Acrylic Painting: How to Paint Abstract Flowers with Acrylics on Canvas Step by Step for Beginners | Elle Byers | Skillshare

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Acrylic Painting: How to Paint Abstract Flowers with Acrylics on Canvas Step by Step for Beginners

teacher avatar Elle Byers, Artist and Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Intro to Abstract Flowers Class 1

    • 2. Color Mixing 2

    • 3. Painting the Whole Canvas 3

    • 4. Sketch and Block in Color 4

    • 5. Adding Layers 5

    • 6. Keep Layering 6

    • 7. Final Details 7

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About This Class

Welcome to my new class, "How to Paint Abstract Flowers with Acrylics on Canvas Step by Step for Beginners!"

I'm going to teach you how I painted this small abstract floral painting using only 6 tubes of paint!  I will show you how I mix some of my favorite paint colors, the supplies I'm using, and how I layer my flowers step by step!

Here are the supplies and paint colors I used for this painting:

6 x 6 inch canvas 
chalk or a pastel for sketching 
palette paper 
paint brushes 
water to clean brushes 
paper towels 
acrylic paint

Paint Colors:
Primary Magenta
Quinacridone Magenta
Titanium White 
Hansa Yellow Medium 
Turquoise Phthalo 

If you create a painting inspired by this class, I would love to see it! Click on the "Projects & Resources" tab to upload a photo of your work! 

You can find all of my Skillshare classes here: 

You can also find me here:




Meet Your Teacher

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Elle Byers

Artist and Teacher


Hello, I'm Elle Byers. I'm an artist and a teacher.  My favorite medium is acrylic paint and my favorite subject is flowers!  Check out all of my Skillshare classes at the bottom of this page. 

If you want to see what I'm up to on a daily basis, you can follow me on Instagram.  My available paintings can be purchased on my website, 

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1. Intro to Abstract Flowers Class 1: Hi, everyone. My name is L. And today I'm going to show you how I painted this little abstract floral piece. I'm going to start off right now by showing you this supplies that I'm using for the class I started with a six by six inch canvas that has a 1.5 inch profile. I have, um, some flat paintbrushes size 12 that I'm using. These were the only brushes that I'm using today. I have some palette paper to mix my paint colors. You can also use a paper plate or a piece of glass. And I'm using, um, some fluid acrylic paint today. And I'm only using six colors to makes all of the's, which I'm going to show you in a minute. I will list all of these supplies that I have, including the paint colors underneath the video in the about tab 2. Color Mixing 2: before I show you how I paint flowers, I'm going to show you how I mix all of my colors with just a few tubes of paint. So I have primary Magenta Turk waste fancy yellow. And with these paints, you can mix a wide variety of colors. Um, if I put some yellow into my magenta, I get a nice orange color and depending how how much yellow you put in. All right, you can make it lighter and lighter orange, and then, if you want to add some weight into that, you can make a nice peach color. And with this, you should have showed you show you the magenta that looks like it actually kind of looks almost read. And then if you take them agenda and put in just the tiniest bit of turquoise, it makes a nice purple, and you can make that purple lean red or blue, depending on how much you mix. So if I put a lot more turquoise in it, I can get a march darker purple, and when I only use a little turquoise, I get more read purple. And then, of course, I can always add in my white to lighten things up. And then I use the same yellow and turquoise to mix my green. So there's my yellow, and you can see if I just mix a little turquoise in. It makes green and depending on how much yellow you use and how much white you can really lighten and darken that up. So these were the main colors that I'm going to be using. I also use the turquoise street out of the tube so you can see that, and that looks nice when you mix it with white as well. I also use this magenta and this teal just to bring in some extra colors to my flowers and my leaves. But as you can see, they're not totally necessary If you, um, watch a paint with a limited color palette than these are three great colors to use. 3. Painting the Whole Canvas 3: The first thing I'm going to Dio is put a coat of paint all over my canvas, on the top and on the sides. I'm using my teal paint on and my white. I'm gonna mix these two together and I'm going to cover the campus. I like to paint the sides, especially when it's a larger profile like this. This is a 1.5 inch profile, and if you have it sitting on a shelf or in a table and the sides they're painted, it looks cute just like that and there's no need to have a frame. I want to cover it thoroughly, but I want to make sure it's not dripping. - You don't have to worry about the paint color being perfectly even because we're gonna recover most of it anyway. And I'm gonna let this layer completely dry before I do anything else. 4. Sketch and Block in Color 4: Now that this is completely dry, I like to take either a pastel or a piece of chalk and sketch my composition onto my campus . I'll use the past. Oh, because I don't think you can see the chalk, but the chalk is easier to, um to wipe away. When you're finished, the pastel will blend into your paint, so just be careful that you you use it in places where you're gonna use the same color. So if I'm using blue here, I wouldn't outlined my flowers with this blue Just my face and my leaves. So my face is going to sit off to the side and I want my painting to be pretty abstract. I'm just gonna draw in a couple of little leaves like this to just show you what I'm thinking for composition. So in these areas I'll have some green and blue and turquoise, and then in the other areas I'm going Teoh have some abstract flowers. And in my vase, I'm going to make a lot of loose type of stems. I'm using turquoise for my dark color today, and this will mix well with yellow to make a green, which I'm going to to And then I always like to have a little white on my palette. I am going to work in layers, so I'm going to put down some paint for leaves and flowers, and then I'm going to let that dry. And then I will go back and add more layers to my leaves and flowers, probably three or four times until I'm happy with all of the details that I have. You don't have to worry about. You are based being perfectly symmetrical. I usually have some flowers covering the site of the vase, Um, and so you wouldn't be able to tell if you're V's isn't too even. I was gonna put down some paint to get started. You don't need Teoh. You don't need to have everything exactly in the shape of a leaf. Once we start putting some green and some flowers, your I will here I will read the flowers and greenery as flowers. Even if they're not in the exact shape of flowers and leaves, then I'm going to just take the same brush and mix it into the yellow on, and that is going to make green if you want it darker. just add and more turquoise. Then I'm going to have some of this come up over the side, put a couple of green marks in here, and then I'm going to have this leave. Come over the side as well at some green to my face. And you can put a little white into your turquoise and make a light blue. If you want to. You can add it either to your leaves or you could add a little into your face. I like Teoh have my brush strokes going in some different directions in my face. It just makes everything look a little more interesting at the end. And maybe I have a little leaf coming over the side here. Now I'm gonna grab a clean brush and I'm just going to take a little white and put it in the areas where my flowers are going to be just as a first layer. So these are all the spots where I'm going. Teoh flowers. I like to do this because if I decide to use yellow or a lighter color and I put it on top of the blue, the yellow is going Teoh, look green and a pink might look kind of purple. But if I put the white on that, I don't have to worry about those colors blending if I don't want them to came starting to smudge everything together. So I am going to let this layer dry for a few minutes, and then I will continue with my next layer. 5. Adding Layers 5: for this layer. I'm going to start with flowers and I'm gonna put two different agendas on my palette. If you click on the tab that says about below the video, I will list all of the paint colors that I'm using their show him and I'm gonna on yellow, you know, probably use a little white. This is gonna be my first layer flowers. So what I like to do is just start with some different brush strokes. Um, So I might go up and down side to side, I might add, in some different colors. And as I go along with my painting and I keep adding layers, some of this gets covered up on bond. New brush strokes are added, and you'll just have a much more interesting looking flower in the end, if you just take the time to build up the layers. Also don't like my flowers to be completely round. So I make it a point to kind of just make some either like triangular or semi circle marks that stick out off the flower. This one here being the focal point, just the only one that I'm going to, um, sheep mawr, like a flower. The other ones are going. Teoh, be more abstract. So I'm gonna let this dry and I'm going. Teoh start to build up some layers. Right now, I'm just trying to put down some color. I'm not trying to make anything in the shape of a flower. This is my other magenta. It's more like a violet. This color, I think, looks really pretty next to yellow. So I'm gonna put a little yellow in a little violent up here. Enough of that for right now. And I'm gonna grab a clean brush and add some pops of yellow Hanneman. Mix a little peach that already looks a little peach, so I'll just do it over here. I think that's a good start on the flowers. I am going, Teoh, Just touch up my leaves and vase so I don't always clean my brush. Depending on the color that's on it, you can just wipe it on a paper towel or cloth that you're using. And I'm going to be kind of careful not to touch my flowers because I don't want choose smudge the turquoise into the flowers. So I'm just carefully touching up what's already there. I want to have some dark separating these flowers here. So it's not all just one big flower blob, - and I think I'm gonna put down some fresh. You know where that one has some peach in it and mix up some green. Here I am going to put some of this color in my face. Can one last thing I'm gonna do before he let this dry is take the teal that I used to paint the background and a minute on a little of this. - Okay , we're coming along. Everything needs to dry so that we can paint another layer on top. 6. Keep Layering 6: Okay, let that dry. I'm gonna do the same thing for my next layer. Going to go over the flowers, adding more color and then believes. And I may or may not need one more touch up after that. Depending on how this layer goes, this magenta with a little wet. Still someone to continue using that I'm going to add some red, not red. It's magenta, but looks more red here. And I'm still trying not to make circles. If you want your flowers to be more abstract, you you really have to consciously stop yourself from making circles. Um, for me, it's what my hand naturally wants to do. And I have to work to stop it. Have this one go over the side. I didn't really mean to do that, but it should be fine. You can also put two colors on your brush and kind of blend them together. That's something I do as the painting evolves a little later in the painting, when im trying Teoh at my details I call this big flower is coming along, but I might need to let it dry in and more details one more time. I'm trying to make one side darker than the other. So more it's kind of going agenda to a little peach into pink. - Okay , we're definitely getting somewhere. If you like approaching the end of the painting, I'm gonna j just a few minor touch ups on the leaves Take some of this yellow and add it to my weise Just a little. I'm gonna touch up these flowers to with yellow, and I'll take a little bit of that turquoise. It's kind of darker than I wanted light mark over there. - Okay . What I like to do now is just let everything dry and step away from my painting for a few minutes and see, um, what I want to do for any final details. 7. Final Details 7: So I let everything dry for a few minutes, and at this point I decide if I need another layer or not. And I don't think that I do. This painting came together pretty quickly, which I'm happy about. I like to just out a couple of dots of white for highlights, especially in the face. You feel like it helps things just stand out with a little more. If you wanted, you could go over some white areas. I'm going to just put a little more pain right there. Okay, I'm calling. This one finished. I will list all of the paint colors that I used for today's painting under the video. If you look under the video, you will see on a boat tab. That is where I will list all of the supplies that I used. And if you create your own abstract floral painting after watching this video, you can click on the projects tab on and click create project, and then you can upload a picture of what you created. I would love to see it. Thanks for following along with me today.