The worm’s eye view perspective in this scene is accentuated by the wonderful shapes and curve of the pagodas tiers, therefore, it is important to make this a key part of the composition. This particular lesson was based on analogous colours (colours that are next to each on a colour wheel) and repetition of shape.
I drew the pagoda and tree trunk and branches. I made shapes for the blossom, knowing that I was not going to make a botanical study of the plant. In my opinion there are two ways to approach flower paintings: as seen, or as an abstract, where the viewer can still instantly recognise the plant.
I painted the pagoda first, having mixed a variety of reds. I used cadmium, brilliant red, magenta and crimson. I mix some of the reds together to create different tints of the colours. I worked light to dark. I then painted in the sky, quite randomly, bearing in mind I was using this as negative space to make the shapes of the blossom.
I then painted the tree trunk and branches, firstly with an initial wash of yellow. I then undermixed a range of browns and chromatic blacks using ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, burnt umber and a very dark green I had mixed. I then painted the tree trunk and branches with varying mixes of the colours, so the whole tree did not look one colour.
I used a magenta and a titanium white for the blossom. I painted in the large shapes with a mix of the two colours and when that was damp painted in the darker colours.
I painted the grass using yellow and then a mixture of greens and lastly I painted in the hedge near the pagoda.