Painting Tutorial - "Felicity" floral still life

watercolor  8x10"

Here is the photograph I worked from

Step one:

Here is my line drawing. I use transfer paper, or blacken the reverse of the drawing with a soft pencil to transfer the drawing to my watercolor paper.

I added small bits of masking fluid to highlights in the glass.

Step two:

I started this painting in a typical fashion with the flowers: a light wash painted wet in wet:  I wet the flower with clear water, and flooded in some pigment. 
The pink flower was painted with Opera and Permanent Rose. The purple flower is painted with cobalt blue, Opera, and purple.

Let this first layer of paint dry before adding layer #2.
The center of the flower (we’ll call this the disc) is painted wet on wet. Paint a little Gamboge in the middle, and a little hookers green around that. While still wet, flood a little Burnt Sienna around the bottom edge of the disc.

The crystal requires some careful sectioning of the facets, and each facet is painted separately. Painting patterns like this can be like a puzzle. I have no system with these, but try to paint of some of the very darkest facets to just keep track of where I am. I am using Raw Sienna , Sepia, Ult. Blue, Cobalt, Compose, purple, and pink.

The background is painted wet on wet. I paint water carefully around the petals, then flood in Pthalo blue.

Step 3:

In this photo, you can see that a lot of work is put into the crystal. I am concentrating on each facet; just trying to make sure the colors and values are right, while also keeping in mind that this is just my first layer.

I began the second layer of paint concentrating on the darkest areas of the flowers. The drawing is still clearly visible, so I paint it petal by petal. I don’t worry too much about the texture of the individual petals, but try to follow the contours of the shadows and shape of each petal. Here, I am just starting with the purple flower. My shadow colors are Pthalo Blue, Purple, and Ultramarine blue.
I added another layer in the background. Painting black wet in wet.

Step 4

Continuing the second layer of paint on the flowers I used Opera, Permanent Rose, and Cobalt on the pink rose, and continued with Pthalo Blue, Purple, and Ultramarine blue on the purple daisy. As well as giving dimension to the flower, the darker colors help differentiate each petal.
At this point, the painting looks pretty good. A bit too light for my taste, but I can see the progression is working so far. Squinting at the photograph helps me determine values.

Step 5

I am deepening values on the flowers and the crystal here. Another layer of black in the background really helps push the still life forward. Some of my students had much darker and more vibrant flowers, and we decided to keep the background lighter.
The crystal needed a few touches of details, darker values, and straighter lines that differentiated the facets.

Step 6

I worked on the pink daisy, added some darker area that give a little more dimension to the blossom. A little black in the very darkest areas of the purple daisy help give it more oomph.
I added some small details to the disks in the flowers, using a little more green, and violet, and burnt umber.

Step 7
My finishing touch is a light wash of opaque titanium white over the crystal. This seems to just unify all the little bits and pieces of shapes and colors.
I also added deeper color to both of the flowers. I like the obvious pink and blue tones, but the areas that look grey in the photo should be more purple. Prettier. I worked petal by petal to just intensify the color a teeny bit.
These tiny details at the end of the painting process can make all the difference!

I called it done and titled the painting "Felicity"

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