Seeing Red Makes Me Happy!

We took a trip to the garden store and bought some flowering plants.  I chose ones that I thought would be good subjects for my students to paint.  In class I demonstrated how I would paint a composite flower like this Gerbera daisy.

Seeing Red Makes Me Happy, watercolor, 7" x 5"
Seeing Red Makes Me Happy, watercolor, 7″ x 5″

My first decision was where to place the flowers on the page, and how many of the flowers to include.  Noting that the centers were lighter than the petals, I painted the entire petal structure of both flowers as a single shape, using a variety of reds to create some areas that were darker and cooler than other warmer, more orange-y areas.  After this dried, I painted the centers yellow and splattered some red and green into them.  More splatters on the dried centers added texture.

The leaves were put down as a single wash of yellows and blues, allowing them to mingle on the paper to make a variety of greens.  When this dried, I used the shapes in the wash to decide where the leaves would be, and painted around the edges of some leaves (negative painting) while painting other leaves directly.

I’m looking forward to seeing this plant bloom in our garden this summer, and for now, I’m happy to see it blooming on my paper!

9 thoughts on “Seeing Red Makes Me Happy!

      • Hmm. Very good question, since my pomegranate, I fear, has perished. I am counting on the cypress vine to return from seed it has scattered everywhere, and have though about a package of all red zinnias, although it is still too cool to plant them.
        All I know for sure (as sure as gardening can be, anyway!) is radishes, tomatoes, and cayenne peppers. Ha.
        Also, we have red azaleas, but they are really a dark, dark pink. Lovely right now, though, as we’ve had enough rain. Rare thing!

  1. Oh, I’m so excited by these ideas and suggestions. I won’t have time to experiment with my fledgling attempt until I’m finished with some other work at the end of the month. But I’m bookmarking these pages to come back to.

I'm interested in hearing what you think!

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