Echinacea – Coneflower (Dried) watercolour
The Echinacea is todays watercolour sketch. It is also widely known as a Coneflower and is a popular flower in many gardens. This Echinacea once had purple petals and I’ve painted it just before the flower has completely dried. The remaining yellow and red colours on the spikes attracted me to the flowerhead.
In the Echinacea painting I wanted to re-create the vibrant spikes reaching out of the paper, against the wispy, curled dried petals.
Painting Echinacea flowerhead spikes
First I created a simple pencil sketch of the Echinacea, without drawing any of the spikes. I decided to paint the spikes as I built the layers of watercolour. Four watercolour palettes were mixed (only three on show in the photo) a yellow, a red, a green and a brown mix.
I started painting with the yellow wash, for the stem of the flowerhead. With a small brush I painted lines of yellow on the flowerhead, at angles reaching away from the flowerhead. I applied several layers of the yellow wash.
Once the initial wash had dried, I used the green wash to represent the spikes not turned brown yet. These were mainly on the tip of the flowerhead. I allowed the green wash to lie on top of the yellow wash. While this wash dried I started using the brown watercolour mix on the dried petals.
I initially painted a pale brown wash on the petals. Then I used a stronger mix to add definition to the edge of the petals and to create lines and swirls on the petals. This gave the effect of swirling, curling petals. I let each layer of wash dry before adding another. Then I used the brown mix to the paint lines between the yellow spikes. This adds definition to the spikes.
Finally with a small brush I applied dabs of red watercolour to the ends of the spikes. Thus creating a spiky Echinacea flowerhead bursting from the paper.