I love all roses, it has to be said. But there’s a special place in my heart for a classic, vintage-style rose. You know the type, with blowsy compressed centrals opening up into faded petals that curl back, releasing a powerful perfume.
I also love loose floral watercolour painting, so it seemed only right to combine the two! Here’s my beginner-friendly watercolour tutorial for these stunning roses.
Painting supplies you’ll need
- Watercolour paints
- Watercolour paper
- A paintbrush with a fine tip
- Water jars
- Paper towel
- Sap Green
- Cadmium Yellow
- Opera Rose
- Winsor Red Deep
All the watercolour paint I use is Winsor & Newton Professional. You don’t need these exact colours – roses come in any number of beautiful shades!
For my rose, I’m using one of my favourite colour combinations – Opera Rose and Winsor Red Deep. It creates the perfect pinky-red tone.
How to paint a vintage rose in watercolour
- Mix up your deepest, thickest colour and load up a fine brush. Choose a central point for your rose and begin making long fine loops, branching out from the centre.
- Build this out into a circle, allowing your loops to connect and overlap. Make sure the centre looks dense – fill any gaps and add a second layer if needed.
- Using a larger brush and a lighter wash, begin adding C-curve strokes around the centre, connecting with its edges to allow the watercolour to blend and bleed.
- Keep building the lighter petals out, leaving white space between them but connecting the edges. Wiggle your brush during the stroke for a vintage, blowsy shape.
- Use lighter, finer strokes around the edges to create a balanced, rounded shape.
- If needed, grab some more dark colour and add wet-on-wet details in the centre, connecting with the lighter petals so it can bleed.
- Finally, add a stem and some leaves. Leave white space as a vein to stop the leaves looking too flat, and allow them to connect to the rose for a natural blend.
Now your rose is finished! You can put these beautiful flowers into a loose floral composition or bouquet, or fill your whole page with rosy goodness!
Download my free watercolour supply guide
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