Sunday, 20 July 2014

[Sweet Pea] Pinks, reds, pinks, reds...

EDIT: I have no idea why some photos have so saturated colors :(

Today I finished painting the third Sweet Pea flower. That was crazy! I had so many problems with it. This flower is all pink or pinky-red. I used to like pinks, I used it a lot, but I didn't really pay attention to exact color. When I had to use pink, I mostly used Permanent Rose. But later I bought new paints, which gave me a wider range of pink colors. I was shocked when I saw Opera Rose on the paper. Have you seen this color!? It looks so unnatural and it just shines from the paper, it's so bright, it's just the same as those colorful markes to highlight a text, the pink one is just the same.
But let's come back to the flower. It was a big challenge. Honestly I had so many "oh no" moments, that I was painting it for two days. I thought I would never finish it. When I laid down the first layers I also made a mistake and used my brush too quickly, when the paint was still wet and I did those awful lighter spots.

Everything was not the way it should be. I also did some color tests. I decided that the most similar color to the original was a mix of Winsor Red and Permanent Rose. But later I also added layers of Ruby Red which is something between red and pink. The darker areas I made with the same mix: Winsor Red + Permanent Rose but with a little touch of Perylene Violet. I knew that adding the veins would change this flower into something better so I was patiently adding more layers, and waiting till it all dries so that I could add the veins. Finally I did it and I thought it looks ok. I also added the first washes under that triangular shape.

More layers with Permanent Rose and Winsor Red. At the bottom I also used some Cobalt Violet. The first layers were quite pale, while the next one was darker. I tried to get that spotted pattern.

After I added more and more layers, the flower was finished. On the petals I used a lifting technique to get some lights there. I took a damp brush, I dampened the areas when I wanted to get some light, and then I lift the paint off with a tissue.

This flower tought me again that patience is very very important. Also when you paint, there can be, as I say, "oh no" moment, when everything seems to be wrong. Just ignore it. Do what you are doing. There is always a risk that you won't be happy with the middle stages of your painting, but only when you finish the painting, you can say if it was worth it or not. Middle stages can be difficult, they may not look beautiful, but what counts is the result. That's why I used to didn't like when someone was watching when I was painting. Because middle stages were not really nice to watch. But now it doesn't bother me, because I know, that the result is like a beautiful swan, and the middle stages can be the ugly duckling. 


  1. These are so beautiful I love how you captured a velvety texture to the petal, particularly the purple one on the far left

  2. Love these, they are so perfect.ngreat you are keeping colour notes as well.