'Flower Spirit 04/2005' was my first painting using watercolor clayboard.
The way clayboard handles and takes the paint is very different than using watercolor paper. The clay is not very absorbent and shifts wet areas of paint to the yellow, but shifts back when dry. This means you have to have a good handle on blending your palette. What you see on the board is not what you will get. This takes a little getting used to but just paint the colors you would normally expect and when the painting is dry everything should look all right.
'Flower Spirit - 04/2005' is inspired by the Texas, Indian Paintbrush. In this case one that came up in my own lawn. Indian Paintbrushes accompany the Texas Bluebonnets as wild flowers burst forth in a wave that moves from south to north in the spring. In a good year you will see nothing but patches of blue and orange as far as the eye can see. Its quite a sight.
I had applied masking fluid before working on the background, then Chinese ink to create a value painting of the flower after removing the mask. Regular watercolor was used to build a color road map on the value painting skeleton. Paint was applied in limited washes or wet on dry with less water than usual. Next I top layered the flower with gouache paint. Gouache is a translucent to opaque form of watercolor with a distinctly higher brightness.
The aura and spirit petals were pretty much an afterthought, but this painting has turned out to be one of my more popular ones. So popular in fact that my wife asked for the original and framed it for her own use.