Catherine Hillis Studios, Catherine Hillis Studios
Catherine Hillis has painted all her life, winning awards at competitive shows regionally and nationally. She paints primarily in watercolors, including busy street scenes, colorful florals, and her favorite, the historic sites near her home on the Blue Ridge. She has painted all over the world and was awarded a grant to paint in Dinan, FR during July, 2007.
Mrs. Hillis' work has been included in American Artist Magazine, Best of American Watercolors, 2007, Best of Virginia Artists and Artisans,2006, A Purcellville Anthology. Elan' and other regional and national journals.
The artist teaches popular workshops and classes, encouraging students to see color in a new way, build strong skills and make their watercolors GLOW. Her studio is located at The Lorton Workhouse in Lorton, VA, Building Ten, #1006. If your group would like to schedule workshops, demonstrations, jurying or lectures, contact the artist at 703-431-6877 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View her work and schedule at www.catherinehillis.com.
How to Paint Flowers with Watercolors
Craft Expert Catherine Hillis discusses how to paint flowers with watercolors.
Catherine Hillis: Hi, I am Catherine Hillis and I am professional watercolor artist. I am teaching you how to paint in watercolors and right now I am going to teach you how to paint flowers in watercolors.
Flowers are a wonderful thing to paint in this medium. We can paint from the reddest red to the whitest white and all the myriad of colors in between.
Right now I am going to show you how to paint a sunflower. I am going to show you how to paint the sunflower using the wet-on-wet technique. I am going to wet each petal, either one petal at a time; sometimes I will paint groups of petals. So I have wet this area and I like to lay the yellow in first. You want to use as few strokes a possible in this wet-on-wet technique. I think we call that economy of brush stroke. Now a lot of time on a sunflower, if you look you will see that a lot of times there's a little bit of red or maybe some green right at the base of that petal. A lot of times there's reflection of other things around reflecting on that. It might be reflecting from the head from another flower, from another petal. So I am going to put a little bit of -- also a little bit of green down here. Just reflecting from that sunflower petal. Then I am going to leave that alone and let that cook just a little while. Let the pigment move.
I am going to come in and wet this petal down. I am going to do the very same thing and I am going to wet this petal down. I am going to work on two petals at a time now. As long as this geometric section is wet, I can keep laying in color as much as I need. However, when the glistening begins to leave that area of the paper, I need to stop and let that dry. Remembering, that stop and let it dry is one of the primary things that we need to remember in watercolors.
I am actually going to go ahead. Now my paint brush is loaded, so wet on dry, this time I am just going to go ahead and lay in that basic color. I am going to paint wet on dry on this petal, bring it out just a little more. I am going to come back on this petal wet on dry and give a little more definition. If I leave those previously painted areas alone and don't paint right in them, it will look like the veins in the petal.
So there we have the beginnings of a sunflower. I will be adding or glazing a couple of layers on these as needed, but I will need to let them dry first. A little bit of blue there, a little bit of thalo, a little bit of blue here. I am going to pick up this strip with the thirsty brush and I need to let this dry before I can glaze again and bring a little more definition to the flower itself.
I have been painting the petals of the sunflower and I need to let these petals dry. I can use the hairdryer or let them dry naturally and then I will come back and paint more definition on this flower. I did use the wet-on-wet technique here. On the gladiola, I also use the wet-on-wet technique, just letting colors blend on the paper.
Also, with the trumpet flower I use the wet-on-wet technique breaking it up into sections and floating color in and letting it mix on the paper and then what we end up with, is a beautiful sunflower with all the shadows and the variations needed to make it look real. So I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about how to paint wet-on-wet petals and next I am going to show you how to paint greens.