Using a milky mix of pigment to water. This background is painted ALL AT ONCE, like a graded wash, you work your way over the entire background, alternating colors, wet paint onto dry paper. To have a blended finish do not touch the background again, LET IT BE, & LET IT DRY. Do not worry if there are any blooms or dried hard edges, we will use negative painting to enhance these mistakes and make them marvelous!
Using the push & pull method (see bottom of post for video), lay in an area of paint mixed towards a honey consistency with a round brush, (very pigmented) and then using a CLEAN AND DAMP angle brush pull an area of water into the painted area, allowing it to blend out, the paint will follow the trail of water, so pushing and pulling a dampened brush right to where the paint is, will activate the paint, and send it down its pathway. Experiment in your sketchbook on how damp the brush needs to be to activate the paint, and how pushing the paint out, or pulling the water to the paint affects the blend. This method can also be used for softening edges, and lost and found edges.
I continue to add color at the center of each flower, pushing and pulling the paint out each petal, again letting it be and letting it dry. When we go back into the paint we interfere with the blend, and this is what causes blooms. If there is an edge drying too hard, just soften it with a clean damp brush. I add a warmer red in the last steps to give it a touch of warmth. It seemed to bring the flowers forward and push the cool background back. Using the round brush and a tea consistency mixture of paint , (watery) practice negative painting, add an outline of leaves and then push and pull the border, blending them into the background with a damp angle brush. Why an Angle Brush? It has a sharp edge that as you roll the brush slightly can follow the contours of the leaves and petals, can get into tight spaces, and because it is awesome!
Things to remember:
Paint your background all at once. Let it be and let it dry.
Use a clean and damp brush when doing the push & pull, and/or softening your edges.
Take notes, sample colors, and do test paintings this allows you to enjoy the final painting, as you have already worked out all the steps!
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