Watercolours – a few flower paintings

Well, this is my first post in my very first blog. To get things rolling, here are a few flower paintings – my first!

Flowers - watercolour
Flowers - watercolour

A brief description of my method. I always use good quality rag paper, in this case it was Arches 140lb NOT, and always Winsor & Newton tube colours which I squeeze out into very large pans or onto the plate which I use for mixing.

I wanted these paintings to work as a set and so I used the same colours in each – a very limited palette of red, yellow and blue, namely quinacridone magenta, quinacridone gold and antwerp blue. Even the darkest darks are just a mix of these 3 colours – I didn’t use black. I am not averse to using black and do use it frequently, but the intensity of these particular colours are such that I didn’t need it.

I start by splashing water and colour around, working on the lightest tones first. I let the washes dry before proceeding to the mid tones and then the darks. I keep it as loose as possible, splashing the paper with water and pigment, dabbing with a tissue, adding more water here and more pigment there, but always being careful to paint around the brightest areas. The details only emerge at the very end of the process.

I might try to capture the process step by step in the future if anyone is interested. Let me know!


8 thoughts on “Watercolours – a few flower paintings

  1. You’re the main man Keith – did you enter the Sunday Times comp? I hope not cos I’ve put three in and they would pale into insignificance against yours!

    Keep up the good work mate

    All the best



    1. Thanks Pete – your modesty is touching. For everyone else out there, let me put you in the picture (as it were). Pete is a past president of the Society of Architectural Illustration, a superb illustrator (of course) and a fine artist. You can find his work at http://pjarvis.co.uk/

      Pete – please put cheque in the post.


  2. Stunning! I’ve only just started learning how to use watercolours and hope that perhaps something of your undeniable skills and talent will eventually rub off on me. Wow!


  3. Thanks Kathy. I often like to paint in simple “triads” of colour to give the painting unity; with a series of pictures, like the flowers, I know then that they will have the same look about them.

    I have been working on another series of sketches using an earthy triad – I’ll get them posted very soon. Watch this space!


  4. Keith,
    Your talent is simply amazing. Perhaps because I am not an artist, my mind is boggled by the fact that you have brought these flowers to life by using only red, yellow, and blue. Wow!

    I’ll be checking in periodically to see what others are saying. For now. I thank you for sharing with people you have never met (like me).


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