A Lush Rose

One of my aspiration is to paint flowers beautifully. Huge luscious ones like Georgia O’Keefe or cutsey ones like Cath Kidston. I am a long way from that lofty goal but I have to be determined.

Today I copied a painting from the Watercolour Painting for Dummys (it’s a pretty fine book for beginners since most watercolour instruction books don’t really teach you much but make you feel really lousy about how good the painter/author is). I chose this painting to emulate because it has a more “loose” and lush look. I tend to be rather detailed and think too much when I paint for fear of doing the “wrong” thing so I hope I can adopt a more relaxed approach. I have to keep reminding myself to abandon my “uptightness” and just let go and have fun. It’s just a piece of paper and some paint – no harm done! Don’t be such a Ms Perfectionist!

So the process of learning to paint is a process of self-awareness and self discovery. It is very zen.

 (The actual rose painting is a gift to my husband – to remind him to buy me flowers. This online rose/post is for Raye  – whose hearty welcome yesterday made me feel so encouraged to be back).


I wanted a small tight painting so I used 8 by 6 inch paper. I so my pencil sketch…


…then put in a Lemon Yellow wash throughout, with a heavier hand on the upturned portions of the rose petals.


Dapping in Permanent Red Light which is a yellow based red, let it dry and then add in the blue red from mixing Madder Lake Deep which is blue biased with Ultramarine Blue which is red biased (so that I won’t get an ugly grey).


The finished painting. I am happy I managed to create the desired olive green from Hooker’s Green, Gamborge and Burnt Umber by trial and error. I put in my name in Chinese and the date. The first character is 丽 (li) which means beautiful and 芬 (fen) which means fragrant. So you see, my love for flowers was thrust upon me by my mother. She has the aspiration for me to be like a flower, beautiful and fragrant : )


Oh – just to let you see my painting desk as the work was in progress. You can see from the mugs that I love flowers. All the mugs in my home feature flowers – each with a different design.


6 thoughts on “A Lush Rose

  1. Oh. My. Lovely. Friend.
    A HEART FELT welcome back would be an understatement…and thank you for your thoughts.
    This watercolour is absolutely beautiful. I’ll repeat: Absolutely. Beautiful.
    I may have to buy the “dummy” book you mentioned since I, too, suffer from the same uptight condition.
    You have succeeded in letting go and letting the colours play with each other. I am so in admiration.
    You need to frame this one to keep those flowers ever present…..just a thought.

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