White flowers on a dark background

The difficulty is to get the dark colours painted without getting streaks or running out of paint. Suggested colours: Sap green, cobalt blue, lemon yellow, alizerine. You can substitute raw sienna or yellow ochre instead of lemon yellow, for a more muted colour scheme

  1. Use a large brush
  2. Mix up lots of paint
  3. "Cheat" with your composition by dividing your painting into smaller sections so that you won't have to paint the whole background in one go. You can add extra stalks or flowers
  4. Use masking fluid on some areas to make painting easier. I recommend NOT to mask all the flowers, masked paintings always have a hard-edge look
cosmos1   cosmos2    cosmos3 
Divide the background into 3 areas. avoid lines that go into the corners. I have masked the flower at the top and some stalks - see here in turquoise. Then paint with loose washes. Don't forget your wash will dry lighter than expected.   Paint loosely around the petals with a large brush. Think about your focal point, see here how the white petals stand out against the dark brown. DRY completely Remove the mask (Note: NEVER use a hairdrier with mask and do not leave for more than a couple of days)   Paint in the centres with a pointed stick. Shadows on the petals are important otherwise the flowers will look flat Paint the shadows in different colours for variety. Then paint over the white stalks. You can also remove paint to add some darker stalks by painting with a fine brush and water. dab out the line with tissue