Above is my latest attempt at painting the yellow roses I had received on women’s day, though the flowers themselves had long since withered away, and this was painted from memory.
“Would you like to take some flowers? It’s for free!” the cashier told me as I was paying for my groceries that day. I came home happy carrying a bunch of yellow roses.
Since then I have had (to this date) five attempts to paint them. The first attempt was a couple of days after first bringing the roses home and putting them in a jar of water. I had been enjoying their sight for a couple of days (unfortunately they didn’t have much smell) when I decided to try and paint them. I took out paper and paint and produced this:
I went to sleep that night dissatisfied with my painting, but determined to try again the next evening. The following evening I produced this:
I thought the composition was better, but still, I wasn’t happy with the result. I took a fresh piece of paper and tried a different technique, laying the color on dry paper:
I went to sleep restless and still unsatisfied. The next day I tried to produce softer roses by painting on wet paper:
After that I gave up painting for a while, as the excitement was affecting my sleep. The roses wilted and I threw them away. Time went by. Then one day I found myself in front of watercolor paper, but this was not just any paper, it was cotton paper. I had never painted on cotton paper before. Generously I wetted the paper. I mixed my colors and applied them with confidence with a large brush. I had no model in front of me, and no reference photo. It was just me before the cotton paper, trying to paint something pleasing to the eye.
I admired the way the paper absorbed the paint. I let it dry somewhat before adding detail with a finer brush. I looked at whatever markings I made, at the flow of colors, and tried to imagine the petals. Carefully, and with a dryer brush, I marked out the imagined petals. As more details were added the petals became clearer, and I understood better where they should be, and I enhanced their clarity.
Adding some more detail with a dry brush…
Adding some wet washes to the background… and… finally I was satisfied.