Welcome to Life Documented 2018 (17th February) Week 7 with Suz

Theme:  Hearts and Flowers - exploring paints and mediums

Prompt:  Watercolor

Technique: Painting loose flowers 
Quote: Hearts are wild creatures, that's why our ribs are cages-Elalusz

Hello everyone!  Hope you are all well.  

I wanted to do some easy watercolor.  The quote has nothing to do with watercolor and I didn't put hearts in my watercolor although you can, but I love this quote! 

I was inspired by Paivi Eerola.  Her art is very different and if you haven't checked her out you should.  She does very loose and free art.

If you don't have watercolors or you don't like them, use craft paint or even water soluble markers can be fun.  I use a tile to put my color on and then water it down with drops of clean water.  If you want to use markers you can scribble on a waterproof surface and drop drops of water on that to dip your brush in.  If you want to water down acrylics a thinner or airbrush medium works best but you can use water as well.

These are my favorite brushes.  I get everything on sale or with a coupon and these are no exception.  Sadly I can't suggest the larger brush because I notice all of a sudden the hairs are coming out one at a time but I love this size and type because it comes to a very small point when wet.  Robert Simmons 14 round and Blick 8 red sable round.  A brush with a little length on it is best because they hold water better.

My paper is watercolor paper Bee Paper Aquabee 6x9, 140 lb. 50 sheets.  From Dick Blick.  These are single papers which I get for travel.  They are nice and heavy and can be cut down for ATC's.  Any paper will do though.  Even mixed media as long as you don't over work the paper.  I have also used old book paper.  I just didn't use as much water or paint.

So to start make three donuts on your page.  Very, very lightly for placement of your flowers.  You don't want your marks to show in the end and you can always erase when your paper dries out if you see any marks you don't want. The color palette I used is at the bottom of the page.

Start with pale colors and build to darker.  I started with a purple.  My purple is bright so I added quite a bit more water then dabbed it on a paper towel so there wouldn't be a lot of water in my brush.  Make a spiked look or ragged edges touching your brush to paper and flicking it back and forth.

Nest I added a blue.  It doesn't matter what shade.  I tried to use mostly complimentary colors or colors next to each other on the color wheel.  Doing the same technique as above but smaller.  

Use a darker blue or the same blue with more paint on your brush.  You are building layers.

Next start the very same process on the outside edge of the big circle with a medium blue or the darker but with more water as I did.  If you don't have a lot of colors, mix your blue with a drop of black or paynes gray.  Notice how light the centers dried?

This does not have to be neat.  The point is to be loose and have fun with it.  If you have a different idea for a flower, by all means just play. Next I added some Pthalo green,(an example of this color), but lightly with quite a bit of water but always touching my brush filled with water and paint to a paper towel.  If your brush doesn't hold a lot of water you won't have as much of a problem with a lot of water.  I added some drops of blue to the green while it was wet and let the paint spread like it wanted.  I didn't try to manipulate it.  I also added some alizarin crimson spots in several places(very little paint).  I even let the red go into the blue and vice versa a little.  I wanted the colors to run into each other.  

I picked up some green, using a couple different colors.  One was a primary green, Pthalo green and on my tile mixed in some yellow into each green on the side then touched them around the edges where I would want leaves to be.

I started going back in with the same colors making the center darker by adding water here and there and dropping in more color.  I added a crescent to the pink flowers.  When you add this crescent with the light at one side and the dark on the bottom it will make your flowers look like they are pointing outward.  It also determines which way your larger flowers are going to add this same crescent to the darkest colors in the center.

I just kept building in this way, dropping color here and there on top of color.  If you get places that are too wet, take a towel or paper towel and dab the edge into the wet area and it will wick away some of the water.  You can also dab.  I added a bit more yellow with green at the outer edges and some of the purple in dots to denote sprigs of flowers. You can also dab some small areas to denote stray leaves on the outer edge.

Some of the green ran into the red and purple but I just let it.  If you have never done watercolor you learn it is better to let things happen rather than try to correct. I added some more dabs of the dark to the outer edges and some greenish shades for the stems of the flowers sticking out the most.

I let everything dry then used my pen to show some leaf and flower shapes.

This is my color palette

The last thing I did was erase any lines I didn't want that I saw from the original sketch and add some veins in the flowers with a pencil. As always, play!  Have fun!

I am by no means an expert but I have taken some lessons just to get used to dealing with watercolor.  I think you will like it if you play and don't get crazy about what you think the outcome will be.  

I hope you enjoyed the lesson.  Can't wait to see what you do!


  1. Oh, Suz, this is gorgeous! You make it look easy. I am going to try it right now. (=


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