Saturday, August 01, 2015

Cone Flowers Watercolor Vignette Painting

As summer blooms, I've been painting quick vignettes of the flowers in my garden on smooth watercolor paper starting with a series of hydrangea paintings.
Now the cone flowers (purple echinacea), are blooming beautifully with fritillary butterflies flitting all about them. How can I resist?
So on an exquisitely gorgeous day, I take time off from working on an oil portrait and bring my watercolors outdoors. There I do a study (or what turns out to be a study which is what happens when a watercolor goes wrong!). Later I re-do the painting in the studio. The final version is what I'll show you. Read along to see how it turns out.

I like the composition of my original study, so I re-draw that onto a fresh 11x14" sheet of smooth, hot press watercolor paper. This time, instead of beginning with the petals, I start with the cones using cad red & yellow and some mixed dark green (you can click the images to see them larger):


Now the pink petals. I use Opera Rose and some Cobalt Blue letting them blend on the paper:


Stems are painted with green mixed from blue and yellow adding some of the rose color while the paint is still wet:


There are two butterflies on one of the flowers. They are mostly an orange color and I'll add black and white markings when the paint is dry. I also add more details to the flower petals:


Here I paint the markings on a third butterfly in the lower right:


In the image above you can see that I have painted leaves using the same blues and yellows I used for the stems. The leaves actually take the longest time to do in this piece.
Here is the completed painting below:

Cone Flowers & Fritillary Butterflies 11x14 inch watercolor

This delicate effect painted with a light touch is exactly what I am looking for. Often it takes a few tries, but is worth the extra effort.

And the study that I did outside? Some of it I like, so I crop it into two 7x5 inch pieces:



Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the cone flowers!

You can get Cone Flowers & Fritillary Butterflies watercolor in my Amazon shop:




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