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Realistic Rose Paintings: Study tutorials AND real life!!

If you were lucky enough to have received a bouquet of roses for Valentine’s day, take advantage of this opportunity to study a live model!!

We all get so hung up on one stroke roses, and the plethora of tutorials out there on them.  My One Stroke Face Painting book has pages on roses and rosebuds.  However, I am a firm believer that in order to achieve the most realistic painting, one must not spend all of their time studying face painting step-by-steps, but study the real life subject matter itself!  Of course, these tutorials are vital for us to understand how to use our flat brushes, one stroke cakes, and how to twist and turn our brushes in just the right formation to create a realistic rose.  However, understanding the subject matter you are painting just makes everything fall into place.

Last fall I visited our local arboretum with my family, and took the opportunity to take a bunch of reference photos of roses.  The rose garden was gorgeous that day, and even had water drops on many of the petals. I wanted to share some of these photos with you to help you better understand the shape, color variations, and intricate details of roses…

The bud…at the center of EVERY rose.

Bud with some more loose petals

Study ALL angles of the rose!

I finally got around to painting a rose this weekend, referencing one of my photos from the arboretum that day:

My reference photo on my laptop

Finished rose painting

If you’ve read my Realism book, you’ll see that I have many examples of how to study real objects to gain a better understanding of lighting and shadows.  Understanding these underlying shapes and lighting well will help to make it second nature when it comes to figuring out how to position and move your brush for one stroke roses.

So, the moral of the story is….if you’re trying to paint something realistic, study the real thing!  It can only make your realistic paintings that much more believable!

Happy Valentine’s Day, and Happy Painting! 🙂