Since I'll be hanging this "S" in my studio I figured what better flowers to use for inspiration than my wedding bouquet! I love the super soft colours of the blooms, but since white flowers don't always come across as well in video I'll be using a slightly more saturated palette. You don't have to follow a picture exactly but I like to have a general idea of what I want to include before I begin.
I use 9" x 12" 140lb Arches Cold Press Watercolour Paper
I use the following Winsor & Newton/Cotman colours:
Permanent Rose, Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue, Cadmium Orange Hue, Intense Green, Winsor Green (blue shade), Winsor Violet (dioxazine)
2 ROUND BRUSHES WITH POINTED TIPS
I use two size 10 brushes - one for the flowers and the other for the greenery
I draw and cut my own stencils using a scrap piece of cardstock so I can customize the shape and size of each letter. You can also buy pre-made stencils in a variety of sizes at any art supply store.
PENCIL + ERASER
TRACE YOUR STENCIL
Make sure that you use a VERY faint pencil line. If you press too hard it will be difficult to fully erase the pencil after your painting is finished.
Before I work on the final piece I like to create a quick study on a cheaper piece of paper so I have an idea of where I'd like to place the flowers .
When composing your piece focus on variety. Showing the flowers from different angles will add interest to your piece. I also like to create the sense of movement with the greenery. The leaves and little buds will twist and curve rather than using perfectly straight lines.
STEP 1: BEGIN WITH YOUR MAIN BLOOM
Spacing your bigger blooms throughout the letter creates a more balanced composition.
Begin with the large, peach bloom at the bottom of the "S". Create the centre of the flower first by moving the tip of your brush in curved motions, then continue working outwards to develop the larger petals. Gently blend in darker peach tones by dabbing the richer colour into the centre area of the flower.
STEP 2: BEGIN THE GREENERY
Create the leaf shape by gently sweeping your brush in curved motions for either side, leaving a small section of white space in the centre. Continue adding two more stems that curve upwards and down towards the bottom of the letter. Adding these delicate stems breaks up the white space in between blooms and adds movement to your composition.
STEP 3: BEGIN THE GREEN BUDS
Begin painting the buds using curved strokes with your brush. Make sure to use the pointed tip to create the delicate, thin line for the stems. Continue adding in some more leaves to surround the other side of your flower using the darker green paint.
STEP 4: FILL IN THE EDGES
Return to your peach paint to fill in small areas that complete the letter form. Don't worry if your paint overlaps your pencil line. If it has been drawn faintly you'll have no problem erasing your line once the paint has dried.
While filling in more peach petals you'll see I made a little mistake -- no biggie! It happens to all of us! I didn't really like the lines I added in there so I quickly blotted it away with the paper towel and painted a nice green leaf that blended on top. Much better!
STEP 5: ADD THE SMALLER GREEN BUDS
Mixing a variety of slightly different greens will create a more interesting composition. Begin painting the stems with the tip of your brush then add the small buds on top. Make sure to vary the direction of each bud, touching some to the edge of your pencil line.
STEP 6: BEGIN THE PALE PINK BLOOM
Create the shape of the pale pink bloom starting with the centre and working outwards with larger petals to surround the green stem. Switch your brush and begin painting the green leaves that sweep and surround the flower. Gently touching your brush to the edge of the bloom will allow the paint to blend nicely between the leaves and the flower.
Continue adding a few more dabs of greenery to fill out the white space.
STEP 7: PAINT THE PALE YELLOW FLOWER
Make sure your brush is clean and mix a pale yellow tone for your next bloom. Begin in the centre and continue with sweeping strokes to create the outer petals. Add more definition to the centre and a few surrounding petals by dabbing darker pigment on top.
Switch your brush and paint in the greenery surrounding the top and bottom of the flower.
STEP 8: LIME GREEN BUDS
Continue adding more lime green buds that curve around the shape of the letter. Make sure the buds reach the edge of the pencil line and vary the angles of each so they look more natural.
STEP 9: ORANGE BLOSSOMS
Add in the orange blossoms making sure they continue to curve around the shape of the letter, extending to the edges of the pencil line.
STEP 10: FILL IN THE WHITE SPACE
Using a faint blue-green shade, paint some additional leaves surrounding your flowers. The pale tone will help define the shape of the letter without detracting from the main blooms.
STEP 11: CORAL BLOOM
Connect the coral bloom to the orange blossoms, adding some darker marks to define the centre. Continue adding rounded shapes and leaf shapes that extend to the edges of your pencil line to complete the letter form.
STEP 12: FINAL DETAILS
Finish off your monogram by adding some darker shadows and details. Make sure to work quickly while the paint is still wet or the blend of colours won't be as smooth.
Once the paint has fully dried you can erase your pencil line and your monogram will be ready to frame!
Thanks so much for painting with me!