Hydrangea Fairy in Watercolor

I really enjoyed painting this hydrangea fairy, although it was time consuming to paint all those petals. This is my first attempt at painting a red head. I was a skeptical that I could pull it off without ending up with a garish orange instead of lovely shades of red, but I think I pulled it off splendidly. For the fairy’s hair I used a combination of Indian red, Chinese orange, burnt umber, and caput mortuum violet, then added a light wash of Chinese orange on top, which really made her lovely red locks come alive. For the shading on the stem and dress, I used indigo and then added a wash of sap green. I’ll be using that combination of colors again–love it.

This painting is based on a tutorial in Barbara Lanza’s book, “Enchanting Fairies: How to Paint Charming Fairies and Flowers.”ย  Here’s a close-up view:

Hydrangea Fairy in Watercolor Closeup

21 Comments on Hydrangea Fairy in Watercolor

  1. Fantastic!! Cin and I love the shading on EVERTHING. Cin especially likes the flower shading, but I can’t choose between the dress, the shaded wings, and the great hair—which looks like “natures highlights”!Really great job!!

  2. Utterly charming! Beautiful and delicate shading on the petals and wings and hair. And such a pretty, open face. I’ve seen so many otherwise lovely fairy images where the artist just doesn’t understand the face and it really does a disservice to the rest of the work. Beautiful hands and feet, too! (This is definitely an area I need to work on myself!)

    • Thanks, Elena. I did a multi-color wash over all the petals first then painted each petal with various shades of purple, allowing the underpainting to show through–definitely a technique I’ll use again on flowers.

  3. This is gorgeous, Jill! You’ve done the details so beautifully – I especially love her fine strands of hair and delicate flower crown. Not to mention the delicateness of her wings and the lovely purple flowers – everything is perfect, I love it ๐Ÿ™‚

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