For our Valentine cards we are getting fun and fancy-free, and practicing our super loose watercolor flowers. They are quick to paint, so you can make a whole pile at once to have on hand or make a few to use for Valentine's Day.
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You never want to paint directly on card stock so I start by cutting down some watercolor paper to a 4x6 inch size and will attach them to a card afterwards. The success of these simple florals really comes down to the color palette you choose. I started with a deep golden yellow, magenta, a peachy pink, and my favorite earthy green.
I started with the largest flowers on the card. They are loose flowers with 4 or 5 petals, just a couple strokes across the page for each petal. Allow the shape to emerge and leave it alone. It should be fast and free, creating loose florals, and is a great way to practice your brush strokes.
With the golden yellow I'm running the brush across the page in more of a spiral motion. You'll gradually see the round flower emerge. With the first flowers dry, I've added brown for the stamen and am starting on the leaves. I like to start with a lighter green and then taking some of the darker mix from the palette - release it into the wet paint. I'll keep adding the leaves bordering the flowers so that when the image is finished I'll have a tight burst of florals. Everything is a little messy to start but in the end when its all squished together it will look really pretty.
I decided to add a little dark blue to my color palette, adding a smaller floral of oval clusters connected by a green stem. I'm adding them in wherever there is white space so that the burst of florals is filling up.
Finally, I'm using a dark brown to add some stems and leaves to fill the rest of the blank space. Thinking about having a size contrast now that we have the smaller blue flowers, I am keeping the brown leaves smaller than the green.
This step is entirely optional, but once the entirety of the card is filled in, I like to take some darker paint and add extra details. I added the curving lines on the round flowers and more dark green on the leaves.
For my second design I am starting with a dark peach with another loose floral, sort of like a tulip, with vertical brushstrokes. Remember to start with your largest floral and have a good contrast in size and shape. I added some red to my original magenta for the second floral and just used a couple tiny flicks across the page to create those tiny petals.
I love the way the peach looks with a very dark green. I am adding messy stems and leaves, trying not to overthink it as I paint. These are all about being loose, watery, and perfectly imperfect. With the aqua blue I'm going to keep adding leaves instead of extra florals this time. Most are sort of fern-like with a central stem, but I also added in some random leaves wherever I still had white space.
With a near black I am adding details to the center of the florals to show that there is a stamen there. I loved the contrast this added to the piece so I also decided to add some tiny dark leaves in as well. I am finishing off by adding some darker paint, especially to the peach florals to give them more depth.
I am really happy with how loose, and fun, and free, they turned out. Once dry, I am attaching them to the cards and ready to add my messages! I used simple cards from the dollar store.
These would also be great for birthdays, Mother's Day, or Father's Day, so you can leave them blank or add a different message. Remember to write it in pencil first to make sure you have room. That's all there is to it! Have fun, try some different colors and florals and be creative.
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