Hydrangeas before and after breakfast

While I was weeding the garden the other day I discovered lots of hydrangea blooms hidden under some other plants. Since they flower too low to be seen from any other vantage point in the garden, I cut them and stuck them in a vase so I can enjoy them in the house.

This morning before breakfast I sketched them quickly in Procreate, on my iPad. I love how they flop out of the vase and bend in all directions. That’s likely because they were blooming on the ground so all of the flower heads are flattened on one side and a little bit odd.

After breakfast and a walk with Alice, I tried them in watercolour. I was hoping to keep the same simplicity of shapes as in my digital sketch. White blooms can be tricky because you want them to have a light side and a shadow side, but you still want them to be white. I used a variety of colours in the shadows but still tried to keep the values light. Painted on a block of Winsor & Newton Rough paper, 16″ x 12″.

29 Comments on “Hydrangeas before and after breakfast”

  1. Gay King says:

    It’s lovely! Love the pale colours.


  2. loisajay says:

    I think you’ve succeeded, Shari. They look beautiful both ways.


  3. Judy Sopher says:

    They are lovely both ways but the glass is prettier in watercolor. I know nothing about Procreate so I don’t know the limitations, if any. But I love the way you paint a glass vase.


  4. Hydrangeas before and after breakfast


  5. Brenda Staresnick says:

    ..love the watercolor..what are your greens in this one..I’m playing w/viridian & aureolin & various reds..


  6. Becky Smith says:

    As always, such beautiful use of color. Love how the colors in the shadows are also in the glass and the flowers. Great idea to use Procreate for the initial sketch followed by watercolor.


  7. Interesting. At first glance, before reading your post, I thought the first one was in gouache.
    Both are wonderful impressionistic sketches of these great blooms.


  8. Denise says:

    Both are lovely, but my heart goes to the watercolor version. Glad you are getting lots of use from those cuttings. Enjoy!


  9. Lee Kline says:

    Your Hydrangeas are spot on. When I was a boy we were told the flowers were pink or blue depending on the alkaline/acid content of the soil. Ever heard that?

    Sent from my iPhone



    • I have heard of that Lee. We can’t grow the blue ones here unless we augment the soil with one of those, but I can’t remember which one. And then the following year they revert to white anyway!


  10. Bernadette says:

    White flowers of any kind are difficult to pull off in watercolor. Your rendition is wonderful! They are lucious, yummy eye candy!


  11. Love the abstraction in the watercolor, and the colors harmonies!


  12. joantav says:

    Both are good, but the watercolor shows the shapes of the petals more and the shapes in the vase really make the blooms stand out. I really like that one. Nicely done!!


  13. It’s so interesting to me how different these Hydrangea paintings are and yet both just as lovely.


  14. jameswebbart says:

    Both renderings are spot on. The only difference with the Procreate approach is that it looks more like what opaque watercolor would look like. It was you that inspired me in the buying an 11” iPadPro where I’m teaching myself doing watercolors using Procreate. One can get some interesting washes with a lot of work ! I like using my iPad so much that I bought a second one which is the 11” IPadPro 2020 with the wide angle lenses. Check out my artist spider.blogspot.com I’m using for self training for my WORDPRESS site.


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