Watercolour Flowers (Further Tips)

Flowers In Watercolour

Watercolour Flowers by Ray McSharry
Watercolour Flowers by Ray McSharry

Flowers Of The Imagination

The beauty of nature can be captured very effectively in watercolour painting of flowers. The paintings can be light, calm and subtle or they can be vibrant, bold and full of energy. Though it will take a lot of patience and dedication to master this art, many artists find that watercolours add an intensity and delicacy to their flower paintings, that very few other mediums can.

Water, paper and simple brushes are the only tools you will need apart from your creativity and skill and the latter can be developed over time. Capturing nature can be about painting landscapes and trees and then there are flowers. Varied, colourful and incredibly beautiful!

Spontaneity Counts

When painting flowers, it is good to be as free and spontaneous as possible without crossing the line into carelessness. This can be done with practice and adequate preparation. I’ve found that a good way to portray the delicacy of petals is through minimal brush strokes, just suggesting individual parts, and concentrating on and simplifying the whole form.

I find it helpful to imagine a rose, whereby you can more easily identify the tonal variations which give the form its roundness. Also, rather than giving the flower shape or outline, you can indicate the shape by painting a loose background around the shape, in a technique called negative painting.

Steps To Painting Flowers In Watercolour

Start By Sketching Some Flowers

  • Before you start dabbling in watercolour painting of flowers, try your hand at a few flower sketches first. A good painting starts with a good drawing. Once you are confident about your sketching skills, lightly draw your subject on a watercolour sheet. Add some detailing but always keep the basic lines light. If you find your drawing too heavy, go over every line very lightly with an eraser.

Flowers In Watercolour Demand Purity Of Colour

  • Next, dab a small amount of watercolour on your palette. Always pick colours that will make an interesting background and an arresting foreground. Depending on the flower you wish to paint, squirt different colours onto the palette. Do not mix any colours at this point as you might need the pure colours at certain points.
  • Give your paper a water-wash and cover all the sections of the paper except those that will hold the actual flowers. Now go back to your palette and mix a generous amount of water with a little bit of colour. This mixture will be used at the top of the paper.

Take bright colours for the flowers and greens for the stems. Mix-and-match the colours for the flowers with varying quantities of water and apply them to the various parts of the flowers and the stems. At this point the paper must be dry. This dry-brush technique can be used very effectively to create a bold effect in your watercolour painting of flowers. Using variations of the colours for highlights and shadows will give the painting a dimension.

Painting The Greenery

  • The leaves can be painted next and you can add little amounts of water to various shades of green watercolours and paint them in the same manner that you had painted the flowers in. The mixture of the various shades of green will create the leaves.

Adding Finishing Touches

  • Once the painting has dried, dab or stroke pure colour on various parts of the painting that you feel need to be accentuated.

Flowers Of The Imagination Or Real Life

Painting flowers in watercolour can prove to be very satisfying. The play of light and shade will add dimension to your painting as you go through each layer of wash and paint but first, you have to learn to do it right.

Get In Touch

There are lot of tricks you can use to give your painting a unique twist. If you’d like to learn a few innovative techniques, get in touch with me and I’d be happy to share more of what I know with you on a one-to-one basis.