Peony and Parakeet

Freely Born Watercolor Florals

Floral still life by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Watercolor painting.

I love to paint flowers without reference photos. “What flower is that?” My husband asked when I showed a couple of my recent floral paintings to him. I had no idea! My florals are born freely and they look a bit strange, but I like that. I like the idea of growing my flowers from the seeds – pigments – and watering them so that they will begin to bloom.

Watercolor Florals in Mixed Media

I have made these kinds of still lives for a long time, but I used to use acrylic paints, pencils, and pens too. Here’s one from 2016 (watch the process video).

Floral still life by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Mixed media painting.

Now that my skills have grown, I don’t feel the need to use acrylic paint to cover up some parts or a pen to sharpen others. I can just throw paint and water and then work from that. This kind of art is often more “the art of seeing” than “the art of creating”. Imagination is the only limit!

Painting a Layer by Layer

Painting watercolor florals by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

I paint many layers, from light to dark. I don’t worry about over-doing! Using a lot of water and letting every layer dry properly is the key.

Painting watercolor florals by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

I also like to imagine how flowers drop off the vase and start growing from the ground. In this dream, the vitality that the flowers have is tremendous.

A detail of a floral still life by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Watercolor painting.

Water and Paper Paint Too!

Sometimes I work with many projects at the same time. Often, I just leave the painting to dry and go to do other stuff. At the beginning, I usually feel unsure about the mess on paper, but become happily surprised when I enter the studio and see it dried. Water and paper play with the pigment as much as I do. I love this uncontrollable nature of watercolors that makes the process of painting more like sharing a discussion than giving a speech.

Painting watercolor florals by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

Look at that mess on paper and then the finished version!

Floral still life by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Watercolor painting.

My favorite details of this painting are the big white spot and the small flowers that bend down.

A detail of a floral still life by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Watercolor painting.

Coming Up – Floral Still Life Step by Step

Currently, I am making an extra lesson about this process of making a floral still life without reference photos. It will be available with the upcoming class Floral Fantasies in 3 Styles. The registration will open next week! I plan to make the new lesson a separate one so that if you have purchased the class before, you can buy the new lesson as an add-on when the class begins on April 29, 2019. Stay tuned!

6 thoughts on “Freely Born Watercolor Florals

  1. Päivi. These are fantastic. I loved your Floral Fantasies -course and I love flower paintings and it’s amazing how you can keep your own original style in all new paintings. I love your new flowers, they are much more alive than if you had a reference photo. I’ll waiting for the new part of the course.

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