Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Abstract Flowers

Hooray for generous artists who put together and post beautiful tutorials!  I had some fun today with this great method of painting abstract flowers by Carla Sonheim. 

Carla's directions are very easy to follow and there is plenty of room to have fun and add your own creative flair.  It all begins with random splotches of watercolor.

Both ends of the paintbrush are used in the next end to paint gesso circles and and the other to etch details.

Pencil lines and more gesso refine the images a bit.

I got caught in the flow and forgot to scan the next few steps, but Carla includes beautiful images with her tutorial.  In the end, everything is tied together with a sepia wash which is the perfect finishing touch.

I took off on my own at the end of the process, adding black and white marks for contrast.  Renegade that I am, I also ended up adding a little more watercolor on top of the gesso.  My flowers didn't look much like Carla's lovely originals but I think they make a happy little grouping and I have some new ideas to add to my creative toolbox.
Pulling images from random marks this way reminds me a little of the intuitive painting process I studied with Flora Bowley earlier this year.  It's fun to see how ideas and techniques evolve once they collide with all the other info swimming around in this brain of mine.  

Oh, and here's one more page I created today.  (I didn't add so much black and white to this one.)  The process could be a little addictive, I think.  It's very free and relaxing.

Be sure to check out the full tutorial posted on the Art of Silliness.  It is super easy to follow and plants plenty of seeds in the ol' imagination.  ( it?...BaHaHa!)  A big thank you also to Kristin Dudish of Art and Stuff.  She posted a tutorial try-out last week that encouraged me to give this a go and offers a place to link-up if you try it yourself.  Kristin is also one of the hosts of the very popular Paint Party Friday, so she's spreading blog love all over the place!

Let me know if you give this a try.  (Maybe you already have?)  I'd love to see what you've done!

Linking up today with:


  1. I love this! Especially watching the flowers emerge through each stage. Something new to try...

  2. Love your process and that you took it off on your own and made it your pretty bouquet! xox

  3. These are so pretty, keep having fun and making such great art!


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