Double Hydrangea

Susan worked on this beautiful and unusual bloom this past winter. She's really captured the texture of the flower with great delicacy and care, managing to keep the lacework of veins light and natural. 

For those of you who don't paint, the only way to do this well with watercolour is to paint around the veins, leaving the light areas. You can't paint light over dark with this medium so planning and care are needed to successfully render a subject with light coloured veins. It's a great challenge and one the Susan has met remarkably well.

I've moved in closer to show the delicate bits of colour within the colours. After the initial loose underpainted washes were applied to set the colour of the veins and general areas, deeper colour was built up using dry brush by layering tiny bits of paint to achieve intensity and dimension.

Everything has a thickness, no matter how thin, and depending on how the light falls that thickness will appear either light or dark. You can see the light hitting the edge of the curling petal above showing the thickness as light and on other petals as dark. Attention to details like this is what makes a painting really sing.