Yellow Watercolor Roses

Yellow watercolor roses were a bit of a departure for me. However, I’ve been avidly watching Paul Foxton’s oil painting videos on Facebook. He has a fantastic way of telling you what he’s doing that is incredibly instructive. I highly recommend looking him up and his website also has a wealth of information on it. He also runs online courses which I haven’t investigated yet but I may well do when I’ve saved up some pennies.

Watercolor Experiment with Yellow Watercolor Roses

But anyway. I was watching him paint a still life of 3 yellow roses and thought that I’d like to have a go at that just for a bit of an experiment. I took a quick screenshot of his setup and just went in with paint without drawing. This is not my usual way of working and frankly I thought it would be a disaster and I’d end up throwing it away. However, I took it seriously and tried to carefully measure the colors and values and match them as best I could. Amazingly I got a lot closer to what I was intending than I ever thought. Now, things aren’t perfect by any means but carefully measuring the colors and values I got a lot closer to the effect I was hoping for than I usually do with flowers.

Careful Attention to Hue, Value and Chroma

The main things that helped me was very careful consideration of the hue and value (with a bit of attention to chroma) for each area. I tried to hit it first time (failed for the most part) and in subsequent layers to keep any extra pigment within that value range. This kept me from making the flowers too muddy. Close attention to the hue kept the deep parts of the roses close to the original.

Nothing’s Perfect – Things I’d Change

There’s lots of stuff I’d change of course. The vase is actually a different shape and the edges of the flowers are too crisp. I misread the background color and made it too red and the leaves are a little too broad. I still didn’t get enough chroma in the depths of the roses and there isn’t a lot of form to them. Oh I could go on and on…..

Photo References Aren’t Ideal for Painting

And the main thing I would do differently is that I did this from a screenshot. I should really be sitting in front of actual flowers. I don’t have a great lighting setup for that right now but I’ll be rectifying that in the next couple of weeks.

Painting Flowers is Surprisingly Tiring

Oh and the final thing – painting flowers is exhausting!! This took me a couple of hours I would say but I was basically useless afterwards. Very intense. Constant concentration and judgement required and one false stroke and all is lost. Never let anyone tell you flower painting is for wusses.

Oh and the final final thing – I actually did two. Here’s the first.

Yellow rose watercolor sketch by Michele Clamp
Yellow rose watercolor sketch by Michele Clamp