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New Watercolor: Tulip Magnolia

Hi, friends! I just finished a larger watercolor painting--this one is 14" x 18" and will be mounted onto a wooden panel.

I often stop to admire and photograph magnolia trees. Here in the South, they grow to impressive heights, towering over the landscape. Pollinators love magnolia flowers. I use the leaves often in my 3D artwork, too, such as in the "crown" of my latest 3D piece, Forest King.

I've been enjoying painting with a limited palette, and this painting was completed using only two colors: cool red (quinacridone red) and cool green (viridian). I didn't even use black on this painting! Red and green are complimentary colors, meaning they are across from each other on the color wheel, and mixing complimentary colors of the same temperature (warm or cool) can result in some lovely, vibrant tones. Here is a paint swatch I made using my two chosen colors. Pretty, yes?

I used a large sheet of Arches 140 lb cold press watercolor paper and stretched it onto my painting board. Stretching is the process of soaking the paper in water and taping down the edges on a painting surface to minimize bubbling and rippling from the water used while painting. I used a lot of water for the background of this painting (I wanted a soft, wet look for the background of the flowers), and it rippled a bit despite the stretching technique. Typically the rippling will flatten as the paper dries in between layers of paint. Still, I regretted that I didn't use heavier paper--I have some 300 lb Arches paper that would have worked better for this very wet painting! I had to wait for the lighter paper to dry in between layers.

You've told me you enjoy seeing progress pictures, so here are a few. What other questions do you have about the process of watercolor painting? Ask me!

I'll add a picture of the finished, mounted painting once it's done. I think this painting is already sold (!!), hot off the easel. I am so grateful for your support.

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