Mountain Flowers


Mountain Flowers.  Watercolor by Rachel Murphree

Here’s a piece that I started en plein air, painting from a plant in the entryway of a hotel while on vacation with my family. It was beautiful but it was all alone in a bed of rock; not a whole lot of atmosphere.   I was out there several mornings painting and chatting with people that walked by.

In process plein air painting of coneflowers

Mountain Flowers early stage.  Watercolor by Rachel Murphree

I wanted to show you several steps in this process .  At first I went in too dark trying to work speedily because of trying to squeeze in painting with family activities.  Rather than having the plant alone, I suggested foliage and blooms behind it.

step 2 of the process of negative painting to define the foliage

step 2 of the process of negative painting to define the foliage

When I got to the point where the foliage seemed ok, I still felt it looked blah.  The stems were lifted out and suggested but it seemed dark on bottom, light on top.  I have recently read a(nother) book on composition and I thought, wonder if an “L” shape composition of darks would work?

So that’s when I added the dark background on the top left.  Do you think it improved it?


Here’s the photo I took before starting.  Kind of ho hum.  not even nice light and shadow.


Thanks for stopping by.  I enjoy hearing from you.  Stay tuned in September when I do the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge once again!

7 thoughts on “Mountain Flowers

  1. wow…..I can’t get over how you took a boring clump of flowers in the midst of landscaping rock and transform it to such a beautiful painting! smart choice in bringing in another dark element to your comp. very smart indeed! 🙂


  2. Pingback: A Christmas Fair: Feliz Navidad y’all! | Rachel Murphree Watercolors

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