Watercolor Process: An Ode To Chlorophyll

It’s summertime! Flowers have started growing in our garden and this got me thinking how much I love being surrounded by plants.

I’ve taken for granted living in a home where flowers and plants abound. Now since I’m already living in the city, I have started marveling at my mother’s ability to grow a beautiful garden! I took photos of the flowers that I found near our front porch and our backyard, and here are my favorites.

I don’t know the name of the flower on the upper left side of this photo, but the others are pretty common: Haleconia (Birds of Paradise), Hibiscus (Gumamela) and Ixora (Santan)

I have yet to take photos of the yellow bells, the orchids, bougainvilleas and the poinsettias when they bloom in the garden. I find it quite amazing how my mother had managed to fill up her land with these flowering plants using her own hand. She tells me she talks to her flowers as she waters them and pray over them even. I never did have a green thumb and I had nothing to do with the prettiness that can be found in outside our home, but I’m really proud of my mom’s garden. These flowers are a reflection of her ability to nurture life.

As a tribute to my mom’s green thumb and overall awesomeness, I made this garden inspired monogram. My mom’s nickname is Lily (shocker that she’s also named after a flower!) so I made a letter L using the different flowers that I found in her garden.

I began with flat/graded wash of yellow on the corners and white spaces between the leaves and the flowers just so it won’t seem too bare, then continued doing the under painting of the big elements, particularly the hibiscus (gumamela) flowers then the purple and orange accent flowers. Unlike my usual unthinking yet gung ho state when I paint, I made myself more aware of the different techniques that I used with this painting–wet on wet and dropping in color on the petals for more natural feathering of colors, glazing and backwashing on the leaves and final touches using more opaque pigments.

Hope you like it!

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