Ten tulips

I think the trick to painting flowers in watercolour is letting the paint and the water do some of the work for you. After all, the last thing you want is for flowers to look dry and wooden. For these tulips, I wet the shapes with clear water and then dropped some fresh paint into the puddles. I like what happened with the paint, how it flowed around and created texture on its own. I had some different colours of red and yellow on the brush, which mixed around on the paper and in some places, even mixed in with the green of the leaves. Resist the urge to muck around in the puddles of colour. Just let the paint and water combine and wait to see what happens when the paper dries. You might like it.


12 Comments on “Ten tulips”

  1. Susanne says:

    Nice. Here is one for you http://kng5.tv/TulipTown


    • Wow, I gave a workshop last summer in the Skagit Valley where this was filmed. I have seen my friends from the group posting photos on Facebook of these scenes. Imagine going out to sketch these fields! If you ever have a chance to visit this region, it is really spectacular. tanks for sending this Susanne.


  2. Thank you for the advice for letting the paint with the water do the work. I’ve just posted photos of tulips on my blog and looked back to last year when I painted some and they do look like sticks. Tomorrow I’ll try again and hope I’ll achieve what you showed.


  3. Ross says:

    The English language professor was lecturing his class of new university students…
    “In English, the use of two negatives creates a positive and it is the same with most languages. However there is no language in the world where two positives can create a negative…”
    From the back of the theatre came the voice of one of the students, “Yeah, right”

    My point relates to today’s post… so, you just wet some shapes and drop in a few colours, and watch what happens, and voila – you have a tulip painting… as easy as that! Yeah, right.


  4. Paula says:

    So inspiring! Lovely! Is that ink on the outline, or a very thin line in watercolor? Or something else entirely? I love the effect.


  5. Beautiful, and thanks for the instruction. I may try it!


  6. lynnbowes says:

    That’s exactly what the woman who taught me watercolor would say as we began, ‘Let the water do the work.’ As a metalwork person, my work tends to be tight and controlled so thanks for this reminder! Now to carve out a little time to paint . . .


  7. Joan says:

    No matter how many times I look at photos or actual paintings of watercolor flowers, I never tire of the eye candy provided. I love this loose , spontaneous technique. Letting the water do the work is the hardest thing to achieve for most watercolorists. We’re such control freaks! Thank you for this lovely bouquet.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s