How to paint roses with acrylics

Written by andrew dewitt
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How to paint roses with acrylics
(Illustrations by Andrew DeWitt)

Acrylic paint comes in many vibrant colours and is readily available in both fine art and hobby craft stores. One of the greatest strengths of acrylic paint is its affordability. Acrylic paint is much cheaper than oil paint and can still produce beautiful paintings. A favourite subject for people to paint is flowers. One of the most beautiful flowers is the rose. It has been immortalised in paintings, poetry and photography. Painting roses with acrylics can be done with some simple paint layering and blending techniques.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Pre-gessoed canvas
  • Maroon acrylic paint
  • White acrylic paint
  • Forest green acrylic paint
  • Light green acrylic paint

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  1. 1

    Draw the roses out on your canvas with a pencil first. Draw the petals of the rose with pentagon (five-sided) shapes. Place these petals in a circular fashion. Make the outside petals large and the inside petals smaller. Draw the stems with two curved parallel lines for each stem. Add thorns with small curved cones. Draw the leaves with diamond shapes. Add small a line in the centre of each leaf. Create as many roses as you wish by repeating this process. Add a small bush to the back with a curved line running up behind the flowers. Dip the line towards the centre of the canvas and back out again to create a the jagged edges of the booth.

    How to paint roses with acrylics
  2. 2

    Mix one brush load of brown paint with a 1/2 cup of water. Paint the entire canvas brown. The watered down paint will let the pencil lines show through. Let the paint dry. Clean your brush and wet it. Dip the tip of the brush into the maroon paint and mix it back and forth until it spreads easily. Apply this colour as the base for all your roses. Clean your brush and using a wet brush mix up the forest green paint as before and spread the paint over the bush and stems.

    How to paint roses with acrylics
  3. 3

    Dip your brush into the light green paint. Spread this over the stems and leaves. Add a dab of yellow paint to this. Add as much yellow paint as you can fit on the corner or tip of paint brush. Paint just the left hand side of the stems and the top of the leaves. Mix the maroon with a tiny bit of white (just as much as can fit on the tip of the brush) and use this to add highlights to the rose petals. Apply the paint to the outside edges of each petal.

    How to paint roses with acrylics
  4. 4

    Add some water to the brush and blend the pink paint into the maroon by gently pushing the brush towards the centre of the rose. Do these for each petal. Clean and wet the brush. Blend the light green paint into the leaves by pushing your wet brush from the edges of the leaves to the centre of each leaf. Wet the brush slightly and tap the tip of the brush over the background bush to give the bush some texture. Dip the tip of your brush in brown paint. Brush this on the tips of the thorns and sides of the stems.

    How to paint roses with acrylics

Tips and warnings

  • Begin blending the paint as soon as possible before the paint dries.

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