What you will learn.

  • Barbara draws the flowers from the centres out, being sure to place the centre of each flower in approximately the Golden mean areas. (ie. approximately one third, two thirds from the edge of the paper.)
  • The idea for the background is to create soft edges which fade towards the outside edges and to have some interesting broken edges.
  • Barbara wets one section at a time preferably starting at the top left as she is right handed, this avoids placing the hand into a wet wash while moving around the painting.
  • With a large soft brush wet the section further than you intend to paint colour. Starting at the edge of the flower shape drop in wet green gold, then take some darker green, can be olive green or sap green, this colour should not be as diluted as much as the first wash. Drop this dark into the triangle shapes created. Next drop in a darker green which is made using green and blue. One can use ultramarine blue mixed with olive green or sap green.These darks are only small accents. The background should be predominantly light and bright.
  • Lastly Barbara drops in small accents of Transparent Orange by Schmincke.
  • Moving along one section at a time and leaving some pure white areas (about two or three per flower, allows some light passages for the eye. This is strangely pleasing to the eye, rather than surrounding the flowers edges completely with the coloured background. (Hence the Less is More description). Make sure that the wash touches the edge of the paper in some places as well. From a design perspective touching the edge of the painting at approximately one third two thirds along the edge of the paper.
  • Allow the background to dry before starting to paint the flowers.
  • Mix a very dark colour to start in the centre of the flowers. Barbara mixed a very dark purple which is near to black using Ultramarine blue and Alizarin Crimson. Barbara also mixes permanent magenta and Ultramarine or permanent rose and cobalt, adding darker blue and darker red to create the darkest accent in the painting. If this doesn’t get dark enough, Indigo may be painted in spots of the centre of the flower.
  • Using a small round brush create a broken dotted effect, denser in some places, and more sparse at the edges.Where pencil lines separate petals Barbara paints soft shadows to suggest these separate petals.The key here is suggest, not explain. The colours for these shadows are soft, dilute, Cerulean blue and very little permanent rose.This suggests a grey, however it is actually a soft mauve.
  • Start from the centre and indicate some folds in the petals, allowing these to bend in the direction that indicates the petal bending.
  • Move onto the next petal and only indicate shadow where one petal overlaps another, also creating movement with the shapes.

Reference Images.