A Rose is... Difficult

"Coral Rose", watercolor on paper, 6" x 9"
Roses are one of the most difficult subjects to paint, so am I a masochist?

I thought that if I can paint a rose, I can paint anything.

My first attempt, yesterday, was not satisfactory. I tried to follow Bob Davies' instructions for a realistic-looking rose, which seem so simple. They're not.

I decided to try simplifying my rose -- I was using one of the photos I mentioned yesterday, taken in my little house in San Miguel. I also changed the colour from pink to peach or coral, my favourite rose colour.

Another thing I wanted to practice was shaping the leaves with just some brush strokes. They didn't turn out too badly but I didn't know what to do with them afterwards so I just left them.

I added the stem afterward the first background wash: without one it looked awkward, hanging there in mid-air.

I like the texture of the ultramarine background. I had tried that yesterday and I liked it. To get this deep blue, I had to apply the blue three times, wet into wet. I have a lot to learn about backgrounds; for one thing, I don't think they're supposed to be even all over, like this. But, hey, I have enough to learn right now.

All in all, it's not a bad exercise, because it was a good learning tool. I can spot my mistakes and I know how not to repeat them. Best of all, the rose does look like a rose -- doesn't it?

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