Peony and Parakeet

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.

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16 thoughts on “Abracadabra – Magical Watercolor Effects

  1. It’s never easy to lose our beloved furry or winged family members. It’s painful for sure, but for me, the pain to be without one is worse than the pain of saying good-bye one day. I have lost many and each took a piece of my heart, but my house and heart are full yet again.
    The painting is awesome and there is nothing wrong with Steve Miller, I grew up with him and others of course. Loved how you said the adult in you goes “oh no” and the teenager inside just says, “cool”. I just smile and go with it.
    Thanks for sharing this one, really cool.

    1. Thank you, Sue! I have new budgies and the oldest one who lost many friends is now happy with them. It is a joy to see a flock again even if – as you said – the old ones have a place in my heart.

      Let’s keep that teenager alive while creating!

  2. I lost my little dog who was my companion for 15 years. I understand totally, Paivi. Nice to see your watercolors have a mind of their own and if a song sticks in my head that long…as this one does, it must have something about it, eh? Our tastes may change, but can’t call what we used to like “bad” just because we moved on to other things! Love and hugs to you. I feel your pain with your pet friends.

    1. I am so sorry for your loss, Carla. Old pets are treasures.

      Yes, I think that our creativity doesn’t quite recognize good or bad, it’s just all material to create new!

  3. So sorry for your loss. I love your painting! I have another way to make my freak flag fly. I dip a large piece of white muslin crumpled up like I was going to tye dye into water. Then I spread it open ontop of a large piece of plastic. Then I draw with acrylics or watercolor. The painting looks norm until you peel it off and hang to dry. You never know what you are gonna get! Then I fine tune.

  4. Hope your beloved dog has recovered! And so sorry for your birds (parakeets?
    Your watercolor flowers are amazing, real magical art !

  5. I loved seeing teenage you–still those beautiful eyes filled with wonder and laughter! ♥

    I’m so sorry about your pets. It is so heart-wrenching to lose our non-verbal companions with whom we have so many conversations…

    1. Thank you, Heather! — For the readers who haven’t subscribed to my weekly emails yet – I send more background stories to the blog posts via email, and Heather is referring to that content.

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