Tag Archives: coralroses

19th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge – Dangling Rose

“Jedi Rose”

For my 19th painting in the challenge, I had to combine two interests competing for my time. I am teaching “value” in my college watercolor class today. The students are required to do a monochromatic painting that combines washes (a flat wash as well as either a graded or variegated wash), calligraphy strokes, and general “light touch” brush strokes, that I call the “S-caress.” The final painting also has to show at least 4 levels of value; light, medium light, medium dark, and dark. I have the students decide on a theme for the semester as well. I usually choose one of the students’ themes whenever I do a demonstration painting. One student has roses as a theme. Which, if you know me, and have followed my painting progress on social media at all, you know I paint a LOT of roses. Easy choice. Ha!

I took this photo of a drooping rose the other day on my morning walk.

The small painting is on Arches 140 lb cold press and I used only my #14 Lowe-Cornell round brush.

I used a warm (quinacridone coral) and cool red (quinacridone red), which are both medium to high-value reds. I first painted a light variegated wash on a wet surface (dried back to damp), without any pre-drawing. As you can see in the first photo below, I did not quite let the paper get to damp, as my bead was running on the left. I had to work fast to catch it with each pass. Starting with a wet surface helps to alleviate stripes between bead passes.

I dried the painting off completely, then drew in my first value layer with 2B graphite, or pencil (Sorry, this is where I had to diverge from the challenge conditions of direct and wet-into-wet). I then painted the shapes inside the lines for the first layer of value.

After the painting was completely dry again, I repeated the drawing process for the second layer of value. One more layer of drying, pencil planning and I now had the required four distinct layers of value. I did add a few pull calligraphy strokes to indicate the edge of the branch and the side of the rose, but I purposefully left untouched areas for lost and found edges, which I find to be much more interesting than outlining with a solid line all around.

I had to have some pull/push calligraphy strokes to satisfy the requirements of the assignment, so I added some extra leaves with the same strength of pigment as the final wash.

I then found a #8B (really dark) graphite pencil and drew some contour lines, just because… I may erase the pencil layer. I’m not sure… still pondering. Your thoughts?

Photos are screenshots of video clips. I cannot make them behave and align with the text. I’m not sure why?

Stage 1a

Stage 1b

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5

I do have narrated and edited video of the painting process. Shoot me a comment or send me a message if you’re interested in the $6 video link.

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

Jedi Rose – Final

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3rd Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge – Coral Birthday

“Coral Birthday” (click on image for a larger view)

To continue with the #30x30directwatercolor challenge, I am painting yet another birthday bouquet. This one with 5 little coral roses, a red rose (which I removed from the bouquet temporarily) and some red berries.

The challenge was capturing the muted coral color. From my color temperature studies, I know to make a vibrant secondary color mix, I want to mix the two primaries that are closer together. Going with that theory,  a less vibrant, or duller, secondary color mix should be achieved by mixing the two primary colors that are further apart on the color wheel. Since coral is really an orange (secondary) color, I chose to use two cool reds (Quinacridone red and rose) and a cool yellow (Hansa Yellow Light). I also added a tiny bit of Cobalt Blue to neutralize the orange a bit more. I wanted a light, warm blue. A dark blue would be too harsh and a cool blue would make it too gray.

Painting with Source Bouquet

I saturated the 8″x10″ 140lb rough Arches watercolor paper, using a 1 1/2″ clean flat brush. I let the paper soak while I prepared my paint puddles; about 5 mins.

I then dried back the paper a bit, just to take the sheen off, and started putting in light areas of color with my Lowe-Cornell #14 round brush, starting with yellow, then reds, with the paint very watery. At this stage, the paper is very wet and all the colors blend beautifully. I kept a light touch on the paper, just skimming the surface. I use a motion I call, “The S Caress.”  The “S” describes the motion, the caress describes the amount of pressure.

As the paper started to dry, I strengthened the pigment (to about a skim milk consistency) and painted in some darker value shapes, also adding just a touch of Cobalt Blue to the orange mix, sometimes going directly to the paper with the Cobalt. In the second stage, the paint holds a shape a little better, so I paint in some darker value areas, blending out the colors softly. I cleaned my brush, removed all the water and lifted some areas on the petals. This has to be done while the paper and paint are still wet.

Finally, I strengthened the pigment more and added the red berries and some dark accents all around. For the accents, I used my Alvaro Castagnet calligraphy liner brush. Start to finish, 45 minutes.

If you’re interested in purchasing this painting ($100), it is 7.5″x5.5″ watercolor on 140lb Arches watercolor paper with a white/black core mat. Thank you in advance. I use PayPal as my payment processor. You do NOT need a PayPal account to purchase. Shipping cost is $7.00 only if purchasing through PayPal (check payments and destinations outside the continental U.S. will incur additional shipping charges). Taxes are additional, where applicable.

“Coral Birthday” Painting $100 (with mat)


I appreciate any questions, comments or suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.