Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Viola (Watercolor)


In the last few weeks I have painted a few botanicals (plants and flowers). When I shared them, with the “caveat” that they are not my “favorite” to paint, several people suggested that I may have “missed my calling,” so I’ve been thinking about painting more botanicals. I gravitate to the little animals (birds and furry creatures) because of my love or them, but I do LIKE flowers as well, so why not paint more of them. Actually, botanicals are easier to paint than animals and birds.

My mother was a lover of flowers and was quite knowledgeable about them. She knew the names of most flowers, and even as recently as a few years ago, I would send her a picture of a flower for her to identify. (She passed away in 2013.)

Violas in a basket on our Patio here in Ridgefield, Washington

We have some violas on our patio. I had thought they were pansies, but as I was reading about pansies and violas when preparing to paint this piece, I learned some things.

Pansies look and act a lot like violas but they have a much larger flower, and larger leaves as well. Another difference between the two fall favorites is that pansies usually only have a few flowers at a time whereas violas have a smaller flower but more blooms.

Also, Pansies were actually derived from violas, so technically all pansies are violas but not all violas are pansies. Violas are often called Johnny jump-ups in the US, as they tend to self-seed and can spread throughout your garden on their own.

Fun Fact: If the flower has four petals pointing upward and only one pointing downward – you’re looking at a Pansy. If the flower has two petals pointing upward and three petals pointing downward – you’ve got a Viola.

Since I’m interested more in botanicals than I thought I would be, I am doing some tutorials with Anna Mason, whose signature style is detail and realism, and she paints mostly botanicals. I think I will enjoy the change from the loose, wet-on-wet style that so many artists seem to be using now. 

#watercolorviolas #violasarenotpansies #annamasonartschool #hotpressedpaper #WinsorandNewtonwatercolortubepaints #realisticstyle 

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