A nice easy and simple arrangement with two vases.

One clear, one a dappled cobalt teal blue.

Complementary pairing was used with the flowers – Yellow daffodils and Purple magnolias.




watercolor still life, magnolias, cobalt teal blue, debiriley.com
still life floral



Still Life Techniques



This painting, has a dominance of hard, sharp edges.

This means it was painted on dry paper and those edges left intact, not softened.

It created a much sharper, ‘in the face’ image than some of my other paintings where I’ve used a higher ratio of softer edges.

Edges hard, medium and soft Watercolor,

Natures types of soft edges  

Around The Edges




The design has diagonal lines, vertical lines and horizontal lines in the image.

This helps move the viewer’s eye through the painting.

Power in the Line 

The Thin Red Line 

Lines in art  




The Yellow and Purple pairing (complements) help to energise the watercolor still life painting further.

This is a great tip to remember for you to use yourselves when you paint. Or even putting on an outfit!

Yellow and purple;  red and green; blue and orange.

Those are the 3 complementary pairs that I keep in mind when I paint.




Charcoal was also used for extra definition and drama.

Once charcoal is on the paper, over the watercolor – thats it.

There is no going back. Its on to stay, pretty much.

Charcoal is fun to use this way, you just need to be aware of its limitations.




This was originally a full sheet. 22 x 30 inches.  I wasn’t happy with those dimensions.  It looks much improved as a square.

I think it could be cropped even further.

But, I  try to be judicious.

And to remember that Less, is more.

Stop. Fiddling.




So even though there may still be things amiss, that I dislike….

it might be better to quit while I am ahead.


Taming the Dragon Perfectionism