Hansa Yellow Light, Mayan Yellow, Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinophthalone Yellow, Perylene Red, Carmine and Phthalo Blue (Red Shade), all Daniel Smith Watercolour
• Paper Fabriano Artistico Hot Pressed 640gsm
• Brushes ProArte Series 007, sizes 000, 0, 2, 3 and 6; Princeton Series 475, size 4
1 Divide your image
When painting a plant, I normally work in a sequence of washes, keeping the painting balanced as I work my way through the various layers.
For this Dahlia, I decided on a different approach. The large number of petals made the drawing complex and working on the whole piece at once potentially confusing, so I divided the flower head into five areas and developed each section a stage further before moving onto another.
The first of those five sections was the centre, which anchored the whole painting. I divided the rest into quarters, breaking down the observation of the subject and the painting into manageable pieces.
2 Lay down shadows
The first paint layer was a wet-in-wet wash of what I call my Harmonic Shadows mix. For this I mixed three primary colours that I planned to use later in the painting: Hansa Yellow Light, Perylene Red and Phthalo Blue (Red Shade).
3 Work wet-in-wet
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