You can create this!
As a professional artist, I paint and draw almost every day. Over time, I’ve developed some of my own techniques to creating artwork in many different mediums such as acrylic and mixed media using all sorts of elements and layers.
One of my favourite mediums is watercolour and/or pigment inks. Pigment Inks are actually made of acrylic but have a high saturation of pigment making them very vibrant and you know I love colour!
Experimentation is something anyone who likes to paint or draw should never stop doing because some of the very best work comes from trying new things and sometimes, even from mistakes!
Today I’m going to walk you through the pretty floral abstract pictured above and show you a number of ways you can increase interest and depth and individuality to this easy way of working with watercolours or pigment inks such as Liquated (and no I do not work for Liquitex I just love their product).
To follow my guide, you will need to gather:
• A piece of good quality thick 300gsm Watercolour Paper (mine is A3 but you can use A4).
• A selection of Liquitex Pigment Ink colours of your choice (around 6 colours ~ 1 for the leaves, 1 for the background and 3-4 for the actuall flowers )
• (I used: Magenta, Napthol Crimson, Yellow Orange Azo, Deep Violet, Phthalocyanine Green and Phthalocyanine Blue)
• Some Black Markers such as Very Fine Point Sharpies or Posca Pens (acrylic pens from art shops).
• A detailer paint brush (a very small art brush for fine details.
• A small flat ended paint brush.
• An ice cube tray or a watercolour paint tray.
• Water in a plastic cup
• Paper Towels or an old rag for wiping your brushes.
• Something to protect your clothes as pigment inks won’t wash out if you spill some on yourself.
This is an EASY style of painting because it is not super precise and produces a lovely ‘painterly style’ of abstract art. There are NO Mistakes so put your fear away and just give it a go.
This is an EASY style of painting because it is not super precise and produces a lovely ‘painterly style’ of abstract art.
There are NO Mistakes so put your fear away and just give it a go.
After organising your level table working space (you are painting this artwork flat on your table not on a easel) and your equipment and paints. Pour a very small amount of pigment ink (maybe two drops) into your ice cube tray or watercolour paint tray and add a tiny bit of water (maybe three or four drops) to each colour in your tray. Stir each colour.
Start by dipping your clean small flat ended brush in the clean water and draw a simple flower shape onto your watercolour paper.
Then dip your detailer brush into one of the colours you have selected and touch the tip onto the water flower shape. Watch what happens!
The pigment will spread by itself into any paper where you placed water, but not beyond the wet edges. Dip again into another chosen colour and again touch the tip into the watery flower shape you made. Both colours will start to blend.
You can use your detailer brush to direct the colour where you want it to flow but don’t do brush strokes inside the flower shape as it will only over blend the colours. If your watercolour paper starts to warp a little that is quite normal. Some artists tape their paper down onto a back board first. I just do my thing, wait until completely dry and place under some books or other flat heavy object to flatten the artwork out again. I only use 300gsm watercolour paper because anything thinner than that will over warp and may not flatten properly when you are finished.
Don’t worry about doing the leaves and flower centres like I have in the photo. That happens later after things dry off. Make your flower shapes big, medium and small for visual interest. Make some stronger colour and some lighter colour simply by changing how much pigment ink you place on the watery paper.
Practice makes perfect! This will give you the idea…
Once you have created your abstract flower shapes in various sizes over the entire piece of watercolour paper leave it all TO DRY COMPLETELY. Don’t rush watercolour art – it needs to be done in parts, dried and then more parts are added and dried etc.
Now move on to the green Leaves. Using the same technique as detailed in Step One, use your clean water and make a small simple leaf shape in the gaps between the flowers you have already painted and dried as pictured above. Dip your detailer brush into the green pigment ink in your tray and put the tip into the watery leaf shape. Again the colour should spread by itself over the watery shape.
Once you have placed and coloured ALL the leaf shapes again leave the painting TO DRY COMPLETELY.
Again same technique as in Step One. Put a small drop of water into the centre of each abstract flower shape, add the pigment colour of your choice with the detailer brush and leave to DRY COMPLETELY. Your painting should look similar to mine pictured above.
Now it’s all about the background colour. This WILL take some patience and good light so that you can see where you have wet the paper around the leaves and flowers. You are using the same technique in Step One (use your small flat ended brush to paint clean water in a section around the flowers and leaves, then using your detailer brush put the tip with pigment ink into the watery area). Before you start step four, check that your painting is completely dry.
Again, you can direct the flow of colour into the water with the detailer brush. Use more pigment ink in some areas and less in others. What you are trying to achieve is contrast against the flowers and interest by varying the intensity of the background colour like I did in the pic below.
It is OK if you go over some of the edges of the flowers or leaves when painting in the background because it is all about the ‘painterly style’ of this painting.
TIP: If you keep paper towels handy, you can remove any over-spill by simply placing the edge of the paper towel over the watery paint and it will be sucked up off the paper. If you decide to do this, do it quickly before the pigment ink starts to soak into the paper.
Once you are finished the background and happy with it again leave the artwork flat to DRY COMPLETELY.
Here is a close up of my artwork at this stage:
You have completed your Pretty Floral Abstract Painting!
And for those who want more….How about some VARIATIONS?
You can create a more styled painting by adding a variation from the above three options (or make up your own!).
No. 1 ~ This variation involves tracing the outlines of each flower with clean water and placing a very small amount of the pigment ink into it to create a more defined outline. Then using the end of your detailer paintbrush use different coloured pigment inks to place little dots inside the flower centre. I used a dark colour and a light colour to add depth.
No. 2 ~This variation uses the Posca Pen in White. Simply draw around the flower and leaf shapes. Then use the Posca Pen to put tiny white squiggles (or dots) in the centre of each flower shape.
No. 3 ~ This variation uses a Posca Pen in Black (OR a black very fine Sharpie pen). Again like Variation no. 2, draw around each flower shape and leaf shape. Keep the line very fine and break the line a little on the leaves (see the pic above). Then using your pigment paints put a drop of your chosen colour/s into the centre of each flower and leave TO DRY. Once dry draw the fine lines around the centre of the flower (as pictured above) and add a dot of colour the SOME of the ends.
I went with Variation no. 1 and here it is in progress:
I hope you have enjoyed following this tutorial for Pretty Abstract Flower Painting by Australian Artist Lisa Frances Judd. If so let me know.
Any questions you have about this tutorial please leave in the COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.
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