How to Paint a Loose Floral Wreath

When I started learning watercolors, I didn’t know how far my obsession with wreaths would go! The possibilities of designing a floral wreath are endless! In today’s post, I’d like to show you some simple ways to paint a floral wreath, and then you let your imagination run wild!

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Like I mentioned, wreaths can be as simple or as complicated as you want. In general, I don’t like to use more than five different floral elements. Any more than that, and the wreath can start looking messy. The only exception would be if your painting is large, because the wreath can be pretty thick without it looking too crowded or chaotic.

So let’s get to painting! I’ll show you two different wreaths in the loose floral style. Not sure what kinds of floral elements to add? Check out my booklet/e-book on loose florals!

Materials:

  • Water
  • Paper towel or rag
  • Watercolor paint
  • Watercolor brushes (round sizes 2, 6, and 12, or comparable sizes)
  • Watercolor paper
  • Pencil
  • Something to help draw a circle (I like to use a mason jar lid!)

Although we are painting in a loose style, I do like to plan a little bit of how it’s going to look. First, I think about color. To get a basic understand of color theory, check out this post. In general, I like to use warm colors for my flowers, and muted greens for my leaves. The color choices are up to you! But take some time to make swatches. Sometimes I like to use contrasting colors like peach-colored flowers and dark green or navy leaves. Lastly, you can also use analogous colors like red, red-purple, and purple colored flowers, and muted green colored leaves.

The second thing I think about is composition: how and where I might place the floral elements. Sometimes I like to do a wreath that is mostly leaves. If that’s the case, then I’d paint smaller flowers and branches. Or maybe I’ll do the opposite and emphasize large flowers and use small leaves and branches. Again, the possibilities are endless! But take some time to think about it so that you don’t feel stuck halfway through your wreath.

Wreath #1 – Floral wreath: bright

watercolor wreath bright pink red flowers painting florals loose watercolorwithTUD

First, draw a very light circle in the middle of your paper. The paper size in these photos are 6″x6″, and I used a wide mouth mason jar lid to draw my circle.

Then, paint 3-5 medium sized loose flowers. They don’t need to be spaced exactly apart. Sometimes the asymmetry makes the wreath more appealing.

To paint these flowers I used a size 6 round brush.

watercolor wreath bright pink red flowers painting florals loose watercolorwithTUD

Add some brightly colored leaves. Here, I’m using two basic green colors. Notice that I also have the leaves facing different directions. I did this on purpose again to give the wreath a more organic look.

watercolor wreath bright pink red flowers painting florals loose watercolorwithTUD leaves green

Next, I added some goldenrod-looking smaller flowers to complement the bright pink/red flowers.

Lastly, once the bright pink/red flowers were dry, with a size 2 round brush, I added the stamen using black and yellow ochre.

Overall, this wreath is a bright, eye-catching wreath. If you like, you could add some lighter leaves where there is some white space.

Try it out and share your creation on Instagram with #watercolorwithTUD!

Wreath #2 – Leaf wreath: grey tones

grey tones wreath leaves watercolor painting loose florals

For this leaf wreath, I’m using mostly the payne’s gray color mixed with some green. I used a size 12 round brush to make paint these large leaves.

grey tones wreath leaves watercolor painting loose florals

For the flowers, I mixed a little bit of blue into the payne’s gray, and painted them similarly to the goldenrod in the first wreath.

grey tones wreath leaves watercolor painting loose florals

Lastly, add some stems and this simple wreath is complete!

Share your loose floral wreath on Instagram by using #watercolorwithTUD and #TUDWreath!

Bonus!

Here’s a non-hyperlapse video of me taking you step by step through another simple wreath. Enjoy!

*I first made this video when I was preparing for my Instagram takeover for @LetteringLeague a few weeks ago. You can see a similar wreath that I painted on their page.

18 Comments

  1. After reading this post, I feel like I could actually create a loose floral wreath! That’s coming from someone who has never watercolored. My favorite is the grey tones wreath. Beautiful work and you’re a great teacher!

    Liked by 1 person

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