Ebony and Evory

Soft washes of color set the stage for this delicate petaled beauty which when surrounded by a rich background provides for a striking contrast between dark and light.

White Tea Rose


  • Brushes (Robert Simmons)
•Series S50 No. 3 script liner •Series S55 1″ flat wash •Series S85 No. 6 round
  • Other Supplies
•140 lb. cold press watercolor paper •Ruler •Scissors •Tracing paper •No. 2 pencil •Light box (Optional) •Palette •Water basin •Utility knife •Mat board of choice


  • Burnt Sienna (BS)
  • Crimson Alizarin (CA)
  • French Ultramarine (FRU)
  • Gamboge (Hue) (GH)
  • Hooker’s Green No. 2 (HG)
  • Monestial Blue (Phthalo) (MB)


1.Measure and mark a 11 “x7 1/2” area on the sheet of watercolor paper and cut out with scissors. This will be your painting surface. 2.Trace the pattern onto tracing paper and transfer onto the watercolor paper using a light box and a No. 2 pencil. If you don’t have a light box, hold the watercolor paper and tracing up to a window, allow the light to shine through, and lightly sketch the pattern using the pencil.


Rose mixtures

Figure 1

Figure 1

Mix a puddle of each of the following colors with water on your palette: GH, BS, and HG. Also prepare the following mixes in the same manner: GR (Gray) = FRU + BS – this color should be more blue than brown, PUR (Purple) = CA + FRU, GO (Gold) = GH + (BS) Note: The background colors will be mixed later.
  • 1. Using the flat wash, wet the watercolor paper with clean water, working right over the traced design. while the paper is still wet, drop GH in the flower center and on several of the petals. Next, drop GR on a few of the petals. Allow this to bleed and blend naturally; do not use a brush. Pick up the paper and tilt it so that the colors run into each other. This will allow the paint to remain its true hue. If you blend with a brush, you will create a third color (Fig. 1).
  • 2 Referring to Fig. 2, wet the center area of the flower and drop in GH + GO). Allow these colors to mix on the paper. Paint the two leaves to the right and the bud on the lower left GH. Allow to dry thoroughly. The petals are painted using a glazing technique by layering the paint to obtain the desired colors and values. Study Fig. 2 for the placement of the grays—look where the darkest value is placed and then note the gradation of the edges. This layering is what gives the petals the appearance of roundness. First apply the paint, then soften the edge with a damp brush.
    Figure 2

    Figure 2

    Attempt to paint shapes and values of those shapes. Note that PUR is placed on several petals to yield variety within the shadows.
  • 3. Apply the stamens with BS and the shadows with GR. First wet the area, then drop in a small amount of BS, allowing this to soak into the paper until the shine begins to fade. Next, use the script liner and strong pigment directly from the tube of BS to place dots for the tips of the stamen. Some of these dots will bleed, while others will remain round. Allow to dry thoroughly. Apply the stamen shadows with a light value of GR.

Background mixtures

Mix a puddle of each of the following colors with water on your palette: MB and HG. Also prepare the following mixes in the same manner: DG (Dark Green) = HG + (FRU), DP (Dark Purple) = CA + FRU DGR (Dark Gray) = FRU + BS
  • 1. Basecoat the leaves HG and DG. Paint the bud DG, leaving some lighter areas remaining for texture. Apply the shadow on the leaf with DGR. Allow to dry thoroughly.
  • 2. The background is applied with all the dark mixtures (DG, DP, and DGR). Refer to the color photo for placement while you work. The paints must be wet enough to bleed and blend into each other. Apply one color to about a 2″ square area. Rinse the brush, pick up the next color, and go back into the first color. Next, apply the third color, going back into the second color. You may need to pick up the paper, forcing the paints to run into each other. These colors should gradually blend into one another, creating a dark background. Be careful not to overblend the background or it will get muddy and appear flat. Once the background is completely dry, you may need to “harmonize” it by going over the entire area with a light glaze of FRU.


  • 1. Allow all paint to dry thoroughly. If needed, add another layer of color to the petals to obtain the desired values. The background colors can bleed into the petals; therefore, be extremely careful when applying another layer of paint.
  • 2.Cut a mat to measure 13 1/2″x 12 1/2 with a 7 1/2″ x6 1/2 opening to display your painting.
1 Comment
  1. Reply Tamera Ann January 20, 2018 at 4:17 pm


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