Yellow Loosestrife

This is a good year in my garden. Things that I planted three years ago are finally starting to mature. The tall spikes of Lysimachia vulgaris (Yellow Loosestrife) stand out in a shady part of the bed, and since it was too hot to go anywhere to paint yesterday, I set my easel up in my backyard and worked from there. Painted on a Winsor & Newton Watercolour pad, 10″ x 14″, with no preliminary pencil drawing.


17 Comments on “Yellow Loosestrife”

  1. Lee Kline says:

    Thanks. This Is Lovely. This is my personal definition of a watercolor. It would be so interesting to know what color touched the paper first, then next, and so on. I am saving this so that I may learn……

    • Hi Lee, I am happy to describe the process.

      First of all, I used a big, flat brush and fresh paint. That helps to keep the shapes big and wet.
      I use a DaVinci Cosmotop Spin like this: https://www.dickblick.com/products/da-vinci-cosmotop-spin-brushes/#photos

      In this one, I wanted the design of the painting to flow from the yellow shapes of the flowers. I mixed up lots of yellow wash and drew the shapes in with the flat brush. Seeing them all on white paper helped me balance them.

      From there, I added the purple shapes, knowing that they would be a good complement to the yellow. I was conscious of keeping them smaller so the yellow would dominate.

      Next I painted the foliage. It was all one base shape with some holes. Basically I painted around the flowers, trying to keep as much pigment on my brush as possible. I wanted the colours to be bright.

      After that I did the background colour, and even though it was dark green, I changed it to blue/mauve to contrast with the yellow.
      Here too, I kept the shape simple and left some white areas around the flowers.

      Last thing was the darks in the foliage under the flowers.

      Et voilà. Hope that’s helpful.

      Shari

  2. I love this Shari. It’s a different experience with no pencil first, eh?
    I can imagine this yellow in your wonderful shady garden. As usual, you have captured the character of this reliable and pretty perennial.

    • Thanks Alison. It is a different experience, for sure. There’s nothing as beautiful as putting down pure colour on white paper. It doesn’t always work out but this one turned out ok.

  3. Donna Thibodeau says:

    I’m going to try this. My drawings get carried away before I try to paint them. This looks like fun.

  4. Linda Murray says:

    Ditto what Lee Kline said. As soon as I saw this painting, I wondered the same thing. I tried to picture what color you started with- I’m guessing the yellow? A beautiful painting. I’m impressed with how you painted the background and the foliage. I’m afraid mine would look like a muddy mess 🥴

    • HI Linda,
      Here is what I told Lee:

      First of all, I used a big, flat brush and fresh paint. That helps to keep the shapes big and wet.
      I use a DaVinci Cosmotop Spin like this: https://www.dickblick.com/products/da-vinci-cosmotop-spin-brushes/#photos

      In this one, I wanted the design of the painting to flow from the yellow shapes of the flowers. I mixed up lots of yellow wash and drew the shapes in with the flat brush. Seeing them all on white paper helped me balance them.

      From there, I added the purple shapes, knowing that they would be a good complement to the yellow. I was conscious of keeping them smaller so the yellow would dominate.

      Next I painted the foliage. It was all one base shape with some holes. Basically I painted around the flowers, trying to keep as much pigment on my brush as possible. I wanted the colours to be bright.

      After that I did the background colour, and even though it was dark green, I changed it to blue/mauve to contrast with the yellow.
      Here too, I kept the shape simple and left some white areas around the flowers.

      Last thing was the darks in the foliage under the flowers.

      Et voilà. Hope that’s helpful.

      Shari

  5. Bernadette says:

    So beautifully fresh and lovely! I like the whites peeking through, left untouched. It’s a keeper!
    i would have liked to watch you paint this one.

    • Thanks Bernadette. Here is the process, as described to others who were curious:

      First of all, I used a big, flat brush and fresh paint. That helps to keep the shapes big and wet.
      I use a DaVinci Cosmotop Spin like this: https://www.dickblick.com/products/da-vinci-cosmotop-spin-brushes/#photos

      In this one, I wanted the design of the painting to flow from the yellow shapes of the flowers. I mixed up lots of yellow wash and drew the shapes in with the flat brush. Seeing them all on white paper helped me balance them.

      From there, I added the purple shapes, knowing that they would be a good complement to the yellow. I was conscious of keeping them smaller so the yellow would dominate.

      Next I painted the foliage. It was all one base shape with some holes. Basically I painted around the flowers, trying to keep as much pigment on my brush as possible. I wanted the colours to be bright.

      After that I did the background colour, and even though it was dark green, I changed it to blue/mauve to contrast with the yellow.
      Here too, I kept the shape simple and left some white areas around the flowers.

      Last thing was the darks in the foliage under the flowers.

      Et voilà. Hope that’s helpful.

      Shari

  6. Janice Veal says:

    Lovely as usual, just the essence of those flowers. And thanks for sharing information about the passing of Charles Reid. He is one of my favorite artists.

  7. Good Evening dear friend Shari,

    I felt the colors flowing.
    Very beautifully drawn.
    Regards and blessings
    Uma

  8. My gardens have struggled so much this year. Thanks for sharing the joy found in yours!

  9. sandidureice says:

    No pre-drawing – so inspirational. And very beautiful. Thank you also for providing painting information.


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