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How to choose a theme to help you find inspiration in a painting on ARTiful painting demos by Sandrine Pelissier

Painting flowers from imagination with watercolor on canvas : Ikebana

Painting with watercolor on canvas is possible. The main challenge is that the paint can lift off very easily even when dried. One technique you can try is to paint an abstract background with watercolor and then fix it before painting on top with mixed media.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find the inspiration to start a new painting. You can choose a theme to help you get started, for example my love for Japanese designs was an inspiration for a new mixed media flower painting with a Japanese flair.

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

Here are the steps you can take to paint flowers with watercolor on canvas

You will need

  • Canvas, I used 12 x 12 inches pre-streched canvas
  • Krylon workable fixative
  • Acrylic paint, I used Pebeo in titanium white and Payne’s grey
  • Prismacolor Art Stix in black
  • Krylon workable fixative
  • Blue Sakura Micron marker
  • White Oil Sharpie marker
  • Watercolor paint, I used Yarka watercolors.
  • Fluid Acrylic, I used Liquitex Ink in blue
  • An Ink Pen

Painting the abstract background with watercolors

watercolor on canvas wet into wet

It is way more easy to start from a background that is not plain white if you want to paint from imagination.

watercolor abstract background with krylon fixative

Here an abstract background is painted with watercolors that have be mixed wet into wet on the canvas.

Once the watercolor has dried, I spray it with Krylon workable fixative, so I will be able to paint on top of that watercolor layer with white acrylic without the watercolor paint tinting the white.

Looking for shapes in the abstract design.

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.

Yarka St. Petersburg Professional Watercolor Pans

Same palette of traditional colors the great masters used a century ago. Liquid-poured means semi-moist pans respond instantly to a wet brush. 24 pans in plastic case. Also individual pans. – Master Set

outlining shapes with nupastel crayons before negative painting

Once you have a starting point, that is a background, think about your them and try to isolate shapes that fit that theme. For example with my Japanese theme I was looking for a shape that would more or less look like an orchid. I used a Prismacolor Art Stix to outline those shapes.

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.

 

Prismacolor Art Stix

Prismacolor Art Stix are artist-quality woodless colored pencils for every level of expertise. Especially suited for color coverage of large areas, Art Stix offer a bold, smooth laydown of color.

Painting the negative space in white Acrylic

Painting the negative space in white acrylic

Once you have outline the shapes that fit your theme, paint everything else (negative space) in white acrylic, or a color of your choice.

Painting the negative space in white acrylic

Your painting will look something like this after the first step.

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.

Krylon Workable Matte Fixatif

Gives lasting protection to pencil, charcoal and chalk, yet erases easily. Clear, matte fixative is easy to work with. Dries in seconds, doesn’t wrinkle, smudge or smear. Spray can.

Acrylic glazing with a touch of Payne’s grey

acrylic glazing with Paynes grey paint

You can add a few more colors by painting over a few areas. Think about what colors would fit well with your theme and try to keep them a bit transparent so you can see a bit of the texture underneath.

All the negative space has been painted with white acrylic

Adding patterns with markers and pen and ink

painting on canvas with markers sakura micron

Then start to add details to the shapes you kept, it will make it easier to guess what they are.

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.

Sakura Pigma Micron Pen

Pigma Micron pens are acid-free and archival, making them ideal for any application requiring precision and permanance. Pigma ink is derived from a single pigment to ensure color consistency, and is fadeproof against sunlight or UV light. – Set of 6, Black

Adding patterns to a flower with markers sakura micron

If like me you like patterns, you can also add them with markers.

adding patterns with dipping pen and ink

You can also use a pen and ink or fluid acrylic to add patterns on top of the watercolor or the acrylic.

painting on canvas with pen and ink

Try to keep your pattern designs consistent with the theme you chose.

White oil sharpie marker polka dots

A White oil sharpie marker can be used to add white highlights and designs.

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.

painting with diluted fluid acrylic on top of marker

Diluted fluid acrylic ink can be applied with a brush on top of the marker designs.

watercolor and mixed media flower painting on canvas

The finished painting: Ikebana, Mixed media on canvas, 12 x 12 inches

 What theme would inspire you to paint from imagination?

Painting flowers from imagination with watercolor on canvas : Ikebana
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