Painting Simple & Loose Watercolour Flowers

Simple floral illustrations are usually hand painted with a minimalistic, brushstroke-forward floral aesthetic appearance. Elements are made up of full flowers, designs depicting stems and basic leaf structures, petal designs, and additional watercolour splatter designs that, while floral in its hinting of petal structures, can be used to create any splash of colour that you desire.

With each individual element being usable as a separate entity, or in conjunction with any other element, floral illustrations like this, with their light green stems and blushing red flowerheads, can be used to great effect on nature journals and other art projects.

Line drawings leaf stem

Beginning with the stem designs, there are a few unique choices at play. Some of the minimalist stem designs has darker, more heavy-handed line style, and some of the other are a lighter hand, painted with almost a pencil lineart quality, hinting at the base sketch layer that the watercolour was layered over carefully. With these elements, you can alternate using both to create the feeling of swaying grass, or add them as the framing of detailed, elaborate calligraphy to accentuate more heavily detailed linework without overshadowing it.

Line drawings watercolor

Moving on to complete flower elements, each one can be hand-painted in loose splashes in any colours of your choice. I have used shades of orange and red. The splatter is added to create brusque, quick-handed details sketched overtop to suggest the inner components of a flower without detracting from the minimalist design.

watercolor flower illustrations

At increasing levels of detail, we have one flower with a looping, three-petalled outline and a smattering of splatter. Alongside, we have a simplistic flower bud bowing its head off to the side like a dancer. Followed by an additional flower with a more complex lineart being exhibited, with far more petals and even the beginning of the finer, delicate structures at the centre of the flower structure.

Watercolour Floral Clipart

This second flower is similarly painted in reds and oranges, but uses a looser, more jazzy style of watercolour, with the lines not being followed nearly as closely, and employs greater use of white space and the cream of the paper beneath, with the splatter effect used only minimally, at the centre of the flower, nearly unseen without looking for it.

Watercolour Floral illustration

Lastly, the third flower is the most detailed, and also the most bold, with large, brash flower petals reaching out in wine-coloured reds and tangerines. The details added are so fine that you can even see the little tendrils of the pistil at the centre of the flower, and the splatter is in full effect, smearing colour out and onto the page beyond it.

With each level of added detail and colour, each flower can be used to create different effects in the designs that they are added to. Easily incorporated into the background of other pieces without overwhelming the eye of the viewer, and also without the risk of disappearing into the background.

The next flower, having more complex detail, stands better towards the centre of the piece. Better to be used in papercraft and alongside word art, since it will function better in the foreground of the design, rather than faded in the background, where its details might appear more busy.

Lastly, the third flower, being so colourful and bold, should be used sparingly, and to accentuate subtle and delicate designs. For example, you can use it alongside light-coloured text on your journal to add a splash of colour, and call attention to finer details by virtue of the attention it commands.

Watercolor splatter

A watercolour splatter like this can be used separately of the flowers, and an additional one that is simply the fallen petals. The fallen petals, naturally, can be layered with the other flower designs to suggest a cohesive design structure.

The petals can also be used in and of themselves to add splashes of colour to subtle designs, such as incorporating them into a banner to use on your journal. The splatter, similarly, can be used either as its own design element, or as an additional splash of colour to other designs, both digital or analog, or used on its own right as a brush, or an element in an abstract artwork. Using both light greens and reds, it implies a brushstroke splattering paint across the page, or even as an abstract flowerhead of its own right, depending on what tone you choose to strike with it and to what end.

botanical illustration

Watercolour illustrations like this bear a floral, yet simplistic design. Each element, used together with other elements in the set, with elements of another design, or even uniquely on its own, can be used to create minimalist, yet expressive art, since each was painted by hand with an eye for brash and impressionist expression.

When used in nature journals, they can act either to add minimalist colour, or to accentuate and draw attention to other design elements you may add around them. Used as part of an art piece, they can be added to suggest linework, imply flowers that are painted individually, yet without being overly detailed, and can be used to compliment a jazzy, freehand style of artwork and design, to any end you see fit. Each design will be unique in its character and its style, having been painted by hand individually.

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