How To Paint Flowers with Acrylics

Tools and Techniques

Female artist painting on canvas

Painting can be a relaxing or frustrating endeavor. Starting with flowers can be an interesting way to develop your skill. Follow the painting tips in these steps and you will be able to paint flowers with acrylic paints. 

To paint flowers using acrylics:

Painting Materials:
Acrylic paints (in a variety of colors)

Painting Tools:
Paint brushes (in a variety of sizes)

  1. Decide how many flowers you will paint and how they will be arranged. The key to layering flowers on canvas is that less is more. Your plan doesn’t have to be exact--just indicate general sizes and placement.
  2. Sketch out the rough placement of the flowers onto the canvas. Use light lines. Once you have the rough sketch, stand back at least 3’ so that you can see the lines and get an overall picture of your canvas. Use your pencil to sketch in any holes or rearrange your blooms.
  3. Prepare the canvas. Arrange your paints and brushes where they are handy for your reach. Set your canvas on an easel or work desk to begin your work. Paint any background color or texture.
  4. Start with the center of the blooms. You should be layering the flowers, so start with those at the back of the display. Using a fine brush and a bit of yellow acrylic paint, dab paint where you want the center of the back flowers to be.
  5. Create the petals. Starting with the darkest shade of the petal, place a small amount of acrylic paint onto a wide paint brush. When you touch the paint to canvas, turn it clockwise a quarter or half turn to create an arc or partial swirl. Repeat the stroke around the flower. If you like the rounded shape, move to the next step. If you want a more pointed edge or looped petal, take the same paintbrush and paint color and apply a thin layer of paint in the opposite direction. Where you position the brush for the brush stroke creates either a pointed petal or a softer round petal.
  6. Once the dark colors dry, add highlight and accent colors. Using a lighter shade of paint or mixing the original color with white, apply paint with a thin brush. Paint a few highlighting strokes to add depth to the flowers.
  7. Repeat steps for additional flowers. If you have overlap to another layer of flowers, be sure to allow the first layer to dry before adding to it.
  8. Add leaves and stems. Using a dark green paint, add in lines of varying thickness for stems. Use a wider brush for creating the leaves.
  9. Finish off painting. Use either a vase or bowl to hide the stems and finish off the painting.

Experiment with these acrylic painting techniques when you can and you will have a garden of acrylics to decorate your home. Painting with acrylics takes time and practice, so prepare to be patient and give yourself time to learn to create something beautiful. Just because you know how to paint with acrylics doesn't mean you'll know how to create beautiful flowers right away, so be persistent.

If you are interested in learning even more, you may find that attending an online art and design university will give you the motivation you need to practice your painting and perfect your craft!


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