How to Paint a Rose in Watercolor – Leaves Focus


My painting  is not of a one-size-fits-all variety.  Yet, neither am I.  Long ago I decided to quit trying to please everyone with my painting.

“You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” – Abraham LincolnThat is when I shifted into what has become my style.

“If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.” – Margaret Thatcher

“Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both side.” – Margaret Thatcher

“Never mind what others do; do better than yourself, beat your own record from day to day, and you are a success.” – H. Boetcker

That is when my work began taking on its own style.

My watercolor paintings are characterized by the following:

  1. Looseness
  2. Freedom
  3. Color
  4. Wetness Which Allows the Colors to Blend and Interact Independently
  5. Control – Believe It or Not, I Exercise A Huge Amount of Control, to Prevent the Colors From Becoming Muddy
  6. Whimsy
  7. Lyricism

Building on the How to Draw a Rose Tutorial that I began yesterday, today I want you to begin adding color to your areas of dark and light.

In painting my leaves, I did not strive to make any one leaf the star of the show.  Therefore, there is no center of attention here; and I would just call this a nature study.  This is the type of study that one might put in a Nature Journal or a Garden Journal.  The rose itself will be the star of the show; and I have deliberately painted my leaves as unspectacular so that they will recede into the rose’s background.

I paint very wet-in-wet. I have only used 3 colors with these leaves.  I first stroke a heavy amount of Cadmium Yellow Lemon into the Light areas.  I then stroked much less Prussian Blue into the darkest area.  I stroked a tiny bit of Leaf Green [Da Vinci Watercolor] into the area next to the blue.

I leave a great deal of white so that there is room for the colors to mingle a bit.  I do exercise some control here. I keep the paper flat.

“I love to see what the colors and water create all on their own.” – Jacki Kellum

I always tell my students that I paint with water as much as I paint with paint.  I love to see what the colors and water create all on their own.  To me it is the same fascination that I had, as a child, when I saw puddles of water with oil in them.  The colorful swirls fascinated me then; and they still do.

If the color begins to go crazy, I lightly touch the errant puddle with the corner of a paper towel and allow some of the moisture to wick away.  I do not rub the paper or try to wipe away any paint.  In fact, I hardly use a brush at all.  I dab bits of color and allow the magic to begin.  I always tell my students that painting in watercolor is not like painting a fence. I never paint back and forth; again, I hardly use a brush at all.

If things get totally out of control, the painting is composted. I have a wonderul garden, too.

“Painting as loosely as I do can be exciting–but it can also be a recipe for disaster.  I still have a lot of disastrous days.” – Jacki Kellum

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

The true secret of my more successful paintings is that I do not allow my mistakes–my mess-ups to prevent me from painting again.

“I am always trying to find ways to approach color differently, because color is the hallmark of my work.”  – Jacki Kellum

“A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”  – Albert Einstein

“I  have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”  – Albert Einstein


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s