Puddled Cone Flowers

“Puddled Cones” 5.5″x7.5″

This week’s college class lesson? Puddle painting! Okay, so probably only I call it “puddle painting.” The long term is “wet into wet in sections on hot press paper,” so puddle painting seems a much simpler term. In this method, I create an elaborate “stained glass” pattern on tracing paper, then transfer the plan to the hot press paper in pencil.

I then choose my color scheme. In this case, I chose to go with analogous color harmony scheme; red, orange and yellow. To get the brightest orange, I used a warm red, Pyrrol Red, a warm yellow, New Gamboge, and a warm orange, Perinone Orange.

I work one section or shape at a time. I create a “puddle” of clear water then touch the surface of the puddle with at least two colors, so they swirl and marble in the water. I then work a non-adjacent shape in the same manner.

Stage 1 – background

I first puddled the background sections, leaving the subject flowers white. It is important to let sections dry completely before moving to an adjacent section. Even the slightest touch will cause the puddling paint to flow into the new shape. This is especially important if the adjoining sections are significantly different colors.

Stage 2 – First layer foreground

Stage 3 – Shadow on flowers

After the background sections had dried completely, I started with the flowers. I used lighter colors and/or pigment to create contrast between the figure and ground. I left dry white edges around the shapes to give it a sense of a mosaic tile design.

Stage 4 – Beginning with blue

Stage 5 – Permanent marker

After the flower puddles had dried, I created some shadows around the heads of the flowers. I was struggling with creating enough contrast to separate figure from ground, so I decided to change my color harmony scheme to a complementary harmony orange and blue. I used Ultramarine Blue to create more negative shapes to break up the background.

I also realized I had not left white lines around the flower head shadows, so I changed my initial plan of a “mosaic-style” painting to a “stained-glass- style” painting with permanent black lines.

Out with Sharpie marker! <smile>.

“Puddled Cones” – Final Painting

I liked the ink and wash effect, but wanted to complement the orange with blue. I painted most of the saved white spaces with a weak wash of Ultramarine Blue. I thought some of the flowers needed to be less intense, so I glazed over some of the flowers with the weak blue glaze. Those last glazes put a wrap on this demonstration painting.

“Puddled Cones” watercolor 5.5″x7.5″.

I appreciate all comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.


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