you can learn how to paint a rose, a red rose or your favorite color rose

It takes practice and patience to learn how to paint a rose. Once you learn, you can paint any color rose.

  • We will paint a red rose and a multicolored rose many called their favorite.

The part that hindered me in painting roses was drawing them. During painting, I would get lost in all the petals. Which petal went where, which one should be in front and which ones behind, etc.?

It was time to take time out from painting and practice drawing roses. It was necessary to get their shape firmly in my mind. Then the painting would go smoothly.

  • The same will work for you.

Draw or paint your roses from live flowers, artificial roses or good photos. Drawing is essential when you are learning how to paint a rose.

You can learn how to paint a rose with oil paintsYou Can Paint a Rose

learning how to paint roses

Two things will help you learn how to paint a rose - practice and patience. Painting daily is a great way to learn.

More importantly, my hope is you will use two important basic art principles.

  • Light and Dark values
  • Warm and Cool colors

how to paint a rose

These rose paintings are done on 8x10" stretched canvas. Canvas panels also work well for practice.

Either draw directly on the canvas or transfer your drawing to the canvas with graphite paper.

Lay out your colors on a disposable paper palette.

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let's start with the red rose

paint colors

Cadmium Red, Cadmium Red Light, Permanent Rose, Alizarin Crimson, Viridian Green, Cadmium Yellow, Titanium White and Mixing White

underpainting gives you a roadmap

Underpaint this rose with Alizarin Crimson. Thin the paint with solvent and paint a very thin layer. Use Viridian for the leaves and stem.

Squint and look at your subject. You will see the light and dark values.

Underpaint the red rose with AlizarinUnderpaint the rose

Paint with very thin paint. Put a thin second layer on the dark areas. The lightest areas will have almost no paint at all.

It's easy to make any necessary corrections in your drawing at this stage.

Use a clean brush dampened with solvent. Brush out what you want to change. Wipe the remainder off with a paper towel, if desired.

Let the underpainting dry before moving on.

start painting the rose

Start painting the rose with Cadmium Red. If you have Cadmium Red Deep, that will also work.

Refer to the finished painting and apply the paint on the darkest areas of the painting.

Paint the darkest areas of the rosePaint the darkest areas

When you squint looking at the rose, what areas look the darkest?

Go up up and look at the Finished Painting

This time thin your paint with just a tiny bit of solvent, just enough to make the paint flow.

We will paint into this layer later, so keep it thin.

This is how to paint a rose - layer by layer.

darken the shadow areas

Mix Alizarin Crimson with your Viridian Green to make a dark color, almost black.

Take a small amount of this color with no solvent, paint it onto the shadow areas.

Paint the dark shadow areas of the rosePaint the shadow areas

Use just a small amount of paint on your brush. Paint it on gently. If you stroke too hard, you will pull off the layer of red.

Gently blend out the line between the shadow and non-shadow areas.

If you can't seem to make it blend, the paint probably is too thick. Let it set a bit. Go on to the next step and blend later.

paint the light areas

Using Cadmium Red Light paint the light face of the petals, not the edges. You will see that Cad Red Light has an orange tint to it compared to Cadmium Red.

If you don't have Cad Red Light you can add orange or yellow to Cadmium Red to lighten it.

Paint the light areas on the rosePaint the light areas

The edges and flipped over areas of the petals are painted lighter, yet.

Mix Permanent Pink with some Mixing White for the lightest petal edges.

Go back and blend the shadow areas again, if they still need softening. This is how to paint a rose that looks more realistic.

paint the background

Paint the background while the rose is still wet.

Paint the leaves and stem with a mix of Viridian, Cad Yellow, Mixing White and any red to dull the green. Add some of your previous shadow mix to make the shadow areas of the leaves and stem.

Finish your rose with the backgroundFinish with the background

Use the colors from your palette the paint to the background. Use any of the reds, green or yellow mixed with Titanium White.

It's fun to put a variation of colors into the background for visual interest.

Then take a soft dry brush and gently blend the petal edges into the background. This is how to paint a rose, that doesn't look pasted on.

painting a multicolored rose

People called this their favorite rose.Favorite Rose


Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Permanent Rose, Alizarin Crimson, Viridian Green, Titanium White and Mixing White

start with a roadmap

Do an underpainting with very thin paint that has been thinned with your 'ad' solvent.

Notice each separate petal contrasts dark against light in the petal next to it.

Do an underpainting of the rose.Underpaint the rose

Use yellow or light pink (Permanent Pink) on the light edges of the petals.

Mix Alizarin and Yellow Ochre for the dark areas.

Viridian and yellow make the leaves and stem.

Take a break and let the underpainting dry. I usually have lunch while it dries. This is how to paint a rose.

paint the dark areas

Start again when the underpainting is dry.

Your painting looks like a rose. And you have a roadmap of what to paint where.

Paint the darkest color on the rose.Paint the darkest color

Mix Alizarin Crimson and Yellow Ochre for the darkest color on the rose.

Thin the paint just enough to make it easy to paint on.

It is important to paint in thin layers.

You don't want thick and gooey paint because you will be painting into this layer while it is still wet.

paint the medium values

Mix Permanent Pink and Mixing White for the medium and light pinks. Alizarin and Mixing White make the darkest shadow pink.

Titanium White will be used in the background. Mixing Titanium with colors can give them a chalky appearance.

Paint the medium value colors onto the rose.Paint the medium values

Mixing White used in moderation, lightens the colors without a chalky appearance.

Use the shadow pink where the petals attach. Also use it in the center of the bottom left petal to indicate a depression.

Use lighter pinks on the petal edges.

Softly blend the various colors together, so there is no line between the colors. This is how to paint a rose that looks more natural.

paint the light colors

Mix your light colors. Yellow and Permanent Pink make a clear orange. Yellow Ochre and Permanent Pink make the dusty oranges.

Use Titanium White with yellow or pink for the petal edges and the large center petal.

Paint the light colors of the rose.Paint the lightest values

Softly blend the light colors into the colors already on the rose.

Paint, soften and blend the colors to give the fragile petal appearance.

Use the yellows, pinks and oranges however you want to make your own individual rose.

That's how to paint a rose and have fun!

paint the background

Paint the background around the rose before the rose paint dries.

Alizarin and Viridian with lots of white make a soft grey.

Softly blend the edges of the rose into the background with a dry brush. Then the rose won't look pasted on.

Paint a soft background around the rosePaint the background

Paint the leaves and stem with Viridian mixed with Yellow Ochre for a soft green. Add a little pink in some places for a rust color. This helps tie the flower and leaves together color-wise.

The center leaf has one side turned up to show the underside. Paint it with your green lightened with white.

People tell me this was their favorite rose.

what did we learn?

  • Practice drawing roses
  • Paint in thin layers
  • Underpaint for a roadmap
  • Separate the petals with light and dark values
  • Warm and cool colors give interest and variety
  • It's fun painting roses

start now - you know how to paint a rose

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