Magnolia in Watercolor

My husband planted a Southern Magnolia in our yard several years ago. This summer, it became mature enough to give us dozens of blooms though it is only about eight feet tall. The flowers take turns in the spotlight and have kept the show going for months, rather than all bursting into flower at once. This seems like a rather southern trait to me: graciously taking their time as if speaking with a slow, southern draw.

Southern Magnolias: Queen and Debutante, watercolor by Kelli Hertzler, all rights reserved.
Southern Magnolias: Queen and Debutante
16″ x 20″ matted watercolor.
(mat opening is 11″ x 14″)

The petals begged to be painted in glowing watercolor, although I did use a lesson learned from my oil painting here.  I have been toning my oil canvases with yellow ocher and burnt sienna before starting a new composition. For this watercolor, I toned the entire sheet – the white areas of the two blooms excepted – with the several of the pigments I would use on the foreground. It immediately created a warm, comfortable atmosphere and subdued the background to allow the whites to sing the high notes.

<u>Southern Magnolia: Queen and Debutante</u> detail. <br> By Kelli Hertzler.
Southern Magnolia: Queen and Debutante detail.
By Kelli Hertzler.

The limited palette included: Scarlet Red, Cadmium Orange,Winsor Yellow Deep, Pthalo Blue, Winsor Blue (green shade) and Burnt Sienna. The substrate is Arches 140 lb. hot press paper. The mat opening is 11″ x 14″ and it will frame to 16″ x 20″.


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