Magnolia season

Magnolia season is too short. The flamboyant blooms open and are gone before you know it. Since most of the trees are on people’s lawns in my neighbourhood, I had to drive around a bit to find one close enough to the road to paint — I couldn’t very well set up in someone’s front yard with my sketching supplies. Since the blossoms are very light at the top and intensify in colour closer to the stem, the best way to tackle them is to wet each flower with clear water and then go in with pure colour near the stem (I used a combo of Permanent Rose and Permanent Alizarin Crimson). The lighter pink is created as some of that pure pigment mingles with the clear water and travels up the flower.  Sketched in a Field Watercolor Journal, 8″ x 8″.


35 Comments on “Magnolia season”

  1. Snehal Kank says:

    woow so beautiful!


  2. ChesapkLady says:

    A perfect capture, Shari! You’ve got that little uplifted cheer of the stems and blossom just right.


  3. Karin says:

    You are more than welcome to setup in my front yard in magnolia season when you’re in Toronto!


  4. TR Duncan says:

    You make that look so easy! I’ve been eyeing these ones for over 3 weeks and trying to sort out how to capture them.


  5. monique says:

    It’s PERFECT!


  6. Cherry clark says:

    This is truly beautiful, I’ve had a horrible day and this has really cheered me up, I’m going to
    Search for a magnolia tomorrow and paint it! 😊


  7. Miú says:

    Beautiful, Shari, the way your colors mingle, the lightness of it all!
    I have a yellow magnolia in my garden which I also tried to sketch and paint, to much poorer results of course, back at the beginning of April. 🙂 I wish I had seen yours beforehand for proper inspiration! []


    • Hi Miú. I didn’t know yellow magnolias existed. Yours are beautiful but yellow flowers are so hard to paint. You can’t get the same intensity of colour as I did because the yellow never gets as dark as my pinks did. I had the same problem a few weeks ago when I tried to paint the daffodils. They only work against a darker background.


      • Miú says:

        Yellow magnolias are much rarer and definitely much more recent than the pink and white ones. They are the latest craze of botanicists, it seems. You’re absolutely right about the “yellow” problem. Plus, I made the mistake of not wetting the paper before laying the colour. So, it “stuck” straight away, and didn’t fly up the petals. And, as the original yellow is very, very subtle, the watercolored version came out looking fake. Oh well, I’ll try them again!

        Thank you, Shari, for taking the time to check and for your precious feedback. 🙂


  8. Oh this is very beautiful pure Spring! Lovely! Carolina


  9. Jane says:

    Shari! I have been sketching for years and love a square format. Can you tell me the make of your 8″x8″…thanks!! Jane


  10. M. L. Kappa says:

    They really came out well!


  11. Sally Bookman says:

    Would you be so kind as to repeat the name and brand of the blue you like to use in your skies. I have misplaced that posting. Love that color!


  12. Randy Schaffer says:

    Magnolias are really wonderful in the yard, and your creation on paper is like announcing that Spring has awoken. Super


  13. GilZarins says:

    holly cow so simple and clean in execution and what a gorgeous result!


  14. Soni says:

    Lovely as usual but really appreciate your technique & material. I bet if you showed this to a homeowner they’d invite you into their yards.


  15. Gorgeous, wonderful colours.


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