Red shape, green shape: a step-by-step bouquetPosted: March 27, 2017
I had a bit of time today so thought I’d do a step-by-step post of a bouquet of flowers I had on my counter. There are no pencil lines in this, just brush shapes and colour on a pad of Fluid watercolour paper — a quick flower sketch for a grey day in Montreal.
The first washes you make on the white paper are the most satisfying, aren’t they? You haven’t overworked anything, or messed up any washes yet! With flowers I try to group the blooms into big masses of colour, and add variety in the washes. For these Alstroemeria flowers I used yellow, orange and red pigment, and let the washes flow together.
The next step is to add the green, again in one big shape. Since the foliage is lightest at the top of the bouquet, under my counter lights, I used more yellow and as I moved down to the foliage in the vase, I allowed the green to darken.
When those two washes are dry, the fun part starts. I go back into the flowers to define them a bit. At this stage I think about edges of petals, centres of blooms, etc. This is still fairly loose.
The next step is to pick out some of the leaves, figure out what is in front and what is behind, and also where the vase starts. That’s where the sharper darks come in too.
The last steps are the final details: a bit of spattering for the flowers, some tiny shapes of stems and the darkest darks. And even though you see 2 brushes in the photo, this was all done with a Winsor Newton #8 brush.
Here’s the final sketch, fully dry and scanned. If you are interested in these types of exercises, the paper in these Fluid Field Watercolor Journals is perfect. Colours retain their brightness, the paper is not too textured so you can use an ink line if you wish, and they are reasonably priced too. This was sketched on the 7″ x 10″.