Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Learn to Paint Tulips–Fast and Easy

NOTE: this is one of many painting tutorials I have done, to see the others click here, PAINTING TUTORIALS
I long ago promised a new painting tutorial.
tulip painting banner
Tulips fresh for Spring (coming soon!)
I also did a video but I confess to being a lousy videographer and lets just say my videos are testimony to that.
Paint Fast and Easy Tulips Video
I figure they serve the purpose intended of showing you how my brush moves and along with my photos (not great either since I have to hold the camera and take the shot with my left hand) you will get the gist of how to do it.
This post is photo intensive so be warned.

You can start with a pattern as I did for demo purposes but you can also just sketch in some ovals for placement of the tulips and layer on the petals.
Look at a photo of some tulips and emulate placement of the petals. Remember, we are not going for realism but giving the impression of something.
Your own style will shine thru rather than following someone's pattern.
Then practice, practice, practice.
This is my practice sheet I worked on before starting the tutorial.
tulip practice
Lets start with leaves.
Double load your brush, I used a 3/4” flat brush and DecoArt Amercana Avocado Green and Citron green
The first leaves are the behind leaves.
Place your loaded brush drag up while applying pressure
Tulip leaves1
(I have excess paint in my brush to get it to slide on the paper, on a painted or primed surface you won’t have so much paint in the brush)
tulip leaves2
lift to a chisel edge as you go into the slight curve
tulip leaves3
Here comes the tricky one, the turned leaf.
I failed to do it right but you should start the leaf on the chisel edge so the bottom of the leaf is narrow coming from the stem and not so broad.
You start out the same as the regular leaf
tulip leaves4
You go into tighter curve lifting the brush to the chisel edge
tulip leaves5
then flatten the brush as you bring it down towards you and to a chisel edge again
tulip leaves6
Clear as mud?? Hopefully the video will help.
Paint Fast and Easy Tulips Video Drag in some stems with the chisel edge and get ready to paint some tulips!
I used a #12 flat brush and DecoArt Amercana Royal Fuchsia and Snow (titanium) White
Double load your brush
Start with the back petals, I used a scallop stroke
Layer the back petals on until you have what you want.
Then start the front petals.  You can do right or left, I started with the left.
I stroked up to a point at the top then came back down.
And this the same on the left, you will notice it is none to neat.
You can fix that.
Add a few more strokes , until you are happy.
I did some modified S strokes following the contour of the petals.
 Paint Fast and Easy Tulips Video 
Do the same with the second tulip.
You note that the front petals are a bit different.
Back petals first of course, then start one the front.
Notice I did not bring the left front petal stroke back down as I did the first.

The right petal will overlap here.
You can start at the top or bottom and put in a slight C stroke.
Then flip your brush and do another.
Then I overlapped another C stroke on the last one.
Paint Fast and Easy Tulips Video 
The last tulip is more closed, so not as many strokes.
Do the right side first, which is the back petal. 
then add the front, which is 2 c strokes. 

And that is the basics of painting tulips.
Paint Fast and Easy Tulips Video 
I hope the video, which I posted links to throughout this post for convenience is helpful despite its short comings.
Here is another practice painting using the same pattern and methods but you can see how they turn out different each time.

The rest of this post can be see over here HOW TO PAINT TULIPS
Happy Painting!


  1. Excellent tutorial! I can feel how the brush moves in my hand and how the paint slides off to create the stroke. Nicely done. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. You're so generous and a great teacher! Thank you for your time and effort to do this....the best painting tutorial I've seen too:)

  3. Beautiful tutorial. I hope you will share it at my hop today. Hugs!


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