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Painting flowers in mixed media from an abstract background

Painting flowers form imagination
Inspiration / Mixed media / Painting / Painting Flowers from Imagination / Painting technique / Popular posts / Step by step demonstrations

Painting flowers in mixed media from an abstract background

It can be a fun sometimes to make a painting only from imagination. As a blank canvas can be intimidating, I like to start this kind of painting with an abstract background as it gives a starting point for you imagination to kick off.

You might also like: Online art class: Painting Flowers from imagination in mixed media

Here are the steps you can take to paint flowers in mixed media from an abstract background

You will need:

  • A stretched canvas, I used a 12 x 12 inches canvas
  • Fluid acrylic gel medium
  • a spatula
  • Fluid acrylic, I used Golden
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A spray bottle of water
  • Brushes
  • Sharpie white oil marker
  • White acrylic, I used Pebeo
  • White Sharpie Oil marker
  • charcoal, conte pierre noire or Nupastelcolor stick.
  • Water resistant acid free markers,I used Sakura Pigma micron markers

1- paint an abstract background on your canvas

apply gel medium on your canvas with a spatula

Apply gel medium with a spatula on a 12 x 12 gesso primed canvas.

add a few drops of fluid acrylic ink on top of the gel medium

Then splatter a few drips of fluid acrylic ink here and there on the wet gel medium.

spray your canvas with water

Spread the gel and fluid acrylic with a spatula and spray a bit of water to help the colors mingle.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.


Daler-Rowney FW Acrylic Water-Resistant Artists Ink

FW Artists Ink is an acrylic-based, pigmented, water-resistant ink in a range of 38 colors, all of which have either a three-star or four-star rating for permanence. FW Artists Inks work well with airbrushes, dip pens, technical pens and brushes. – Primary Colors Set

abstract background on canvas

The canvas will looks something like this at that point.

add visual texture by dripping some alcohol on the paint and gel medium

To add a bit more texture you can add  a few drops of alcohol as well.

wait for your abstract background to dry

I also added a few drops of white fluid acrylic.

Wait for the canvas to dry completely before going to the next steps.

2-Looking for shapes in the abstract background:

outline shapes before painting the negative space

Then the fun part begins, as you have to try to find shapes in the abstract patterns of the canvas. Outline these shapes with charcoal, conte pierre noire or Nupastelcolor stick.

3-Paint the negative space with white acrylic paint:

paint the negative space with white acrylic paint

Then block all the negative space with white acrylic paint or any other color you want to use.

the negative space has been painted in white in the slower still life

4- Exploring a few ideas for the backgound

Time to add some extra details and patterns, but first I want to add a bit of complexity to the background.

mixing acrylic inks to paint over the background

I want to try a purplish color in the background.

a layer of purple over the white acrylic

I am painting this mix around my red orange positive shapes on the background.

the mixed media painting with a purple background

The purple is too dark for the background but it will make interesting edges around the red shapes.

painting the background white a second time

I am adding another layer of semi transparent white acrylic, the purple still shows at some edges.

layering colors on top of the white acrylic

I am then painting a very light green wash of fluid acrylics.


Now I will add design, with an oil white marker and with a red marker.

5- Adding details and patterns to the flower painting

whimsical designs around the painted flowers

You can use markers to add designs, make sure they are water resistant and acid free.

adding patterns around the flowers with a marker on canvas

You can get inspiration for your designs in many places, I like to look at zentangle designs.

layering with watercolor on top of the acrylic paint

You can paint with watercolor or fluid acrylic on top of selected areas.

adding details to the leaves in mixed media flower painting
drawing polka dots with a white sharpie marker

You can use a White Sharpie Oil marker to add designs on top of a darker background.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, White, Medium Point

Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers are great for touching up wood and metal, personalizing belongings, or adding pizzazz to school projects. Decorate and add accents to a variety of items, even non-porous materials such as glassware and terracotta.

drawing stripes with a marker on canvas

Add stripes, dots, and any kind of repetitive pattern.

lighten up some areas with white acrylic paint

You can also paint over some areas with white acrylic paint to lighten them up.

Painting flowers form imagination from an abstract background in mixed media

Orange Bouquet, mixed media on canvas, 12 x 12 inches

5/5 - (1 vote)

Comments (8)

  1. arebelred95063400

    Thank you for sharing so much. You are a great inspiration. Lois

    1. Thanks Lois! I am very happy to hear that 🙂

  2. Kelly

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing techniques. I always love to see what other artists are creating and how they achieve it.

    1. Thanks Kelly, It makes me happy if I can inspire other Artists to try different techniques 🙂

    2. Thanks Kelly 🙂

  3. […] Orange BouquetA mixed media painting tutorial […]

  4. CheyAnne Sexton

    This looks like so much fun. I love your sense of color and the abstract designs you find. Thanks for sharing, just wish I had the room to spread out to other mediums. Still living in construction , so someday I will have more space.
    peace n abundance,

    1. Thanks CheyAnne, Cheers 🙂

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