The Process of Making “Daffodils Jubilant”

So I thought I would document some of the stages of the painting process of this piece.  I started with a photo of a bouquet I had made for church, then cropped to find what I wanted / thought would make a good painting. Once I decided on composition then I  lightly sketched it onto 300 lb watercolor paper, then put in a faint Winsor blue wash for the background greens.fullsizeoutput_2c55 Then started with light washes of grays – and oh there are so many grays that you can make – and so easy to get wrong!  Here are some pics of the painting as it progresses from start to fullsizeoutput_2c58finish. And many undocumented steps in between

fullsizeoutput_2c59It is so challenging trying to get the yellows right! But, know I need to get the flowers close to being finished before I start layering in the greens.  Right now reminds me of some sort of wallpaper, or lovely fabric.

fullsizeoutput_2c57Okay finally started with getting in the greens and some darks, but flowers still need so many more glazes to make them pop – and you do have to let your paper totally dry between each layer, other wise turns to mud. And here is the finished piece (finally!) : fullsizeoutput_2c52 With the darks added, I ended up blotting up some of the lighter areas while still wet to get the depth in the background, then kept adding more gray in the white daffodil leaves and a wash of gray over some of the white whites. Finished after I added a wash of green in center daffodil’s shadow on white leaf, and purple to lower right daffodil’s shadow in tube.

I have enjoyed painting my past two daffodil paintings in pure traditional watercolor fashion, but am already missing painting more intuitively and freely.  Yet feel that I should pursue in this vein to really learn more about color and layering.  It has been a lesson in perseverance.

And one final note of gratitude, am finally using 2 Kolinsky (hair) brushes that my husband gave to me over 15 years ago (not cheap).  What workhorses they are – hold a ton of water/color and can go to the tiniest point when needed.  Ah the joy of having the right tools to do the job! So glad that I never dipped them into my acrylics and ruin them.

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