This simple tutorial for painting a daisy is from the book Learn to Paint in Acrylics with 50 More Small Paintings by Mark Daniel Nelson. With a basic paint kit, brushes and a small canvas you master the basics in an afternoon.
You could use the same skills learned here to paint this charming lemon.
How to Paint a Daisy With Acrylic Paints
This tutorial from Learn to Paint in Acrylics with 50 More Small Paintings by Mark Daniel Nelson is used with permission from Quarto books who also provided a review copy.
When you first start painting, it can be tempting to put in every single detail you can see—every leaf on a branch, every petal on a flower, every brick in a wall.
The trouble with this is that you get bogged down in detail; your work can become fussy and overcomplicated and difficult for viewers to read clearly.
In this exercise, you’ll learn a technique called “massing.”
What this means is that, instead of painting lots of small, individual shapes, you look for simpler, generalized shapes that can be treated as a single unit.
It’s an easy way to make your paintings more cohesive.
- White paper, canvas, or gessoed panel
- #1 round brush
- #4 bright brush
- #6 flat brush
- #4 filbert brush
1Mix Paint With Glazing Medium
Mix Cadmium Yellow Medium with a little glazing medium.
In the center of the canvas, using a #1 round brush, draw a circle for the flower center, then an outer “guide circle” and a stalk.
You’ll paint over the guide circle later; it’s just to show you roughly where the extremities of the petals will be.
2Fill in Flower Center
Switch to a #4 bright brush and fill in the flower center in Cadmium Yellow Medium, then draw in shapes for the petals, keeping some separate and allowing others to overlap.
As with the guide circle in step 1, you’ll paint over most of these shapes later.
Mix a bright blue from Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White.
Using a #6 flat brush, paint the background, cutting out the shape of the petals as you do so.
Allow to dry completely.
Some petals sit above others and cast shadows; paint these shadows in a pale gray (Unbleached Titanium + a tiny bit of Mars Black) using a #4 filbert brush.
Now bring your painting together by “massing” the petals and joining some of them together into an overall shape, using Titanium White; I joined all the petals on the right-hand side in one big mass, which makes a more graphically satisfying image.
Where you feel it’s necessary, cut in with the background blue color to delineate the tips of some of the petals and add more cast shadows with the pale gray mix.
Still using the #4 filbert brush, add a little Yellow Ocher to the flower center.
Mix a mid-toned green from Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Medium, and Unbleached Titanium, and paint the stem.
Because there’s still some separation between the petals on the left-hand side, our brain fills in the missing details and interprets the right-hand side as being made up of individual petals, too—but the result is graphic and unfussy.
Get the Book
Pick Up the Skills, Put on the Paint, Hang Up your Art
by Mark Daniel Nelson
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛