How to paint a realistic rose flower in watercolour

Hi everyone, In this tip video, I wanted to show you the
process I went through to paint this full rose bloom. I work from a photo I took myself and begin
with a detailed contour drawing where I mark out the outer edges to all the petals. It’s
time consuming and quite tricky, but it’s crucial I get it as close to the photograph
as I can, as that will make my painting process much easier and more enjoyable. I’ve enhanced the drawing here so you can
see it clearly, but I actually drew it straight on to the paper really lightly with pencil
– so that the pencil lines won’t be visible through my paint. I begin the painting with my largest brush.
It’s still pretty small as this means I won’t get too much paint on my paper at
once – which might cause the paper to buckle. I am laying down a wash to match the lightest
colours in the flower overall using a pale pinky purple. Next I go straight in with my darkest tones.
This gives me a visual anchor on my paper so I can see just how dark my midtones will
need to get if they are to blend in smoothly to these darkest tones. I’ve gone down to a smaller brush and am
using dark crimsons and pinks at a much thicker consistency to match the colour. Next I want to isolate my highlights so that
I can see them and don’t accidentally go over them with later washes. So I use a medium
brush and some paint just a little thicker than the first wash to darken everywhere except
my highlights. I vary the colours in the mix a little to match the different colours on
the different petals. Next I work with the paint a little thicker
still, to darken up the next-lightest areas – the lighter midtones. The outer petals contain both grey and brown
to create the subtle colours you see there. With the lighter midtones now darker, I can
see I need to darken the darker midtones again. Now I’ve darkened the midtones, I can see
my darkest tones ought to be darker still, so I darken them again with another thick
layer of paint. Then I can see I need to darken the next darkest
tones some more. And with those darker, I can see I need to darken my mid-midtones some
more. All the while I use a combination of pinks,
crimsons, purples, browns and greys to make sure I capture all the subset variations in
colour. The rose starts to take a bit of shape now,
so I work on the leaves next to darken those up. Once that’s done it’s time to take a step
back – at which point I can see that my darkest tones within the flower need to be even darker. Working on them, and then the darker midtowns
some more means I can now see I need to darken some of my lightest tones. I take this opportunity
to bring in a little orange to my mix so that I can correct my colours and get them to closer
match the photograph. With the tonal range now looking correct,
it’s time to use my smallest brush to add in lots of details like veins to the petals,
and to neaten up the edges to the petals to get a really realistic finish. This painting is available as an almost 3
hour long step-by-step tutorial via my online School.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *