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How to Learn Flower Painting Techniques

Painting flowers can be a fun hobby and a wonderful way to express beauty on a canvas. Before you set brush to canvas, though, there are a few techniques you should learn.


  • Step 1: Draw flowers Draw flowers to get an idea of their shape and structure. Start with a flower like the perennial tulip. It has a simple shape so it is easier to draw.
  • TIP: Keep the head of the flower centered on the tip of the stem.
  • Step 2: Use photographs Use photographs of flowers for your subject when you first start painting. The photographs should be clear, well lit, and close to the flower.
  • TIP: Take your own pictures of flowers in pots, boxes, gardens, green houses, or in environments flowers are not typically found.
  • Step 3: Experiment with brushes Experiment with brush sizes. Use a wide brush for the petals, and a number three or six round sable brush for adding detail.
  • Step 4: Be bold Be bold with colors. Use bright colors for the head of the flower.
  • Step 5: Contrast Contrast elements in the painting by using colors that are at opposite ends of the color wheel, also known as complementary colors.
  • Step 6: Add depth Lay down colors over the petals to add depth to the painting. Look at the areas of the flower where the colors go from cool to warm or light to dark.
  • TIP: Pay attention to areas on the flower where the other petals and objects are reflected in the surface of the flower.
  • Step 7: Paint from real life Paint from real life after you have mastered painting from photographs. Start by painting flowers in artificial light. Artificial light is constant, making the flowers easier to paint.
  • Step 8: Reference the work of others Look at the work of other artists who paint flowers and observe their composition techniques -- what colors they select and the lighting they use. Reference their work to improve your own technique.
  • FACT: The largest flower in the world is the Rafflesia arnoldii of the Indonesian rain forest. When in bloom, it reaches up to 3 feet in diameter and smells like rotting meat.

You Will Need

  • Flowers
  • Cartridge paper
  • Drawing or colored pencils
  • Pictures of flowers
  • Canvas
  • Wide brush
  • Number 3 or 6 round sable brush
  • Paint
  • Flower paintings
  • Camera (optional)

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