Dandelions in watercolor – chaos and beauty

No, this is not a joke ! This week, i paint dandelions (or at least weeds). I’m not inspired just by flowers and pretty landscapes. Sometimes just weeds by the roadside are attractive !

For this painting, i’ve used this reference image. I took it durinf a walk. This image is far from perfect : the dandelion’s heads aren’t in the sunlight, the composition is flat and the colors are a bit poor, but all this elements can be modified in the final painting !

Test of vinegar to help with gradients

this week i don’t have any sketch to show. For this kind of painting i never draw one, i much prefer paint directly. But against, i’ve made some research in order to find the best way to create this fluffy dandelion’s head. My first research has been to try using vinegar for getting softer gradient and opening whites. This test wasn’t successful, as you can see it in those images :

I can’t see a big difference. Of course on the second image, the droplets of vinegar are lighter than the droplets of water, but it could be because i didn’t put the droplets at the exact same stage of wetness. This technique works for other watercolorist, so i think i should do more test and maybe with a stronger vinegar.

Anyway for this painting, i’ve preferred to use water for opening whites and soften the gradients. So i painted a first test painting, which is shown on the side. It’s just a draft and even so i find it quite nice ! It allows me to work my composition and make a choice of colors. Now it’s time to get this final painting done.

Watercolor dandelions in video

Pissenlit à l'aquarelle

Supplies :
Brushes : Escoda Aquario nº18, Raphaël 803 nº2.
Paper : Arches rough
Colors : Neutral tint (Winsor & Newton), Cobalt blue (Schmincke), Ultramarine blue (Daniel Smith), Cerulean blue (Daniel Smith), Winsor yellow deep (Winsor & Newton), Burnt sienna (Schmincke), Viridian (Schmincke).

And here you have the final painting with some details (click to enlarge) :

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