A very loose and free Hollyhock  ( painting how you feel!)

A very loose and free Hollyhock ( painting how you feel!)

I think you can tell from my blogs, I am most certainly British, I begin most of them by talking about the weather , today is no exception. 

Autumn can be glorious but here in Devon the past few weeks have been dark and damp and filled with rain, not doing much to raise my spirits. 

I think I have mentioned before about deciding what to paint, and it can be annoying , wanting to paint and not knowing where to start, but I believe we do most things better when our heart is in them. Some days I want to paint very precisely others I want to splash it all around, today with grey skies around me I wanted to paint something bright and sunny, and so I did.

Hollyhocks, with some added buzz

Firstly I sketched them out


 Then I painted the centre, in a light lemon yellow.



How hold onto your hats I painted the whole of the petals in indian yellow as a under painting ( these are deep red hollyhocks)



Then I grabbed my trusty spray bottle and sprayed my painting , seeing where the paint would go, this is fun, but be controlled,

If it looks good , stop! ( good advice when painting anything)



Then I started to drop in reds and purples, and sprayed some more



I did the same on the other flowers too



Now you have to be patient, don't fiddle! I have a cup of tea or work on another painting while this dries, If you can leave it,  then simply work with what you have, your painting will be all the better for it.Let the watercolour  work it's magic, try not to be in control and  react to what happens


You can see from the image above that watercolour dries much lighter . Now I can work into the background that's been created.



I am getting darker and tightening up as I go,here you can add the detail, but my advice is not to add too much, leave it loose and exciting, that is the wonder of watercolour

Next I work on the other flowers and the stem, stepping back and judging the bits that need work and the bits I can leave.



And finally I added a couple of bees ( see previous blogs on how to paint bees)




I wanted to be reminded of summer today, I wanted to be loose and free with my painting, go with how you feel and reach for your own style. I hope this helps .

At least when it rains it gives you an excuse to pick up your paintbrushes...happy painting x




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  • Ceirdwyn

    This is fantastic! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and methods. I’ve just started learning watercolours during inktober. I just found you on instagram, and followed your link back here. Your art is amazing, and I can only hope to be close to as good as you in a few years time.

  • Jane

    Thanks for this lovely tutorial. Such good advice about letting watercolor alone to do what it will, but so hard to follow!

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