How to paint a realistic red rose in watercolour with Anna Mason

September 11, 2019 posted by

Hi it’s Anna Mason. We all know that red roses are known for their
romantic symbolism But with the rich, velvety and almost smoky
quality to their petals they can be a real challenge to paint in watercolour. So in this tip video I thought I’d show you
how I went about painting this red rose so that I achieved those effects. Let me walk you through it. I worked from a photograph of a rose I’d taken
and created a detailed outline drawing marking out ALL of the petals within the full centre. Initially I painted – with pale watery washes
– all of the slightly different colours within the flower as well as the leaf and stem – so
I could see what colours needed to go where. When it came to the more smoky grey colours
within the petals, I added my dark grey – Payne’s Gray as well as some of my brown which is
Burnt Sienna colours into some of the crimson colour which was my base colour for the rose
in general. Keeping the mix watery I applied it to the
petals that had this more grey hue. Once that was dry I created a much thicker
version of the smoky, almost black colour to apply to the very darkest parts of the
petals Then I watered the mix down a little to extend
it out to the next darkest areas with this more grey colour to them. I made sure I stippled with my brush to achieve
the amount of visual texture I could see in these petals. That left the petals looking too disjointed
and high contrast, so once the layer had dried I applied a brighter crimson mix over the
top as a glaze in some areas, to unify the texture and achieve a brighter colour, whilst
still getting some of the smoky, velvety, effects coming through. Next I worked on darkening the midtones in
the rest of the petals, using fairly thick mixes and changing the colours in my mix to
match the colours I could see in the reference photo. With those darkened I could see
that the lighter tone areas which had the more grey, velvety colour to them, needed
darkening some more so I used a fairly watery purplish grey mix to darken some, and
my Payne’s Gray Burnt Sienna mix again to apply to the more gray brown areas Then I went on to darken the lighter tone
areas throughout the flower with the brighter colours that I could see within the reference
photo. With the lighter tones darkened I could
begin the stage of tonal adjustments, going back to the darkest tones and darkening them
some more. Before going on to darken the midtones with
another layer, making sure to keep altering the colours in my mix to match all the different
shades I could see within the photo. Then I could again darken up the more purple
gray and brown gray petals with another fairly watery mix. Darkening gradually in this way means you
don’t risk taking what are basically some of the highlights within the painting too
dark too quickly – which would have the effect of flattening the painting. Instead we can achieve some 3D effects with
the petals so the flower really pops of the paper. Once the leaves and petals had been painted
– and therefore darkened I could see that the darkest tones within the flower could
be darkened once again and I made those final adjustments until I was happy that the flower
looked soft and velvety enough to want to bury my nose into! A full video tutorial of this red rose is
available now in my online School. If you’ve enjoyed this tip video, please subscribe
to my YouTube channel and I’d love it if you’d share this video with your friends. And if you’d like to take one of my tried
and tested video classes FOR FREE, please visit where you’ll find even more resources to help you pick up your brush and
paint the way you’ve always wanted to. Remember, you won’t improve your painting
unless you MAKE the time to paint. So be sure to schedule in some me-time this
week and paint something YOU love. Thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you
soon with another tip for creating watercolours with ‘wow’.


5 Replies to “How to paint a realistic red rose in watercolour with Anna Mason”

  1. Santiago Ospina R says:

    Hello Anna. I love your videos but, what Spanish-speaking YouTuber recommends us to learn to work with watercolors? Greetings from Colombia
    Saludos desde Colombia

  2. creativeartwellbeing says:

    What a lovely motivational video!!! Loved how this came to life! 💕

  3. Fairy Angel says:

    You are sooo beautyful as well as your painting loved it 😍😍😍😍😍

  4. Learn to Paint with Createful Art says:

    I love the pretty details.

  5. Windys.Art says:

    Amazing painting as always! Thanks so much for sharing!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *