Saturday, 11 June 2016

Watercolour Flower

Over half term I got my watercolour paints out. It's been a long while since I last painted anything and I was feeling very rusty indeed, so I had bought myself a new set of watercolours as I couldn't find my previous set anywhere. It's a little travel set which is perfect for taking out and about with me. I can't help but feel excited when I open a new box of paints. 

The little half-pans of paint are like brightly-coloured sweets waiting to be unwrapped. I love the tiny silvery brush too. I couldn't wait to get started. I knew what I would paint. A flower (of course).

I chose a fairly simple subject. A sweet purply-pink geranium from the garden. I had decided I was going to give myself an hour to see how far I got with it. If I don't time-limit myself I can go on for ever.

First I drew a faint outline in pencil. Hopefully you can just about see it.

Then came my favourite bit - finding the right colour. I loved playing around adding more blue here and then some red until I got as close a match as I can. Each petal is made up of several shades of deep pink and purple, and varies depending on where it's in shade or light.

Then I washed some colour onto the petals. It looks rather fuzzy in this picture because the paint was very wet and the light was reflecting off it.

Time for some green. The leaves were quite a fresh, yellowy green

This first layer was important because I had to decide which bits to leave white.

The petals needed depth. and some green at the centre of the flower,

as well as the veins on the leaves.

Next came some touches of red to the leaves, and the veins and centre of the flower.


From start to finish it took me an hour and fiteen minutes. It's by no means perfect and far more a quick impression than a detailed botanical illustration, but for a first attempt after a long break I'm pleased with my picture and am going to get my brushes out again soon.  There's so much potential floral subject-matter out at the moment, it's just choosing where to start ...


  1. It's lovely. You'll have to press on and submit something for the RA Summer Exhibition next year. x

  2. There must be something in the air; after my recent camping holiday, when I enjoyed looking round several art galleries, I came home all enthused about picking up my paints again.. Mine are canvases, though, and acrylic paints. There was a time when I painted every day and I'd love to get back to doing that again. I hope you continue painting now you've made a start - and your painting is so pretty.

  3. It looks pretty perfect to me. I envy your skill, I would love to be able to paint flowers like that but wouldn't really know where to start. xx

  4. Thankyou for the step by step guide. Watercolour painting is something I would love to do. I've had a few attempts but your hints are a great help. B xx

  5. Wow you have produced a lovely piece of art, the step by step guide if perfect for a non arty person like me. I understand how you feel when you open the colours, I feel the same each time I open a drawer where I store all my cross stitch silks, it's sunshine and pure heaven.

  6. It's gorgeous, clever you. I have some watercolours just like that but no idea how to paint at all. You've really made an excellent job of it. As you say, there's lots of floral inspiration out there at the moment. CJ xx

  7. What a beautiful picture. I really wish I could paint; it looks like such a calming hobby. Sadly, my efforts look like a nursery child's show and tell! xx

  8. It is beautiful!! I am in awe of you!!

  9. So gorgeous how clever you are. Have you had lessons? I would love to be able to draw and paint. I have got one of those colouring books for adults which I enjoy but would have no idea where to start painting. Thanks for sharing this it's stunning.

  10. Wow it's absolutely beautiful!! Very impressed :) My art teacher asked me not to take art GCSE and I haven't picked up a paint brush since ;) xx

  11. That is so lovely, you are talented. I wish my paintings could reach that standard they end up looking like children's pictures! I try to capture the beauty of the flowers through photography instead. Sarah x

  12. Hi Cathy, your flower is beautiful! I have the same watercolor box. I like to play with colors too and to find the right one!

  13. Beautiful!!! That's very impressive. Astrid x

  14. Wow, I can't paint or draw and envy your talent, beautiful xx

  15. You've been hiding your talents, this is lovely.


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