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Wet-on-Wet Flower Painting

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Wet-on-wet Flower Painting

The Painting.

In this wet-on-wet flower painting we are painting basic leaf shapes using short strokes and a large Hibiscus type flower to practice the long brush strokes of the flower itself. This is painted on a 16" x 20" canvas but you use whatever you feel comfortable with.

You will need:
Oil Paint:
Titanium White; Cadmium Yellow light; Ultramarine Blue; Ruby Red and Ivory Black.
Brushes: 1˝" Varnish; ˝" One-stroke; ˝" Mop and a No. 2 Rigger. Mediums: Zest-it Brush Cleaner; Zest-it Clear Painting Medium. Other bits and bobs: Palette; easel; palette knife and kitchen towel.

wet on wet flower painting

pencil outline of wet on wet flower

It's a good idea to sketch out your flower and leaves on paper before committing to the canvas.
First thing to do is position the flower, not in the centre but to one side and down from centre. I don't normally use pencil on a canvas because it can smudge and muddy your colours, but I have for this demonstration, thinned paint works just as well.

You now need your Varnish brush, pick up a small amount of Zest-it Clear Painting Medium and brush it into the canvas, all over except the flower area. You only need a very thin coat - however much you though you should put on - halve it!

Now take your palette knife and taking a small amount from the following piles on your palette mix yourself a new colour. Take tiny portion of red and mix in a bit of blue, this will give a purple colour. Take a tiny portion of yellow and mix in a bit of blue this will give a green.

Take your ˝" one-stroke and load with the purple, brush this into the same areas as in the picture right. Wash your brush in Zest-it Brush Cleaner. Dry the brush on kitchen towel and load with the green, brush into the areas shown. Wash the brush and dry.

Now take your varnish brush and with random, crisscross - figure of eight strokes blend the colours. Wash the brush.

background colours to flower

wet on wet leaves

Taking your palette knife mix together some of your yellow, blue and a touch of black, to give a good dark green that will compliment the flower colour.

Dip just the corner of your One-stroke brush into Zest-it Clear Painting medium. Then load the brush with the green and try painting some leaves.
Using the chisel end of the brush sketch in a leaf shape. Now use the width of the brush. Using short overlapping strokes, starting at the tip of the leaf, paint strokes from the outside edge to the centre vein. Having done one half of the leaf repeat to form the other half. Practice these leaf shapes. If it goes wrong use your Varnish brush to brush them into the background. Try some more, big ones and small ones.

On the top right and bottom left corners you can see where I've brushed the leaves into the background.

If your leaves look a little ragged use the Mop brush to blend them. To clean the Mop just rub the hairs on kitchen towel damp with Zest-it Brush Cleaner.

The chisel edge of the brush is used to make the spiky leaves and stems. Use a lighter green to add a few highlights. Wash your brush.

Now using the palette knife add extra paint to the purple you mixed. Dip the corner of the one-stroke in painting medium and load with this colour. In the dry flower area paint a smiley face below centre and then brush the colour upwards and outwards in a fan shape. Keep it thin towards the outer edge of the fan so its easier to blend with the red when you apply it.

flower centre added

background colour of the flower applied

Wipe your palette knife and wash your brush, dry on kitchen towel. Use your clean palette knife to pull some red paint out of the pile, like you would spread butter on bread. Dip the corner of your one-stroke into the clear painting medium and then load from the smooth spread, red paint. Working from the outside edges of the petals pull strokes in towards the centre, but not quite into the purple.

When you have all the red area in, just wipe the brush and then blend the purple and red areas together, but keep the smiley face smooth as this is the bend on the front petal.

Your flower is now ready to paint wet on wet - it is covered with painting medium that is coloured instead of clear. Wash and dry your one-stroke.

Take your clean One-stroke brush and a tiny corner of Zest-it Clear Painting Medium, load the brush with white. Starting just outside the red area pull overlapping strokes to form the petals of the flower. Wipe the brush often and re-load as necessary.

Once you have all the petals formed wipe the brush, pick up more white and add highlights to some areas of your petals to give more form and definition. Use your watercolour Mop brush to blend the petals.

Take a small amount of yellow add a tiny touch of red and mix. With your Rigger brush add the single centre stamen and dot the brush to form the pollen area.

Wash your Rigger and then load with green and add extra spiky bits to give balance and finish the painting.

Don't forget to sign and date you work.

finished wet on wet flower painting

Copyright© Jacqui Blackman 2007


The new Alla Prima Medium is ideal for wet-on-wet painting



Another wet-on-wet flower painting you may like to try is the Amaryllis - step by step.
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