The Turquoise Iris Guide to Flower Painting
I love flowers! I love them in my garden, on my table, on my clothing, and especially in my art. If you scroll through my YouTube channel it’s basically just a sea of flowers! Whenever I’ve felt stuck and don’t know what to paint, I always go back to flowers because they are 1) seriously fun to paint and 2) a major crowd pleaser! In fact, this isn’t even my first blog post about painting flowers! But now that I’m an expert for the BloomTV Network (more on that below!) I thought it was important to provide a resource for fun and easy flower painting!
So, let’s start at the beginning.
Why Flower Painting?
I started painting flowers for the reason that most people do — they’re gorgeous! Nature is filled with beauty and flowers are a prime example. They’re easily accessible for much of the year (especially for those of us who love painting outside!) and provide endless inspiration. More importantly, it’s the organic shape of the petals and leaves that makes flower painting so accessible.
Why I’m Teaching Flower Painting on the BloomTV Network
BloomTV is the network for all things floral! As soon as I heard about them through my friend (and Iris Journal featured artist!) Lori Siebert, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. Flowers have simply never let me down! A big bouquet or a walk through my garden will always cheer me up and flowers play such an important role in art; inspiring color, texture, pattern, shape, and designs for artists of every kind. From fashion to furniture, flowers are everywhere.
Before I started this blog I had the idea to count how many flowers I’ve painted over the years but I gave that up almost immediately because it’s practically impossible. I’m far more likely to paint a flower than I am to paint anything else. Partnering with BloomTV just made sense! Now I’m teaching flower painting alongside floral experts who teach everything there is to know about flowers from arrangements to sustainability. I love that I get to share my unbridled enthusiasm for painting with others!
Supplies for Painting Flowers
This varies widely from artist to artist and across mediums, but here is what I like to use!
- DIY Paints — I especially love the new Bohemian Brights collection with built-in topcoat but Blue Iris will always be my go-to.
- Paint Brushes — Not to brag but The Magic Pack (from my collaboration with Paint Pixie) has literally every brush you could ever need.
- Water — This is a personal preference, but I just love the way that water can give a more organic blend to brush strokes and pigment. I use my Water Girl continuous spray bottle more than any other tool in my studio!
Flower Painting Tips for Beginners
Before you dive into a tutorial or start painting willy-nilly, there are some things you can do to make sure your flower painting turns out gorgeous!
- Understand your tools. If you’re totally new to painting, take some time to familiarize yourself with the paintbrushes you have at your disposal. What shapes do they make on the canvas? How much paint do they hold?
- Understand your flowers. If you don’t have any fresh flowers available, check out a floral reference guide from the library (or your local thrift store!) to learn about the signature characteristics of different flowers. That way your flower will translate no matter what medium or art style you use. Consider petal shape, stamens, number of petals, color variations, and leaf placement!
- Understand your composition. I’m more of an intuitive painter, so most of the time I’m not sure what will end up on my canvas until after I’ve already put it there. The goal with composition is to draw the viewer’s eye where we want it to go. If you want to focus on a particular element (like a flower) then make sure the lines, shapes, colors, and balance direct the gaze there.
- Start with a background. This is a mistake I see all the time — we get so excited to paint the main attraction that we forget to set the stage! A strong background is key to creating a dynamic flower painting.
- Don’t be afraid to use a reference. It’s perfectly fine to paint from memory or your imagination but a reference can make things a lot easier! Using a reference allows us to block out shapes, lines, color, and depth so that we paint a more accurate representation of the flower.
Easy Flower Paintings
The biggest reason I love painting flowers? They’re EASY!!! There are so many different types and colors that you could completely screw up a painting and it would still resemble a flower. Every artist I know loves painting flowers because they make it easy to experiment with new styles, colors, and techniques.
I recommend starting with my (personal favorite) floral abstract canvas tutorial. My RISE abstract canvas tutorial is a great one for beginners or anyone who hasn’t built up a large paint collection yet as it incorporates a LOT of water over a large canvas for an impressively bold blossom.
The painting above is rise, done in two different colors. I love how versatile this tutorial is! I even turned it into a handbag (see below).
If you want to wing it, look for flowers that have simple, recognizable shapes. Peonies, roses, lavender, and daisies are all pretty easy to paint in every style. More complicated flowers, like irises and orchids, take more practice to perfect shape and perspective.
Want to join the BloomTV Network?
Calling all my flower lovers! Use my unique discount code and unlock 10% off your subscription! Code below:
I am so excited and honored to be a featured expert! I can’t wait to fill your feed with flowers.