I’ve been working every day on my current painting and this is where I’m at so far. I used my reference photo only to lay in my main shapes and determine basic colors, and since then have put the photo away and am just trying to keep in mind my goals for this piece. As I look at the painting on my screen (much smaller than the 22″ x 30″ original!), I can see that I’ve got a lot of work ahead – good thing it’s so fun!

  1. I like the flowing lines of color, especially along the flower petals (see the detail photo below) and have started incorporating those lines into the background as well, in my green leaf shades, indigo and some lovely purply-blues.
  2. I started this painting with a spiral in my mind – wanting the viewer’s eye to follow the painting’s lines to the center of the painting. The arch of leaf stem at the top of the painting is the beginning of the spiral, and I will continue deepening my glazes where I want the spiral to continue.
  3. My first three layers of color were light rose, salmons and mauves, laid on with lots of water, which ran down the page and made beautiful color rivulets. I want them to be still visible in the completed painting, so I’m hoping it will work to keep the bottom of the painting light, with the white of the paper showing through in spots.

I may not be ready for abstract painting yet, as the more I paint on this, the more it starts to “look like something”! But I am loving the transparency of the watercolor as I lay down glazes, and by avoiding realistic detail, my mind is free to concentrate on color and its role in creating a dynamic painting, as well as creating a compelling design.