Daring Watercolor #9

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My reference photo

Why did I ever choose the month of May to do a challenge? This month and June is my busiest months because of the tremendous outdoor work that our place requires. Alright, enough complaining!

I decided since I am so busy why not tackle a difficult subject? I think in the future I need to simplify my subject matter because this one took a good 4 hours out of my day and I had already done some outdoor work before starting my painting.

With some experience with painting florals, I realize that now they take a very methodical approach and many, many hours to produce the detail that I am going for. I truthfully prefer loose but I am starting out difficult because to me it is like going to the gym and lifting weights.


I am pretty sure that I have this as close to my photo as possible except for that tulip on the left is actually darker with more red. My problem is the granulation in that tulip on the left. I love when a color granulates but in this case, I need good clear, vivid color. I am wondering if some little rascal came scooting over and wanted to play! It could had been Mr. Ultramean….I mean ultramarine blue, it was used on the background, yep, the culprit.

You ask perhaps what I think about this painting? Well, I kind of like it but don’t love it. It is not as vivid as I was hoping, my whites and things that go pop didn’t. The granulation on that tulip on the left is a disappointment. This was a wonderful learning excercise because of the points listed below. I am becoming less and less critical of myself when I see that I have successes and failures, it is all a part of learning.

What I learned:

  • Painting detailed florals require a lot of time, there is no rushing beauty!
  • Keep those whites crisp and white….why do I always forget this?
  • I could feel the need to speed up to “fix” something that was occurring because I was going a little faster than I wanted to, a vicious cycle of mine!
  • Keep my palette clean and know which colors are which and keep them separate.
  • When I am starting to tire, take a break or put it off till tomorrow or another day.
  • Take more breaks to rest the eyes and brain…don’t forget to keep hydrated.
  • This is my challenge, there is nothing wrong with posting an update of what I painted today. No one is requiring me to finish a painting in one day…I set my own rules because I am the boss.

25 thoughts on “Daring Watercolor #9

  1. Amen, girl! Woo, you are BLOOMING, my friend. Beautiful, beautiful job! Loving what you’re doing and your colors and lines in this painting show me a confident, determined, sensitive painter. I love that even more than I love the painting itself. Tremendous growth! You’re finding balance, not too tough nor too easy on yourself, and it’s looking great. Love it, Margaret! Show us how it’s done! 😎💚💃🏻👍🏼

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    1. aren’t you a darling!!!! I am blushing with the compliments! It really warms my heart 🙂 and you are sensitive yourself because you are right not too tough or not too easy on myself and that is saying a lot! transport back a year or two and it would had been a whole different story.

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    1. Thank you Charlie for your comment! I thought I would save the whites without any help with the great white stuff in the bottle….the joke is on me! There were little snippets of white and it was very hard to keep it sparkly, I’ll be working on a trial and error solution. Now I would have it made if I could convince my husband that I am THE boss but I think I won’t rock that boat….lol 😉

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  2. The center tulip is positively glowing! How did you do that? I actually like the way the blues and reds are “dancing together” on the left flower, and I think you did a nice job on composing the arrangement. I haven’t tried tulips yet. I’ve done roses, and yesterday I painted my first iris. You’re inspiring me, you see. I read your list of “learning points” and I can certainly agree about taking breaks when needed. I have a post coming up — not sure which days it’s scheduled — that goes through a lot of lessons I learned recently. Stepping away from the easel was one of the big ones.

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    1. I have noticed (and feared) with painting tulips it is tricky even though the petals are limited. Because of that limitation and because of a tulip being a tulip (simple and elusive) it is a massive project! It forces you to impart something to it. I found myself having to give my tulips extra “sparkle” or presence and of course that makes you stand up to the task! What if I had kept my whites and lights better? I would have had even a better image! I understand what you mean about the reds and blues dancing together, I liked it initially when the colors mingled but then the blue granulated and sat down on the job, so to speak. lol oh joy! I am so happy to have inspired you! Everyone here inspires me! I am so happy to hear that my learning points help you. I was wondering if I am talking too much on my blog! I love to discuss the process and about art and creativity and I have found that everyone here loves to do that….I am in heaven! 🙂

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      1. I like reading posts where the artist has something to say about the process instead of just “Here it is.” It helps immensely to know what others are thinking as they’re creating. Even if our styles are different, our medium different, and our approach different, there’s a common element in creativity that crosses all boundaries.

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  3. Margaret – apologies that I’m struggling to keep up with all of your prodigious creative output at the moment! I just thought I’d drop a quick note though to say that I think you’re making tremendous strides with your watercolours and everything that underpins them (your choices, decision making, attitude etc) and it’s great and inspiring to see what you’re achieving – and we’re not even half way through the month!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To read your message first thing in the morning has been my favorite breakfast, my dinner and my dessert! I would have included lunch but I don’t do lunch. lol thank you so much! This is been the hardest challenge but it has been a kick in the old creative pants in my life. I am so glad to have started this, now check in with me in 10 days and see if I feel the same! Anyway, I want to thank you to the bottom of my humbled heart. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t doubt that there’s still a few ups and downs on your rollercoaster to go before the month’s out but when isn’t there? I’m sure that the efforts you’re putting in now are going to pay dividends for many years to come!

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      1. Thanks Margaret. Very cool to read that you are considering trying oil pastels – they take a bit of getting used too, but are a challenging and fun medium.

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