Pat Fiorello - Art Elevates Life

Art & Inspiration from professional artist and instructor Pat Fiorello. Pat is known for her romantic landscape, garden and floral paintings in oil and watercolor. Her paintings often depict beautiful places like Italy and France. Pat teaches painting workshops in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe. She is passionate about inspiring others to include art in their life. Whether creating it or simply appreciating and enjoying it, there are so many ways that art elevates life!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

White Hydrangeas
12 x 16 Watercolor
by Pat Fiorello

This is a demo painting I did at the workshop I recently taught at The Bascom in Highlands North Carolina. The workshop was specifically on "Capturing the Essence of Flowers in Watercolor". One lesson specifically addressed how to paint white flowers since in watercolor we don't typically use any white paint.

Here was the set up of white hydrangeas lit from the left.
 This was the initial layer, underpainting to establish form on the white flowers. I used blues, lavenders to establish the cool shadow side and warm yellow greens to tint the lit side.  I tend to exaggerate the color rather than go with grays. At this point the color and value seem pretty strong, but remember we're comparing everything relative to lost of white paper.

I next added a background so you could  better see the shape of the hydrangeas. It's hard to know where the edge of the  white flowers are when the background is also white. On a painting of a colored flowers, I might do the entire painting of the flowers and then come in with the background at the end, but here I wanted to eliminate any unnecessary white paper to better judge the white flowers.

The flowers might look dark, however once I started adding the dark leaves, the value of the the flowers looked more accurate.

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The painting as it stood at the end of the demo is pictured as the first photo on this blog. I may make some further adjustments to refine the leaves. But will revisit in a few days to re-look and decide if it's done or if some adjustments may improve it. It's always a judgment call to avoid going too far and overworking your initial impression.

Here are a few of the students having fun painting their lovely flowers.

I'll be back at The Bascom later this summer teaching a 3 day workshop on Painting Landscapes in Watercolor, Aug 26-28. For more information or to register on-line see:
The Bascom

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