Flowers are one of the themes that allow most freedom in watercolours.
Flowers are natural living things and should be painted with a careful
study and close observation to detail.
The most important is to know the particular character of the flowers
you have chosen to paint - whether they are big or small.
Flower forms are built up from light to dark with patches of warm and
cool colour. In drawing and painting it is far better to choose flowers
of the same colour or arrangement of closely related colours as it is
easy to paint.
Flowers may be colourful, but you don't need a lot of various colours
in order to paint them.
In fact, a simple one colour will give you the best results. When
choosing colours avoid more thick colours like yellow ochre.
You may choose really transparent colours such as lemon yellow, light
red, lemon green and light blue.
Start from a pencil sketch which will be easier to follow. What must
be remembered when drawing is the proportion between the forms of the
petals that will show you a real flower.
At first it is easy to start painting with one colour and flat colour.
A beginner should start with simple colours or when mixing colours do
not use more than one or two, otherwise the colour will turn muddy and a
dull effect will appear.
Hold your brush lightly to encourage fluid brush strokes and do not
try to control the paint too much.
In Figure 1: I have shown a simple sketch using flat colours for a
beginner to start painting.
First the pencil outline is done. Next a very light (transparent)
wash is put down over the back ground, leaving space for the white of
the paper to separate shades that must not get mixed up.
Yellow is one of the colours that permits the most luminous shading.
Figure 2: shows a complete bunch of flowers in colour. Notice I have
used five colours to make the drawing colourful with different flowers.
I have used poppy, tulip and Chrysanthemum flowers, in violet.
The first application of colour is the violet layer on the left.
Next the red colour poppies on the right where the petals are painted
in strong red.
These flowers (poppies) are painted in several steps. Firstly with a
very light wash and afterwards with darker tone.
At the top the flowers shown in yellow and brush strokes gone over
stems with green with a shade of darker green.
You may practise this exercise of using flat colours as a beginner
and then later use advanced colours.