Purple Fairy in Watercolor

purple fairy in watercolor

Good morning, everyone. How was your weekend? Mine was busy. I spent time visiting with relatives from Ohio, went to the D.C. Big Flea antique show, visited a local farmer’s market, and did some housework, laundry, and yard work. And I managed to squeeze in one quick watercolor painting. This purple fairy is based on a tutorial in Linda Ravenscroft’s book, “How to Draw and Paint Fairies.” It’s an indispensable source of information for new watercolorists.

Normally, I paint fairy wings quite pale, so I thought I’d change things up a bit and use a more intense color. What do you think, are the wings too dark? Here’s a close up view of the fairy’s face. Thanks for visiting. Have a great day!

purple fairy in watercolor

21 Comments on Purple Fairy in Watercolor

  1. Greta
    July 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm (4 years ago)

    Like the darker wings-especially on this fairy who has a lot less color opportunities in her background – no flowers, butterflies, etc. good post all around!

    Reply
  2. Pat
    July 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm (4 years ago)

    Lovely work.

    Reply
  3. shreejacob
    July 24, 2013 at 12:38 am (4 years ago)

    I love it! and purple is one of my favourite colours too!
    I like that you had her eyes purple too :D

    Reply
    • afternoonartist
      July 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks for noticing her purple eyes, Shree. I should have called her the “Elizabeth Taylor fairy.”

      Reply
  4. Caitie M
    July 24, 2013 at 12:54 am (4 years ago)

    I love the intensity of her wings, and the way you’ve gradated the purple. Also love the subtle blending of the skin tones, there’s some lovely variation there that highlights the fairy’s personality :)

    Reply
    • afternoonartist
      July 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Caitie. Normally I use a permanent, staining color to add the shadows first and then I do a light wash over the underpainting. I tried it with purple, but the color lifted when I added the second wash. I had to add the shadows back on top of my wash. I typically find purple a difficult color to blend. Have you had a similar experience with purple watercolor paint?

      Reply
      • Caitie M
        July 26, 2013 at 2:02 am (4 years ago)

        You’re welcome :) I tend to be an all-in-one-layer kind of watercolourist and I usually just deepen the shadows on the top layer, so although I do use underpainting sometimes I rarely experience that problem. But I do find that some particular brands and colours do have an annoying tendency to lift off – maybe it depends on the pigments and other properties specific to that colour. I have terrible troubles with browns sometimes. Is that Ultramarine Violet you’ve used? Perhaps the granulating colours have this tendency?

        Reply
        • afternoonartist
          August 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm (4 years ago)

          Thanks for your comments, Caitie. That was Winsor violet. Raw umber is one of my favorite browns because it doesn’t lift off easily–which makes it my go-to choice for underpainting. Another good color for underpainting is indigo.

          Reply
  5. Cindy D.
    July 25, 2013 at 12:42 am (4 years ago)

    I love the face! What personality! Love the dark wings, too, although there’s still plenty of contrast in them. I may have to look up this book you’ve mentioned. :)

    Reply
    • afternoonartist
      July 25, 2013 at 6:15 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Cindy. Her nose is a bit crooked and one of her eyes is bigger than the other, but I was afraid that any attempts to even out the size of her irises would make things worse, so I just left her imperfections. The book offers plenty of good tips and tricks. And while I think my painting has progressed to the point where I no longer need to rely on tutorials, I still plan on completing more because I’ve learned something with each tutorial and I’ve invested a lot of money in the books! There’s always something new to learn, right?

      Reply
      • Gabriel Garbow
        July 30, 2013 at 3:38 am (4 years ago)

        I adore the ‘crooked’ face – it has real character and expression. It was a great choice to keep it fresh, and not try to correct things. Imagine if someone tried to correct real people’s faces. I’ve become unrecognizable!

        Reply
  6. Jess
    July 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm (4 years ago)

    So cute! Love the little fairy!

    Reply
  7. Gabriel Garbow
    July 30, 2013 at 3:40 am (4 years ago)

    The delicate blending of color in her cheeks and knees is especially endearing, Jill. The slightly fuzzy outline effect is really cool, too.

    Reply
    • afternoonartist
      July 30, 2013 at 4:39 am (4 years ago)

      That was a new color I tried–Winsor Newton’s rose dore. It’s a very pale warm pink.

      Reply
      • Gabriel Garbow
        July 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm (4 years ago)

        I’ve been looking for a pink to use in skin tones. I think I may go and try this one out. What do you use for the base skin tone?

        Reply
        • afternoonartist
          August 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm (4 years ago)

          Sorry for the delayed response, Gabriel. Crazy week! You asked what color I used as the base skin tone in my purple fairy. I used a very watery mix of raw umber. For the shadows I also used raw umber and gradually faded out the edges with water, then allowed the paint to dry completely. Then a quick, even wash of raw umber finished it off. Once that was dry, I added the rose dore. I had to use several coats of the rose because it’s such a transparent, pale color, but that allowed me to have good control and build the color gradually. I used the rose dore on her cheeks, knees, shoulders, and a bit under her chin. Thanks, as always, for your comments.

          Reply
          • Gabriel Garbow
            August 5, 2013 at 4:59 am (4 years ago)

            Thank you so much.

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