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:
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.