Westerflora Watercolor Winner 2014

Garden tours provide lots of options for the opportunist watercolor painters.

It is a privilege to have access to such beautiful properties. The owners take such wonderful care of their gardens. This requires much creative and physical labor. I have no shortage of respect for those who make such bold endeavors.

Entrance to mini Inny crop

Design #1 -Winner


Design #2

Design #2

Design #3 -Alex's Favorite

Design #3 -Alex’s Favorite

Considering the process required to make three 7″x10″  paintings in 6 hours and have people vote on them, I want to make some comments about color and abstraction.

A set up like a garden tour is no contest for the watercolor painter, unless you want it to be.

Limitations provide watercolor painters the most opportunities. Choice is one of those limitations.

Consider these observations about color:

  • You can make a wide range of colors with these 4 options: Water, Alizarin Crimson, Medium Yellow Cadmium, and Prussian Blue
  • Darkness or lightness is dependent on how thick the pigment of the paint is
  • Add water to the paint and it will get brighter on the paper
  • Avoid mixing all the colors at 100%

Consider these observations about abstraction:

  • Immense details in a subject can be generalized
  • Brushes can create variation in texture
  • Speckling works for small details
  • Splashes work to break monotony in a composition
  • Maintain compositional integrity throughout the painting process

Use color and and abstraction to pull the watercolor painting together. The choices you make concerning these issues should be in service communicating your subject more than a flashy technique. Be adventurous and you will grow in leaps and bounds!


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