Watercolor Glazing: Kitchen Bouquet

This is the start of a watercolor – Kitchen Counter Bouquet (19 x 19, sold) – painted a few years ago. In the first photo, you can see loose washes on top of a graphite drawing. I’m just laying a family of colors in – not being particularly careful. Using olive greens, burnt oranges and deep berry reds in the under painting reminds me to stay within that color range, to meet the vision I’m aiming for in the final painting.

In the next image, the values are getting darker, and the brush strokes are getting more specific in their shape & placement. I’ve left the petals of the white rose in the center unpainted, to preserve the cool white color of the paper for contrast against the soft layers of transparent pigment on the counter tiles.

The last layers of pigment are the most deliberate in their shape, density and color-temperature. This is also the stage where I squint a lot to check and re-check that my values are right. Layering transparent watercolor, or glazing, is a slow, illustrative process. Building a watercolor this way is like layering dozens of sheets of transparent, colored cellophane, one on top of the other, illuminating the colors from underneath with the white of your paper.

12 Responses to Watercolor Glazing: Kitchen Bouquet

  1. lorigrace 02/23/2006 at 5:39 pm #

    Wonderful watercolors. It’s so thoughtful of you to share your process.

  2. clare 01/31/2006 at 12:22 pm #

    Oh My Belinda this is STUNNING. Explaining your process is very generous of you, Thank You so much for sharing.

  3. Felicity 01/30/2006 at 11:32 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful! I love the clarity of the final paintings. It’s amazing to see them emerge.

  4. Lindsay 01/30/2006 at 7:33 pm #

    Oh thank you from the bottom of my heart!! Now I can return over and over again to check this out. Your paint like an angel!!

  5. Diahn 01/30/2006 at 5:44 pm #

    Wow, Belinda – what a great process! It really illustrates the need for PATIENCE in watercolor. So many would have stopped at stage 2 and called it a nice painting. The extra glazes you add really make a tremendous painting.

  6. Jeff Hayes 01/30/2006 at 4:34 pm #

    As a confirmed oil painter, I am truly impressed by those who paint well with watercolor. How many layers of washes would you put down in a typical painting?

  7. Teri C 01/30/2006 at 4:21 pm #

    What a beautiful painting and seeing the process is so helpful!

  8. Terri 01/30/2006 at 4:06 pm #

    Wow this is gorgeous Belinda! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk us through each part of the process. I’ve really learned a lot from this.

  9. Linda 01/30/2006 at 3:59 pm #

    I think I see — you work on the whole painting at every step. Oh, fiddle! I’m having the hardest time expressing myself here! How I’d love to sit quietly in the corner and watch you do this. This is really wonderful. Thanks for posting the step by step!

  10. orangefrute88 01/30/2006 at 1:30 pm #

    wow, see, now i’d be at the stage of the first photo and sticking a fork in it – done! haha! but that’s what makes you YOU – you are amazing!!!

  11. Karen Winters 01/30/2006 at 1:25 pm #

    Belinda, this is just wonderful to see how you work. Thanks so much for posting these steps, and the beautiful result.

  12. Lin 01/30/2006 at 11:54 am #

    GLORIOUS Watercolor!! I so appreciate you taking us step by step – it really helps to see the process … You can achieve such vivid colors and reflected surfaces like no one else I’ve seen. GLORIOUS!

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