Pale Pink Tulip – watercolour painting in the garden
I began painting the Pale Pink Tulip in between watercolour washes of the Yellow Tulip watercolour #77. I’ve written a blog about painting the Yellow Tulip too. I had already set up my painting equipment (in the garden) to paint the yellow tulip. So it made sense to make the most of the warm dry day and paint a few different tulips. I painted smooth wet washes of watercolour on the tulips, so as one painting dried I spent the time painting wet washes on another tulip painting.
Painting the curve of the petals
The Pale Pink Tulip had subtle tones of pink, ranging from a warm reddish tone through to a colder blue purple tone. To find the balance between the tones, I started painting the pale pink mid tones first. I applied very wet washes and gave the layers time to dry before adding another layer. I wanted the petals to have a smooth subtle change of colour, so patiently built up the pale washes of colour.
Some areas of the Pale Pink Tulip were left with just the first layers of wash. These became my highlighted areas on the petals. Then I added a deeper pink mix to the outer petals.
As the layers built, I left areas on the middle and edges of the petals with fewer layers of paint. The areas with light washes became the highlighted areas of the petals. Painting is all about creating an illusion of 3D within a 2D format. So the highlights on the left petal, follow the outline shape of the petal. The highlights have helped to create the illusion of a curve in the petals.
Adding warmer and cooler tones of colour
Next I added a cooler blue wash to the base, the tips and the edges of the petals. All the time I painted I was constantly observing the Pale Pink Tulip. Then I used a stronger pink watercolour with a warmer tone of colour. The warmer pink mix was applied to the larger central areas of the petals. The cluster of petals just seen at the top of the tulip were also painted with the warmer pink mix.
There are a lot of layers of watercolour on the Pale Pink Tulip, giving the flower a subtle range of pink hues and definition to the shape of the petals.
Finally I used the green mix for the stem of the Tulip. I applied several layers of green mix watercolour to the stem, for a smooth effect.