Blog: The layering of Cerulean Blue Flowers

Christine Alfery

Posted on March 25 2021

Blog: The layering of Cerulean Blue Flowers

Featured image: Cerulean Blue Flowers

"Cerulean Blue Flowers" was supposed to be a quick sketch. It began with watercolor washes of magenta and orange, two of my favorite colors together. Then I overworked it. I tried to fix it finally, as I so frequently do these days. I flooded the work with a whitewash and rubbed it all in. The white picked up some still drying green, so it was a light green color when I left it for the day, totally frustrated with it and wanting to toss it in the waste basket.

Stubborn me, the next day I covered it with black, and rubbed it in. When I rubbed it again, all of the wonderful layers of paint became textures of lace, after the black dried with white. (I new idea which I will use later in another work.)
I came back and added some intense colors and surrounded them with deep black. I, then, did a grey, blue, whitewash over the black and added intense colors. I have never, never done this before but now I know how wonderful color looks on black – sort of like a black velvet painting which I have always laughed at.

I continued to work the piece with detail. Now, I have learned two new things with this work – and I love them both and I love the work. The challenge, while frustrating, is always rewarding in the end when you stick with it.
"Blue Bells," the painting I just finished before this one, was also a challenge. I had to keep telling myself, "Just leave it alone, it looks great, just leave it alone." It only had one light wash and 2-3 color adds to the flowers. And boy was that hard!

Two different techniques and I learned from both of them.

Just thought I would share the layering story of this work because by just looking at it, one would never know.

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