Lori Simons explained her techniques for painting watercolor still lifes in the spring 2007 issue of Watercolor. We summarize her advice in an excerpt from the article.
by Lori Simons
|Velvet Red Bouquet
2005, watercolor, 18 x 14.
Collection Kent and Meg Ulery.
- Never be in a hurry. Make sure you have ample time to complete the amount of painting you have in mind. Try to paint when you are most alert and awake. If you lose concentration, it’s time to take a break or quit for the day.
- Be realistic about what you can handle. Deal with one petal at a time if you must.
- Letting your brush move without a plan can lead to problems.
- Scrubbing out paint is a risky technique. Once the nap of the paper is damaged and the sizing removed, sharp edges are impossible to paint, and the paper looks dull.
- When painting objects behind glass and in water, don’t worry about what they are or if the shapes make sense. Just paint the abstract shapes, edges, and highlights as you see them. However, limit the number of highlights; they can be distracting.
2006, watercolor, 12 x 9.
Collection Frank and Linda Stuckey.
- Viridian, Thalo green, cadmium red, and Winsor red: These colors tend to bleed when worked over with a second glaze. Try to save them for the last glaze. For example, if you paint the background around a warm red rose, the red is likely to bleed into the background.
- Kolinsky sable round brushes with sharp points offer the most control because they not only hold a lot of water and pigment but they also release the water in a steady stream. For very small areas, it’s not necessary to use a kolinsky brush. Just use a very small sable or synthetic with a good sharp point.
To read this feature article, check out the spring 2007 issue of Watercolor today!