Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

Expressive Flowers in Watercolor

This week, I share how I found the expressive idea for this floral watercolor painting. I go into more detail about this process in the course Freely Grown.

Expressive flowers in watercolor. "Syvältä selviytyneet" - a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola.
“Syvältä selviytyneet”, watercolor, 29.7 x 42 cm

This week I am presenting a watercolor that is part of a small series I painted for the gallery Gumbostrand Konst & Form. The title of this piece is “Syvältä selviytyneet” in Finnish. The English translation could be “Survivors of the Deep” or “those who survived the deep.” The first of the series was “Talven voittaneet” – winners of winter.

Starting with Random Strokes and Splashes

When I start painting, I usually have no idea what the finished piece will express. That keeps my excitement up! The flowers grow gradually and the overall expression takes turns during the painting process.

Starting an expressive flower painting in watercolor.

Even now, I only had an assignment to paint flower paintings with watercolors in the same style as what I had already painted earlier this fall. After the first random layers, I could see big flowers.

Wondering About the Expression

The large size and fearless look of the flowers reminded me of strong wild animals. But the further I painted, the more I began to think about the environment where the flowers had appeared.

Painting the background of the flowers in watercolor.

In nature-themed paintings, it’s important to find the right atmosphere, and that’s where the location matters a lot. I got the feeling that these flowers can withstand even the harshest conditions. Would they live in the desert?

Painting the details for flowers and leaves.

But the softness and roundness of the flowers told of something other than the desert.

Finding the Answer from the Flowers

I looked at the big rose at the bottom edge and asked myself where a flower could swell before decomposing. Then I realized that these have come from deep water and are on their way to the surface. After that, it was easy to add the references to water – like bubbles and water lines – and finish the painting. Painting expressive flowers in watercolor is not only about adjusting the flowers but also finding their back story.

Expressive flowers in watercolor. A detail of "Syvältä selviytyneet" - a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola.

I think it’s a wonderful idea that you can not only grow from difficulties but also soften. And that difficulties can be overcome by staying together. Surface water which seems cold and drowning to others, can be like a gentle sea of ​​light to these survivors.

Every time I paint flowers, my mood rises!

4 thoughts on “Expressive Flowers in Watercolor

  1. Lovely post and fun to hear about your process with this piece. It is beautiful as are your colors.
    I also never know what will show up on the paper and find that exciting. I often feel like they are beings that want to live in our world in the form of art.
    I have really enjoyed this course, thank you so much for pouring your heart and art into it.

    1. Thank you, Tammie Lee, for your comment and for participating in Freely Grown. It has been wonderful to see your beautiful art!

Comments are closed.

Scroll to top