Learning To Paint Loose Watercolour Flowers

Loose watercolour flowers has a different take on the level of detail and time dedicated to it than detailed flower painting. The borders of the petals, leaves and branches are much less defined and have a much more abstract and free adherence to minimal line art. I, personally, have always painted on the tighter and detailed end, whether in watercolours or oils, and probably still feel more confident in those too, but wanted to make an attempt on a more casual method. This is my first attempt, and will be sharing a step by step method of how I went about it :).

how to paint roses in watercolour simple

Starting with the background, create a light puddle of water using your thickest brush. Then, dip some coloured paint (from the same colour palette that you will be using to paint the flowers) on to it. The paint will find its own pathway, flowing in a beautiful and undirected route, creating its own array of colour blend across the wet areas.

Few painting mediums capture the delicate beauty of flower petals in bloom, their inherent translucent nature and natural flow, the way watercolour does.

Then, using a medium sized brush, paint some flower heads in casual, circular strokes.

These rose flowers are actually quite simple to paint. All you need is to get a medium sized brush and paint a ‘blob’ in a slightly circular motion something like this. This blob will be the base for the rose flower.

How to paint loose roses
How to paint loose roses

Then with a slightly thinner brush, paint a quick sketch of a rose on top of this base in a slightly different colour, something like this:

how to paint loose watercolour flowers step by step

Watercolour is a very loose and free-flowing medium, meaning that it lends better to a sense of a flower, more of an illustration of how flowers feel or appear to look than how they actually are.

how to paint roses in watercolour simple

You may mix and create new shades, either on a pallet, or directly on the paper if you feel adventurous, but it is helpful to decide on the type of flower that you’d like to paint in advance. A large part of the personality and grace of watercolour comes through most clearly by having different shades representing different plays of light and shadow on the subject of your painting.

Consider also, investing some time looking at flower references online, or even going out and taking pictures of living flowers around your community. A large part of painting loose watercolour flowers demands being able to draw the subject first, so you should cultivate an understanding of the general structure and design of the flowers you’re interested in.