Plein-air pen and wash on paper

Too Late for Valentine


Flowers can be an interesting and challenging subject to paint; perspectives, straight lines etc. are less prevalent. Instead, shapes, values and especially colors provide unlimited possibilities to fill up a space, however, too many choices does not make it any easier. It is probably worthwhile to try something like this once a week to become more familiar with the subject, if the weather forces one to stay inside anyways.

Lately, I reviewed several demonstrations of painting flowers in watercolor, that are available in books and on the internet. Generally, the techniques  vary from one painter to the next, mostly resulting in nice paintings, but they make it look so easy that it becomes frustrating when one tries to emulate their method. So I decided to apply my familiar pen sketch approach and see where it ends up.

This time a photograph of flowers from the grocery store’s inside flower shop was used. I started out in my sketchbook to get a feel for the subject and then ventured to move up to a small watercolor. Inadvertently, where there should have been a cast shadow, the vase ended up standing in a pool of red paint (blood, wine?), to match the colours of the flowers.


Author: John Hofman

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2 thoughts on “Too Late for Valentine

  1. I love these. Flowers are harder for me because of all the edges. Must practice more. I really like that red shadow in yours – and I laughed at the ‘blood’ or ‘wine’. I’ve been watching too many murder mysteries.

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