I’ve been sketch-booking a lot lately to practice more, explore new styles and techniques, and grow as an artist. Sketch-booking is where I illustrate and paint on my sketchbook regularly with the sole intention of painting anything that inspires me. It’s been a great way to explore new art styles, Try out new things, improve my painting techniques, and generally broaden my horizons as a Gouache artist and painter.
I recently came across this photograph of a beautiful bunch of Parrot Tulips by a photographer, Christine and I was immediately inspired to paint it. It took me about 8 sittings of about 1 hour each to complete this painting. I had been sharing this process on my Instagram and the response to it was so encouraging that I decided to show you a real-time process of video of how I go about painting flowers with Gouache.
Things you’ll need
For this entire painting, I used only 5 colours: Spectrum Red mixed with permanent Yellow for the peachy and other warmer tones, Primary Red mixed with permanent white for the brighter pink shades, and finally a bit of Permanent Green, the complimentary shade to red, to create some of the deeper shades like for shadows. I used the same permanent green mixes with white or yellow when needed for the leaves.
You’ll be surprised at how many shades and tones you can create from just a few tubes of paint. It's just a matter of playing around and experimenting with your colours and little knowledge of how colours work. Colour theory is almost a guilty pleasure of mine and if you’re interested in learning more about it, I’ve got a short but detailed course on this that you should definitely check out!
The flowers I’m painting in this video are Parrot Tulips and they are called so because they have these beautiful ruffled edges that resemble the texture of a parrot’s feathers. It looks truly magical and if you ask me, painting this felt like replicating a painting done by nature herself!
Before I started painting, I referred to the Book of Flowers to do a little practice painting before I jumped into the actual painting. This helped me understand, experiment, and get comfortable with the techniques I’ll be using throughout the process of painting these flowers.
In the video, you’ll see me painting the last few tulip buds and finishing the piece by adding some dimension to the leaves using shading and detailing techniques. You’ll be able to see me mix and pick colours and work my way forward from creating an outline and background to adding details like highlights and shadows to capture the parrot tulips on paper in all their magical glory! I also show a close-up of the painting so you can see the fine detailing that has gone into capturing the textures of this beautiful flower on canvas.
I hope this video inspires you to pick up an elaborate piece like this, work on it over a period of time, and watch it take shape!