Watercolor Summer Flowers

We all love flowers, and what is more delightful than to paint a bouquet of summer blooms? Here is a simple, loose, easy summer painting for you to enjoy.

Flowers look their very best when they are painted loosely and with expression, and they are most forgiving, allowing you to freely redesign their leaves and petals to suit your composition to your heart’s content.

For this painting I used a piece of 90lb Arches watercolor paper. I don’t use Arches all the time as it is just too expensive for messing around with, and to tell the truth it can be disappointing in the way it absorbs color. But for florals you can’t do better, if you want to achieve a soft, fluid look. I can’t find 90lb on Amazon, but the 140lb is readily available. Here’s a link, plus a couple of other interesting looking papers to try. The Wanderings is handmade, Indian style, so bound to be irregular and ethnic, and the Sax is 90lb cold press at a very good price.

If you want something different from Arches, I really like this paper for the whimsical paintings I am doing at the moment and it is fine for light florals too. It’s very forgiving to watercolor and is a good surface for penwork. There are other mixed media papers too, and the Canson one is good.

For the drawing part of the painting I used a watercolor pencil. There are so many options for watercolor pencils nowadays, but to my mind the traditional German pencils can’t be bettered. My choices are shown below. I use a Staedtler Karat Aquarel in black. You can buy them individually or if you’re looking for a set, they have a good one for less than $60. The advantage of sketching in watercolor pencil is that the lines will melt away to a certain extent. I quite like the lines to remain visible on my paintings, and watercolor pencil is less shiny than regular graphite so suits this technique well.

For the painting of the picture I used my watercolors from A. Gallo in Italy. These are handmade watercolors which come in a range of delectable colors unavailable elsewhere. I have the Signature Set 1 and 2 and you can buy them direct from A. Gallo here: https://www.agallocolors.com/shop

Alternatively Jacksons Art do stock their 48 color set and smaller sets of 6 or 12 to try them out, and a starter 24 set but you need the 48 set to get the special colors. Find them all here:

And finally the brushes I used were a medium round, size 9, and a larger one, size 13 or so, for the background and larger parts of the painting. Depending on the size you design your painting, you might need a bigger or smaller brush.

Here are a few good options for brushes:

How to Paint the Watercolor Summer Flowers

Here are three more good choices for paper when you paint your picture.

And here are some options for inexpensive paints as a beginner.


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