Sunday, June 30, 2013


Pansies Lesson

This was a very enjoyable lesson to teach, one that really shows off the fluid blending properties of watercolour.  In case my scribbled-as-we-went-along notes aren't perfectly legible, here is the procedure:
1. After the drawing do a bit of masking on the round bead at the heart of the flower.  Use a dab of diluted neutral tint on the three lower petals, to catch the pleating.  Let it dry.
2.  Winsor Yellow for the three lower petals, a glaze over the neutral tint.  Strengthen the yellow at the centre.  Let it dry.
3. For the top 2 petals, Winsor Violet with a dash of our favorite Quinacridone Magenta.
4. This is the magic bit, glazing WViolet over the yellow.  Pre-wet one of the three lower petals, dab a bit of the WViolet along the outside edge, set aside your paintbrush (put it down!) and tilt the paper to let gravity carry the paint towards the heart of the flower, then tilt it back before the violet completely covers the yellow.  Let it dry.  Repeat for each of the remaining lower petals.  Let them all dry.
5. Rub off the masking fluid and touch up the centre bead with a bit of pale green.
6,7,8,9.... Final touches and tinkering - the purple veining, the leaves, the extra touches of puple here and there.   No two flowers are exactly alike, and so it goes with painting.

 "Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:  It fell upon a little western flower, Before, milk-white, now purple with love's wound, and maidens call it love-in-idleness."
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream


  1. Love the delicate rendering of the pansies, Frances - you have really captured the essence of these pretty flowers! Lesley

  2. You create such lovely art! I have never been able to catch onto watercolors. I'm not patient enough I guess, for all the drying time. I do admire people who can capture nature so beautifully with watercolors. Great work!


  3. Frances, I caught a glimpse of this post when it first appeared, but have been working this weekend, and did not have time to send you a proper reply.

    The pansies are so beautifully painted, and I very much appreciate your giving us hints about how to use certain colors of watercolors to capture nature's beauty. You are so kind to share your artistry with the rest of us.

    I did a little watercolor myself last week, and now want to try to keep those brushes and paints a bit more active than they've been in some time.

    Thanks for the motivation. xo