Watercolor Daffodils

Watercolor daffodils have been on the docket to paint for a while since the snow has departed. Yesterday’s version wasn’t successful and I pushed it to a mess. But today’s is much better. I’ll leave it on the easel and look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow.

Light and Shadow Were The Main Subject

The main star of the show isn’t really the daffodils but the creamer and the shadows. But I wanted to have the flowers in there for some value contrast and those wonderful subtle shades on the petals. The leaves especially give a strong dark vertical which sets off the very light values in the flowers, the creamer and the surface. The background shadows were a huge challenge. My first version had them far too dark and the washes were grubby and uneven. I vacillated a lot about the color of those back shadows. I didn’t want them to be too dominant but also didn’t want a dull grey back there. In the end I think the slight purple worked well.

Daffodils are Surprisingly Hard to Paint Well

I have to say daffodils are not the easiest of flowers. The colors of the petals are very low chroma and can be hard to mix in watercolor. But I think these work pretty well. I would have liked a little more contrast in the petals between light and shade but didn’t want to destroy the delicacy. But anyway – there’s plenty more in the garden so lots of opportunity to practice

Other Examples of Watercolor Daffodils

It is daffodil season and, although these are the first of this season I’ve had some pretty good success previously. Here are a couple of previous versions:

daffodils in glass vase watercolor
Daffodils with Paul Foxton
Watercolor daffodils in coffee pot
Watercolor daffodils in coffee pot

Both these paintings were from sessions with Paul Foxton. He’s a great fan of painting daffodils and it’s always worthwhile taking one of his workshops.

Finally…

Vermont farm watercolor landscape by Michele Clamp

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Watercolor Daffodils with Paul Foxton

Watercolor daffodils today and aren’t they perfect if you need cheering up! The wonderful Paul Foxton is continuing his livestream painting sessions during the corona virus lockdown and I managed to actually catch him live and be organized enough to get the reference photo printed out in readiness.

I think I really quite like this one. It has an ethereal quality to it that I like and considering that daffodils are really hard to paint it was pretty successful.