Dahlia Flower

Today's painting is inspired by my trip to Seattle last summer and when I visited the Public Market and walked down the rows and rows of flowers. I loved seeing all the flowers, especially dahlias. I never really had a favorite flower until  saw them there. The painting was a good challenge because I used lighter colors than yesterday and there was a lot more layering. Below are pictures of the step-by-step process I took with this painting.

I had to use the white paint a few times to lighten some spots that were over-saturated with red.

I was really excited to start a new painting when I woke up this morning. It's a really good feeling.

starting with the center of the flower 2014-01-14 11.42.24 2014-01-14 12.04.55 Processed with VSCOcam watercolor1 1


I've always been really fascinated and intimidated with watercolor painting. It seemed so permanent. A light colored area could be tainted by an accidental drip of the brush. I guess that was me being used to working with acrylics and knowing I could always cover up any mistakes with another layer of paint.

On my list of things I wanted to tackle during this time, I wrote down watercolor painting. I  wanted to get over my intimidation of it and dive into something I've always admired. So, I decided this week was Watercolor Week.

I have watercolor pencils, but wanted to start with tubed watercolor paints, so it was off to Michael's. I was able to score paper, brushes and paints for $15, including the use of their 40% off coupon. The brand I chose was Michael's Artist's Loft which is great for artists on a budget, because we know how expensive supplies can get!


I looked up some videos for techniques people have used so I decided to do the wetting of paper and the salt technique. By wetting the paper the paint was able to absorb a lot better and laying the salt on top after I was done. Why salt? For texture.


Sprinkling salt

A little table salt sprinkled on damp watercolor paint creates a delicate flower-like spot. Each crystal of salt chases away the pigment to make a lighter area beneath it. You can use this texture to create a field of flowers, snow, or leaves on a tree. It also creates interest in a background or foreground where not much else is going on. Source

I chose to paint the California mountains against the sky during pre-dawn. I used the salt to create star like textures.


Scanned Watercolor Painting

It was a lot of fun working on this and can't wait to keep making more paintings. The gradation wasn't exactly what I had wanted, but it's my first one and I am happy it wasn't a complete disaster. I approached this like an acrylic painting, so I kept the color less diluted.

Tomorrow I will work with a lighter color palette, which I think will bring on another set of challenges that I look forward to working through.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!