Art Swirls 1. {new series!}


Guess what? Brand new series guys…

I promised a new series, right? Well…here’s another one. Basically- there will be three contributors to this series: Emma, (me) Emily (from guest post), and Ellie. The three E’s, the three musketeers 😛 . Today’s post is by Ellie and I (we’ll mostly focus on my drawing as Ellie was behind me in steps). Here’s the inspiration/prompt photo for this project.

I think this is supposed to be a BLUE flower? 🙂


Step One: choose your colors. 

I chose: lemon yellow, titanium white, cerulean blue, ultramarine, crimson red, black, and yellow ochre.


Step Two: start with the yellow in the background. 

With a medium sized ‘mommy’ brush I did two areas: the normal yellow paint, and the yellow paint mixed with some white and some water. I will keep using this brush until I tell you otherwise. Tip: keep looking at the reference photo! When you do, you will see which parts of the background need to be light/dark.


Step Three: add water to your brush along with a drop more of white paint. The, dab the brush around the lighter area- lightening it further.


Tip: Notice the shape of the lighter area looks sort of like a heart. You can also remove any hair from off the painting with anything sharp- just don’t dig a hole through your painting!


Step Four: now darken the ‘dark’ spots with the normal yellow. Then, dry it with a hairdryer. img_4152-001


Step Five: Now choose a circular object in the size that you want the center of your flower to be, and trace around it with a pencil. 

Tip: make sure it’s in about the same place as mine is in the picture. Look at the reference photo first-and make sure you keep looking at it during the tutorial.


Step Six: Now freehand two wider circles around the original circle. 


Tip: if you want to be more precise, you can find two more objects about the size that you want them to be. Be as creative as you like- just try to stay somewhat with the reference photo.  


Step Seven: Freehand in the five petals.

Tip: watch out for the curviness of the petals and for the little points at the top of each one. AND make sure you keep looking at the reference photo. 


Step Eight: and now you may freehand the shape/outline of the ladybug. img_4160

Tip: try drawing three dots for the circular shape of the ladybug. And also notice that the dots aren’t right on top of each other. Rather, the bottom two are a little to the right of the top two. 


Step Nine: the next step is to add your lighter blue with a medium angled brush. And also the normal red of the ladybug. Also add more circles around your original ones, according to what you think of the reference photo. 

Tip: dot the brush with a teeny little bit of white to lighten the light blue even further. You can erase any mistakes with a little water on a dry brush. 


Step Ten: Now you can begin blending in and adding some of your dark color all over the petals.


Tip: Look at the way the reference photo looks. Especially focus on the blending of the petals.


Step Eleven: the petals should look similar to what you see in my below photo. The next step is to add your dark color the the very first circle around the middle. Then add red to the circle directly below it. 

Tip: blend the bottom of the circles together as you go.


Step Twelve: Now for the fun! Experiment with colors and blending in the middle of the flower. Just make sure whatever you do is well blended.

Tip: Be creative! I added those black dots to the middle of mine and just kept on bleeding things together. I also added further detail with yellow ochre. 


Step Thirteen: Paint in the ladybug and it’s details. Make sure that you dry it and everything else before adding the white highlight to it. Then TA-DA! You’re done.

Tip: You can experiment with cleaning up the background if you’d like. 




Hope you guys enjoyed this!

Special thanks: To Ellie, for helping me hold things for the shot, and for painting with me.



I love comments, and profitable discussion. Feel free to comment, just please keep comments respectful and free of any profanity or bad language.

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