I’d have to say my favorite subject matter to paint is flowers. It might come from being a floral designer long ago.
I love paper whites. Their fragrance is divine and they’re so tiny and sweet. But my favorite thing about them is they’re little beacons of Spring in an otherwise dreary winter. They pop up around here even before the cheerful daffodils.
So I thought they’d be the perfect first flower of the new year.
Before we get started, look who paid us a visit in the backyard. Right next to our fence, mind you! I snapped this shot thru the window. He had a buddy, too!
I dunno . . . two boys together in the late afternoon . . . I think they were probably up to no good!
And just in case, I wanted you to know what paperwhite narcissus actually look like! (Just in case you couldn’t tell from my painting.) It always helps to look at the real thing when you’re painting.
Okay. Let’s get started.
I washed the watercolor paper with water first (with a paintbrush – not in the sink!) and then painted a light grey-green on. It looked all nice and green and then I dripped a drop of water on it.
It looked so cool that I spattered even more water all over the paper. Cool, huh? If you want to try this, just make sure your paint/paper is still moist, otherwise the water won’t make the little puddle marks.
Six paint colors . . .
White, Light Ivory, Bamboo, Leaf Green, Eucalyptus and Opaque Yellow.
Start with Bamboo and make three petals. The Bamboo will just provide a little shading underneath the White.
Next, paint Light Ivory over the petals for some more dimension. If you have ridges, Great! They’ll add some texture to the petals.
Then, in between the first three petals, add three more petals with Bamboo.
And then some more Light Ivory.
Why paint three petals first and then three more? Because that’s how the flower is structured – three on top and three on bottom. It’s a subtle distinction, but it’ll make a difference.
In the middle of the petals, just make a tiny circle that will hold the yellow stamen.
Now take White and paint the first 3 petals – the ‘bottom’ petals.
And then the ‘top’ petals and the inner ‘circle’.
Paint a long thin stem with Eucalyptus. At the top of the stem, paint in some Leaf Green and blend it into the Eucalyptus.
The Leaf Green will seem awfully bright, but that’s how the stems look – and the little necks that hold the blossoms and buds.
I mixed some White with Leaf Green to make the ‘neck’ even lighter and then added some White/L.Green to the buds.
Paint a little Leaf Green inside the White center.
And finally, 3 little Yellow stamen.
You could paint just one or two paperwhite blossoms. But I love a full vase!
Can’t you just smell them now? Me, too!
You really don’t need a pattern for this. Just start with your blossoms and then add the stems.
I like to do it this way, rather than the stems first and then the blossoms. I like to position the blossoms where I want them. I mean, they’re the stars of the show, aren’t they?
Okay, folks. Spring is on its way!