Friday, 21 April 2017

Floral Wreath Friday 1

Welcome to the first "Floral Wreath Friday". As I was doing this post, I kept on thinking how I would choose one design to feature. And then it hit me - I don't have to choose! This first post will be a detailed step-by-step tutorial but future weeks will be shorter, focusing instead on different motifs and ideas to use in your projects.

You will need:
  • Watercolour paper, or good-quality heavyweight cardstock cut to size (my piece is a 10 cm square but I've also done floral wreaths the size of dinner plates)
  • Pencil and compass (if you don't have a compass, you can trace a circular item)
  • Eraser
  • Watercolour paints
  • Brush and water (I prefer using a waterbrush, but this is just a personal preference)

Start off by lightly drawing a circle on your paper in pencil. It should be just visible to you, but not so dark that pencil trapped under paint will be visible.

Start off your wreath by picking one element and spacing them around the circle. For this wreath, I wanted red roses, so I started off with a watered-down red and made irregular blobs as the base layer. In general, I find that the smaller your elements get, the less water you want to use in order to maintain control over where your paint goes.
When spacing your elements out, remember that odd numbers usually are more appealing than even ones.

Now chose your second element. I went for a simple purple daisy. Paint one of these in the spaces between your first elements. Remember, you don't have to do any fancy art here!

Now it's time to start filling our wreath in. I wanted to give the roses bright green leaves. I painted the two stalks first, and then added the leaves to them in short strokes.

Continue around the wreath. I prefer to keep my hand and brush in more-or-less the same position and just rotate the paper until I've gone all the way around.

Now that we have a simple wreath, it's time to add in detail! Using a more concentrated red, I added swirls to the roses using the very tip of my brush to give the illusion of rose petals.

Next, I added a wash of pink-purple to the daisies to fill them out. Adding leaves in different shades of green is a great way to fill out your wreath and bring it to life. Finally, I added some details like the red berries and small orange flowers.

Once your paint is dry, carefully erase any pencil lines that are visible.

Now, if you wish, you can leave your wreath as-is or add something to the center. An initial is always good. You could also add a date to commemorate an occasion or carefully add a name or sentiment.

And there you go!

I will be showing more examples in the future, but here are two projects I recently did. We recently celebrated my grandmother's 85th birthday with a fancy family dinner. I cut out circles of cardstock with my die-cutting machine, then painted and laminated them to make coasters for everyone's wine glasses. I also added some coordinating roses to the menus that were on everyone's placesetting.

My largest project to date was for a friend's bridal shower that I hosted (hi Helene!). Again, I made coasters, monogrammed with the bride's initial, for everyone to use for their champagne glasses. In total I made 27 wreathes in 9 different designs. Overkill? Yes. Lots of fun for me? Yes! I also made two A3 sized posters, each with a giant wreath, welcoming the guests.


If you would like to commission a hand-painted monogrammed floral wreath, contact me on to receive a quote.

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