Practice the tulips before attempting the composition
Tulips are quite an easy flower to paint as the shape is fairly simple they are a great subject for wet-in-wet techniques
Colours: ultramarine blue, quinacrinone rose, sap green, raw sienna
- On scrap paper draw the tulips with a soft pencil
- Paint the blue tulip using blue + rose. Allow the colours to mix on the paper
- Whilst the blue is still damp paint in the stem with raw sienna + sap green. The blue will run down and merge with the green.
- The white tulip is not totally white. Add some raw sienna to the mixture of blue + rose to make a very pale blue grey and paint in the shadows on the sides and underneath. Add a touch of yellow to the bottom while paint is still wet. Dry
- Paint the large leaf on the right of the white tulip with a mixture of sap green and ultramarine. Allow the colours to mix on the paper the colour should be darker under the flower.
- Add the leaves to the left and top of white flower with a mixture of yellow + green + blue so that the flower is almost (but not completely) surrounded by green tones.
Sketch the composition
- I have chosen a square format. Try to make some of the leaves and flowers touch the edges of the paper.
- Decide where your focal point will be. I have chosen one of the white tulips. I will make the surrounding leaves darker to give a counterchange effect between the darkest dark and the lightest light. Tulip leaves bend over and curl which allows you to make your negative shapes interesting.
- Start by painting the blue tulips. Don't paint them all the same colour! Allow ultramarine blue and quinacrinone rose to blend on the paper.
- Paint carefully around the white flowers
- Paint in the leaves with a mixture of either sap green + sienna or sap green + ultramarine.
- If necessary darken the colours around the white focal point.