Field Drawings & Paintings

Location Watercolors In My Own Backyard

My portable watercolor kit.

Spring has sprung so I’ve gotten out the past few days to paint and sketch in our garden. I use a Yarka full-pan set of paints, a variety of brushes and either a 9×12″ Arches cold press block or 8×8″ pieces of Sanders Waterford cold press taped to a piece of foamcore with taped edges.

The south side of what we call “The Long Border”

I really wanted to do the lilacs before they faded, so I focused on them.

First washes

I got so involved in what I was doing that I forgot to take any other step photos of this first one. My goal was to limber up for the painting season and catch the lilacs against the dark green of the English laurel behind it. I stayed with really simple shapes working, as one does with watercolor, from light to dark.

I then went around to the other side to do a close-in version of the lilacs.


I kept it loose, starting, as before, with a light pencil drawing and then laying in the lightest areas of color.

As you can see I treated the lilacs as simple shapes, not getting into painting individual flowers. I also paid attention to color temperature, starting warm in the lightest area and going cooler in the shadows.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the way they came out. The roses are just getting started so stay tuned…

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