The editor requested that I name the finished painting (above). Corny painting names are a pet peeve of mine and so I rarely name them. But as I was uploading the image the name “Sunny Serenade” came to me. I know that’s about as sappy a name as you could try to invent, but since it seemed to name itself, so it shall be.
To finish sharing the steps in the painting, here they are in order, continuing from the previous post.
The next step was to work on all of those leaves, stems, buds and little yellow green flowers. Using a variety of mixed greens, some neutralized with Burnt Sienna, I painted the first layers of the leaves. I also glazed details over the yellow green flowers I’d painted previously.
I mixed up several puddles of these dark mixtures: Winsor Green, Alizarin Crimson, and Burnt Sienna; Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna; Sap Green and Sepia with a dab of Winsor Red; Winsor Green and Winsor Violet. Then I loaded my brush with one and started painting a section, switching to another one of the puddles as the background colors changed. I was careful to stay within the dark shapes and to negatively paint around lighter shapes. Because watercolor dries lighter, I tried to mix colors that would be dark enough in one layer.
I thought I was finished and signed the painting. The next day I studied the painting with fresh eyes and realized I needed to make some adjustments. I glazed in some more darks on the right of the pitcher and on its handle on the left. I added a middle-dark green mixture to the long leaf that hangs down along the right side of the pitcher and on some other leaves as well. (Compare the pitcher in the top two pictures in this post to see the changes).
While some people have commented that this painting seemed very challenging, in fact an image broken into many small complicated shapes is much easier to paint and more forgiving of “mistakes” than one composed of large simple shapes.
My editor liked the painting and immediately requested the next one, due the end of November. It will be a completely different project: a close up view of some pink orchids with a light background. I will be working much more loosely, mostly wet into wet.