Exploring Apple Blossoms in Watercolor


Creativity is self-feeding; that is, one creative idea nearly always births another. Sometimes a whole litter! So I wasn't surprised when I finished my apple blossom watercolour, Debutantes, that I wanted to explore the apple blossom theme a little further. I've made apple blossoms the subject of a number of exercises in painting more freely:

A little more colour than I wanted in my white blossoms.

I'm really loving the effects of working wet-in-wet and allowing the pigments to mingle on the paper. I have no interest in rigid realism at the expense of fluidity and flow.

The challenge of balancing flow with white space. I love mixing hard and soft edges! This one is more along the lines of my five-stroke exercise, though it may have been more like three strokes to sketch this simple blossom beginning. That turquoise colour is my current favourite, Winsor & Newton Cobalt Turquoise Light.

After completing the warm-up exercises, I started a larger painting, about 13" x 20". This is where I'm at after a morning. Lots of wet-in-wet, letting the colour flow, but directing it to a degree. I'm also using Jean Haines' technique of controlled texture using cling wrap for the background.

I'm seeking my own interpretation, so I don't want to copy anyone's particular style, but in learning different techniques and sharing ideas, we can grow so much. One thing I keep reminding myself is that no one else can paint like me. Another art book I read recently suggested that "when you get bored, or don't know what to do next," this is the time to stop painting. Take a break and revisit the painting later with fresh eyes. Good advice, especially when painting in a loose style where freedom and creativity of expression is everything.