Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blushing Plumeria (Finished!)

After quite some struggle I was able to finish the Blushing Plumeria painting today. Overall, I'm not unhappy about how it turned out. I managed to unify the color scheme on the pedals a bit, putting some really warm hues (New Gamboge, Winsor Orange, Quinacridone Gold and Quinacridone Burnt Sienna) near the flower center to draw attentions there, and using some Cadmium Red / Permanent Rose mix to glaze over the edges of pedals to make the pinkish tones more vivid.

Blushing Plumeria,  
Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico 140# Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 6"w, 2012 #3


I've learned quite a bit about Fabriano paper by doing this painting -- I've really pushed the paper to its limits by repeatedly glazing on certain areas, and lifting color off other areas. At a certain point, the surface sizing of the paper would be gone, and the paper just does not hold moisture very long on its surface any more. After that, painting on these areas would become tremendously difficult. And that happens after you have wet the same area with either paint or water for about 6-7 times. It's an interesting point to keep in mind next time I use the same type of paper. But I love its handling quality, the fantastic granulation effect on it, and the fact that I was able to lift almost any color back to white. It is very different from Arches which I usually use, but I'd definitely like to try it some more. But next time, I will plan the glazing steps a little more carefully to avoid unnecessary wetting of any areas. In other words, each time I wet the paper, I better get as many paint passages going into it as the drying time allows! This is both exciting and a bit scary...


  1. Arena, the plumeria just GLOWS!! You really have created a gorgeous flower. Interesting about the paper. I have always been a stick-in-the-mud, and stayed with Arches, but I think I must do some experimenting.
    KUDOS for this beautiful work!

  2. Beautiful work. I love to see watercolor used so expertly...and with such sensitivity.


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