This “mini-lesson” shows step-by-step how I painted a pansy in watercolor.
- I begin by sketching the pansy with an HB pencil. Make sure your drawing is accurate. Lighten the pencil lines by dabbing at them with a kneaded eraser. Contrary to what most books say, once wet these lines can’t be erased completely.
- Using liquid frisket and a cheap brush coated with standard bar soap, mask out small detail areas which you wish to remain white. When the frisket is dry it will look and feel a bit like dried rubber cement.
- Mix the following puddles (a puddle is paint mixed with enough water to dilute it to the desired value):
- Cobalt blue + alizarin crimson (warm & cool mixtures)
- Aureolin yellow
- New Gamboge
- Alizarin crimson + new gamboge
- Permanent rose
- French ultramarine + alizarin crimson (warm and cool mixtures)
- Winsor green + Hooker’s green + new gamboge
- Hooker’s green + cobalt blue
- Next paint the base washes of the flower petals.
- Glaze water over a petal until it glistens evenly; drop in the following colors and combinations based on where they can be seen in the petal): cobalt blue+alizarin; permanent rose, alizarin + new gamboge, and aurelion.
- While the first petal is drying, follow the same process on a petal which does not touch it (remember we don’t want wet paint to touch an area that is drying).
- After the base washes are completed on all 4 petals paint the dark purple sections following these steps:
- Using a fully loaded brush paint the dark area
- Then pull color out from the center of the dark area using a rigger brush to create the veins.
* Use thicker puddles of both cool and warm mixes of French ultramarine + alizarin crimson for this area.
- Add highlights to the edges of the petals by glazing over the base washes with the same mixtures.
- Rub off the frisket and add a light tint of yellow below the center part of the flowers. Leave the two white areas on the center of the right and left petals.
- Paint the base washes of the stem and leaves.
- Glaze water over the leaves and stem until they glisten evenly; drop in the following colors: Sap green, hookers green _ cobalt blue, and Winsor green + Hooker’s + new gamboge
- Add highlights by rewetting each darker area and painting a second glaze over it using the same mixes as were used in the base.
If you have any questions, please add a comment below or grab me via the contact form.
Love your use of color in the flower. Really nice work.
Thank you! I had fun with this one:)
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for sharing. I found your instructions easy to follow and they included a few helpful tricks. Thank you 😊
I am always looking for new ways to improve my work . Usually I paint with acrylic but, I thought I would try something different. Thank you again for such helpful instructions.
You’re more than welcome! I share your love of learning!