Artichokes in watercolour

These artichokes caught my eye in the walled garden at Chartwell in Kent.
When these plants open fully they reveal a beautiful blue-violet centre which harmonise with the stunning shades in the outer segments.
Julie will show you how to capture their brilliance in watercolour.

You will need

Watercolours:
Permanent rose
Quinacridone magenta,
Cobalt blue
Ultramarine blue
Winsor blue (green shade) or Phthalo blue
Transparent Yellow or Pale cadmium yellow
Payne's Grey
Burnt Sienna

B pencil

Brushes:
Size 6,8 round
Mop brush or large round brush for wetting the background

Watercolour paper:
38x28 cms size 140lb NOT (a slight texture)

Masking fluid and fine applicator i.e feather

Follow the step by step video

Julie will demonstrate how she would interpret these artichokes in watercolour.
Sketch out in pencil, observing the overall shapes and apply masking fluid in the finer petals and at the tip of the segments.(Bracts)

Wet the base of each individual segment and work wet on wet to create a variegated blend of colours, ranging from a blue-green mix of Winsor blue (Green shade) combined with Burnt Sienna, followed by Quinacridone magenta,Permanent rose and a mauve mix of Ultramarine and Quinacridone Magenta.
Add Burnt Sienna when required.

Lift out highlights with a fine dampened brush.

When the base is complete and dry, rewet and add glazes of the same selection of colours on top to increase the strength of tone whilst suggesting texture and deeper shades to indicate the shadowed recesses surrounding the segments. At this stage a deeper combination of Paynes grey mixed with Permanent rose can be added to achieve the dark purple tones.

Add fine textured detailing wet on dry.

Paint the fine mauve petals with a combination of Cobalt blue and Quinacridone magenta, increasing the strength with fine brushstrokes.

Wet the background and create a soft diffused effect echoing the colours in the artichokes.

Add stems and leaves and final touches

Student Gallery

Here's some work completed by Julie's students based on this tutorial. 

Send your work to Julie

Have you completed this tutorial? Send Julie a photo or scan of your work and Julie will give her feedback.
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