Mia Whittemore

Mixed Media Bouquet

Mia Whittemore
Duration:   1  hrs 10  mins

Paint floral bouquets and put together several different floral and botanical elements in any color you desire. Using several mediums — watercolor, gouache and colored pencils — and little imagination will allow for even more variety, says artist Mia Whittemore.

Before starting her painting, Mia preps her paper by stretching it. This will keep the paper from buckling after paint is applied. First, she tapes the paper to the table and then brushes on an even layer of water and lets it dry. Mia says if you’re planning a colored background, this initial wash is a great time to add it. Once dry, Mia sketches her bouquet on to the paper using a colored pencil. She starts with a single blossom and then adds different varieties of flowers around the paper. Mia fills out her bouquet with stems, leaves, and buds.

Mia suggests choosing 5-8 colors for the bouquet in whatever hues you prefer. Mia blocks out the center flowers in watercolor, spreading out the color quickly before it sets. She works around her entire painting making sure not to paint next to a previously painted, still-wet. Painting directly adjacent to a wet area could cause color bleeding. Once the flowers and buds are blocked out in watercolor, Mia moves to the leaves and stems, alternating between watercolor and a thinned water-based gouache, which will maintain some transparency. She adds layers to deepen color and opacity where she wants.

Mia adds details and shading to her painting with thicker water-based gouache. Once the painting is dry, Mia picks up her colored pencils and adds additional shadows, texture, and veins to the petals and leaves. Mia continues to refine her painting, switching between all three mediums. She finishes her work by painting a twine tie to the bouquet, using thick watercolor for greater opacity. Use Mia’s techniques to create your own mixed media bouquet!