Poinsettia - 50 Watercolor Flowers Project (4)

This pretty pink Poinsettia is part of my 50 Watercolor Flowers Painting Project.  I have always had a really hard time painting Poinsettias, this is the first one that turned out how I had hoped it would.  This is painting number 4 of 50 in the series.

The trick is to leave enough light shining through while still achieving lots of deep color and contrast.  Because most of the time the flowers and leaves on Poinsettias are very matte looking and do not have any shine to them.  It is natural to want to place the paint solidly all over each petal but then you loose the light and dimension.

I suggest making a quick pencil sketch before starting your painting and marking each petal with D's for dark and L's for light, this way as you paint you can keep track of where you want your darkest and lightest areas to be.  Your mid-tones will be created by the natural spreading and blending of the watercolor wet-on-wet washes.

Above:  You can see that in this case I made a very pale pink wash to go all over most of the petals before I added the wet-on-wet wash to the petals.  This is because there was some light varigation on the reference photo I was using and looking carefully I could see it was actually a really light pink and not fully white.

Above: This picture above shows the painting with all of Step 1 completed which is the wet-on-wet washes. I use a 3-Step approach to most of my botanical paintings to make things systematic, it also creates a very consistent style. I hope to create a little guide that goes over my 3-Step painting apprach soon to share with you!

Check out my 50 Watercolor Flowers Painting Project post to see a list of the 50 flowers I will be painting and posting about for this project. As I complete each painting I make a blog post about it and link it in this main post.

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