the peonies..



          I put some masking fluid to save the whites for the water droplets. Don`t leave it on for more than 2-3 days. The lower flower has quin red , quin red mixed with new gamboge (to get a red orange), perylene maroon for the shadows, also a bit of ultramarine blue and ruby red. It is yet to open fully and is warmer than the upper one which has the same colors but more of ruby red. Perylene maroon may look very bright with a burnt orange hue while it is still wet, but gets a lot more dull towards a maroon shade after it has dried.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† If you`re having trouble with values,¬†start out with¬†painting a single¬†flower or leaf with a single color¬†from a black and white photo.¬†Choose any dark valued color¬†so that you¬†can make use¬†of the maximum number of values. A yellow will not give you the complete range. Any deep red or blue will work. Make a value scale with the color from 1 to 9 or from 1 to 5 if thats all you can differentiate for now.¬†There`s a section on¬†this in Beginnier`s cove > color theory > values.¬†Wet a petal with clear water,¬†let it sink in a bit while you determine¬†which the lightest value is on that particular petal in the photo. It can be a 1 or 2 or 3 if its a sunlit petal but also in the higher range if it is in shadow. Lay that value in, determine what the next value is and lay that (the mix will be stronger now) on the first wash but not completely covering it. This wash¬†will gently flare on the first one giving a soft edge if you have the right amount of moisture both on the brush and the¬†paper. (u will get better with practice). You can continue doing this with the next values all the way till the darkest. But if the petal has reached the damp-dry stage before you have complete it, stop and let dry completely while you work on another petal.¬†Later, make another wash of clear water and¬† start putting in the darker¬†values. If you are confident you have got the hang of this, do the same flower with the full set of colors. Choose only the three primaries if you have a problem with color harmony. The red closest to the flower, a yellow to warm it and a blue for a cooler hue. Lay in the lightest values, but which color is that lightest value? Is it a bright¬†red-orange, a red, a red tending towards violet¬†or a dull red tending towards maroon? You can`t go wrong if you`re careful at each stage. Slowly you will realize you`re making¬† color choices instinctively and without fuss. Have fun and good luck…….

Finished painting – Peony Dream


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Hi everyone! Hope u all had great Easter hols…. I did! Here`s Peony Dream completed:¬†



                Continuing with the demo:


                   I made two mixtures of green for the leaves. One with varying amounts of DS sap green, MG phthalo blue and S ruby red and another with varying amounts of DS new gamboge, MG phthalo blue and S ruby red. The second one is for shadow areas.


Part 5


             Here`s my palette: (in clockwise direction) new gamboge, new gamboge mixed with ruby red (gives an orange which is not too bright), ruby red, three varying mixes of ruby red mixed with pthalo blue and the last contains raw sienna. The other dish has the shadow mix (the blobs of yellow and orange are the remains from another painting) As I go along, I mix any of these colors to the shadow mix to get a wide range of shadow colors.


            The smaller areas are mostly completed in one wash. The centre areas here tend towards orange whereas it was more towards green in the centre areas of the previous flower.

Part 4


              This flower is brighter and warmer than the first one, so the first washes are pure ruby red diluted with water.

Part 3



                      Here I have filled out the smaller petals on the left:


                       Here I have done some fine tuning on the same petals. A pale glaze of yellow on some inner petals makes them spring upward, leaving the other yellow petals as there keeps them a layer behind the first ones. The violet ones form another layer behind these two and adding a glaze of the shadow mix to some keeps them at the farthest plane. So you get the spatial perspective and the petals don`t look as if they have been placed next to each other.


                   Strengthened the shadows on the lower sunlit petal:

part 2


               I put up the ref here again so that it is easier to follow:



                A base wash of new gamboge and a mixture of ruby red and phthalo blue:


                  The shadows are put in while the wash is still damp with a bit of Schminke raw sienna and the shadow mix (previous post) so that the edges stay soft. (same petal as in the above photo) The upper petal is done in one wash with a red violet mix and the shadow mix.    


                  I snapped this while the wash is still damp, the stronger values were added as this was drying (the photo below this)


                  The lower wide sunlit petal here has a darker value in its right hand side since it has a darker valued petal beneath it. Veins and folds should be stroked in when the wash is just a bit damp so that they don`t spread about too much.


                    I strengthened the colors a bit and added the cast shadows on the same petal: There`s no need to keep the shadows too grey even if thats`s how they look in the photo, adding some colors to them make them appear luminous. I keep softening the edges of all the petals as I go along so that there are no hard edges. 

Peony painting demo


      I`m going to be painting from this almost as it is, nothing much to change, maybe add a bud or two; the composition looks fine as it is.



            The colors that I have chosen for now are Schminke`s ruby red, DS new gamboge (because the yellow on the left flower is actually the tertiary color yellow orange and not a pure yellow) and MG phthalo blue. Here is the lower petal of the left most flower. I have already added the small shadows at the bottom of the petal in this first wet in wet wash.


         Here I have added the cast shadow with a mix of the red and blue plus a little yellow to dull down the resulting violet.