Watercolor Painting: Within the Flower

“Nobody sees a flower, really; it is so small. We haven’t time — and to see takes time like to have a friend takes time. If I could paint the flower exactly as I see it, no one would see what I see because I would paint it small, like the flower is small. So I said to myself, ‘I’ll paint what I see, what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it.'” — Georgia O’Keeffe

Watercolor Painting Techniques for Stunning Florals

In the arrogance of my youth, I remember thinking there was something mundane about painting flowers. Luckily, that arrogance was fleeting in the face of the stunning work of Georgia O’Keeffe; one look at her flowers and I was itching to paint. O’Keeffe, along with so many others, are presenting the world as they see it to us, and teaching us to stop, to observe the details we would normally miss. We may not see it or interpret exactly as they would wish, but that is no matter; it’s the seeing that’s important, and that’s what great art does: it teaches us to really look, to really see.

Watercolor Painting Techniques: How to Paint FlowersIn Watercolor with Birgit O’Connor: Within the Flower, we get the opportunity to put those skills to use in a watercolor painting demonstration, working step by step to capture the essence of a flower from the inside.

In this video, Birgit demonstrates her favorite watercolor painting techniques, showing how to paint flowers from a reference photo without copying it, and use wet-into-wet and wet-into-dry washes to paint a flower close up. Viewers also learn how to create smooth washes for petals, use shadows to add dimension, and how to “punch out” the flower with a dark background.

Birgit’s teaching style is fantastic, coupling knowledge with an easy, soothing manner that makes following her lessons a breeze. With the mechanics of painting flowers down, it becomes a lot easier to apply those watercolor painting techniques to the flowers around you, and what better time of year for that than now? With these painting tips and methods under your belt, you’ll be free to explore the world and imbue what you see with your own style.

Preview Watercolor with Birgit O’Connor: Within the Flower to focus on color value and edges to push and pull the petal placements within the flower painting and use dry brush painting techniques to add details and drama. Then, head over to ArtistsNetwork.tv for the full-length video, or find the download at NorthLightShop.com.

Pair your watercolor painting techniques with these free art lessons , for stunning florals that capture your own sense of wonder at the world.

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