This is part of a series exploring one 1-hour painting (nearly) every day in January as part of Leslie Saeta’s series, Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days. To see my experience with the entire series, click on the category, 30 in 30, at right.
I began this painting with a quick drawing, trying to pencil in the shapes and shadows on the flowers before I started painting. This initial drawing took 30 minutes. I’ve also switched back to Arches #300 hot press watercolor paper, as I prefer the way it takes water and pigment (and it doesn’t buckle and curl like lightweight paper).
When I started adding paint, the pencil shading did make it a little easier to figure out what I was doing. The image above is what the painting looked like after 30 minutes of painting.
I couldn’t help myself, and when my hour was up, I went back for 30 more minutes to clean up the painting, scrubbing out some messy areas and restating the shadows and highlights. I used Windsor Newton Opera Rose for the brilliant pink, although I realize that’s an extremely fugitive color (Handprint, the blessedly exhaustive web catalog of watercolors disagrees with the fugitive rating of this paint, and says, “I see absolutely no reason to avoid this splendid pigment.”) It’s an awfully pretty color, and really helps with the light-struck areas in the painting, but I would not use it on a painting meant for exhibition until I’ve done a lightfastness test.
All of these flower paintings so far have been done from life, with sunlight as the light source. Since my studio window faces southwest, the sun is constantly moving, which is part of my process to force myself to capture an image quickly.