No matter how often I experiment with all kinds of different art materials and techniques I invariably return to my all time favourite watercolour paints. There’s something magical about the way they move on the paper. All they need is a little persuasion from lots of water! The garden is beginning to blossom right now and I found plenty of nature’s inspiration for my paintings. The lovely, delicate white flowers of the Magnolia Stellata don’t last for long but are a beacon of light at this time of year. They really do gleam in the dark at twilight. I love to capture their beauty before the petals inevitably fade and fall.
I encourage those strange marks which are called ‘blooming’ in the background. They are created when more water is flooded into the wet paint, pushing the pigment to the edges of the painted shape. I prefer the visual texture rather than a flat wash even if some painters view them as a fault!
The bigger Magnolia Soulangeana is only just starting to reveal her pink and white gorgeousness but even in bud makes a great subject for a watercolour. What do you think about that hot pink? It’s called opera and is rapidly becoming one of my favourite colours. I sometimes have to tone it down a bit with violet or blue so it’s not quite so in your face but honestly, there’s nothing like it for a bit of zing! I’m training myself to be patient about drying times – hard as it is to resist carrying on painting in one enjoyable and totally absorbing session. It would probably be a good idea to work on more than one at a time – that way I can switch between paintings and not feel frustrated. If I can walk away and let the first lot of paint dry it makes it easier to return a little later to add another layer of transparent colour. I find that’s the best way to build up depth of colour and add fine detail. I’ve also made a new friend with a rigger brush. Originally designed to paint the fine lines of ships’ rigging, they are long and narrow but still hold plenty of paint. Perfect for stems and twiggy branches. I know a lot of people find watercolour difficult to handle. It’s true that it can be tricky to control of you are working wet into wet but I find painting to a dry edge prevents all that uncontrolled bleeding of one colour into the next – unless, of course, that’s exactly the effect I’m aiming for!
Let me know if you have any questions I might be able to help with. I’m always happy to talk about painting!
Bye for now. Linda x