Thank you Mr. Reid

When you can’t paint outside, bring the outside in. It’s been raining pretty steadily in Montreal so I grabbed these white azaleas (a generous gift from friends this past weekend), plunked them on the counter and painted indoors today. One thing I often do before painting flowers is to glance through my dog-eared and tattered copy of Charles Reid’s “Flower Painting in Watercolor“. Published in 1979, it shouldn’t be confused with the later “Painting Flowers in Watercolor” which came out in 2001 (I don’t own that one and can’t confirm if there’s any overlap in the content).

Almost every watercolour painter I know has heard of Mr. Reid and some have even been fortunate enough to attend workshops with him. I guess we all love his work for different reasons. For me it is the looseness of his brushstrokes, the watery quality of his washes and the way he loses edges between objects. Looking at how abstractly he starts a painting helps me loosen up in my work. His paintings are about capturing the essence of flowers with the fewest strokes. If you haven’t seen his books on flower painting yet, I encourage you to have a look, even if it means finding them at your local library. It’s well worth spending a rainy afternoon going through them. Painted on Arches 140 lb cold press paper, 15″ x 18″.


37 Comments on “Thank you Mr. Reid”

  1. Love the lemons and lime in the corner…beautiful colors!


  2. Dottie Aiken says:

    So fresh and beautiful. Thank you!


  3. Marylin Smith says:

    Thanks for sharing Shari…. I love thew way you paint flowers…I’ll look for Mr Reid’s book at the library.


  4. Liliane Partikian says:

    Love your painting, and that beautiful background with it’s subtle colours reflected in the flowers….it truly brightens up this dull rainy day. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Bernadette says:

    Lucious, the roses are absolutely luscious!
    I have “Painting What you Want To See” by Charles Reid, 1983 edition. When I bought it I rarely read the text but poured over the loose watercolors in awe. I must say that I believe Mr. Charles Reid would be so proud of your floral rendition.


  6. Carol Cooney says:

    A wonderful composition, well painted.


  7. Jane Hannah says:

    You will do wonderfully in NYC Shari -)))


  8. Linda Murray says:

    So beautiful, Shari! Love all the shading, shadows.


  9. Dee says:

    Charles Reid’s flower painting book was one of the first I bought! Way, way back…..maybe since you admire him is why I love your work so much. Is he still painting?


  10. Rebecca says:

    Wow, this is gorgeous, so fresh and totally floral! I have flower envy. 🙂


  11. sharot says:

    Your painting encourage me to paint..i like painting too, but almost have no time to do my hobby… thanks for sharing


  12. Sheryl says:

    Maybe someone has asked, but what color did you use for the shadows on yellow objects? Something I struggle with.


    • Sheryl, for the shadows on yellow objects I always mix in a little Cobalt Violet. I find that if I add that it still looks yellow. If I add blue it turns green but with with Violet it maintains the yellow cast.


  13. Janine says:

    I love seeing how you reserved the whites on this. Every post you publish here is not only a feast for the eyes but also a wonderful painting lesson in and of itself.


  14. PJ Cook says:

    Love those blending colors in the background. I look at Charles Reid books for the same reason. Very pretty painting and thanks for sharing!


  15. jaymee1005 says:

    hi Shari..I am a new reader here.. I just want you to know that i do love all your artworks.. amazingly beautiful! Keep it up and looking forward for more sketches soon…God bless!


  16. jaymee1005 says:

    amazingly beautiful! Keep it up Shari..:)


  17. Yung-Ching Hung says:

    Thank you for introducing Mr. Reid to me! I borrowed the book from the library and it is just amazing. I borrowed the newer edition, too. Both great books.
    I also want to thank you for answering my questions on Craftsy about what colours to use for shadows. Like Mr. Reid, you are a wonderful teacher!


    • Thank you for writing. I am so glad you like the book. Isn’t it a classic for flower painting. What do you think of the newer edition?I bet they have it at my library too. And so glad you liked the Craftsy class.


      • Ching says:

        The new edition has more assignments for step by step practice. The tips in the book are great. I found some video clips on YouTube of Mr. Reid demonstrating flower painting. They made me understand the techniques mentioned in the books better.
        I’m looking forward to your new class on Craftsy!


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