Painted from a photo I took in my front yard last year, this is a close up of my pink cone flowers (echinacea). Like mums and asters, coneflowers are a reliable late summer flower. In the late afternoon light they just glow. I only have five of them but I hope they spread like mad.
I began this painting with the center of interest, the cone of the the cone flower. I painted the bright orange parts of the cone with a combination of quinacridone deep red rose and cadmium yellow. I began with the brighter orange edge and worked my way down adding rose to the mix as I descended the cone. I filled in around the orange-red highlights with a mixture of burnt sienna and cobalt blue letting the colors mix on the paper. I worked some rose into the mix as I reached the rim of the cone.
I added the petals next with deep red rose, cobalt blue and quinacridone opera from Winsor and Newton. Opera is a vivid pink which I rarely use, but has it uses. Nothing else in watercolor produces such a florescent pink.
I added the background last with a mixture of cobalt blue and cadmium yellow, toned down with burnt sienna. Burnt sienna which is a red-orange desaturates green but not to the extent that green’s compliment red would do. I applied this mixture in tone wet into wet layer and and used a paper towel to lift some of the final layer.