Long standing readers of this blog may recognise this, but I assure you that it is a new version produced for another of my demos I will be giving at the end of the month. I will have another go at this as I think it could do with more variations of colour in the top flowers just to add more interest. Anyway it’s a start and allows me to get the timing right. It may get me back to doing a few more floral paintings ready for the summer.

Other floral paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com



Meagre pickings today. I had to do another watercolour flower demo and thought that some roses might be worth trying. I had seen these climbing roses in France the other week and had a notion to try them. I really wanted to get some loose forms coming down the frame ending with perhaps one which was more defined, but was aware that following the demo I will be running a workshop next week when the class have a try, so I needed to approach it more formally and methodically. Well here it is, but in doing it, I also realised that it might be too much for the less experienced – I certainly had a tussle with it.

So back to the drawing board. Instead I went for the old fallback, the hellebores. Well, in the end all I want is to build confidence in loose washes and mixing on the paper. So here was what I did this morning as the demoo piece. It will be interesting to see what the class produce next week.


Other floral paintings for sale  are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com






I am about to do a watercolour demonstration and this was the subject I was going to paint – or something like this at least. On my last post someone said they were interested in the steps of the work I showed so as I photographed each stage for my own planning purposes I thought that I could post them for anyone who is interested.

The first stage was do a drawing and cover the stamens with masking fluid. I then mixed up my colours, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, a green mixed from Prussian blue and cadmium yellow, Prussian blue and purple made up from ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson. These were relatively strong mixes. I then wet the entire paper and added the colours, trying not to blend them completely and, see the image below.


When this was dry I cut out the shapes of the flower heads using the same colours, allowing the colours to blend together and into the background using a brush with clear water to feather the colours into the background. This gave the image below:


I then started painting the inside of the flowers to further define the heads and also some paint was added to create some form on the outside of the petals. Again the same colours were used, adding water from a clean brush to feather the colour in. See below:


I then removed the masking fluid from the stamens and added some colour to them. I then cut out the leaves using darker versions of the same colours, washing them away with a wet brush to get some lost edges:


Finally I added an extra leaf between the two groups of leaves by further darkening the background. I then added some glazes of lemon yellow and purple over the flowers and the purple over the leaves to give the final image.

There are other floral images done by this approach on my website grahammcquadefineart.com



As I am planning my way through a watercolour workshop where I will be using an image of hellebores, I have been painting a few options. The aim of the workshop is to build up some fast, loose washes into a finished painting, rather then laboriously paint every flower petal and leaf. This way can lead to a few problems but it is more than compensated by the happy accidents that crop up and you can get an exciting result. Maybe it doesnt look like hellebores, but you generally get a quirky and pleasing end result. You can apply this approach to landscapes or figures or anything else. It certainly allows a little freedom.
I recently posted a smaller version on this blog which would be good for a card. More of my floral paintings can be found on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com



I was looking at giving a workshop in watercolour painting to my painting group and decided to revisit and old painting I did of hellebores. The painting of flowers allows a loose approach where you aren’t weighed down by details and can paint in loose washes and mix colour on the paper This picture is quite small only 6×8 inches. My original painting of the subject is on my website grahammcquadefineart.com