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3 Things You Must Have to Start Painting Flowers

7 Mar 2021
I love painting flowers. Sometimes I think to myself, "the world doesn't need another floral artist."

But that thought is quickly dismissed.

We do need more people who love painting flowers and who love flowers.

Flowers are the symbol of beauty and luxury, and a beauty not only for weddings or luxe events, but for every day, for every person.

And if you are here, you may love – or at least love the idea – of decorating with flowers and even painting them yourself.

If you have never painted flowers before, I want to walk you through a few basic steps to painting flowers.

For the sake of simplicity, we are going to talk about painting flowers with watercolor.

There are so many different mediums you can choose. Some of the most popular mediums include colored pencils, acrylic, oil, pastel, collage.

Watercolor is a more simple, less messy and more efficient medium to play with. Your clothes will stay (mostly) clean, it takes up less space.

If you are re-starting or starting a painting hobby, there's a much greater chance you'll start and complete a watercolor.

And I'm all about the quick wins to gain some momentum!

While most of my focus is on creating art with a heavy floral focus, it's such a joy to connect with other creatives teach. So occasionally, I'll share a short tutorial or a more extensive paid course.

Watercolor is easy to start with, fairly affordable, and quick to finish. I love to build momentum, to get the feeling of learning and accomplishment, even if it is small. Watercolor allows us to experiment with speed, learn from our mistakes, and keep going.

Here is what you need to get started.
At the end of this article, I share my "secret" for liking your work, no matter what stage you are in!

I teach a way where we can "fix" most watercolor problems. You and I may not be thrilled with the outcome, but there is a way to turn perceived errors around.
Three Things You Need to Buy to Start Painting Flowers with Watercolor
Watercolor Paper

2-3 Brushes

Set of Paints – Keep your palette limited.

There are tons and tons of colors available. Go to any craft store and at least 100 options will be presented to you.

Don't allow yourself to get intimidated.

I bet you've heard of the Pareto Principle. It's the 20/80 rule that states that 20% of resources are used 80% of the time and more importantly: 80% of resources are used 20% of the time.

How does that affect watercolor painting?

You'll use 20% of the colors offered, 80% of the time. I have a box full of watercolor paints. I use no more than 20% of them 80% of the time.
Here's the colors I love:
  • Phthalo blue
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Phthalo pink or permanent pink (depends on the brand)
  • Cadmium yellow light
  • Lemon Yellow
  • Raw Sienna
  • Hookers Green
  • Sap Green (sometimes)
  • Payne's Gray
  • Alizaron Crimson
Out of those colors, you can eliminate one of the green's. Start with Hooker's Green. It's a cool green and can be "warmed up" by adding one of the yellows to it.

I have multiple yellows because as a primary color, it's much harder to get the base yellow I'm looking for.

The colors I use more often (20% of the time) include raw umber, sap green, yellow ochre, orange (opangue) cadmium red (medium or light hue), purple. And I can figure out to make these colors. I'll have them in my palette for convenience, i.e. I'm feeling a bit lazy to mix them up 😊

Lemon yellow is an opague, while yellow ochre and cadmium yellow are translucent colors.

Here's the secret. It's actually a two-parter.

First, every artist doesn't like their work at some point in the process! Almost every piece I've ever done goes through, "What-was-I-thinking-this-is-the-worst-ever."

Second, the secret to fixing perceived mistakes is adding layers with pen and ink, then adding another layer of watercolor.

Check out the free workshop here to have a look at how we transform a mediocre watercolor painting into a lovely, "delicious" piece.


Author: Melissa Auclair
Melissa Auclair is a floral artist.

You can find out more about Melissa Auclair


California, United States
The Creative Season © 2021

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