Magnolias #1
watercolor on paper
9.5 x 9.5 inches
©2015  Karen Sioson

Colors used:

 

Cadmium Lemon
Golden
Quinacridone Rose/Magenta
Carmine
Violet
Cobalt Blue
Green
Olive Green
Burnt Sienna
Neutral Black

 

From White Nights Extra Fine Artists' Watercolors, 36 pan set.

Paper support: 140 lb Cold Pressed Arches Watercolor Paper.

karensioson_magnolia_25
karensioson_magnolia_25

Magnolias #1
watercolor on paper
9.5 x 9.5 inches
©2015  Karen Sioson

Colors used:

Cadmium Lemon
Golden
Quinacridone Rose/Magenta
Carmine
Violet
Cobalt Blue
Green
Olive Green
Burnt Sienna
Neutral Black

 

From White Nights Extra Fine Artists' Watercolors, 36 pan set.

 

Paper support: 140 lb Cold Pressed Arches Watercolor Paper.

STEP-BY-STEP

Karen Sioson

Wilfredo Calderon Facebook Page  Facebook Profile  Drawing (6)  instagram  google plus  

Reference photo from Joanne Masias Gustilo,

karensioson_magnolia_1

I invest the most time in the study and planning stage.  While I do use photo references when I work with flowers, this is supplemented by detailed studies/notes I make from life.  These Magnolias posed a challenge as I have never seen a Magnolia plant or bloom except in pictures. (I don't think Magnolia ice cream counts).

 

Photos may catch the details and colors accurately but it still renders the subjects in 2D...a flat plane.  Drawing allows me to analyze and make sense of all that I see.  I try to find logic in the structures.  See what is connected to what.  I check the orientation of the parts.  I try to figure how the color in one part can affect colors in the adjacent planes.  I also look for patterns and structures that define this bloom.

karensioson_magnolia_2

I drew direct on the paper using very light pencil lines.  Hard to see on the watercolor paper closeup photo so I traced it instead and inked the trace here.  Those wanting to practice may download and use this pattern.

For my first layer, I placed only very light washes.  Just enough to help me establish shapes and create my color map or guide for the next layers.

 

Color mixing tips next.

I included swatches in this tutorial so you can do a version of this exercise with whatever paint brand is available to you.

 

See how Quinacridone Magenta plus orange can make a delicate pink.   I also checked what the addition of a red (Carmine) can do to the quin magenta

A blue tinged pink can be created by mixing cobalt blue and quinacridone magenta.  Lovely lavander.

Here, I readied color washes on the palette.  But most color combinations, I mix on the paper surface.

 

Top row, left to right: quinacridone magenta, cadmium lemon, cobalt blue, olive green.

 

Mid row:  Left well, I transfered some of the quin magenta from the top and some of the color orange (Golden) from the bottom.  Right well contains Carmine.

 

Bottom row:  Orange and Violet

I applied light washes all over to help me define and see the flower structures better.

Here, I used a bluish foundation for the branches I would delegate to the background. Same technique used by landscape painters to create a receding effect for distant structures.  Blues to push objects back.

Almost done covering all areas.

Now we start building up the colors.  Observe the differences in values.

For the darker parts of the flower mix Violet plus Carmine and Violet with Quinacridone Magenta.   Calibrate or adjust your mix towards a color if you want it redder/more fuschia or more violety.

Explore your colors.  Check out the range you can achieve with just four colors for the green parts.

Once you color the background, the whites pop out.  That is still the color of the paper.  But because color is relative or is affected by its surrounding, by placing darker colors around the leave outs, the illusion that the area is white can be created.

Beautiful neutrals or grays can be made from complementary colors.  Here cobalt blue and orange was mixed to create gray.   You can make this neutral warmer or cooler by taking it towards orange or blue.

Sometimes, you can find the right neutral with mixes from more than two colors.

I used quinacridone magenta, a bit of violet, a bit of carmine for the darker parts of the bloom.

I try to do the focal flower first. It helps me decide better on how to tackle the supporting blooms.

You can use dry brush to define some petals.

I step back a bit to check on how I am doing.

After the values and colors were established for my main bloom, I worked on the supporting cast. As with plays and movies, your support should not outshine your star so less of everything for them. Less details.  Less color intensity.

A habit I developed from working with tube colors and limited palettes. I was mixing black from green and red, trying to get that strong black when I happened to look back at the palette and realized I have all these ready made colors at my disposal and yet I am still doing old school. hehe.  But between us, I like the neutrals you can create from color mixes better.  A favorite black is made from alizarin crimson and phthalo green. You can vary and move the black towards either color for a more vibrant black.

 

I created my black for the darkest darks of the main bloom from green and carmine.   I used the same color for the darks  I would use later on the stem.

Get a beautiful brown from mixing orange and violet.  Experiment.  I added Neutral black to this mix (see sample in the middle) to tweak the mix more.

 

Since I also realized there were ready browns available on the set, i got some burnt sienna and tried to see what type brown can be produced by mixing it with neutral black.

I added the rest of the branches and I think I am done.

 

Photo looked bluish because I was painting and taking the pics at night using only white light.  Took a better shot for my final picture the next day.   For better color capture, use natural light.

karensioson_magnolia_25

Magnolias #1
watercolor on paper
9.5 x 9.5 inches
© 2015 Karen Sioson

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