Paint Flowers in Watercolours

by Neadeen Masters on November 24, 2011

Understanding transparency is the key when you wish to paint flowers!

The beauty of flowers often lies in their amazing color and details. Just like bees, we’re often drawn to a flower because its vibrant color attracted us. In watercolors, we rely mostly on the white of the paper and the transparency of the the paint application. It’s important to remember that when we paint flowers, we need to be able to create translucent looking flowers. Especially if we are working with watercolors. When we mix color we also change the properties of pigments. We either adjust hue, intensity, value, or temperature… this can lower the color’s brilliance.  In a nutshell the secret to brilliant color lies in the pigments we select and how we adjust them.

How to paint a Rose - Rose Garden by Neadeen Masters - Art Apprentice Online Watercolor Roses by Neadeen Masters

Paint Flowers using acrylics and watercolor techniques!

When you learn to paint with watercolours correctly,  it’s a beautiful and relaxing artistic endeavour. It has been said that watercolours are the most difficult of all the media types to learn and master, and they are more difficult than oil or acrylic painting!  From personal experience they are not! It just takes a little more patience to learn how this wonderful media type performs differently than oil or acrylics. When painting flowers with watercolour we need to select pigments carefully. If one learns to mix and preserve color brilliance and transparency, the artist will have more success.

How to paint roses in watercolour by Neadeen Masters - Art Apprentice Online Painting Roses In Watercolour by Neadeen Masters – Art Apprentice Online

Watercolour painting does have unique challenges… you might even think they have a mind of their own! But with a little practise and understanding they’ll produce amazing results! The main thing to remember about watercolours is…the concept of transparency. The most important characteristic of a successful watercolour painting is when the artist works with both the transparent attributes of pigments and preserving the white of the watercolour paper. Painting flowers in watercolor is a great way to experiment with color combinations. The brilliant white of the watercolor paper makes pigments look even more intense.

Painting Flowers In Watercolors by Neadeen Masters - Art Apprentice Online Painting Flowers In Watercolors by Neadeen Masters – Art Apprentice Online

  1. Intensity or Chroma – Vibrant flower colors are achieved when mixing or toning is kept to a minimum.
  2. Color pigments used in their purest form are more likely to result in brilliant and clean hues.
  3. Creating Value for Form and Shadows – Deepen values using multiple thin transparent layers of color, or use saturated transparent color.
  4. Transparency – When painting watercolour flowers use the white of the paper to help create the lightest values of the flower. Success depends on maintaining transparency.

When selecting your pigments, read the label and make sure yor choice is either semi-transparent or transparent. Opaque colors can be use, but can result in muddy or cloudy effects. For brilliant flowers, the novice watercolourist should start with transparent or semi-transparent DecoArt Traditions Artist Acrylics. Attention was paid to the transparency rating of the paint selection.


how to paint flowers

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rafia Shujaat November 26, 2011 at 2:18 am

I am learning from your videos in the courses for Teacher Certification. They are amazing :)… The watercolor flowers look beautiful. I feel scared to even think I will paint with watercolor but am sure after learning here, I will be able to overcome that.

Nice post and informative.


neadeenmasters December 7, 2012 at 6:31 am

Rafia I am really happy to hear this from you. Sometimes the watercolor media can be very hard to manage. I hope my painting lessons were easy to learn from. Thank you – Neadeen Masters


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