There was a little vase with lilac flowers on my desk, when I started the portrait of an imaginary girl. The fragrance of the lilacs was spreading through the studio, slowly building the girl’s facial expression through the transparency of watercolours. I dreamed the process of mixing pigments, just before seeing her major expression: admiring the heavenly scents of a lilac tree!
Do you know that in Celtic culture, the fragrance of lilac flowers is believed to carry humans into fairyland and the supernal world!? Can you smell the lilac flowers now?
I did a quick sketch in watercolours. You may notice that I’m using large quantities of water when painting, intentionally creating transparent puddles on the surface of the paper. This way of painting requires a heavy-weight paper, like the Fabriano Artistico 640 gsm I am using here.
After several hours of drying off, the painting changes a lot, often creating beautiful gradients as a result of how the drying progresses. Here is what I found the next day on my desk.
Adding more water… bits of Cobalt Turquoise, Winsor Blue (red shade), and Jadeite Genuine pigments, then new quantities of water to let the pigments “dance” together! While this was drying, I took another canvas and some acrylics (again, after a while) and painted the “Silvery Blue” still life (see below). The third day of painting “My, oh my, that Lilac Tree!”, was about adding details. I hope you like it!
Note: This painting is sold to the collector in Del Mar, CA, USA, in October 2016.