Magnified teensy flowers

Magnified teensy flowers, ink & watercolor 8x6

The teensy bouquet was still holding up and the complicated shapes in these flowers intrigued me. So I stuck them under my magnifying lamp and drew them again in sketchbook opposite the bouquet side. The California poppy had opened up and wanted to play too so I stuck him in behind the little flowers after I painted them. It’s fun drawing what’s under the magnifying glass and getting to see all the neat details.

Then it was back to work on the third painting I’ve been asked to do for the book, Must Paint Watercolor Flowers. This time it’s a peach colored begonia with really interesting veiny leaves.

Begonia leaf colors

Begonia leaf color tests

My first step was to test colors and try to find the pigments that will mix to the right values, colors and textures. On the tests above I experimented with glazing with different yellows, blues and greens, and tried lifting color for the veins in the leaves to see which worked best for that.

Begonia petal test colors

I found just the right mixture of colors for the petals with a color I’ve rarely ever used because it is more opaque than I usually prefer: Naples Yellow. When mixed with combinations of Cadmium Orange, Permanent rose, and Quinacridone gold, it looks like it will give me perfect petals. But now it’s back to “day job” work for the rest of the week. That will give me time to focus more on how I will approach the painting so once I have brush in hand I’m ready to go.

I don’t always plan things out so carefully, but it can help prevent wasted time and do-overs which becomes more important when I’m also photographing each step and writing about it for the book.

Art theory, Drawing, Flower Art, Painting, Plants, Watercolor
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Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. Those colors are gorgeous! What a great idea to use a magnifying glass!


    • Thanks Casey. It’s actually a gooseneck lamp that has a florescent ring of a bulb (a circle) and in the center of the circle is a huge magnifying glass. So you just move/tilt the gooseneck so you’re looking through the glass at the object you’re drawing and it stays there and lights up the object too. I love gizmos, gadgets and tools that make art making more fun. Jana



  2. The bouquet of tiny flowers is a great juxtaposition with the magnified ones so big next to their tiny selves.


  3. Lovely and lively flowers!


  4. Safe our flowers..


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