Marathon Hydrangeas by Ken Powers

It isn’t often that I have a block of time long enough to devote to completing a single painting, but yesterday was an exception. I began sketching and painting this piece at 1:00PM and finished it at 7:00PM only taking breaks to let the dog out, etc… My original concept called for a macro type floral but with no background or true focal point. I had in mind more of a busy Hawaiian shirt type of composition but with a high contrast. I began with yellows, cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, prussian blue, and madder rose, then finished with some ivory black. This piece was painted entirely with Sennelier pan paints, Sennelier 140# cold-pressed paper, and Sennelier (Raphael) brushes. The original is 15.25" x11.5" in size. I wish the digitized image possessed a bit more of subtleties of the original piece as there are some great textures and effects created from the paint’s interaction with the paper.

Featured in Water Media group March 2011.

I am a still-life and floral watercolor artist based in the Tacoma, Washington USA area. My work can be found in collections throughout the world as well as on the set of ABC Studio’s television series, “Desperate Housewives.”

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  • dedmanshootn
    dedmanshootnabout 4 years ago


  • Thanks for the kind words!

    – Ken Powers

  • Ann Mortimer
    Ann Mortimerabout 4 years ago

    Always nice to hear the story of a painting! This is great Ken…good sense of depth.

  • Thank you Ann! I appreciate it!

    – Ken Powers

  • Marsha Elliott
    Marsha Elliottabout 4 years ago

    Just gorgeous, Ken. Glad you were able to finish this in one sitting….that’s my preferred way. The blues you’ve been using add so much pizzaz!

  • Thank you Marsha! I don’t usually get to finish a piece in one sitting!

    – Ken Powers

  • FranEvans
    FranEvansabout 4 years ago

    The best one yet! I love in-your-face flowers!

  • Thank you Fran! It is definitely one of my favorites!

    – Ken Powers

  • JCailliau
    JCailliauabout 4 years ago

    Simply beautiful Ken ! One of your best !

  • Thank you Joan! I was very relaxed while I was painting this one so I think that helps!

    – Ken Powers

  • maggie326
    maggie326about 4 years ago

    Gorgeous work Ken

  • Thank you very much! I appreciate it!

    – Ken Powers

  • lillybeckart
    lillybeckartabout 4 years ago

    And there are those gorgeous blues again! Love this Ken – the busy composition takes your eye all over the page – beautifully balanced.

  • Thanks Rebecca! Every once in a while I like to have a composition with no composition just for fun!

    – Ken Powers

  • bernzweig
    bernzweigabout 4 years ago

    Great piece Ken – I love the movement throughout.

  • Thank you very much! This was a fun experiment!

    – Ken Powers

  • ian osborne
    ian osborneabout 4 years ago

    lovely blue Ken. You do hydrangeas so well!

  • Thanks Ian! I usually lean toward the warmer side with most of my paintings so I decided I would get some cooler colors in my last couple just for fun!

    – Ken Powers

  • bevmorgan
    bevmorganabout 4 years ago

    Beautiful close up treatment of the hydrangea, Ken. These are not easy flowers to paint but you have done a superb rendering.

  • Thank you so much! I had some great momentum with this piece!

    – Ken Powers

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