Next Painting

I visited my friend in Sarasota, Florida last summer and we spent a lot of time driving around the area.  Anna Maria Island is such a fun place to visit!  The sandy beaches and seafood restaurants were plentiful.  I took a LOT of pictures.

One of the pictures kept me coming back, trying to imagine it as the start of a watercolor painting.  I wanted to use black paper again, and thought this might work.  We shall see!

Sketching it out

First step done!  It’s probably hard to tell, but these are 3 sort of cacti with flowers.  The flowers are very colorful and the stalk sections are very highlighted. 

It will make more sense once I start working on it. 

Practicing the colors

Painting on black watercolor paper almost requires a different mind set than using white paper.  Without white behind the colors, they are too dark and do not have any dimension.  I’ll have three colors for the flowers: pink, yellow, and purple.  I created some petals and painted them with Chinese White, adding layers where I want lightness.

These practice petals are encouraging to me.  I like the translucent look of the petals.

Adding Color

I’ve masked off some of the vase so that I can get clean lines… but I might not have had to do that now that I’m progressing. One challenge I’m having is how to add very slight color nuances to the vase (not counting the obvious greenish color). I’ve added blues, reds, and purples into the mix when filling in some of the lines. I hope that they add to the hue, although they are not immediately noticable.

One Flower (select to enlarge)

Finished putting the white undercoat on the first flower… it looks cool!! This flower is purple. I’ll let the white dry REALLY well, and then gently apply purple as a very wet component. I don’t want the white to run or mix in.

Purple Flower

Here are the steps in shading the purple flower.  I wanted to bring the black up through the layers, but it’s hard to know how much to bring up.  This is supposed to look like a glass sculpture, with bright highlights.

I’m happy with how it is looking!  

Select to enlarge

Making progress

I’m liking how this looks!  I still have a long way to go, but it’s starting to come together.  Since the biggest of the vases is a lighter color, I used a heavy layer of color for the background.

I need to have shadows on this, and am thinking about how to do that.  The shadow may just be a light gray color.  I really don’t want to have a physical object on which the vases are sitting…. I want that to be more inferred. The other flowers will be pink and yellow.


Select image to enlarge


To see the completed painting, please see the “Places” gallery page at the bottom.  I really like how this one turned out, and it was definitely a learning experience.

Here’s a link to the “Places” page:

Places Gallery Page