Watercolor Painting – Lilacs

It’s been a while since I’ve used my watercolors. I actually love working with them, the way the colors flow into each other and all those pretty gradients they produce.

I am working with a limited palette of Schmincke Horadam watercolors. If I can recommend you one great watercolor book to learn more about the medium and how to use it it would be Felix Scheinberger’s Urban Watercolor Sketching. It shows you how to paint very dynamic and how to give your paintings a fresh look and not just overdraw everything. It’s also perfect for designers. I guess I’ll make a book review for this soon. Also, if you speak German you should definitely get the German version Wasserfarbe für Gestalter as it’s in a beautiful hardcover edition, with a hand painted unique cover by the author himself.


I quickly draw the outlines with brush pen, and with quickly I really mean quickly. I look more at the reference photo than at the paper. I want everything to be very dynamic, with quick and confident brush strokes. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I don’t want to draw the exact flower in front of me, I only want to get an idea of the general shape of the flowers.


Then I apply a big wash of watercolor to the paper and try to fill it with all the colors before it dries, which has to be done very quickly. If the base dries and you put another color layer on top, you will always have two layers. I love to have only one big wash of color with beautiful gradients instead of layers. You can only achieve this look by working very fast and mixing the different colors quickly.
Another great tip is to only apply colors in shaded areas. So everywhere the light hits the flowers you let the white of the paper do the magic. This looks way better than applying color everywhere.


Painting soundtrack of the day Will Kemp Art School acrylic painting videos on Youtube. They are amazing, go check it out!
Thing’s I’ve learned The pentel brush pen ink is completely water proof. Yay!
New Things I’ve tried The blossoms and the green of the leaves together in one big color wash, flowing into each other in a harmonious way.
Franziska Schwade - Watercolor Painting 151001 "Lilacs" Watercolor & ink (Pentel brush pen) on moleskine sketchbook paper. 20x30 cm / 7.9x11.8 inch

Franziska Schwade – Watercolor Painting 151001 “Lilacs”
Watercolor & ink (Pentel brush pen) on moleskine sketchbook paper.
20×30 cm / 7.9×11.8 inch