Minimal detail in portraying a subject in watercolour
I have seen many artists paint roses in watercolour absolutely beautifully but, if you've ever tried, it is not as easy as it looks!
So, in this post, I'd love to help with just a few suggestions:
- Sometimes it can help when painting a complex subject to break it down into very simple shapes.
- With my rosebud, the most obvious step to simplify the subject is to choose a bud rather than a "blooming" flower :-)! There are fewer overlapping petals, so it is less complex.
- By squinting at your photograph or flower, study where the darkest and lightest tones are.
- The darkest tone should be in the very centre of the flower bud and also where the sepals join the base of the flower which may be in shadow. The lightest tone should be on the petal tips.
- Paint a pale(ish) wash to represent the total shape of the whole rosebud, leaves and stalk. You can either paint wet-in-wet or wet-on-dry.
- As the wash is drying, begin to add more concentrated paint to the darker areas.
- Leave to dry
- Add a few darker tones with a concentrated wash to the very darkest parts of the flower and leaves.
Remember that simplicity is the key - try not to fiddle too much with detail.