Peony and Parakeet

Draw Flowers and Fairies for The Soul!

Flowers for The Soul, an ink drawing by Paivi Eerola

This weekend, we are celebrating Midsummer in Finland. Our nights are full of light, and peonies are blooming. It’s the best time to be in this part of the planet. So I wanted to draw flowers and the growth that makes me take photos of our garden all the time.

I hope you don’t mind me starting the blog post in black and white, it will get more colorful near the end!

Peonies

I have well over 10 peonies – so many that I have stopped counting. This one is Augustin d’Hour, and I wish I could send you the smell. It’s the best perfume that I know. The pink color is also adorable.

Peonies, Augustin d'Hour

Peonies are having a party in our garden! “Who cleans this mess?”, my husband joked.

Peonies in Japanese Garden

Flowers and Fairies Fill the Studio

And while the peonies are partying, I also have a floral party in my studio. There are several floral pieces that I have made for the new class Magical Inkdom. Here’s a sneak peek to one little fairy.

Flower fairies, a detail of an illustration by Paivi Eerola. Play with the scale. Draw huge flowers and small fairies!

This fairy is the princess of the poppies and no wonder how they got there, I have quite many of them too. They are still blooming with the peonies!

Poppies

Life’s Big Luxuries

I love drawing things that rise above everyday life. Can there be anything more luxurious than blooming flowers?

Hand-drawn flowers

Roses always find their way to my drawings whether they are big or small.

Rose in the garden

When I enjoy the flowers, they become big and I shrink. It’s a good feeling, perhaps the same that makes flower fairies so joyful.

Drawing flowers. A detail of an illustration by Paivi Eerola.

Flowers are never just flowers. They are symbols of everything precious and beautiful. In this drawing, I wanted to create a temple of flowers. You go there and feel refreshed and comforted.

Draw Flowers and Fairies for the Soul!

Hand-drawn floral playing cards by Paivi Eerola of Peony and parakeet

I hope you join me at Magical Inkdom where we get into the hearts of witches, fairies, and everything adventurous, including flowers too. Sign up here!

Watercolor Girl in a Spring Garden

Watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I have just finished this watercolor painting. It’s a continuum for this recent one:

Watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

This spring, I have been painting flowers, fruits, vegetables, vases, and pots – my inner garden – while my husband has been busy taking care of our outer garden!

I don’t intentionally paint what I see in the garden, but I am fascinated by it. Our front garden had big changes last summer so it’s interesting to see what has survived through the winter and what hasn’t. It’s a bit like when starting a painting – some details stay, and some get covered.

Watercolor painting in progress.

At the beginning of May, we got snow. We had just had a warm period but then it became really cold!

Snowing in a Japanese garden.

Fortunately, the weather has got warmer again. This morning, I walked in the garden and thought how perfect all the shapes and colors are. I imagined I am a watercolor girl in a watercolor world, translating all the beauty on a coarse cotton paper step by step.

A detail of a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

It’s just magical when the old cherry tree blossoms in our new Japanese garden for the first time.

Cherry blossoms in a garden.

I only wish our tree would have pink flowers. But for a watercolor girl, everything is possible!

A detail of a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

One of our flowerbeds is filled with a variety of tulips. We buy some new bulbs every autumn, and the bed gets fuller and fuller every spring.

Tulips in a garden.

I love to paint abstract shapes and then draw lines to make them flowers or filaments!

A detail of a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Does your garden appear in your art?

Enjoyable Floral Watercolor – Paint with Me!

Flowers with watercolors by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Watch the video to paint with Paivi.

To celebrate the upcoming class Floral Fantasies in Three Styles, I have made a new free video. It is a tutorial for painting a layered floral watercolor painting. I love to paint this way – freely without reference photos and hope that you will enjoy this method too. It’s based on a negative painting technique where you paint more the areas around the flowers than the actual flowers.

Enjoyable Floral Watercolor – Watch the Video!

You only need a couple of brushes, watercolors, and watercolor paper. A spraying bottle is helpful also. Watch the video tutorial below!

More Floral Watercolor Projects

Here are some of the pieces from my floral watercolor series which I haven’t published in my blog before and which were showcased in the video. I link the title to my art shop where they are available with more descriptions. The first one is “Aamu – Morning”.

"Morning" - a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

My favorite detail:

A detail of a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

This one is called “Tahtoisin jäädä” – Would Like to Stay“.

"Would Like to Stay" - a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

My favorite detail:

A detail of a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

This painting is one of my favorite florals that I have painted so far. I saw the color scheme in an old painting and wanted to use it. This one is called “Saan elämältä paljon – Life Gives Me Plenty

"Life Gives Me Plenty" - a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

My favorite detail:

A detail of a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

A lovely birthday bouquet that I received this year was an inspiration to “Syntymäpäivä – Birthday” I will show how this was made more in detail in Week 2 of Floral Fantasies.

"Birthday" - a flower watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

My favorite detail:

A detail of a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

All the bigger paintings shown in the video are available in my art store too. See all the paintings here!

Floral Fantasies in Three Styles – Sign Up Now!

My comprehensive flower painting class Floral Fantasies in 3 Styles will begin on Monday, April 29! Don’t miss this!

From the Garden, a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. A class project for her class Floral Fantasies in 3 Styles.

Come to draw and paint flowers with me – Sign up for Floral Fantasies in 3 Styles!

Abracadabra – Magical Watercolor Effects

Magical watercolor effects. A watercolor painting called Abracadabra by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

My latest painting called “Abracadabra” is a big one, 56 x 38 cm or 28 x 15 inches. It was a lot of fun to create so I want to dedicate this post to the magical effects that water creates when painting with watercolors.

Magical Mess

Right from the beginning, this painting had a mind of its own. And as you can see from the photo, I also used a lot of water to make the process even more uncontrollable. The more I paint this way, the more boring all the other mediums feel. Watercolors are magical companions, introvert when in pans but extrovert on paper!

Tip: Start with a plenty of water!

Magical watercolor effects. A watercolor painting in progress. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

In this project, I was testing Arches Cold Press watercolor paper, new to me. It has a weird smell when it’s wet but other than that I quite like it!

Fun Appearances

When I add some sharpness and control, I try to do that gently so that I don’t put too much burden on flowers that have born naturally. The idea is to bring out the best details.

Tip: Add dark shapes to bring out the magical watercolor effects!

Fascinating Translucency

Magical watercolor effects. A detail of a watercolor painting called Abracadabra by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

When painting with a lot of water, watercolor becomes magically transparent. I love how the colors get mixed when they are layered.

Tip: Let each layer dry properly!

Watercolors Can Draw!

Magical watercolor effects. A detail of a watercolor painting called Abracadabra by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

I also like to think that watercolors can draw. When applying water, watercolor blooms with sharp frilly edges. These lines can be more than just lovely outlines. In the detail below, I used one to make a stem!

Magical watercolor effects. A detail of a watercolor painting called Abracadabra by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

Tip: Use your imagination to make the most of what you have on paper!

Flow and Melody in the Safe Haven

I have had mixed emotions this spring. I have lost some old birds and my oldest dog has been sick. It’s been something that I have found difficult to share, it’s still so recent. But in the middle of all the worries, my studio has become a safe haven where I have been painting in the late evenings. The colors of the 16th-18th centuries and the pop songs of the 1980s have inspired me. Do you still remember Abracadabra by Steve Miller Band? A very superficial hit song but it has such a flow in the melody that it goes well with magical watercolor!

Paivi Eerola in her studio showing her watercolor painting Abracadabra.

Come to draw and paint flowers with me – Sign up for Floral Fantasies in 3 Styles!

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