Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Primroses Step by Step : Colour Choices and materials.

 Watercolour Shades for painting primroses in watercolour

I am hoping everyone reading my blog is eager to paint primroses and as promised  this opening post is to discuss which products I use.

One of the main hiccups I find when taking workshops is the manic race for everyone attending to start painting straight away! Often artists look at a white piece of paper and rush to cover it with colour without even seriously thinking of their subject or how they are going to capture it really well. They just want to paint and go for it at the stage when thinking really is the most  beneficial option!nd 

Tip 1. Always start a painting with mental colour options.

Studying a subject to choose the best colours to portray it is vitally important. Over the years I have painted so many floral pieces and as any botanical artist will tell you if the colour isn't right,  no matter how beautiful your result , your painting won't  really tell the true story of the flower you are painting. So please take your time at this stage to get everything absolutely right.

First, choose the colour for your main subject,in this case the primroses, and then we can look at background colour options for contrast. Finding the right yellow isn't easy because if you study a primrose they are not really yellow at all! They are a beautiful soft creamy lemon shade and I always see hints of delicate turquoise in the petals. Does any watercolour manufacturer make a perfect colour match for this yellow? Or is it easier to mix our own shades? I would love to know your favourite  choices.

I used to always mix my own colour for ALL subjects but now I am having fun trying out new products by a variety of manufacturers. For this exercise I can really recommend "Scminke  Jaune Brilliant Dark".  I know everyone is going to think, "oh no, I need to buy a new colour" but this one is so gorgeous to use for all kinds of subjects, not just flowers, so it is well worth getting.

Alternatively you can try Winsor & Newton Lemon Yellow but it isn't the same!

Paper? I always use heavy weight paper but for this exercise I am happy working on Bockingford 140lbs weight. Rough or Smooth surface. For flowerr I usually use a smooth surface. Once you have made a few fantastic  paintings with great results move to a better weight like Arches.

Nice clean water pots are essential!

Brushes? I am working  with my personalised brush sets. My size 10 sable for all the main work but my rigger for last minute details like the flower centres.  

 I mentioned   choosing  background colours to contrast and we need to " Think Spring" in this piece. Opera Rose will give a lovely glow but I am opting for Cerulean Blue for the sky and upper background, for the lower  background I will use Winsor Violet . French Ultramarine  and the Cerulean Blue mixed with my yellow will give me gorgeous green shades but we won't be mixing these in the palette! I could use a small amount of Turquoise too but will see how things progress!

So now you should have everything you need, and next we start the washes. Yes, I do mean washes because I want you to paint more than one!


I am going to add to this step by step daily and hopefully you will be able to email me some fantastic   painting images when this tutorial is finished. The best I intend to share on my blog.

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