This was an exercise I set for the Tuesday morning Watercolour Classes. One of my lesson outcomes was to see what each learner did regarding the scale of the flower, a point I emphasised at the beginning of the lesson. I took a photograph of the dahlia which was growing among an abundance of the same colour dahlias in a large pot in my garden, so this flower was not alone in the photograph.  

One of the great pleasures of teaching art is seeing the difference that each learner brings to a painting: whatever I set for any of my classes, they always follow their own artistic instincts and therefore I see a wide variety of style and differing applications of techniques and palette when the paintings are completed (usually by the following week’s lesson). I am waiting in anticipation to see their efforts next week. 

I deliberately chose a portion of the flower to paint. I drew in the petals and then mixed a variety of purple colours.  

I worked light to dark: my first application of my purple could have been mistaken for the colour of the paper, I used ten tones of my mixes. This does take time, but you will achieve depth of palette which is a key to achieving the important 3D effect that any 2 dimensional work needs.  

The consideration for the background was whether to use analogous or complimentary colours: I chose the later which I believe gives greater colour contrast and impact.