Acrylic Painting: Paint Colorful Flowers by Starting with an Abstract Painting! Beginner Friendly! | Elle Byers | Skillshare

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Acrylic Painting: Paint Colorful Flowers by Starting with an Abstract Painting! Beginner Friendly!

teacher avatar Elle Byers, Artist and Teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

6 Lessons (42m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Make an Abstract Painting

    • 3. Paint the Negative Space

    • 4. Add Some Flowers

    • 5. Greenery Details

    • 6. Finish Flowers & Final Details

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About This Class

In this class, I teach you how to paint flowers by starting with an abstract painting. This class is beginner friendly. You just need a few paint colors, a small canvas, and some paint brushes. I have listed all of the supplies and paint colors I used below.

If you create your own flower painting inspired by this class, you can upload a photo of your painting by clicking on the "Projects & Resources" tab below the video.  Happy painting!

6 x 8 inch canvas
Bright and filbert paint brushes sizes 3-12
Water to clean brushes
Paper towels
Palette paper
Acrylic paint

Paint colors:
Quinacridone Red
Titanium White 
Hansa Yellow Medium 
Turquoise Phthalo 
Paynes Gray

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, 

See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hey everyone, my name is L. In today's class, I'm going to teach you how to paint flowers like these by starting with an abstract painting. I used golden fluid acrylics. I have small and medium paint brushes, palette paper for my palette. I have water and paper towels to clean my brushes. I will list all of the paint colors and supplies that I used for today's class in the boat section below the video. And if you create your own beautiful flowers after watching this class, I would love to see them. You can upload a photo of your painting to the projects tab right below the video. Alright, let's get started. 2. Make an Abstract Painting: I am starting off with my three primary colors plus white. So I have my turquoise, my yellow, and my read. And I'm also going to add white. And I'm gonna make a variety of different shades of green and blue and gray from these four colors. And I'm going to just make an abstract painting. I'm gonna take kind of a big, SHE can't see what's i's this is maybe it's a twelv. Make my colors a little muted. So instead of just mixing my blue and yellow, I'm gonna add a little red and white. I'm just gonna keep mixing till I get a sheet that I like. So that's a really desaturated green gray color. And I'm going to put this randomly all over my Canvas, including the sides, because I like my paintings carried over to the sides. There is no method to my madness. I'm just putting the paint on then. And I'm going to put it in different patterns that are going to overlap a little. I'm going to try to keep my colors fairly light because I'm going to use a dark color when you use Payne's gray for my negative space Color. And then I want a high level of contrast between my leaves and my negative space color. So I'm just mixing in a little red and it's coming out kinda of a greyish purple color. Mixing all yellow. It's going to turn it kind of a brown, green. Just cover the whole canvas. I'm going a little more of that gray color, so I'll see if I can mix that. That's kinda interesting. Little to Brown, little more green. I'm just going to try to look. You can see how there's some little parts of the canvas that aren't getting covered. So I'm gonna go over those a couple of times just to make sure I get a nice solid first layer. You can make a pattern if you want. That can be fun to. I like to do it. And a random a lot of times because you get some nice surprises in the end. Things that you wouldn't have done intentionally. Think this is a little darker than I originally intended. Lighten up some spots. And once you have a pretty good mix of different colors, different brushstrokes, you're gonna want to let your painting dry completely. Before we do the next step. And I'm just gonna make some different marks. Alright. I think that's good. I'm going to let this dry and then I'll show you how to paint in the negative space. 3. Paint the Negative Space: So I let this dry completely and I have a piece of chalk, just a regular piece of chalk. And I'm going to draw the outline of my flowers. You could use, you could use a pastel, you could use a marker. But if you use something permanent, the lines are just going to, they'll stay on your painting. Which if that's the look that you're going for, that's great. I'm sure that would be cute. I'm just going to use chops. I don't want the lines to stay on this painting. So my voice is going to be here in the middle trying to put it on a little darker so that you can see it. Normally, I wouldn't keep going over it like that. And it's a little off center, but I think that's OK. And I'm going to decide where my leaves and flowers will be. So I think I'll have a step going up this way and a stem with leaves going off to the side. And then some, I'll have them going all four corners. And what I'm gonna do is just draw a few of my leaves to give myself a basic outline. I think I'll have some leaves coming off here. This will be a flower. I'll have another flower at the top. One right here. Morley use. Hopefully you can see these lines. You'll see it a little better when I start to layer my paint on. So I'm going to use a dark color. Just pick something that is going to contrast from your leaves and flowers. I'm going to do a lot of light coloured flowers. So I'm picking a dark background color, dark negative space color. Like this. Payne's gray, leans a little blue if you make some white and with that, I'm not gonna do that. Let's take a small brush. This is a size four bright brush. And I'm going to outline all the drawings that I made around the edges anyway. If it's the first time you're doing this go slow because It's easy to over paints those. And I have a leaf and here and the leaf in here. I like the sides of my painting to be part of the painting instead of having them be a solid color. So I usually carry my flowers and leaves over to this side. Try not to take away too much. In this first pass. You can always add back in, but I like to leave a lot of my abstract showing. When she got all four corners done, things will start to visually make a little more sense. I'm going to have top of my painting be dark. Aside from this one flower that's going to carry over. I do like to have some dark paint under my flowers to create a sense of depth. And now you can see it's really starting to come together to make this two leaves. And I'm going to paint the bottom where the race is. Gray as well. And I think it's good to just put in a couple of dark spots just to kind of break things up a little. All right. I think that's good. I'm gonna let this layer completely dry so I can start to paint on my flowers and I don't want my reds and oranges to mix in with these dark colors. So I need my canvas to be completely dry for the next step. 4. Add Some Flowers: My painting is dry now and I'm gonna get rid of my chalk lines. Just spread, sing my canvas with a tiny bit of water. And using a paper towel. If they used a marker, you'd leave the lines, maybe paint over some of them, then keep some others. I don't want to really soak it because I don't want my paints to get running. Alright, so now we have a nice outline of our floral arrangement. What I like to do next is add the spots where my flowers are going to do. I like to put on a little white paint on top of the greens so that when I paint my red sun orange, there alone, more pure looking. If I put my orange on this green, it might look a little brown. So not is I'm not going to have them all be white on the background. But and put some weight here. I have a couple of flowers and I have one coming off the side. I have one here. If you're using heavy body paint, you might not need to do this step with the white. But my fluid acrylics can be kinda thin. So I like to use multiple layers. Flower here, maybe a small one there. And then I'm going to have some me, some abstract little suggestions of flowers around different places. And I put that on pretty thin, so it's already drying on me. Which is good. Going to add more. I'm going to have more yellow and red to my palette. Probably dried up on hotspots. And I'm going to mix some light colors to start. So I'm going to take just a little bit, a little bit yellow, like a nice warm pink color. Going to try to pick colors that look good with what I have in my background. So you can see on the background how all the little brush strokes are coming through? I never would have thought to do that if I was aware of how I was painting my leaves, but I really like the way that it looks, which is why I like to make just random backgrounds. And then you don't have to paint into many of the leaves, which is nice. Yellow. For my flowers. I'm not trying to paint circles and just trying to put brushstrokes, varied brushstrokes, different colors together. Without thinking flower. Just sort of suggesting the flower. Step back a little bit and take your time. See you can pay attention to where you're putting the color and just mix it up. I think I'm gonna mix some purple. Graham, a little turquoise, little more red, tiny, tiny bit of turquoise and to the red because it's powerful color. Don't want too many dark flowers. I do want to have some variety and makes them a little weight here. I'm just swirling my barrage around. That would be derived out. So just keep going with lots of small details. Variety of colors. You can mute your colors a little. If you mix a little bit of green and with your reds and oranges, and then put in a little white or gray it down a little. Don't forget about the sides. Make some remarks. And I'm just going to keep layering my flowers until I'm happy with them. Really more. Some of them a little more simple like I might leave these. But I'm gonna keep adding color and variety to some of the others. Don't want to let my flowers dry and do a couple of details on my leaves and my vase. And then when my flowers are dry, I'll do a second layer on those. 5. Greenery Details: We're gonna take this brush that I was using that has some pink on an already. And I'm going to mix some of my greens again. I'm going to create some stems and why V's going in different directions. And I'm going to take a little bit of that Payne's gray and put it under my flowers for that depth. And you're going to add it back in up here. And it kinda made my flour is a little bit. And with my a dirty brush, just gonna mix my greens again. For my stems. I just want a bunch of different colors that sort of criss-cross mix of light and dark. You don't have to do too many. You can let that negative space work for you. The not the negative space, the abstract. And leave a lot of it showing. I'm gonna leave that for now. Just gonna put a little more dark here. And I don't want to cover up the entire background, but I just want to add to it a little. So I'm gonna put a few just a few lines around. Different marks. Just play with it. And like how that looks, i like how this looks. And I'm going to add more here. I'm gonna fix these other three corners. I think I like my face the way it is and grab us much smaller brush. This is a size three bright. And I'm also going to use I've Hilbert number two for some smaller arcs. And I just create a little burst up here. I'm just using whatever paint is still wet on my palette. I'm going to bring some of those over the side. I need to fill my palate backup. Yellowed turquoise place, and mix a little bit more green, local too thick paths. Okay. And I'm just adding details wherever I think I need them. And I'm trying not to overdo it and bring it down a little and I spray color on the dark. I can always go back in with here, Payne's gray. If you want to. Like I can break that up a little and await my brush off, good. Right. And you kinda just reshape things. Pretty easily. Darken things up. I'm gonna leap that off. Just turn a brighten some spots up. Carry it over the side. And I just keep wiping my brush on my paper towel, but I'm using the same brush. Put this one aside for a minute. And it's a little orange. I don't think I'm just about finished with my with my leaves. Just add. And he spots that look to plane, can just add a couple of pops of green urgent teal and put in stem. I'm gonna give this a couple of minutes to dry. And then I'm going to finish up these flowers. 6. Finish Flowers & Final Details: I just cleaned off my brushes. I think my paintings still wet, but that's okay. I'm gonna use my bright small brush size three. I'm just gonna use whatever Pinto's here on my palette. And I'm going to add just a few more details to my flowers. I like a lot of color. I like things to be all mixed. This whole painting process. It's just a matter of putting things in and then taking it away. And then if you take away too much, putting it back in and just repeating the process until you're pretty happy with the result. In a triad go a little light up here, right? Not making circles, just making some marks. It's okay if your flowers touch. You want to blend some things together. To kind of blend these two. Like this orange here, this yellowy orange with that green colors, nice. And I think most of the flowers are done. I may make this one a little bigger and a make over that orange again. But I think I'm almost finished. I didn't mean to do that, but I get so I am going to leave that pallets, a mouse later on up. And I think I'll just darken this one up and then I'll be finished. And if you paint your own flowers, you can upload a photo of your work to the projects tab below the video. I will list all of the pink colors and all those supplies that I used below the video and the About section. I'm really starting to overdo it. So I'm gonna stop. Yeah, I think that's it. Alright. Thanks for watching.