How to paint Hydrangea in acrylic with Clair Bremner | Clair Bremner | Skillshare

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How to paint Hydrangea in acrylic with Clair Bremner

teacher avatar Clair Bremner, Professional Artist

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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

5 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Part 1- Blocking in the background

    • 3. Part 2- Setting up the composition

    • 4. Part 3 - Layering

    • 5. Part 4 - Finishing touches

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About This Class

Using a limited palette of just three primary colours, I will take you through the steps to create a simple but effective painting of a bunch of Hydrangea flowers. This class is suitable for beginners as well as seasoned artists that want to explore a more impressionist style technique. 

You can use this technique to create different compositions of the pretty ball shaped flowers and also combine them with some of the flower techniques i teach in other videos to create a larger bouquet.

The materials you will need for this class are:

A surface to paint on (either a canvas or some heavy weight paper)

A flat acrylic brush

Heavy body acrylic paint in the following colours : Phthalo blue, Magenta, Cadmium Yellow and Titanium white.

Water and a palette to mix colours on

Meet Your Teacher

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Clair Bremner

Professional Artist


Hello, I'm Clair.

I am full time artist based in Melbourne, Australia. I specialize in abstract expressionist landscape paintings. I have been teaching in person workshops to art students for a few years and I am excited to be able to bring some of these techniques and lessons into the online world. 

See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi. Thank you for joining me for another school Shared video. Today I'm gonna be teaching you how to paint hide rangers. Hydrangeas are beautiful flowers, in fact, that one of my favorite flowers And they're also really easy to reproduce in a loose and expressionist way. I teach these techniques on how to paint hydrangeas to my students in my floral painting classes and they always the most achievable flower. It may take a bit of practice, but once you get that practice, it's actually really easy to do, and they also have a really effective result and they really eye catching. So I'm really looking for two showing you the techniques that I used to create these flowers. And I hope you enjoy watching it. We're gonna be using a limited palette as well today, So you really only need three colors to be able to finish this painting. And yeah, that's about it. Really? So I'm going to get on with it. And I hope that you enjoy this tutorial and continue to show me examples that you quit with this summer's you have for the other ones. I really enjoy looking at them. And if you have any comments or any questions afterwards. Feel free to leave a comment down below, and I'll get back to it as soon as I can. That's about it, really. And on with the show, I guess. 2. Part 1- Blocking in the background: Okay. Sorry to pay. This hydrangea painting will be using three main colors. Those colors are magenta quinacrine. Violet, Norma, gentle. We find the quinacrine violent. Magenta is just a little bit more purple, but just regular magenta will also be okay. What's going to use our stay lately? And cadmium yellow or yellow meat? This is yellow. Meet any kind off warm yellow is what you're wanting and we're also going to use some titanium white. So all of the colors that we're gonna be making in this are all gonna be from these basic I could hold them all together. These three basic primaries. Sorry. This is a really good fun thing to do as well. It's so limit your palate and to experiment a little bit with just using less colors. So I'm gonna do that today just to show you that you don't really need to have every color in the world in order to produce a colorful painting. So just like all of my other videos, the first process is to actually just cover your canvas. So I've used a combination off the family blue and the magenta Just create this sort of purple blue kind of background doesn't really need to be anything too fancy. You just want to get rid of all that wide, so that you just go Norris colored ground or base to start painting on. Once we've done that, we're going Teoh, get a little bit of chalk and we're just gonna loosely sketched out a bit of a composition . This is so that we can in no way we're gonna put fears on. Good thing about using chalk with acrylic is that if you make a mistake, you can rub it out. So if you just grab a little bit of the water, you rub it out and it's all gone. I'm just gonna shut my door for a moment. That's sorry. It's very busy traffic at that moment because it runs coming home from work s so it's getting a bit noisy. So we're just gonna sketch out with chalk. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna put these hard ranges in tow a vase, so I'm probably gonna stop my vase Iran to back here. Now that I've got the vase I consider place some hydrangea. Certainly sort of shapes when a one here, one here and I'm not just put another one down a little bit lower like that. Now again, the beauty of the chalk is that if you decide that this show is a little bit too bigger, a bit too small, you could just rub it out and you can put in again. Now, I'm gonna have some leaves and things coming out in and around these hard ranges, but I'm not really going to sketch dozing. I'm just gonna free hand guns. But this vise is going to be a glass bars, So wanna have some sticks in there? Okay, so that's a Sfar as we need to go for the stage. The first thing that we're going to do is paint in some of these leads shapes behind the hydrangea. I want to do this because it's actually really difficult to paint the hydrangea up. Sorry to paint the leaves once you've done the hydrangea because you want this to be sitting behind. Sorry. I'm going to use a combination of the yellow. Let's get myself a little specially you. Somebody used some of the killer and I'm going to use. It's, um, available. I don't need much. Stay low blue because a little bit of this guy's a long, long way in regards to mixing colors. It's a very strong color. I am also going to get somewhat just gonna place over here just so I can lie in that shade a little bit of watching. So, using mostly yellow, we're just going to use the Tyler that's already on my brush. Create a bit of a mid toned green. Maybe a little bit of why it's probably a little bit more failure just to talk in that up a little bit. So now I'm gonna use this green, just mark in behind where these flowers a going to guard. They will be something here not worrying about my guidelines too much because I'm gonna be painting flowers over them anyway. Just go dark on about justice pigeon. But I want these leads to sort of come in behind will be some coming down here as well. They'll be something this fires. I'm just gonna use this grain while it's on my brush at some some leaves in that tree. Okay. Now, to vary this grain up a little bit, I could make it a bit DACA by adding more silent. And I can add in a few touches of darkness here and there. Maybe Danny. Yeah, that can also add more yellow to create a lot of vision I can touch in some water beats even adding a little bit of watching. You want to make it more opaque being here the same lightness, a little bit more lighter. Danny here is Bow. One more little touch. Okay, so that's all the grain that I'm gonna do it a moment. And before we go on to the next bit, I need to make sure this is totally dry. So I'm going to give it a blast with the hair dry up, and I'll be back once it is dry. 3. Part 2- Setting up the composition: Okay, so now this is totally dry. What we're gonna do is we're going to blocking this background. Now, in order to block in the background, I'm gonna mix up a gray color using these three primaries and somewhat. Now, the beauty of using just a limited power like these three colors is that any combination of these three colors that you mix to create your painting are going to work well together. And that goes for neutrals as well. And you can make a really nice neutral color by just mixing in all three colors With what? So I'm gonna stop by just adding to this grain. See here. See, I've got this nice, pale blue color and add a little bit of people to that. Maybe a little bit more walks. I wanted to be a big payload, a little touch more yellow and see how would come out with this beautiful neutral gray. And that neutral gray works well. It's good because it already works, but with people that's in the background is also gonna work well with the green that's already in there and eventually the purples and pinks that we're going to use for the hard Rangers because it's made up of a combination of all of those colors. So what I'm gonna do with the background is I'm gonna start on this one saw Dan here on the edge of the vase, and I'm just gonna use the background to create some more defying leaf shapes coming behind here as well. It's break up these leagues just a little bit with this line is where my hard range is going to be. I'm just gonna come all the way down to that hydrangeas gonna be over the top so I don't need to do be too fussy when it comes to looking that in, it's gonna go all the way around the edge of this picture walking in with the background needs to bay. And same with this, this area here I can sort of leave some people as well. If I want to sort of make out some purple leaves, I can go over that later on with some more green if I wanna drawer be more attention to it . But for now, I'll just just make a bit of a suggestion that some leads down there. I'm gonna come old way down and blocking the whole background. It's a little bit more. A little bit more back. Hello? Special. Got a really good nice solar coverage I don't want to be out of see sort of. Through this. I wanted to be quart sickly done not figure it gets ticks all the right word. I guess our pike would be a better word. Now the vase area. I want this to be a glass pods. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna use this background color and leaving a line on a the side of this glass vase. I'm gonna bring these color into my bars. It's gonna add a few lawns here and there. A couple of highlights in around these stems. It will highlight up in here a swell. I was gonna leave it like that for now. So as we put more stuff phone to this area, I can maximal highlights and things on to it for now. But it's important to use the same color as the background because you want to create an illusion that the light is going to come through these bars because this vases transparent . So by using the same background color you kind of help that illusion along a little big. Okay, so that's the background done, and we've got some falling done as well. So now we're gonna move on to actually painting these super simple hired rangers, which they use a really, really easy technique, which is really great for beginners. It doesn't require a lot of technical skill, sometimes might take a little bit of practice to get the hang of it. But once you get the hang of it, it's really easy to apply. And you can go on creating a wholly beautiful paintings with this technique. So I'm gonna let this dry first, and then I'm gonna come back, and I'm gonna show you how we're gonna do our hide ranges. 4. Part 3 - Layering: Okay. Now on to the fund. Be now. What you going to mate? Is a nice flat acrylic brush. One of these nice soft hair. See how it's quite a soft head Acrylic brush. Okay, It's not a stiff bristle brushes very soft. These also referred to sometimes as watercolor brushes or just soft acrylic brushes. This is the top of brush that you need. If you have a brush that's too stiff like this one, he asked, they had these bristles orbit stiffen in these lines. This isn't really going to give you the same sort of effect. You really need to have this sort of flat acrylic brush. And we're gonna start with this hydrangea here because we want to paint the hydrangea that's furthest away. And that's in the back of the group first. So we're gonna paint this one, and then we'll paint this one and then we'll paint this one because as they come closer, they come more forwards. We're gonna do this one first, so I'm gonna make this won a blue hard drive job, So I'm gonna go back to my fellow bloody. I'm gonna get a little bit of a touch of that. And I could probably use some of these great a lot in it up a little bit, A little bit of water. Just gonna change the opacity and lighten it up just a little bit. And then I'm going to roughly pine teen the shape of the hydrangea. Gonna make a little bit smaller than I have. I want to add some leaves. You know, I'll be here a little bit later. Sorry. Not gonna worry about that little gap that's there. I didn't make this one a little bit big. Sorry. I'm just gonna knock it down inside a little bit while I'm painting it. So never go back first laid down. I'm gonna make sure I've got plenty of paint mixing up mixture of titanium. What? And say hello, Billy and I don't want it to be too lot at the beginning. I kind of want a bit of a meat toying color. That's pretty good. I want to make sure that I have plenty of paint on my brush and that my paint is nice and smooth. It's not sticky. It's not too thick. It's coming off the brush nice and easily. And I'm gonna use the brush now the flat brush to make this shape. Okay, so that's just a square shy. All I'm doing is this hypia. So I'm gonna feel in this hard ranger by creating these little square shapes. Every time I put down a square, I'm gonna take my brush a little bit. I don't want them all to be the same size and direction like this. I want them to be a a little bit. Hasn't a little bit mixed up. Okay. As if they saw the individual little hard joined of flowers that make up the bunch like that. Now that I've done one pass, I suppose of this. I'm gonna take some more white, add it to that same blue, and I'm gonna lock in the value of that color a little B again, making sure I've got plenty of paint on my brush. I'm gonna come back and in between the gaps I'm gonna add in a layer of laudably using the same technique short little square shapes around and around and around all the way over the edge with some of them. I want that. I'm not gonna go over that another time. I'm gonna get some more white on my brush. I'm gonna lock in the value of that blue again and I'm gonna come back. I'm gonna add a layer of even larger color so you can see how this is building up this different liars off little mosaics, square shapes, which is creating the illusion of hydrangea petals. See, it's a very, very simple and very effective method. So now evolved on this one here. I'm gonna move onto here. Now, when you're doing a couple of them next to each other, you really want to change the color or the value off the hydrangea ins so that they don't blend into one. So I'm gonna make this one a little bit more of a purple version someone to go back to my palette. I'm gonna mix up that meeting blue that I had before. Except this time I'm gonna go into my magenta, I'm gonna pick up a touch of magenta, and we're gonna make this color a little bit more blue, and I'm gonna stop this one. That's right. Sorry. I am actually inability and fist. Now the reason I'm feeling getting first because this color is a little bit different to that one. Kind of watch the base of the flower have the same times as the petals, so I'm just gonna block it in. You forgot to do that. So now I can come in with this. I will make a little bit more purple looking at that. It's not people enough. Make it abuse washers. Always some weren't. It'll be a lighter. You want to have a pretty significant sort of difference. Let's keep it up. Okay. I'm gonna go around the same as I did with the 1st 1 with these little squares all the way over the edge and over the top of what I've already done, right? Man is gonna grab a little bit more flat, uh, out of that. Okay, pick up some words. Add that to my moving cripple. Color 16. Sorry. There's someone have. I am one of the rooms next to me. So you want to hear that? Okay. And I'm gonna come in with this lot of color and repeat that same process Now, you can do this lightning process as many times as you want. Really? You find that you've started to dark. You can just keep lightning until it gets to a largeness that you're happy with. If you find that you started to light, you probably need to go backwards to the original step of feeling it in first before going any further. Add a little bit of pink to this just to make it a little bit more of a movie color for the top layer. And I'm gonna come in with a really light highlight on it as well, just maybe on this sort of here like that. So now that's too hard drenches duck. Now, for this third hydrangea, I'm gonna make it like a really nice pink color. So gonna take the magenta color just a little bit of what to it just to make it a bit more Pake because the magenta can be transparent. I'm gonna come in and I don't want to have my leaves too much. Do you want to keep some of that there? I'm gonna come in and just block in where this hard range is going to go on. It's in a beautiful color. It's really one of my favorite colors. The magenta. I use it quite a lot in my paintings because it's such a beautiful, bold color. Okay, sir, I'm adding, I don't know if you can still say this in shop, but I'm adding some Some want to that Magenta Co. And same is what I've done with the other two were gonna stop blocking in some squares and working my way around the shape at some. Why should locking it up? Okay, some really lot. It's on the risk. Okay, right. I'm gonna let that dry, and then I'm gonna come back, and I'm gonna add some finishing touches, and I need some more greenery and techniques printing into a finished product. 5. Part 4 - Finishing touches: Okay, so now that this painting is mostly dry, I'm gonna come in at a few finishing touches. The first thing I'm gonna do is add a little bit of highlight each of these in that the colors clash they need to Beijing just to help give the illusion of more of a three day sort of look. So I'm gonna add some will want to my palette there, Okay. And starting with the flower of the back gonna make a really lot version off Depression blues. I'm just gonna add in a few little touches of that lot of color. Mostly. Just don't let one Sarge then gonna make a lot of color of that levin dough. Do the same to bring in some larger touches of that as well on the top edge. I understand. I'm gonna come in with some more watch and do the same with pink, pink one just by adding a few lighter touches here and there, mostly on that top age. Now I'm also going to create a Dhaka green by mixing the salary and the yellow together with more failure than yellow. I'm gonna come in and touch up the areas way the leaves have been covered a little bit by the background. I want to bring a little bit of darkness into these to make this grainy a little bit, doctor again, I'm gonna add a touch is the magenta. See how that gives a beautiful contrast on Dad's A beautiful darkness in that wasn't in there before. You could even go up in between to break out some of these leaves. And I'm gonna go down here as well as I said I was gonna add some leaves. He is so much is out a little bit of that darkness standing here as well. Okay, Another good, nice, clean brush. What's it gonna come in? We've somewhat and create a little bit of a highlight into these fires, because, remember, this is a glass vase. So I want there to be a little bit of a highlight in there, and I'm not even coming with a wash up green. Coming with a few touches. All the lots of green as well like that. Now, if he feels that Bill background color is a little bit too dark and it's pulling it down a little bit, you can come back in a lot in that up a little bit, So why not do that as well? Just to show you what I mean and the difference it will make. So again, this background color was a mixture of all three colors, so I'm just gonna come back in. But I'm gonna make a lot of vision and use. What's here is a bit of a guys. I wanted to be a little bit more, a little bit more vibrant to be better somebody coming and just loosely, just loosely adding some of these lot of background color. And you don't have to worry too much about cutting in close to the flowers into the background because it's sometimes it's nice disorder cake that nice and loose and almost spontaneous looking bringing to BP asked little highlights in the here and there. Fucking half the way a little bit spring Some of that background Marchioness introduction to the vases Well, and that's that's pretty much eat. Sorry, you could see how this check make of just doing squared over and over. Nerva creates this illusion of the beautiful hydro engines. It's a really simple method. It's a really loose method, Um, and I think it's a great thing for the Guinness to test out. I'd also highly recommend having a going using this limited palate. I used these three colors in a lot of workshops that I teach to beginnings because they mix beautifully that create really vibrant colors, and they're actually a really good one to sort of start after. You're not familiar with color mixing too much. And it also just goes to story that a beautiful color painting has come from just three Parma culottes. So I hope you enjoyed that. And I hope to be back again that fairly soon with another tutorial, and please continue to leave comments and things. I really appreciate reading them. I appreciate seeing the creations that you have as well that you make from this tutorial. Sorry, Um, continue to post them as well and happy paintings. I will see you next time