Rhododendron in watercolor

This week, i’m working again with hot pressed paper, but this time i’m painting flowers ! Rhododendrons are in blooms right now in Stockholm and even compete with lilacs flowers !

Rhododendrons

Above, my reference picture taken in the botanic garden in Stockholm. It was a very sunny day, so the flowers looks almost white against their green foliage. This means that i will have to work with lots of negative painting in order to define the background ! I remember when i started with this technique, i was very anxious. To paint around the main subject of your painting is really not the easy way at first. It’s messing with you brain. But with exercise and practice it appears easier and easier each time. So i you are like me, keep hope : repeating this technique will give you more confidence in it !

This painting can look quite messy when you look very closely at it. The use of hot pressed paper makes all the layers of colors slightly visible and every flows is magnified. But when you take some steps back, the picture is revealing itself. This effect make me thinking that i’m not taking this step back enough when i paint. I’m often very concentrated and leaning over my paper. But taking this step back can help to see some flows in contrast or details.

Watercolor of rhododendron in video

Supplies :
Brushes : Escoda Último 1″, Raphaël petit gris le “803” nº2.
Paper : Canson Héritage hot pressed.
Colors : Cerulean blue (Daniel Smith), Indanthrene blue (Sennelier), Yellow ochre (Daniel Smith), Quinacridone gold (Daniel Smith), Rose madder lake (Sennelier), Lavander (Daniel Smith), Nickel azo yellow (Daniel Smith).

And here you have the finished painting (click to enlarge) :

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