Variations on a Theme {Watercolor}

Daisies are my favorite flowers. My wedding bouquet was filled with daisies and every spring when the wild daisies bloom on our roadsides my heart smiles. Flowers with a similar look to daisies fall into that favored category as well. A couple years ago I took a photo of flowers that looked like daisies next to a cafe in upstate New York. I loved the way the clouds were reflected so perfectly in the window above the flowers.

Cosmos Purity flowers-with-Window

In researching, I see these flowers are probably called “Cosmos Purity” and not daisies. This photo has been calling to me to try painting it. I lightly sketched out the image on watercolor paper with a pencil, pulled out my watercolor paints and gave it a try. I used the negative space painting technique to paint around the white flowers and then added some shadows on the pedals.


I wasn’t sure I like the way it turned out, so I decided to make it a mixed media picture and added watercolor pencil and regular colored pencil to the painting to see how it would change. After all, creative experimenting is part of the process of learning! Here’s what I came up with.


I wanted to try the watercolor paints again and do it in a different way. This time I did not draw out anything on the paper with pencil. I painted liquid mask freehand on the paper for the flowers, let that dry, and painted the building and green vegetation over it. Some of the petals were not completely covered with the liquid mask and the paint left interesting streaks on the petals.


By this point, I wanted to see how many different variations I could make on this theme using different techniques and medium. Inspired by Päivi Eerola, from Peony and Parakeet, I quickly drew a messy doodle of the picture to use as my starting point and then colored in the spaces with watercolor pencils.


And adding water makes it come to life!


I woke up this morning with my brain working on more ways to use the original photo as inspiration for other media. Stayed tuned and I’ll show you what else I come up with!

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