Azaleas in Watercolor

Painting Azaleas in a Square Format

I don’t usually create paintings in a square format, but every once in a while I just come across a subject that is perfect for this type of composition.

Azaleas © Annie Glacken


For this painting I used a limited palette of: Royal Blue, Prussian Blue, Quinacridone Magenta, Quinacridone Gold, and Quinacridone Sienna.

After drawing in my flowers and leaves, I put frisket on the stamens.  I then began painting in very pale washes of royal blue and royal blue mixed with the quinacridone magenta to make a violet on the petals. For the leaves, I used a mix of the prussian blue and quinacridone gold. Next, I began putting in my background colors of royal blue, prussian blue, and a green mixed from the prussian and quinacridone gold.



After this dried, I began creating some additional shapes in the background by adding some magenta over the blue in some areas, and adding gold over blue in other areas to form leaves. I also created leaf shapes in the background by using the negative painting technique. (For more on negative painting, check out my previous posts:  Using the Negative Painting Approach, Fall Leaves and Acorns, and A Study in Negative Painting.) Then I deepend the values toward the centers of the petals.


Finally, I removed the frisket, and painted the stamens with a mix of quinacridone sienna and quinacridone gold.

Azaleas © Annie Glacken

I really love the contrast in values and the colors in this painting. It makes me happy and is one of my favorites.

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Happy painting!

As always, the compositions in these exercises are copyrighted. Thanks!



6 Replies to “Azaleas in Watercolor”

  1. Another gorgeous painting, Annie! Thank you for describing your glazes. I haven’t done much of that, as when you created new leaves in the background. The richness of color is really beautiful. What pigment is Royal Blue? I’m not familiar with that name.

    • I appreciate the encouraging compliment Susan! Royal Blue is pigment PB 60. Some brands call it Indanthrone or Indanthrene Blue. It is a blue that leans to the red side. It is very staining. That is why it is a good paint to use under glazes–it won’t move. I use the Holbein brand as it is the most intense of the brands. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Beautifully done, Annie !
    Love the format you are using in showing your steps and thinking process as you paint..
    A born artist and teacher ..congrats and thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you Mary! I love being able to share and pay forward what I have learned. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Thank you Tonya! I love painting flowers and think they may be what I paint best. Lately though, I have been painting many landscape paintings and sketche! Thanks for the comment.