And my flowers are still mostly related to the meadow. This lavender is my favourite, I think, though it wasn't the first, so we should probably stick to the journey in the right order (though some of the other doodlings you've already seen, and some you've not yet seen, came in between these - it just made sense to group the flowers in one post).
So, you saw a glimpse of these sort-of-dandelions in the Mixing and Daubing post, but I wanted to include them in more detail because there's a looseness and wildness to them which I like.
That's probably because they were utterly unplanned! I just put down a splodge of green paint to see what the mixed colours were like.
There was so much pigment on the page that I started spreading it with my brush, and that became a clump of leaves pretty much by itself.
I thought I'd try sticking some flower heads on the top. Since the two colours I was playing with on this page were Nickel Azo Yellow and Phthalo Blue, the yellow seemed the better choice, and they ended up a bit like dandelions in full bloom.
(I'm now tempted, as I write this, to go and try out some dandelions in seedhead mode, which is how I like them best. I'll finish the post first.) That doodly page was done in the hotel room. These next flowers were done back at home, but they're still in the large 9 x 12 inch Canson watercolour pad.
As I mentioned in the last post, I've been watercolouring in the warmer living room rather than the freezing craft room, and there were some unopened tulip buds just by me in a vase.
"Paint those," said Cestina, who's in the UK rather than the Czech Republic (or newly-renamed Czechia, a name she hates though I rather like it) at the moment. She's fond of hurling down challenges. Well, I'm still just messing around so I thought I'd see what I could do.
I love the loose impressionistic watercolours you can find on Pinterest, so that's what I really wanted to have a first play with. There's a definite through line here to my crafting journey - the delight in shimmering light and translucence which has been there from the start.
(I have a Watercolour pinboard - you'll get an idea of some of what I enjoy there... and see how far I still have to go on this particular journey! You'll also see the inspiration for the lavender stems.)
The shape of the tulip heads is not quite right - though they were in very tight buds - but I like the sense of light and sunshine of all the splatter and the soft washes disappearing at the edges.
And I do like the leaves - and how the colours bleed from the flowers, the reflected glow of the gold on the surface of the leaf.
The bit that pleases me most about this is the completely invented glass vase. The real tulips were in a dark brown jug which I wasn't very interested in trying to replicate, so I created an imaginary one for my tulips - much lighter and airier.
I'm quite excited about the glass and the water inside for a first go. Though I suppose, what could be better than watery watercolours to capture water?
Finally, back to those lavender stems. As you can see, I was again playing with that watery expansion of colour into nothingness at the edges.
There's a freedom in putting down the water first and then letting paint flow into it...
... and then adding more details at various stages - sometimes wet on wet for the flow, sometimes waiting for the whole thing to dry so that you can add more intricate details.
I've watched quite a few artists in action on youtube, but my main guru is Steve Mitchell, whose channel is called The Mind of Watercolour. (Okay, he spells it 'watercolor', but he's American and I'm not.)
Mitchell veers between very precise work and much softer, looser techniques, and he's a natural communicator and teacher. My favourites are the ones he calls "spontaneous paintings" - but more of that another day.
I've spent happy hours watching his videos full of fantastic techniques and inspiration (and enjoying the contributions of his studio assistant, Rhys, a plastic skull... you probably have to be there), and I've learned so much along the way.
Now I've just got to put in the hours to continue developing my skills. I know that I'm just stumbling around in the foothills at the moment.
Thank you for bearing with me on these forays into watercolouring. I don't think flowers will be a major avenue of exploration for me, though the lavender may continue to pop up (given I have an idle dream of being a lavender farmer).
But it's all about discovery for now - enjoying the steepness of the learning curve, finding out what fits, what feels exciting to me... so who knows? So far, the Wild Grasses and maybe this lavender feel like the most like "me-in-watercolour", and they're flowers, really, aren't they, so I'm not ruling anything out at this stage.
I hold no preference among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.
Watercolour is a lifetime pursuit... mostly uphill.