Walking Among Cherry Blossoms

We couldn’t have picked a better weekend to visit Washington D.C. I didn’t realize when we chose the date that it would coincide with the blooming of the city’s cherry trees. After two years of social isolation, families, friends, and lovers strolled among the trees around the Tidal Basin, drinking in the beauty of pink and white blossoms in the sun. In a world with so much division and strife, what a gift to find the promise of hope and renewal still within our reach.

The planting of cherry trees in Washington DC originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan, where the tradition of celebrating the blooming of cherry trees is centuries old. Learn more >

Tips and Techniques– I painted a background wash of quin rose, cobalt blue, and touch of aureolin yellow before heading out to paint the cherry blossoms. This base wash gave the page some life before I started drawing. Once I had sketched the major groupings of blossoms, I painted behind them with more rose and cobalt. Later, I added additional blooms to the page, along with the greens. The trick here is keeping the looseness of the initial wash, while defining the blossoms and adding enough darks to get them to stand out.

A spot has opened up for Sketching the Nature of Italy in Watercolor, May 2-9, 2022. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Italian countryside in Umbria, where nature and culture come together as your muse! Find details at Winslow Arts Center

24 Comments on “Walking Among Cherry Blossoms

  1. How lovely! Excellent tips. That’s a very clever approach you took.
    Very interesting to learn the history of these famous blossoms in D.C.

  2. The cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin in Washington greatly exceeded my expectations the first time I experienced them. After nearly 40 years in the area, they are still spectacular. I never expected the entire area to smell like almonds either; did you notice the fragrance? Your posts inspire me. Thank you.

  3. What a treat! I’ve never seen the cherry blossoms in person (not for lack of trying!) but your painting makes me feel like I was right there with you, Jean! Beautifully soft and composed. You’ve displayed so many blossoms without overwhelming the composition. It must’ve been an outrageous showing! Thanks for always providing excellent tips on your techniques. I’m faced with the challenge of creating a watercolor floral bouquet. Can’t wait to give your approach a try!

    • Some tress were just blooming and other were in full show. The display was wonderful. It was windy when I sketched this, so I tucked in to a smaller cherry tree that was protected by some nearby bushes. Having the base layer in place made the painting go more quickly.

  4. You’re so lucky to be there this time of year!! That’s one of the things I loved when I lived down there. Now my daughters live there, but I wasn’t able to time it right this year. Glad to see your painting from there!! Beautiful demo!!

  5. Karin, This artists technique of painting background first then doing some negative painting sounds like something you might like to play around with .


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sent from Ann Patterson. annapat@icloud.com


  6. So beautiful and light! This is a gift on this grey day. Thank you for the joy.

  7. Beautiful! You captured these delicate flowers. I kept searching for a little bee…

  8. Absolutely gorgeous! I find negative painting makes my work rigid, without natural flow or feeling. You captured it all!

  9. One day I hope to stroll through some cherry blossoms. I seem to keep missing them in my neck of the woods. I hope you are keeping safe and well.

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