Paint Techniques for Roses


Today’s mini project is about exploring painterly marks in pinks and reds to create petal shapes and round forms for roses. The rose shapes will be used as components in collages along with drawing and painting elements.

You'll need:

  • Deli paper

  • Matte medium (to cover each sheet before you start painting, as well as to mix and extend the paint for the creation of the shapes). Paintbrushes: sword brush, fan brush and comb brush

  • Colours: Magenta, Red, Ultramarine Blue, White and Brown.


Start off by making comma shapes with the sword brush. Mix tiny amounts of paint together to create a variety of colours - in one shape, rather than mixing it up beforehand. In ways it's like picking up paint colours with the brush, and then cleaning it off on the deli paper, with the action of making comma shapes by twisting the brush. Fill two sheets with these shapes - allow for a variety of colours and shapes.

Next: spiral shapes on a new sheet, with matte medium applied. Use the same process but create small rose shapes by turning the commas into spiral shapes. Experiment with this technique and create one or two sheets in variations of pinks.

Now create nine rose shapes per sheet: use the fan brush, dip it into the colours and mix on the sheet (you can apply a clean sheet on top of the finished rose shapes to create ghost images). Carry on painting roses on the sheets. A comb brush is ideal to explore this process further and the rose shapes will be used as components for collages along with carbon drawings and other mark making processes.

© 2020 Esté MacLeod

© 2020 Explore Colour