Finished painting


watercolor - pilgrim roses

bg a

bg b

the leaves..


               Same colors again.

base wash

second wash

the leaves and stem

the flowers..


         The colors for the buds are from the same colors that I’ve used uptill now.

the flowers



                  I put in a very light under wash of grey blue on this rose as it should appear behind the (unpainted) flower which is beneath it.

step a

step b


               On the upper half of the yellow centre I glazed over with a grey blue for the shadow cast upon it by the upper and outer petals.   




                This rose is not completely open yet and the inside has more of a golden yellow hue. For this area, since there are no white areas to be preserved, I put in a base wash of hansa yellow medium and new gamboge towards the center.  Quin red for the dark areas and bud.  

step a

step b



                 Continuing from the previous post …

step e


                  I strengthened the dark areas a bit more wet on dry:

step f


pilgrim rose

Starting on the main rose


               The outer petals are almost white, so I have described their form using MG phthalo and MG quin red. The base of the petals have a hint of yellow for which I used DS hansa yellow medium. Here are the first washes which I worked on wet in wet. If you drop in a pale greyed down blue or voilet mixed from the three primaries into a moist petal, you will see the petal turning concave or convex. But take care to leave the highlights white. For this the amount of moisture should be just right, not so wet that the color floods the area nor so dry that the color doesn’t flow. 

               I worked each small part separately so the values have to be put in taking into consideration the value range of the whole flower. Else it will look like an abstract piece composed of small parts and not come together as a rose. The values are quite close to each other reaching only upto a 3 at the very centre.  

step a


                Strengthened some values in the second washes.

step b


                I used DS new gamboge to strengthen the inner areas of each petal and S raw sienna for shadowy areas. A tiny bit of MG nickel azo yellow too. This color is a vivid yellow in tints and moves towards brown in heavy washes.      

step c


                More areas done in the same way. The dark centre is a mix of new gamboge, quin red and raw sienna. The shadowy centres have a bit of blue.   

step d

Drawing of pilgrim roses

pilgrim roses

Drawing of pilgrim roses — contd..


pilgrim rose


             Curves will look more natural if you mark the beginning and end points and connect them together in a sweeping stroke rather than copy the curve as is.

Pilgrim Roses – composition and drawing


            I’ve worked out the following rough composition from various clusters of pilgrim roses at Many thanks to Mary for letting me use the photos. The lines of the blooms are too light to show through but here it is:

starting out


            Then I drew out the outline of the major bloom and marked the patterns of petals which are distinctly visible. Then it becomes easier to draw the smaller petals which are enveloped inside them. Here is where I’ve reached with the drawing:

the drawing


                 The Pilgrim rose is propagated from the more popular Graham Thomas rose. I’m excited to be doing this. It is a very soft rose of a pale yellow color.