‘Field of Tulips’ watercolor – with work-in-progress photos

Field of Tulips
‘Field of Tulips’ – watercolor and gouache

One of the lessons I’m learning is knowing when to stop. Here is my ‘Field of Tulips’ – one wash after I thought I was done, The bench was bothering me, I was tempted to go back there and fiddle. Instead, I slept on it and am following advice to leave it alone. Here are work-in-progress shots for how this came together …

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First wash of yellow, orange, and red for the tulips. Letting the colors mix on the paper …
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Adding in some greens around the tulips and areas of frisket in the upper portion of the picture …
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More washes in the tree and its white flowers, greenery around the bench. Thinking I’m done, and trying not to overwork, I sign it. But after photographing it and looking at it some more, I am not sure about the tulips. They feel dull to me. So I make them more vibrant with another wash of magenta, brilliant red, orange and yellow mixing watercolor with gouache for more coverage. I want these tulips to be really saturated in the final piece.
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14 thoughts on “‘Field of Tulips’ watercolor – with work-in-progress photos

  1. I like how you handled the tree in the background, has a bubbles look…looks like spring, I really like it! I agree with Ruth…leave the bench to be without being overworked so keep the tulips front and center…beautiful painting!

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  2. I love seeing your work in progress posts, so interesting to see your approach to paintings. I think the finished piece is great, those tulips are so vibrant!

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  3. I was just thinking about painting tulips – and here you’ve done it so nicely! Don’t go fiddling with the bench – unless you want the picture to be about the bench instead of about the tulips! I like the contrast between the painted tulips and the “unpainted” foliage above it.

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    1. Thank you, Beth! Leaving it as is … I value your input. And I agree, my feeling now the more I “live with it.” Now paint those tulips -your version will be different and have your special touch. Cheers!

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  4. LOVE it! Thanks for sharing the process – and it is good to know that others go through that agony of not knowing whether to quite or continue 🙂

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  5. I should know this, but…when you say “wash” do you meaning going over your work with a particular color. Or are you literally putting water on it? I feel like a dummy for asking because this seems like such a basic question.

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    1. LOL, Kirk – a wash is a wash of color – and the wetness of it depends on how much water is on the brush. It’s a wash of paint, not washing off the paint. However, and this is funny, one of the works I did I actually did run under water and it washed it all away and I tore it up (it was that forest one a few posts back on my blog). I’ve done that before, and it never ends well. Thanks for asking! Ask away, any time.,,

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