View Full Version : Basket of petunias

08-07-2007, 12:55 AM
I am so happy to see this new forum. I painted this a few months ago. This was done on 16 x 20 inches, Arches watercolor block, 140 lb. paper. Used mostly artist's grade paints, rose quinacridone, rose madder, magenta, burnt umber and sienna. Mixed quinacridone gold with cobalt blue, also hansa yellow light and cobalt for various greens, graying down with rose quin. Previously x posted in Watercolor forum. Had received C & C suggesting ropes lead the eye out of the picture, so did a little bit of digital manipulation to soften and lighten the ropes at the top of the picture.

C & C always welcome

08-07-2007, 03:02 AM
I like the softness of your flowers!
Did you start this painting with a wet in wet wash?

08-07-2007, 03:20 PM
Posted by ranunkel:
I like the softness of your flowers!
Did you start this painting with a wet in wet wash?

Marianne, I dampened each flower separately, then put on strong color on edge I wanted to emphasize most and drug it down or up a little. On the yellow flower at top left, I wet the flower plus the background area at top of flower to let it fade into background. Tried to do the same with bottom right red colored flower. With the rest of the background, I remember doing that after completing the flowers. The basket gave me trouble. I worked wet into wet on that, and then wiped out some highlights before they dried. I wasn't pleased with the leaf shadows on the basket - looks a little too contrived. I think I need to make the shadows a bit darker, but then I am never satisfied with my finished paintings. Guess that's why I keep painting in order to learn. I have never painted as loose as I would like. I know that I detail too much. I started painting in oils, then discovered watercolors and enjoy them the most.


Katherine T
08-07-2007, 04:00 PM
Hi Jeanette. The flowers are great and the colours are lovely - but I'm not that enamoured with the basket and lines bit.

Have you tried doing a crop in either pS or with mountboard to see if you can get a better picture out of what you've got already? I'm always amazed at how sometimes just cropping in close can really improve a floral image.

08-07-2007, 04:13 PM
Katherine, do me a digital crop in your program. You have my full permission. I'm always open for C & C. That's why I post. I've had no formal training, just library books and paint workshops, but I love to learn.


Charlie's Mum
08-07-2007, 04:56 PM
Jeanette - if you have a photo/paint programme you can do the crop yourself! :D
I agree about the lines/ropes but the colours of the flowers and the background are so pretty, that the small 'errors' can be forgiven! Just tuck away the info for the next one! :lol:
there really is some very nice work in this.

Katherine T
08-07-2007, 06:01 PM
OK - here goes - but like Charlie's Mum says this is always best done yourself. My guess is the only benefit of me showing you what I might do is it jump starts another way of looking at it.

I had to eliminate those top lines - which frankly distract and add nothing. However taking off the top looks wrong unless you close crop the bottom in my opinion. The issue then becomes how much space to leave on either side. So I tried a few options and this is what I came up with. Lots of focus on the lovely flowers - and not so much on the parts which distracted.

But it's always a very personal thing - and very definitely always the artist's choice at the end of the day. I hope a different way of looking at your piece has been helpful.


08-07-2007, 07:51 PM
Jeanette, if you make 2 large L shapes of paper to create a temporary mat for it you can experiment with seeing what looks best - sometimes rotating it slightly can make for a better composition as well.

Before I learned to stop and think the composition through, in my early days I have been known to take a huge painting down to several very small ones!

Katherine mentioned the benefit of thumbnail sketches in another thread and I'd highly recommend doing them, to sort out the various options available before starting. One source can yield a lot of possibilities and maybe several paintings

08-07-2007, 09:17 PM
Thanks Katherine, Maureen, and Vhere for your tips. Yes, I do have a program - Corel Painter 7, that is very useful for sampling different ideas. I just thought I would get some ideas from other members, and thanks Katherine for your help. I just need to use Painter more in planning composition. I've recently used the layers and objects tools in planning a door mural I'm working on. Vhere, I think you nailed it when you said: Before I learned to stop and think the composition through......

That's what I need to do more of I think. And I do have mat boards and a cutter that I use, so will cut myself some L's.

After painting the petunias and basket in the 16 x 20 size, I had started a much larger painting, in which I left out the basket, following the critique I received in Watercolor Forum. When I finish, I will post here in Florals/Botanical.

This new forum is wonderful.