Art Tutorials, Painting

Crimson Rose Petal watercolour tutorial

Roses have been spectacular this summer and most of mine are now in their second wave of flowering. In one of my beds I have this wonderful small crimson rose bush, which flowers until the first frosts and beyond. I don’t know its name as it is very old and lived in the garden before I ever knew there was a garden behind these high walls. It carries multiple medium-sized flowers on each stem and they last for weeks. This is it flowering well into the autumn, when fallen leaves cover the ground.

Here is a tutorial for one of its petals.

Palette: Daniel Smith Hansa Yellow Light, Pyrrol Red, Anthraquinoid Red, Quinacridone Fuchsia, Quinacridone Pink and Phthalo Blue Red Shade – Please click here for an affiliate link to the paints I used.

Brushes: Brushes: ProArte Prolene Plus Series 007 and Princeton Neptune

The first step is to paint the shadows. Using my Harmonic Shadows method and creating a grey mix of Hansa Yellow Light + Phthalo Blue Red Shade + Quinacridone Pink, paint the shadows wet-in-wet, covering the darkest areas and leaving out the mid-tones and highlights.

The first colour wet-in-wet wash is Quinacridone Pink, or Permanent Rose depending on the brand you are using. This is also a good time to add the little yellow blob at the base of the petal, before it gets forgotten and covered by an overzealous red wash.

The next wet-in-wet wash is Quinacridone Fuchsia, or any magenta-tinged red you might have. If you don’t have any, mix a bit of magenta in your mid-red before dropping in on top of the mid-tones and shadows, reserving the highlights.

With the next wash we are finally introducing some red into the painting, as we are now starting to think of the top layers. The first red is the brightest one, Pyrrol Red. Again, we are covering the shadows and mid-tones, reserving the highlights.

This wet-in-wet wash is the closest to the actual colour of the rose: Anthraquinoid Red is a crimson red, violet-biased and quite dark. The wash goes over the shadows and mid-tones but try to stay away from the highlights as it would dull them down a bit too much.

This is the last wet-in-wet wash and is used to balance the reds, adding whichever colour you think was understated in the previous washes. It could be any of the previous pinks or reds, or a mix of several of them, on any area of the petal.

That’s it for wet-in-wet washes. Now it’s time for a tiny brush (number 000) and some dry work. Pick up some dry paint from the palette with a damp brush, enough to dilute it so it will make a mark on the paper but not enough that it will run out of control. You can use a number 2 brush loaded with just clean water to blend the veins in as you go.

Here is the video tutorial:

If you want a downloadable, more detailed version of this tutorial, you can buy the PDF in my Etsy shop by clicking here. Or, if you join my Patreon subscriber site (for £3/month) before the 15th of August 2020, you can get the downloadable PDF tutorial for free. You will also get access to the longer paint-along version of this video, giving you more hints and details… as well as more exclusive contents.

Now it’s your turn to play with all your reds and paint a rose petal,

Happy painting!

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