“Find me” is my first painting this year. I came back to painting after more than a year break. New year started with the launch of my Online Watercolor School and a few more exciting news which I can’t tell about yet, but I feel that this year is a true start of my artistic journey.

Below you will find step by step photos showing how I was painting my latest painting. I used Arches CP, 300 gsm (140lbs), 100% cotton, Winsor&Newton Professional grade paints and my Escoda Versatil brushes.

Step 1

First, I made a sketch on a tracing paper using a black fineliner. I taped the sketch to the back of my watercolor paper and then using a light pad (Huion, A3) I traced the basic shapes of the flowers on my watercolor paper with an HB pencil. I taped down my paper to an art board using a masking tape. The size of the painting is 35 x 25 cm (14 x 10 inches). I applied masking fluid (Winsor&Newton, yellow tinge) on the edges of the flowers and three main leaves. I left everything to dry.

Step 2

I applied a water glaze over the whole background using a flat 1″ brush (One Stroke, Winsor&Newton). When the layer was still wet I dropped in main colors in the background: Quinacridone Gold PR206, PV19, PY150, Winsor Blue Green Shade PB15:3, Green Gold PY129, Permanent Rose PV19. I let everything to dry completely. When this layer dried, I applied masking fluid on the stamens in the center of the rose on the left side, the one hidden in the background. For applying masking fluid I used a nib.

Step 3

When everything had dried completely I applied another water glaze over the whole background and I added stronger colors. Usually the first layer is not saturated well enough, so the second layer is needed. I used the same colors as in the previous layer.

Step 4

I added negative shapes in the background, mostly the three leaves in the bottom right corner and on the rose in the bottom left corner. I removed the masking fluid from the stames of that rose and from the main flowers and leaves. Then I also added some positive shapes here and there.

Step 5

I added the lightest tones on the flowers and the leaves leaving the highlights. I used Quinacridone Gold in the centers and Permanent Rose on the petals. For the leaves I used a mixture of Quinacridone Gold and Winsor Blue Green Shade. Once everything dried, I applied masking fluid on the stamens using a nib and on the waterdrops using a smal brush.

Step 6

I started developing the flower petals. I painted each petal individually. I applied darker red tones on the petals using Anthraquinoid Red PR177. I used wet on wet technique to achieve soft transitions between dark and light values. I applied several layers of very light washes until I got the saturation of colors and darkness that I was aiming for.

Step 7

I added stronger shadows and the darkest tones in the shadow areas. I removed the masking fluid from the stamens, added a little bit of Quinacridone Gold on them and darker shadow between them and around the centers. I added details on the leaves and created the waterdrops. As a final touch I added the veins on the petals with a size 0 brush.