How to Paint in Watercolor- Fluid & Loose Cornflowers & Lilies
Below is an informative and enjoyable loose watercolor flowers tutorial presented by Angela Fehr.
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Today in this loose watercolor flowers tutorial, I am just going to start painting. I am going to walk through some different color properties as I paint this painting. I am going to be first of all be talking about color properties. Different types of pigment are going to react differently on your paper. As a watercolor artist it really helps to know what your pigment types are going to do so that you have some freedom and can make wise decisions about how you are going to play those colors out on your paper.
Today I am just going to start painting. I am going to walk through some different color properties as I paint this painting. I am going to be first of all be talking about color properties. Different types of pigment are going to react differently on your paper. As a watercolor artist it really helps to know what your pigment types are going to do so that you have some freedom and can make wise decisions about how you are going to play those colors out on your paper.
When you are working with a non staining color for example, that color is going to sit on the surface of your paper, just like this green does. It is going to move around quite freely as you add water. And if you find you need to blot it or lift it off, you can do that without having a lot of residue left on the page. Non staining colors do more around a little more freely than you’ll find with the staining color.
The best way to test this out is to paint the color on your paper. I am using thalo blue here and it’s a staining color. So it’s going to start bleeding into your paper as soon as you set it on the page. You are not going to be able to lift that out back to pure white. At the same time, some of the staining colors are the most vibrant and beautiful and I really love using them.
Here I am just starting out painting some cornflowers using my thalo blue trying to arrange a composition that is pleasing to me. I am using transparent colors here and in watercolor I use primarily transparent colors. Color properties again, we have transparent and opaque and varying degrees in between. Transparent colors are more transparent on the page. Opaque colors are going to have a bit more of a muddy consistency to them. Think of having a drop of milk in a glass of water and how that tints your water, kind of that white milky color. Opaque colors tend to do that as well.
I love using transparent colors in watercolor and try to avoid the opaque ones. I like seeing the layers of color building up on my page. That’s important to me.
Here you just see I am adding some warm color into my painting. I really love working with complimentary colors. Blue and orange are complimentary. That means they are opposite each other on the color wheel. So adding oranges into a cool blue painting is really going to add that punch of warmth and color and it’s going to make the blue have a beautiful contrast.
So here in this part of the loose watercolor flowers tutorial my purpose was to just introduce some warmth into my painting. Now I am introducing some darks into my painting. I find that it works well for me to start with my lightest values to try to leave them unpainted or just painted very lightly. And then to put in those darkest darks . When I have those two strong contrasts of value, then I can paint my middle values without getting lost. I found that often when I paint from light to dark, and just go progressively darker, my lights get darker and darker until I had no light values left at all. I want a variety of values and so I find that when I am working in between a light and a dark that’s been painted onto my paper I have a better chance of keeping that variety of values.
Angela Fehr – Artist Statement
It’s been nineteen years since I first discovered watercolour, a shy teenager newly returned to Canada. During my teen years I’d lived with my family in a remote village in Papua New Guinea, and the solitude had cemented a passion for art that I was excited to pursue. In that first class, I quickly realized that watercolour was a perfect fit for me. There is something about the fluidity of pairing paint and water and allowing them to “collaborate” on a page that is so captivating. It’s never boring, and always unexpected.
Over the years I’ve had many wonderful artistic opportunities. I’ve worked as a graphic artist, web site designer and freelance writer; served on the board of a local art society; shown my art in solo and group shows; taught art classes to children and adults; been featured in magazines, newspapers and web sites; and even been featured as a watercolour expert for a local television station. The world is full of exciting opportunities and new people to meet, learn from and enjoy, and I love to be a part of it all.
As a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists (Peace River Chapter), the Peace Watercolour Society and the South Peace Art Society, I enjoy the companionship of fellow artists and the opportunity to show my work several times annually as part of these societies’ group exhibitions.>
In addition to painting, I teach paper crafting, homeschool my three children, support my husband in his business and love living on an acreage in northeastern British Columbia. It takes creativity to live a full and interesting life, and I love creating art every day!