How to Paint Hydrangeas Step-by-Step Tutorial
Learn how to paint Hydrangeas in this step by step painting tutorial.
Hydrangeas are easy flowers to paint when you break down the steps and use simple painting tools. In this tutorial, I teach you how to use Q-tips to mimic the beautiful flowers on the hydrangea globe- which works perfectly for beginners with acrylic paint.
And, this technique is fun!
If you’ve done any of my other beginner Q-tip painting tutorials and enjoyed them, then you’re going to love this one. If you haven’t done one yet, you are in for a treat! I’ll introduce you to one of my favorite painting tools, the simple household Q-tip/cotton swab, and teach you how you can use them to paint lovely Hydrangeas.
Hydrangeas Flowers- A Family Favorite
For those of you who follow my Instagram account, I posted the sneak peak to this tutorial back in June. It’s finally up! A big thank you for your patience 🙂
It’s taken a few weeks to get this tutorial published because we’ve had a myriad of family birthdays back to back. Let’s just say we consume 80% of our yearly birthday cake in a 2 week period in early July. Say hello to yummy cake, and sugar-level spikes!
Talking about family & traditions, Hydrangeas are a family favorite flower.
The ones in the picture below are from my garden and were given to me (and planted) by my mother 10 years ago, whose an amazing gardener and a self-made flower connoisseur. I wasn’t lucky enough to be passed her green thumb- but because Hydrengeas are so hardy and low maintenance, mine bloom beautifully every year without too much extra care.
They are the perfect flower for beginner gardeners. AND painting them is the same- they are super easy to paint even for complete beginners, using the technique I’ll show you below.
The other nice thing about Hydrangeas are their assortment of soothing and beautiful colors.
The color inspiration for this painting came from my family favorites. From the gorgeous blue (my late grandmas’ favorite Hydrangea), pink (my mom and my favorite), purple (my daughters’ favorite).
How to Paint Hydrangeas for Beginners
If you take a close up look at Hydrangeas, they’re simply a globe of mini flower. And each mini flower has 4 petals. That’s all you really need to remember when making this tutorial.
How to Paint An Hydrangea Globe with Bubble Wrap
Since the overall shape of Hydrangeas is round like a globe, one option is to trace circles onto your canvas before you start painting them. This helps to to know where to paint your mini flowers for each Hydrangea. You can also vary the size of each circle to keep the painting composition interesting.
Another super fun option is to use bubble wrap, if you have some laying around!
I cut varying sized circles from my bubble wrap, then brushed on paint onto one side and “stamped” it down on the canvas where I wanted them to go. It gives a super nifty texture – I am so using this technique again in an abstract piece!
How to Paint Hydrangea Mini-Flowers with Q-tips
Once you have your basic hydrangea globes in place using the above techniques, you can start having fun with the mini-flowers. Using Q-tips in a group of 4 (like pictured below) is an easy way to represent each flower on your hydrangea globe.
Simply pick up the paint onto your q-tip bunch and then press down on the canvas, where you want your flowers to go. The key to getting really nice round petals is to firmly press down onto your canvas with your bunch of Q-tips each time , kind of like you’re using a stamp. Dabbing too lightly might cause this technique not to work as well. Firm downward pressure helps.
Another option is it use a single Q-tip and form each 4-petal flower on your own. I did this for the more detailed flowers towards the end. I found I had more control of what the flower looked like using a single Q-tip.
For a complete step-by-step instructions for each layer of the flowers, please see the full tutorial below.
How to Paint an Antique Chinoise Vase
I recently did a painting tutorial by one of my fave artists C-Brook-Ring. I love how she paints her antique vases, which were the inspiration behind the vase in this painting.
And they’re surprisingly EASY to paint too! (see pictures below)
All you need to do is first sketch the vase shape and design with a pencil onto your canvas. Then using a deep blue paint ( I used prussian blue) I outlined the vase shape and also outlined the flower design.
Using the same blue paint, I thinned it down so that I can use it as a “wash”, I.e when painted-on, becomes translucent in quality allowing the paint underneath to show through.
I filled in the entire vase with this “thinned” paint- and when it dried the flower design underneath still showed through.
Then, I took some pure white (titanium white) and painted overtop the translucent blue (and around the flower designs). Don’t focus on being perfect here, it actually looks better if some of the blue underneath still shows through in some places.
Try to focus on adding more white along the center of the vase (from top to bottom) if you can. This technique brings the vase to life and gives it dimension. To finish things off, I took the blue paint (regular consistency) and embellished the vase a bit more.
- Dark blue paint (Prussian blue)
- Medium Blue paint (Ultramarine Blue)
- White paint (Titanium white)
- Pink paint (Medium Magenta)
- Purple Paint (Prism Violet)
- Green Paints (Green gold)
- Yellow paint (Cadmium Yellow Light)
- 12"x12" Stretched canvas
- Paint Palette
- Palette Knife for paint mixing (optional)
- Mix 2 parts white (Titanium white) & 1 part blue (Ultramarine Blue) and 1 part yellow (Cad Yellow Light) to make a mint color.
- Paint your entire canvas with the mint color. I used a 1" flat brush to make covering the large area easier.
- Cut 5 circles out of bubble wrap. Place them on your canvas in the desired configuration, so you're happy with the design.
- Now it's time to make your Hydrangea Globes. Mix your choice of paints for your 5 flowers. I chose 2 different tones of pink (one dark pink, and one light pink by mixing white into it), 2 purples (one dark purple and one light purple by mixing white into it), and one blue. Paint each bubble wrap circle (one side) and then place it paint side down back onto the canvas and press down gently. Slowly peel the bubble wrap off the the canvas and a nifty pattern should be left behind.
- Once the paint has dried you can start painting on your Hydrangea mini flowers. A fun way to paint the flowers is by using Q-tips. Since Hydrangea flowers have 4 petals each, take 4 Q-tips in a bunch.
- For each flower, take your selected paint and make 3 tones of it by mixing a bit of white into it. On your pallete, you should have the darkest color (no white mixed), a medium tone color (a bit of white mixed in), and the lightest tone color (more white mixed in).
- Take our Q-tip bunch and dip it into the darkest color and stamp them down on one of your flower globes. To get the nicest petal shapes, make sure you firmly press the q-tips down on the canvas. If you don't press down firmly enough the technique might not work as well. You might need to layers of this step so the background color doesn't show through anymore.
- Using the same technique as as above, dip your q-tips in the medium tone color and make flowers over the top half of the globe. Essentially the darkest flowers will be at the bottom half of the globe, and they will get lighter towards the top. This will give the flowers dimension and realistic shading.
- Using the same technique as above, dip your q-tips in the lightest tone color and make flowers over the top 1/3 of the globe.
- The last step to complete your first hydrangea flowers is to take some pure white on a single q-tip and make a few 4 petal flowers sparingly at the top of your Hydrangea where light would hit it first.
- Repeat steps 6-10 with all your other flowers. For my flowers I used the following paints colors (from the Liquitex Basics Line, please see below for the links): Medium Magenta, Prism Violet, Ultramarine Blue, and Titanium white. For the lighter purple and pink flowers I simply added some white into the darker hues to get a lighter version of that color.
- Now the flowers are done you can move on to the lovely Chinoise vase. Sketch your vase on the canvas with a pencil, you can add in your design too ( I chose whimsical flower shapes).
- Take your dark blue paint(Prussian blue) and paint the outline of the vase and the designs inside.
- Make a "wash" by taking your dark blue color and adding some water to it on your palette. It should be liquidy, like in the picture below. Use this wash to paint in inside of your vase (you can paint right over the designs, since the wash will be transparent in nature).
- Clean off your brush and pick up some white paint. Paint the inside of the vase, omitting the designs. You dont have to be perfect in this step, it actually looks better if some of the blue underneath shows through in some places (especially the edges of the vase and designs). Have fun with it! Another thing is try to focus more white in the middle of your vase (from top to bottom). This will give your vase dimension.
- Once your vase is dried, you can add in some fun whimsical leaves. Go with the flow and add in different shapes/sizes.
- Using different colors of green (or simply take 1 green color and add in different amounts of white into it to get some tints). Paint in your leaves with the green paints.
- For the greenery in between the the flowers, I took a single Q-tip and dotted in some white dots..
- Optional: To make the painting more cohesive, I took a single Q-tip and doted some of my lightest blue color (from the top Hydrangea) subtly to each other flower.
- Optional: Finally, I chose to embellish my vase again by adding more blue to it, especially to the edges and bottom of vase. I made sure to keep more white in the middle, for dimension.
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