Wild Fennel

Going outside my comfort zone again to have another stab at painting flowers. I love the wild fennel that grows so plentifully around our area. The background around the yellow flowers is not in contrast enough to make them pop. I should have used a violet hue - the compliment of yellow - to make the flowers pop more. I always have problems with the backgrounds when trying to paint flowers in watercolors - not in choosing the color, but actually painting it. These particular flowers are made up of little dots and it is difficult to paint around them afterwards without it looking like a deliberate outline around the flowers. To get color vibration going the background color needs to be of the same value as the yellow of the flowers, which would have made it difficult to put the background in first without making the yellow flowers look dull. 


  1. I don't know Jean...the violet would have been nice, but I'm loving what the effect of this was...It's always good to experiment, but I say kudos on THIS one!!

  2. I like it a lot, Jean! I think the flowers do pop, thanks to the more opaque yellow, leaving the background behind. This did create nice volume. Great job!

  3. I think it's beatifull, yes, there could be more contrast between the background and blossoms, but yet this way flower pops out also well:) love the lower right corner, i've never tried to use alcohol to create textures, thanks for an idea:)

  4. you've captured the flower heads so very beautiful jean and the textures of the leaves ...i like the analogous palette... if you want to add the yellow of the flowers into the bg you can still do it by re wetting the whole painting and adding/dropping in yellow where you wish ... when you where painting the flower you could have bled the colour into the bg whilst it was still wet ...are you going to paint another one ?

  5. Anonymous9:25 AM

    Saudra: Thanks for the positive feedback. Doing backgrounds in watercolor is not easy.

    Blaga: Thanks for your comments.

    Egle: I put the alcohol in a spray bottle and spray it onto the wet paint. You have to experiment because it has to be just at the right moment of wetness.

    Jane: I have always admired your loose style with painting flowers. Thanks for the advice and I am going to try it again. I love the wild fennel.

  6. This is an excellent painting Jean, the flower is beautifully painted and the salt effect to create atmosphere in the background works very nicely too. This is first class!

    1. Anonymous10:46 AM

      Thank you so much Caroline.

  7. I like this one very much as it is, but to achieve what you wanted to I was going to say what Jane just said. Keep up the good work!

  8. I think it's really very nice. It has a softer feel to it. A more intense background in a complimentary tone will totally change the feel.
    Have you tried lifting color from the flower area after doing a complete background??

  9. I love how loose and delicate this is. Very elegant and outstanding work.


Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Your feedback is welcome and much appreciated.