Spring Tulips Tutorial for Keeton's Class

11:22 AM

Nothing says Spring to me quite the way tulips do and I have been loving all of the pretty flowers I see each time I step into the grocery store. They seem the perfect subject for a page in my sketchbook and I created a quick tutorial so you could join me!

The photo reference below is of some artificial tulips that I use to decorate with each spring:
Following general shapes, I drew individual flowers and leaves starting with the one closest to me and then adding the rest behind the last flower I drew until I had an odd number of blooms arranged on the page. If you follow the number order, you'll see where I started, what I drew first, second and so on:

I splashed paint using yellows, pinks, lavenders and coral for the blooms along with greens, yellows, blues, violets  and teal for the leaves. The stems have yellow and green:
Next, I used a piece of tracing paper to draw a simple outline around the outer-most edge of my tulips before carefully cut out around the shapes to create a mask:
Using a cardboard stencil, I then added the polka dots into the background. You'll note that the header, Happy Spring also shows up in this image—I forgot to take a photo!:
Using a cosmetic sponge, I dabbed paint from the palette to paint the dots. It is very important to use just enough water to get the paint to the sponge. The puddle of color should be mostly pigment. It will have a consistency of heavy cream. If you use too much water and the sponge gets too wet, the color will leak under the stencil and the edges will not be crisp and sharp:
You can either hold the tracing paper mask down or you can tape it down. Position the stencil and begin to dab color into the openings. It may take more than one application of paint to get to the level of color you want. Be careful not to let the sponge get over-saturated. If it becomes too wet, set it aside and grab another one.

Once everything is dry, go back and fix any edges that may not be to your liking and then add your header or text. Consider using a coordinating color like a darker green or pink rather than black.

Last go back and strengthen the outlines around the tulips to give them more energy:
Using broken lines as well as varying the line weight (thick vs. thin) gives the tulips a more dynamic feel than just the simple outline I started out with.

I hope you can join me at Keeton's down in Bradenton for the class on Saturday, April 25 and we'll paint tulips together!

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2 Creative Thought(s)

  1. Nice tutorial and love your page.

  2. Dear Laure-your tulips are beautiful. Great tutorial also. I always seem to learn something new when I visit you. Love your sponge idea for the background. Have a lovely day.


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