Watercolor on 140-lb Arches Aquarelle paper; 51 cm x 36 cm

Blog Post 87

This painting had many ‘firsts’. It was my first watercolor painting of peonies on Arches paper. My three previous watercolor paintings of peonies (Blog Posts 7, Pink Peonies; 8, Peony Diversity; and Radiant Peonies) were done on Chinese rice paper. This was also the first time that I used western-produced watercolors and animal hair brushes. And, my first time to sketch my composition using watercolor colored pencils–those that dissolve upon contact with water or watercolor. But, I didn’t sketch everything–just the outlines of the big branches, flowers, and leaves.

Notice that my painting changed in this painting. The branches, leaves, and petals of my peonies look different from my first three paintings because I used the layering technique. I dry the first layer, then I added brighter, semi-opaque or opaque colors. I also followed the rule of painting watercolor tones from light to dark to make each tonal value pop up.

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