Beautiful crocuses are growing in my garden right now. They have a delicate purple colouring and look gorgeous in the sunshine. It’s lovely to see the crocuses sprouting from the soil and opening in the sun a true sign that spring is on its way!
These pretty and delicate little flowers can often be seen blooming during late winter and early spring. Often associated with a sign of cheerfulness or glee, the crocus flower can add some wonderful colour to your garden at this time of year and can often be spotted as delightful purple blankets.
I used Saunders Waterford hot press 300gsm watercolour paper and Kolinsky sable watercolour brushes, sizes from 000 to 2.
Before I started my painting, I took a quiet moment to study the crocus flowers in the garden and created sketches of three of the flowers. I wanted to show their shape and how their petals open out to the sun. These initial sketches were then used as a guide for the layout of my crocus watercolour painting.
To begin with, I created palette mixes of a pale purple tone and a pale pink tone. Then with the size 2 brush I applied the pale pink watercolour mix to the petals of the top crocus flower. I re-applied the pink tone a few times, just to create a subtle underlying tone of pink, which I had seen in the flowers I had observed in the garden.
Find out more about how I create different watercolour mixes.
Next, I began painting a pale tone of purple to the outer edges of the petals of the top flower. The top flower was in more sunlight, so overall it would have less colour and fewer shadows than the other two flowers. While I waited for the purple layers of the first flower to dry, I began painting the middle crocus flower. Again, I applied pale pink undertones, then purple layers of watercolour on the petals.
I applied more layers to the first flower as I waited for the initial layers to dry on the middle crocus flower. I also started to paint the first yellow washes to the stamen and anthers.
By consistently applying layers of watercolour to the crocus petals, I was able to slowly build up a wonderful depth of colour.
This allowed the petals to gain a smooth transition of colour. From here I also painted the first layers of green watercolour paint to the crocus leaves. I left a line in each leaf unpainted, as crocus leaves have a white line in them. This is where the cells in the leaves contain less chlorophyll than those along the edges.
Delicately, I painted a darker orange yellow tone to the stamens and anthers of each flower. These are a stunning and strong orange tone of colour.
While the main petals dried, I used a size 00 brush to paint stronger tones of colour around the tips of the petals.
The Shadows and Leaves
Working methodically, I kept moving from one flower to another as they dried. Finally, I added the shadows to the petals. The shadows were a darker tone of purple. I tried to balance the darkness of the shadows against the sunlit areas of the petals.
To finish the watercolour painting I added more layers of watercolour mix to the green leaves again for a stronger green tone.