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This clematis vine is growing on the light post at the end of my driveway. I love the movement and gracefulness of these flowers. Definitely one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy this watercolor demo. 

Below you will find a tutorial of how I created this clematis watercolor painting.

Watercolor Demo of Clematis Flowers


Colors used for this demo:

  • Hansa Yellow 
  • Ultramarine Blue 
  • Winsor Red

I always draw my picture out on plain paper and then transfer it to my watercolor paper.  After transferring my drawing I masked out the centers of the 3 main flower with masking fluid.

Once the masking fluid was dry I carefully wet the background avoiding the 3 main flowers.

I quickly laid in a fairly strong mixture of my yellow into the wet area of the paper.

Then I set it aside to dry completely before working on it again. If you touch the back of your hand on the area drying and it feels cool, that means it is still wet. Allowing the layers to dry completely is crucial to successful paintings. 

I normally start painting the background first. The flowers were such a deep value I decided to paint some of the flowers dark parts first. That way I could judge the value of my background better.

I used a deep mixture of the ultramarine and the Winsor Red for the petals. Ultramarine Blue mixed with the Hansa Yellow for the leaves.

“Using cooler colors in the background and shadow areas help them recede and gives a sense of depth”

I continued to work on the flowers and suggested more of the background with random leaves. 
I also started to darken the outside corners with a thin wash of Ultramarine blue. I blended the edges fading the wash in towards the flowers.
Note: On the underside and shadowed petals I use a mix with more blue in it.
I allowed the painting to dry (do not use a hair dryer with masking on your paper).

I then put a very thin glaze of Ultramarine blue on the background avoiding the flowers and front leaves.

I finished the flower petals and I added some shadows to my leaves (a bluer mix of the ultramarine and Hansa).

I removed the mask off of 2 of the flower centers.

Note: Notice the blue spot under the flowers that was there is gone. After the blue layer was completely dry I added some yellow to help blend it in with the rest.

“Keep the highest contrast for the focal point, to draw the viewers eye to it”

Final touches:
I removed the mask from the center of the main flower.
I kept the highest contrast here as it will pull the viewer’s eye to it. At the base of the center, I added some purple shadows for added impact.
Darkened the background at the outer corners more.
Note: The darker area will direct the viewer’s eye inward towards the light and focal point.

I wet the bottom and the side of the background. I mixed a warmer and cooler purple dropping it in where I wanted to suggest flowers in the background. I also used the cooler purple to darken areas that I felt were too light.

Thank you for sharing your time with me. I hope you found this helpful.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. Sharing is always appreciated!

Cheers, Krista

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