist Jeanine Robb created this fabulous collage with printer paper photos of her grandparents and the house they used to own in the background, pulled from images on Zillow. Follow her on Instagram.

Good Reading

Artists all over the internet are using social media during this sheltering in place time to share and connect. The internet is fluid with posts from musicians, actors, painters and authors all using the video capabilities of their phones to broadcast free content to the world. It’s quite remarkable, and almost poignant to feel the generosity of the creative community out there.

  • Mary Chapin Carpenter is broadcasting a series called Songs from Home – with her guitar and her dog Angus – live from her kitchen. Watch the second episode here.

  • Landscape Painter John Poon has begun offering online painting workshops on color in landscape painting from his studio for $50. The next online workshop will be Saturday, March 28th. Sign up here.

  • The hashtag #togetherathome is being used to help folks find musicians and entertainers broadcasting from their homes to yours. This page is harvesting some of them if you want to take a look.

The Thing About Time

Paint something soon, my friend. I hope you’re sketching, making lists of ideas, and scribbling compositions on post it notes. Remember to pick up the phone to chat with art friends, and keep yourself connected and encouraged. We are all going through this together. Remember all those moments when we wished for more time? Try hard not to squander this gift. This is time. Scoop it up.

Thanks for visiting, and I’ll see you in the next post -


Visit to get free access to a short video course aimed at getting you and your art supplies back together.

Art Quote

We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.

Steven Pressfield

Stone washed linen artist’s apron. This soft shade of pink is my favorite, and it’s hanging on my studio door right now to cheer me up! (They come in all sorts of colors) Stone washed linen seems like a nice alternative from the usual stiff canvas or denim artist’s aprons, don’t you think?

The post Painting Flowers in Watercolor appeared first on Belinda Del Pesco’s Art Blog Belinda Del Pesco.


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