Watercolour Techniques

This is the first wash where pigment goes on strong onto dry paper.

The granular effect in the blue is achieved by spraying alcohol onto an area that is almost dry.

I sprayed the top-left-hand corner of the paper with clear water and then added some paint by rolling the side of the brush into the area to achieve a mottled effect. I want this part of the picture to be soft and airy.

This is the second stage of painting over the initial wash. I have added some water into the second layer to give some highlights to to blue, and spattered some blue paint to help to break up the blocks. It helps to link the two layers together.

Paint blots are spattered onto the leaves and then blown with a straw to make stylized veins.

This is where the petals and leaves are outlined to give the painting form. Some darks are added to the background to help the lighter coloured leaves stand out. The shapes have a sort of stained glass effect.

The crisp clean shapes are broken up by adding texture by spattering. Here, I used a paintbrush which was loaded with paint and flicked it off the side of a palette knife. The dots are varied in size and random.

This is showing a close up of softening the petals using an old brush which has been dampened with clean water. I used it to lift out some areas of paint from a dry surface. It's nice to keep some edges sharp, while softening others to give a lost and found effect.

After painting the centre of the sunflower, I let the wash dry a little before dabbing clean water back into the painted areas. It makes little starbursts of lighter areas.

When the centre was dry, I lifted out some oval shapes to give the impression of seeds. I then spattered with gouache (opaque paint) with a toothbrush to achieve small jewel-like speckles. The overlapping petals were highlighted with gold ink to give variety and add an extra layer of depth to the painting.