Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to Paint Water Droplets in Watercolor

Droplets over Poppies/ watercolor artist trading card/ 2.5" x 3.5"/ sold
This is a Strathmore Watercolor artist trading card. The water droplets were inspired by a daily painting by Barbara Fox on Daily Paintworks. Barbara's beautiful watercolors can be found at:
(http://www.barbarafoxartstudio.com/index.html). On the Daily Paintworks site, Barbara had a small exquisite painting of glistening water droplets sitting on top of a wash of color.  Susan Harrison-Tustain describes painting water droplets in her beautiful book "Glorious Garden Flowers". 
I have been fortunate to have had Susan as a teacher. Her fabulous work can be found at: http://www.harrison-tustain.com. Dew droplets add sparkle to some of her lifelike florals.

This is how my water droplets are painted.

1. Lightly draw droplet where it will be on the painting.

2. Carefully remove the color within the droplet by wetting, waiting and then lifting with a tissue or a "thirsty" brush.

3. Put in a cast shadow and very thin outline around the rest of the droplet.

4. Replace the color within the droplet leaving a white highlight at the end opposite from the cast shadow. Do this by wetting within the droplet but leaving the highlight dry. Drop the darkest color in the wet area closest to the highlight and allow the color to bleed away from this area. (If you lose your highlight, you can paint it back in with white paint but it won't be as white as the paper highlight would be).
When the inner color is dry, add a rim of white inside the droplet edge farthest from the highlight.

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