Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Painting a red rose in acrylic. Step by step

Roses are wonderful flowers to paint. The way the petals overlap and catch the light is fascinating!  I find them quite challenging to capture the depth and solidity of the shape, as well as the delicate, almost transparent, effect of the petals against the light.

I have painted a red rose. 

Here is how I did this painting.

Firstly I made a sketch. This is done using pencil with broad strokes. It is a very rough drawing just to get the feel of the shapes. I have used a thin black pen on some of the edges too.

Next I did a tonal study using thin washes of black paint, followed by more pencil work to define the shapes. I have added a few swirls in the background to indicate how I want the background to look.

Now on to some paint! I am working on thick card, as this painting will go in a frame. I sketched out the main outline shape of the rose first. I have decided to do the background in a soft beige peach colour.

My next stage is to block in all the light and dark areas. I am using acrylic paint. I am using a mixture of different liquid acrylics, mainly Chromacolour, Procolour, Golden and AJ Vallejo. Most of this work is done with medium sized brushes sizes 4 and 6. Some of the smaller shapes are a size 2 brush.
The colours are built up in layers. I put the darkest tones on first, as this helps show the structure. I then add middle tones which gives the rose some form. I then add white highlights. Once I have the three basic tonal areas done, I mix up the "in between" colours and add these over the top.
This is a red rose, but I am using orange, pink, brown and purple as well. This is to break up the surface and make the painting more visually interesting. I would struggle to get enough contrast without a wide range of colours.

My usual painting style is to work in a "sort of" impressionistic way, with lots of small dabs of paint. My paintings are built up of many layers of paint, which give a textured look. I like to make the background an important and integral part of the painting too.

Here are some close up areas of my technique, as I develop this painting.

The final painting,  I have added grey, pale blue and white dots in the background to make swirls.  I have worked in many layers of additional paint dots and lines on top of my initial colours. I have used the paint in different directions, on the petals, to show the way the flower grows.

This will go in to a frame. I will update this post to show you that, when I have framed it. Also I will add in the information where it will be on sale later.

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