With all these crazy blizzards we have been having, I made sure I was stocked up on painting supplies. Food, well, not so much. Priorities.

Below is my latest watercolour. For flower painting I usually indulge in buying fresh ones. However, with being snowed in (oh Canada), I was drawn to this artificial bouquet I have. I like the colours and composition - so why not?

Part of what I like about this arrangement is the way that it's not neat and tidy. Sort of like a bad hair day, but it's working. (Sorry if I lost you on this analogy - heehee.)

Started by making a large puddle of water on the watercolour paper, then brushed wet phthalo green and yellow watercolour paint into it.

As the paper dried, the edges gradually became harder.
I let this dry before the next stage.
Used a square brush to quickly place in some purple flowers. Also added the ultramarine blue vase. I didn't like this blue with the green, but was not fussed since it was just layer one, and could go anywhere from here.

I mixed a little bit of yellow into some white gouache and quickly put in the pale flowers. A lot of these shapes were rather geeky, but I planned to fix that in the next step by trimming them with some more greens.

Trimmed the light flowers and added some yellow ochre into the vase and some of the leaves.
The vase kept growing wider - sort of like me after Christmas. I knew I would need to trim it down with some white gouache - the vase that is.
Yellow ochre is one of the most opaque pigments. Some painters avoid it in watercolour. Myself, I quite enjoy the contrast of some transparent and some opaque pigments in the same painting.

I've left the masking tape that holds the paper onto my board showing in the previous photo. You can see that unfortunately it let go at the bottom middle, allowing considerable buckling of the paper. This doesn't happen often, but I decided to let everything dry, take the paper off, spray the back, and then iron the paper between 2 clean pillow cases. Note to self: pick up some 300 lb paper for these very wet paintings, rather than the current 140 lb.

It seems that the vase decided to become a basket. Okay! Who am I to argue when my painting gives me an unexpected gift?

Next, to fix that silly looking shadow. I am aware that shadows can have a nice way of sitting an object down - worth fixing.

I'll be demonstrating these techniques and lots more in the upcoming "Fabulous Flowers" class. Info here (scroll down):

And here is the finished painting... 

Watercolour by Cheryl O

Untidy Bouquet - by Cheryl O
Watercolour with gouache - 14.75" x 10.75"
Comes with acid free matte and backing 16" x 20"
$235. + HST

I almost never have just one painting on the go. I seem happiest when there are three in progress. Switching to different subjects and different paint types is a creative boost for me. It also allows me to keep painting, while giving a needed incubation period on one  painting, and seeing the next with fresh eyes again.

Ongoing on the same days as the Untidy Bouquet - I decided to try a new support (surface) for a portrait. I'll show you the portrait plus give you the pros and cons on how that went in the next newsletter.

Keep warm and happy painting till then!
Cheryl O

P.S. Because it made me laugh - after Fighting with Apples, one of my friends emailed to say that they are looking forward to "hearing about more paining adventures!" I confirmed that it was a typo. :)

Painting by Cheryl O

"To Brighten Your Day"
Acrylic 13" x 9"
Comes with acid free matte & backing 16" x 20"
$205. + HST (plus shipping)

This painting began as a demonstration at a cottage retreat. 
Hope it does brighten your day!

Today's Quote:

"In a meadow full of flowers, you cannot walk through...
and see all those colours and remain angry.
We need to support the beauty,
the poetry, of life."

Jonas Mekas