[Learn to draw by Tissa Hewavitarane]
Watercolours - ideal medium:
Showcasing shape and colour of flowers
Push the light with receding darks. Set-up a special table or shelf,
big or roomy near a window-sill. Then play with light. Try natural light
or spotlighted effects within a coloured box on a table. Make your
colours brilliant by setting off your colours with a soft background of
cool light colours against warm flowers and warm green under cool
leaves. Keep the background in pale colours. Use a multiplicity of
colours with each set: from yellow-orange to burnt sienna; from mauve
and permanent rose to the palest pink.
Flowers viewed from the rear can be interesting as those viewed
from the front.
Arrange the cool colours around the warm and contrasting colours
around the whites. Pack colour around the white flowers. Note the soft
edge on left-hand side, and the hard edge on the right.
Note there's no detail where the white is bright. Observe the green
leaves. Green leaves are not all green as you think at first. How many
greens can you see here? Blues, moving into purples to ochres and olive.
Now, do the reflection marks and add deeper cooler colours. The
background mixture was a Cobalt blue and light red painted up to the
flowers. This was allowed to dry. Then the flowers and stems were done
in a straight forward manner and left to dry. This resulted in a bright
hard edged painting.
I started from the top, the mixture was washed with a large brush
right across the entire watercolour, except for the white areas, which
were painted around.
As the last wash was applied, it was scrubbed lightly in several
places to dislodge the previously painted pigment, so it would run down
into the new background in a soft-edged manner.
Next, I painted the panel of deep purple, mauve, alizarin crimson and
a bit of burnt amber to improve the quality of the painting. Watercolour
is the ideal medium for portraying the magnificent shapes and colours of
flowers. With water colours you can create subtle diffusions of colour
that capture intangible effects. Spontaneous brush-strikes and lost and
found edges gives a sense of natural living forms.
The painting done here is a bouquet of flowers in a crystal vase and
was an appealing challenge. This was done on 140 lb hot-pressed drawing
paper with a slight grain. To paint the back ground, I have used Sable
hair soft brush to get an even flow, while for stems and finishing
touches No. 3 and No. 2 Sable hair soft brush.
Explore your ability to paint and practise working quickly, with
minimum error. You gain practical experience designed to increase your
creativity as you may recall it is a joy of watercolour.