View Full Version : Azealeas WIP

Shelley P
06-20-2005, 11:27 PM
Well, although this isn't the full sheet painting that I promised, it's another half. That's because I want to have it finished for a friend on the east coast and her daughter is leaving for a visit Friday and delivering it for me (house-warming gift). Anyway, I didn't think she'd appreciate a whole sheet to pack into her car so I've opted for another half sheet.
It's from a very lovely photo in the RIL. It's 140lb cold press with W&N watercolours.
Here's what I have so far.
I started by masking the stamen. Then I started building the background wet-on-wet.
Once that dried, I needed to add more colour to darken - another layer.
I also started the green leaves.

Granny R
06-20-2005, 11:32 PM
I am watching with bated breath!! Love your florals and I'm sure this will be another winner.

06-21-2005, 12:01 AM
Beeautiful....continue. :)

Lynn Quinn
06-21-2005, 12:42 AM
Shelley, this is going to be lovely! I'll be eagerly watching...
Wish you could have been at the Ontario Canada Meet this past weekend! I'd have loved to see your work close up!

06-21-2005, 04:28 AM
This is going to be lovely.

Watching and learning!


06-21-2005, 05:00 AM
Ooooooooooh loving the background colours..


Shelley P
06-21-2005, 08:08 AM
I put some yellow & green in the heart of the flower first (wet on wet).
When dry, I wet again one petal at a time and added some shadow. I discovered a couple of bits of background that I missed too, so I had to add them but of course each petal had to be dry first. I don't often use masking fluid but in this case it has allowed me to do nice wet washes without worrying about the stamens staying clean and white.

06-21-2005, 08:30 AM
Hi Shelley,

I think I recognize your reference photo... and you're doing a fabulous job with it!! :)


06-21-2005, 09:35 AM
This is coming along GREAT. :clap: :clap:

Thanks for sharing the WIP I can't tell you how much it is appreciated. It is one thing to read how to do something - but it is another to see it happening :D

06-21-2005, 09:56 AM
Hello Shelley.......I am new to watercolors and so appreciate when folks post WIP. To be able to see it, rather than just hear about it, or read about it, makes sense of everything.

Your piece is coming along so beautifully and I love the application of the background colors. Very nice! :)

06-21-2005, 10:13 AM
This is going to be beautiful - thanks for posting it as a WIP!


Shelley P
06-21-2005, 10:16 AM
Becky, Doug, ElizabethAnne, JJ and Ruth - thanks! Stay tuned.
Lynn - I would've loved to have gone to the gathering, but unfortunately had to work (darn work - I like my job, just bad timing).
Mike & Banananna - you're most welcome. I know how informative WIP's have been to me as well, and besides, they are just plain fun to watch! I'm happy to post this, especially if you feel it may be of some benefit to you.
Tess - thanks. Here's the reference photo - should've posted it first. You can see that I've changed the background to eliminate the red flowers.

06-21-2005, 11:09 AM
Shelley, Off to a wonderful start!

Shelley P
06-21-2005, 11:21 AM
More shading on the flowers
And more shading. Trying to maintain the whites by adding only a whisper of colour to create the look of ruffled petals (this was done wet on wet). Have to keep moving around the flowers because I can't work one petal next to another that is still drying.
I already see some things that I will want to adjust. That dark shadow in the upper left is disecting the corner, for example. Gotta do something with that. I will also have to adjust some of these shadows to push them back further and make the whites really 'pop', but of course I'll have to wait until things are dry first. In the meantime, I'll continue adding my lighter value shadows on the rest of the petals.

06-21-2005, 11:55 AM
OH MY...this is going to be gorgeous!! Just watching you do your background was a treat. ;) LOVE your background. I'm sure your friend will LOVE it. :clap: :wave:

06-21-2005, 12:11 PM
Beautifully done so far! Lots of rich tone to the background! :D :D

06-21-2005, 01:11 PM
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO :eek: :eek: :eek: I had to tell ya this is stunning. Now I am going back to read your posts and find out how you painted those white flowers.

Ok I am back, what colour are you using on the flower petals?

06-21-2005, 02:04 PM
Perfect demo !
Verrrrrrrrrry interesting and a great result.

Shelley P
06-21-2005, 02:45 PM
Thanks Darla, Olika, Sandy & Gilberte!
For the colour on the petals, I've used mostly a blue/grey mixture (antwerp, gamboge and a touch of perm. rose). There is a lot of reflected colour in shadows, so I've also thinly glazed in some of each of the background colours here and there (dioxazine, hookers green, and a teal colour made from antwerp & gamboge), although these have been dulled considerably before applying because they are very bright and I want them to be subdued. Although these glazes are very subtle they add variety and interest to the shadows. I will likely add more as I go along (get braver).
Here's a couple more updates.


06-21-2005, 02:59 PM
As someone else said, this is stunning!! Thanks so much for showing us "how it's done"!


Margaret Dent
06-21-2005, 03:13 PM

I will also agree with everyone else - this is FANTASTIC. Thank you so much for posting this gorgeous WIP - I'm soaking up knowledge like a sponge.

Can't wait to see it finished.


06-21-2005, 03:45 PM
Wow!! What am IMPRESSIVE WIP!! :clap: :clap: You make it look so easy, but I know it is not.

Thanks for taking the time to share that with us....means a LOT!

Lori Andrews
06-21-2005, 04:58 PM
Wow,,,,,,,,,And they look sooooooooooo delicate. Sure wish I could work with the white of the paper like that.

06-21-2005, 06:54 PM
Well this just keeps getting better and better. Thank you so much for the info on the colours used. :)

mrs willow
06-21-2005, 07:17 PM
Absolutely beautiful work in this painting. A very impressive and informative w.i.p.

Shelley P
06-21-2005, 08:38 PM
Thanks Patty, Margaret, Becky, Lori, Sandy1 and Sandy (Mrs. Willow)!!
I've mostly been adding more and more shadows which are finally making the whites brighter. I'm what you might call a slow builder - putting on many layers rather than one bold one. In hindsight, the whites would have been brighter had I used Arches Bright White instead of Natural White (which I had onhand when I started). I'm still happy with the white as it is though.
I've darkened bits of the background, behind the stamen and the flowers behind. You should be able to see that I've glazed some blues and purples in there now. I've also lifted as much colour as I could from that dark line in the upper left corner and tried to blend it into the petal there.
Yay! As soon as this is dry I'll remove the masking fluid on the stamen (I love that part!). Note - I never use a blow dryer to speed up the drying when using masking fluid. I find that it sort of 'cooks' it and makes it very hard to remove.

06-21-2005, 09:29 PM
Beautiful.. I am rating this 5*****

Painting looks cool, literally, blooms look awesome..


Shelley P
06-21-2005, 09:36 PM
Wow, thanks JJ!
Here's what I have now with the masking removed.
And a detail to show more of the different colours in the shadows.

06-21-2005, 10:54 PM
Wow, they are sooooo delicate! You've done a beautiful, beautiful job!!

Margaret Dent
06-21-2005, 11:17 PM

what masking fluid are you using? When i lifted mine from my painting I can see a very faint yellowing of paper underneath. Could it be that it's old?


06-22-2005, 04:37 AM
Yep excellent demo, also rated 5*

And yes, the masking is probably old, it does go off.

Spooky, I'm just listening to a song by a Scotish singer, Carine Polwart, called 'Wind Through the Azealeas' very haunting

Shelley P
06-22-2005, 07:19 AM
Masking fluid has some colour added to it in order to make it easier to see on the white paper. You can usually see this colour settle to the bottom of the bottle after a while. This colour can slightly stain the paper - especially the darker coloured masking fluids (blue, orange etc). I had a orange one once - never again! I always use the white now (actually it's a creamy colour) masking fluid, although as you can tell that it's older because it turns quite yellow when dry. Mine too, has left a slight stain on the paper, but it's so slight that it would not be noticed. I've had it a couple of years now and I'm using Windsor & Newton brand. Curry's has a good one too, but older fluid does seem more likely to stain.
Glad you like this one Becky & Kev! Thanks.

06-22-2005, 08:20 AM
Hi Shelley! You azaleas are beautifully done... thanks for sharing your wip... a suggestion... the reds in your ref image spice up the composition, adding some *life* to the cool blues and greens... I would like to see just a touch of it in your composition... the tips of your stamens would be a good place to introduce a little more colour... burnt sienna, with one or two of them leaning to red... just a thought...

06-22-2005, 08:25 AM

this finished up just GORGEOUS, I think Char has a very good suggestion though by adding just a touch of a warm shade will set this painting off perfectly.

I'm giving you my merit point too! ;) :clap: :clap:

Shelley P
06-22-2005, 09:12 AM
Thanks Char and Darla! Not done yet though - just removed the masking at this point. Currently working on those stamen and yes, will certainly add that bit of spice colour in the tips of the stamen as you suggested.

Shelley P
06-22-2005, 02:01 PM
OK - I think I'm done, unless someone spots something I've missed. I've added the details to the stamen and washed a hint of red over some of the petals for warmth.
Thanks for watching!!




06-22-2005, 02:46 PM
Flawless Finish Shelley!!! Positively Yummy!!!

Granny R
06-22-2005, 03:13 PM
Absolutely stunning. I was hoping you'd add a bit of warmth. :clap: :clap:
thanks for showing us how you did this. I love WIP's, as we can all learn from each other.

06-22-2005, 06:43 PM
:eek: :eek: :eek: I am speechless this is beautiful!

06-22-2005, 09:42 PM
:eek: :eek: :eek: I am speechless this is beautiful!


06-22-2005, 11:16 PM
Shelley, You've done a Great job on this Painting. The Design, saving your Whites and Leaves, have all worked together to form a Lovely Work of art. I especially like the circular Pattern of the flowers . You come in ,but You don't come out! Like a Bee to Honey.
More , More .
June :wave:

06-23-2005, 05:16 AM

I just saw your final painting in the June Thumbnail Gallery and wanted to add a comment. When I got here I discovered you had done a wonderful WIP (for which I gave you my Mentor point for the day and a 5* rating).

Your flowers are exquisite. I really like the negative spaces between the individual clusters of petals and the lovely color in your shadow areas. Your explanation on that was very informative.

Beautiful work. Thanks for taking the time to do it as a WIP. I'm sure your friend is going to find a wonderful spot to hang this in her new home.


06-23-2005, 07:00 AM
I just went and checked out all your other paintings . Wow you are talented !

Shelley P
06-23-2005, 09:50 AM
Darla, Ruth, Sandy, JJ, June & Sylvia
What nice comments you left for me. Really makes my day! Thanks a million!

06-23-2005, 11:54 AM
Oh my! this is fantastic! How did I miss this post? Beautiful flowers....I love the shadow areas of each petal. You certainly have a lot of control and PATIENCE! Very well done.

06-23-2005, 01:12 PM
Shelley... what a gorgeous finish!!! Just the right amount of colour... beautiful whites... Absolutely well done!

Shelley P
06-23-2005, 05:45 PM
Fagan - Thanks very much. I'm so pleased you like this.
Char - I consider it high praise coming from you! Your florals are a pretty tough act to follow. Thanks a million.

Lynn Quinn
06-23-2005, 08:27 PM
Absolutely gorgeous, Shelley!

06-23-2005, 10:57 PM
What a great WIP. I am in awe! :clap: You get my mentor points today! Thanks for sharing!

06-23-2005, 11:16 PM
This is so beautiful Shelley! And so are your other paintings. I really admire how much texture your work has! WOW :clap: :clap: :clap:

06-24-2005, 10:49 AM
I don't know how I missed all this but I did. This is STUNNING! White flowers are not easy. You have made them fabulous! Thank you for sharing your process.


Shelley P
06-25-2005, 05:49 AM
Lynn, Lorraine, Enia & Shirley - thank you so much for your generous remarks.
I'm very glad you enjoyed this WIP.

06-25-2005, 06:06 AM
WOW!!!!!!! What a stunning painting Shelley, thanks for sharing the WIP! :clap: :clap: :clap:


06-25-2005, 06:39 AM
Absolutely gorgeous........and thanks for the WIP.......wish I'd seen this before attempting my white roses..........

06-27-2005, 08:34 AM
Coming in on this late because I was on vacation, but just had to say that it is absolutely gorgeous!!

Thanks also for all of the info contained in this WIP!

-- Jan

Shelley P
06-27-2005, 10:11 AM
Oh my goodness! :o Thanks so much Jan, Stephie & Ruth!
You're certainly welcome for the WIP. It's easy enough to take a few photos along the way and I'm more than happy to share! I really appreciate your comments!

10-11-2006, 09:53 PM
Shelly I am so inspired by this! I am a beginner.You are so special to allow us to see the process. Even though we have never met, Today you have become a mentor to me! thanks so much. What a talented artist!


10-11-2006, 10:38 PM

10-12-2006, 04:13 AM
Waht an excellent wip always good watching something come to life like this-----------well done----------Alan

10-12-2006, 03:12 PM
Hi Shelley

Just a gorgeous job you have done on the painting of a flower... Stunning it is!!!..

I have saved it for later reference


10-13-2006, 01:12 PM
What a great supplement to our white flower class last month. This is wonderful! Thank you!

10-14-2006, 03:59 PM
Hi Shelley

What an absolutely beautiful painting.:clap: I just love it.
How did I almost miss this??

Thank you so much for doing the WIP and sharing your work.


03-26-2007, 08:16 PM
I am new to wet canvas. I am also new to watercolor, I really like your flowers. They are so realistic.

Watercolour lover
03-27-2007, 01:24 PM

I'm spellbound! Masterful technique and light touch. You've captured the very essence of these flowers. Well done.


Ms. Gee
03-28-2007, 12:10 AM

Once again, you've blown us all away! I've learned so much from you! I was amazed at the detail in the close-up. You are truly a master!

Thanks for the WIP!