“Lady Amethyst” Step 6 Watercolor Demo


Be Bold


In step 5, I said something was sadly missing near the center of the painting. In the image above I have added what I thought was missing. I hope everyone can see the difference? Or, you might be shrieking, “What has she done? That is sooooooo dark!” 


Well, hold on because now I’m going to add an even darker background. As the created black is being added, notice what looked shockingly dark  before morphs into the mid-value range.

Here is the finished watercolor. After the background was in, I removed the masking and continued to make adjustments in values throughout the painting.  I used a full range of values in Lady Amethyst from the white of the paper to the black background to create the illusion of  bright sunlight coming from the right.

When seeking drama and depth in your paintings, Please remember:


Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark




4 thoughts on ““Lady Amethyst” Step 6 Watercolor Demo

  1. Hi there, I have a comment from a professional artist who did a critique on a watercolor of mine. She said that we shouldn’t use one color as a background because it makes the painting look like you painted a flower onto your page, then didn’t know what to do for a background. What is your opinion of this statement.

  2. Hi Barb,

    Yes, generally speaking, I agree with that premise, although I have not seen your painting and I am not referring it to it. I have seen work that appears all of the attention has been put into the subject and the background seems an afterthought. Or the subject is only about 10% of the composition and is swallowed up by a labored, mid-valued background wash. And yes, gradation of hue, intensity or value is more interesting to the viewer’s eye than a flat wash.

    I believe if the background and subject are seen as only shapes of equal importance and intentional thought is given to making an interesting division of interesting shapes following the principles of design it can work.

    Thanks for your comment and I hope this is helpful.


  3. Hi Donna!


    All Winsor Newton: Dumont’s Blue (Limited Edtion and all gone), French Ultramarine, Ultramarine Violet, Permanent Mauve, Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red Medium and Indigo.

    Happy Painting,

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