Remember the 3 cardinals sitting on a very thin limb? The materials I used for this one were a piece of cardboard from the side of a box with paint dripped on it, and cut or torn pieces of watercolor paper I had previously painted as well as some old sheet music from my piano days. Glad those are over!
Sometimes I make up stories about my paintings. I have two different story lines for this one: The male cardinal (in the middle, of course)is flirting with the lady cardinal that’s acting nonchalant and his wife walks in. Or the brother is arguing with his sister and the mother walks in. Take your pick or make up your own.
The paper is a “hotpress” watercolor paper that has a very smooth texture that invites watercolor to run wild on it.
I love it when watercolor runs wild!
After I arrived at the event and got all set up, I began by painting large areas of the background with clean water, being very careful to make a clean edge with the brush around the white of the glads. Then I used a large flat brush and dipped it directly into the thick watercolor paint that I had squeezed out onto a big white plate, and painted and dabbed it onto the paper letting the paint mix freely.
This is called painting “loosely!” It takes lots of water. Then I painted the interior of the flowers after I had a good perimeter of the background done, carefully preserving the white paper to feature the white gladiolas.
To achieve a very clean, vibrant and transparent look, I wait for the watercolor to dry before I touch that section of paper again with another watercolor wash. There is some waiting with watercolor. That’s why I often have several paintings going at once; I don’t like to wait!
This painting of the petunias in the garden is a large painting on a full sheet of watercolor paper (22×30) with a rougher tooth than the painting above.
I used a similar technique as the glads but with a little less water. I worked on the background first and all the whites are the bright white watercolor paper left unpainted.
After all this talk, my fingers are itching to paint!!