Day 28 — Feathered dahlia

day 28_feather_dahlia_ink_wc_rachel_murphree

Feathered Dahlia ink sketch with watercolor wash. 3″ x 5″.

Today’s posting is a ink sketch of a feathered dahlia from my mother in law’s garden, with a watercolor wash on the top. It’s a small little piece, just 3″ x 5″ but fun to do.

A good friend suggested to me that the top right green patch on my mountains yesterday caught her eye too much, she wondered if it was a meadow. Good catch Diane! I think its value was too bright and it drew your eye up and out of the picture plane…and we do NOT want that!! Big smile. So I toned it down with a light wash of permanent rose to gray it down (red and green are complementary and neutralize each other) and added a touch of blue at the bottom for shading. I think it’s better now.

day 27_plein air

Desert’s Green Glow with the top grass area muted.

I have to say that plein air painting in our 20% humidity with a wind was a challenge yesterday. the paint dries almost before it hits the paper — ok, a slight exaggeration — but it’s a lot different than how quickly it dries in the studio.

Plein air painting of mountain with green patches

Desert’s Green Glow. 8″ x 10″ watercolor. $25

So below is how it was yesterday. Do you think the change helped?


15 thoughts on “Day 28 — Feathered dahlia

  1. Your Dahlia is really pretty! My neighbor behind me grows them and I have been meaning to ask her if I could take a photo so I could paint them. You inspired me to do so! And I like the change you made to your desert scene. The colors are so beautiful! I really struggle with watercolor but you make it look easy! Good work Rachel! 🙂


  2. I really think I like the ink sketch with the wash…. but then again I think I like all watercolor…. and didn’t realize the complexity… until you started sharing some of the details.


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