The Shasta Daisies grew profusely every spring, like weeds cropping up in abandoned fields and old homesteads. Growing up, I loved how they were June’s herald to a respite from the winter cold.
Painted from memory only and as a demonstration painting for a workshop some time ago, I’m attached to my small memento that brings such warm and happy memories back.
I’d often go for walks, as a child, even if on the occasion I couldn’t get others keen to join me on my expeditions. I had to get out there and explore!
I soon learned where all the colourful & interesting flowers and plants were, what their names were plus, where all the short cuts were around our local neighbourhood. I loved colour, flowers, plants and my outdoors adventures even then.
I paint because I love the outdoors, I’m infatuated with all its colours, textures, layerings. Even the sounds nature makes can be translated onto paper or canvas…. if, one studies long enough at it. Patience ‘weed hopper.’
Watercolour Techniques Explained
Ways to engage the Viewers
You might note, the open gate of the fence. The path that leads hazily off into the forest area. This is actually a great design tool to use in painting to help the viewer engage and wander through the image freely without any blocked gates.
Leaving the White of the Paper
When I painted this as the demo it began as a way to show how to leave white of the paper. The technique of painting around your white shapes, without using that pesky masking fluid. Just rotating your Rekab 320s #2 brush around the shapes is easy and creates the form by making the background darker. i.e. the white stands out because the background has been put in quite dark.
Obtaining additional Depth
Remembering and using the guidelines of Aerial Perspective will help you create an added sense of depth in the painting. Place warmer colours in front of the cooler colours throughout the painting to see an immediate difference in depth. So that as I am using the charging technique to create my foliage (back, mid, foreground) I am also focusing on making sure cool is behind and warm is in front.
Techniques for creating Textures
Targeted splatter splots, for the yellow daisy centers helped to create a more natural random look than if I had slowly, individually dotted each one with the brush in the centre. That effect, would have looked too contrived and stiff. Unnatural. Just cover All other areas you don’t want splatter.
Gouging for the daisy stems. Very judiciously I randomly gouged into the dampened green paint in a few select places. Not willy nilly. This free form gouging helped to create the illusion and sense of the stems curving and growing… in the front. Which is exactly where you’d want the viewer’s eye to be able to see those stems.
Dry Brush in the foreground using the burnt sienna dragged rapidly across the paper created a rough texture, which assists the eye in determining this is closer, in the front.This was the last step.
Dry Brush is one of my favourite, and easiest watercolour techniques for texture.
The Process and Finishing
The entire process was fairly simple. Just a combined group of watercolour techniques put together in a sequence. Charging in the background; Negative spaces for the fence; splatter for the daisy centres; gouging for a few stems; dry brush for the foreground.
You could practice this one exercise a multitude of times… numbering them #1 through #15 and then look for the evidence of your progress. Your image #15 will be completely different to your first few exercises.
And I believe it will help, to call them “studies” “exercises” “warm-ups” rather than calling them “Paintings.” Because in actuality, you are “warming up.”
Its less stress, less pressure. And we all will create Better when we are less stressed!