Karen Bailey, an Australian artist who does wonderful pictures of native flowers, asked me for a copy of “Sour Cherries” (in addition to “Hollyhocks”) and I thought I would document the process.
My first step was to trace the original image (from a photo) on a piece of tracing paper and transfer it to a piece of watercolor paper. The pencil lines are light so that they will not be very noticeable in the final painting, but allow me to see where I want different elements. I painted in the cherries, skipping the ones that were overlapping, so the paint wouldn’t run. I decided to make these cherries shinier than in the original image and left a definite highlight on the cherries not in shade.
I hadn’t noticed until I finished painting in all the cherries that I had used a circular composition pattern for this piece.
I then painted the leaves. For most of the leaves I painted in a yellow base color and then floated in green with touches of red at the leaf margins and the stem. Some of the veins were scratched in while the paint was wet, allowing the paint to settle in the resulting grooves of the paper. Other leaves had veins painted in after the base coat was dry or paint added in areas that were not the veins.