Dark beauties

When I first receive my bouquet from Ferme Tournesol, it’s wrapped in brown paper and the flowers are hidden under foliage. As I unwrap it on my counter and separate the blossoms from the greenery, its beauty is revealed. This week it’s a dark beauty, with lots of deep magentas, oranges and reds. To play up the dark flowers, I keep the rest of it light in value, including some of the foliage. Painted on a block of Winsor & Newton Rough, 12″ x 16″, using lots of Permanent Magenta and Sap Green.

21 Comments on “Dark beauties”

  1. Chris Rusk says:

    Really nice way to end a week. They are beautiful!


  2. Becky Smith says:

    So beautiful – you captured the vibrancy and freshness. Where do you start a painting like this…. are you focused on shape, light vs dark or colors, background vs foreground??? I love your style! Was signed up for Madeline Island USk class that is being moved to next year. Cant wait to take one of your classes!


    • Hi Becky. I was so disappointed that we didn’t get to teach on Madeline Island this year. But postponing it gives us both something to look forward to, right?
      As for the flowers, where to start is always the big question…
      When I do these bouquets I work a bit all over the place. For this specific one I did those dark snapdragons first because they are so dominant. And then to make sure they were the stars, I made sure everything else was a little lighter in value.
      I hope to film a class with one of these bouquets soon!


  3. Susan says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous. I particularly like how you dealt with the vase.


  4. This is really beautiful. So loose. Would make a great workshop.


  5. jameswebbart says:

    You nailed it yet again ! The rewarding part in doing watercolors/watercolours is the nice surprises you see in what you’ve done looking at the piece a day later. I love how you described the clear glass vase with such few strokes.


  6. sandidureice says:



  7. Linda Murray says:

    Oh wow! Lovely!


  8. Diane says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your newsletter though I read every one; but I can’t resist today. I love what you do with paint and brush. Today’s bouquet is lovely to my eye and appreciate the work and effort to have the elements look like they all fit and coalesce together. But it is also the life you capture ~ I can almost feel the texture of the leaves and petals. Thank you for sharing your word and inspiration with all of us.


  9. Betty says:

    Beautiful bouquet 👏👏


  10. LOVELY, Shari! One could really get lost with all those pure colors bundled together in one mass like that, but you’ve handled it BEAUTIFULLY! Especially like how you calibrated the greens in this one. I also enjoyed your recent “Hole in the Mountain” post, with its discussion of organizing and pre-visualizing VALUES – GREAT STUFF!


  11. Lee Kline says:

    I love your bouquet.



  12. Betsy says:

    Love the velvety snapdragons, and the feeling of lushness conveyed by the on-page mixing of those darks.


  13. Elaine H. McGann says:

    Your work is so wonderful. Helpful. Calming during these times


  14. Beatuiful light/dark contrasts and loosey goosey vase and background, something I hope to aspire to someday! 🙂


  15. Donna says:

    Beautiful. So fluid. I’d be painting with a little brush


  16. mcammeehan says:

    Your use of colour is so inspiring, it looks like you work very quickly, is this a wet in wet technique or do you let layers dry?


  17. joantav says:

    Your assortments of flowers that you’ve received are lovely, but I love the off-center placement of the flowers and the vase. This is really beautiful!


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