Summer Blooms Wood Panel Still Life

Summer Blooms Wood Panel Still Life

Posted by DecoArt on May 27th 2015

Geraniums, daisies, and a butterfly capture the beauty of summer in this still life on an art panel.


    • water container
    • palette or plastic plate
    • paper towels
    • 1-1/2" flat brush
    • #2 round brush
    • 1/2" flat brush
    • 1/4" flat brush
    • sponge applicator
    • #6 filbert brush
    • 1/4" angle brush
    • 120-grit sandpaper
    • #10/0 liner brush
    • wooden art panel


    1. Lightly sand the surface of the art panel.
    2. Apply a generous coat of Primer & Sealer with a sponge applicator. Let dry.
    3. Lightly sand again to smooth out the rough spots.
    4. If you need to use the pattern, transfer only the outside edges of the pattern to the surface. Remember, the design is set a little to the right. It is not centered on the surface.
    5. Use a ½” flat brush (or a ¾” flat brush, if it is more comfortable) to paint the background. Use equal amounts of Blue Mist and Snow White with some Glazing Medium in the brush and paint the entire background in a slip-slap motion. (The amount of Glazing Medium you use will depend on how porous the surface is.) It is important that you work quickly and do not allow sections of the background to dry, or the paint to get sticky.
    6. Pick up more Snow White as you progress to the upper left of the panel where the light source is.
    7. Pick up more Blue Mist as you paint the shadow areas on the right and around the outside of the design. (This will minimize work on shadows later.)
    8. Instruction #7
    9. Pick up Payne’s Grey and basecoat the table top, working quickly as was the case with the background. Let it dry.
    10. Pick up some Snow White and Glazing Medium and add some subtle highlights at the base of the pots. (Try to avoid a harsh transition from Snow White to Payne’s Grey.)
    11. Instruction #9
    12. If necessary, pick up some more Payne’s Grey to soften the transition area. The purpose of the lighter area is to lead the viewer’s eye into the painting.
    13. Let dry and re-transfer pattern details if necessary.
    14. Basecoat the pot surface in Snow White using the ½” flat brush. (Two coats may be necessary to get a clean white.)
    15. Paint the design details with Ultramarine Blue watered down to an inky consistency: Use the 10/0 liner brush on the linework and vines; a #2 round brush on the petal strokes; and a ¼” flat brush on the small leaves.
    16. Shade the pot with Payne’s Grey under the lip of the pot’s brim and above the dish.
    17. Basecoat the left side of the pot with straight Peacock Teal. Brush mix some Payne’s Grey into the Peacock Teal to create a little color for the right side of the pot. Let dry.
    18. Instruction #15
    19. Dry-brush some Plantation Pine as desired to create the effect of moss on the pot.
    20. Paint small cracks with watered-down Burnt Umber.
    21. Add some color into the pots for dirt with Burnt Umber and Plantation Pine. (Do not spend a lot of time perfecting it. As you can see, there is little if any dirt showing when complete, but it’s covered should you decide to have a less dense painting than mine.)
    22. Triple-load a ½” flat brush with Burnt Umber, Plantation Pine, and Snow White and paint the flower stems by leading with the Snow White. Do not blend the colors into mud. (While they are not visible with the exception of the main stem, flowers do grow from stems and painting them keeps us grounded if we are not painting from a pattern.)
    23. Load a #6 filbert brush with Cherry Red and concentrate those strokes in the center and bottom shadow areas of the geranium. (These strokes are more of a suggestion of petals with the goal being to get some of the darker Cherry Red into the base of the flower.)
    24. With the same brush, pick up Watermelon Slice and add more structured strokes on top of the Cherry Red, but let enough of the Cherry Red show through so the eye will process it as the shadow area.
    25. Instruction #21
    26. Pick up Snow White on the same brush to add a highlight to the flower where the light will hit.
    27. Use Bubblegum Pink to add some flower centers; these are tiny dots sporadically placed. (Just add a few in each flower to suggest a center. Don’t go overboard with them and be careful not to make a solid snowball.)
    28. Using a ½” flat brush, basecoat the main leaves in Avocado. (This may take two coats.)
    29. With a ¼” or 3/8" angle brush, float Plantation Pine along the outer edge. (If you need to accentuate the slightly ruffled edge of the leaf, use a heavier float and wiggle the brush to create the non-smooth edge.) Let dry.
    30. Using the corner of a ¼” flat brush and Cherry Red diluted with Glazing Medium, paint the subtle reddish circle in the leaf in a jagged motion. Use a finger to smooth out and tone down.
    31. With watered-down Olive Green and a 10/0 liner brush, paint the veins in the leaf.
    32. For interest, brush mix Peacock Teal, a tad bit of Payne’s Grey, and a tad bit of Snow White on the palette to create a deeper shade of teal. Dry-brush some of the edges of the large leaves to accentuate the shadow areas or just add some interest on some of the leaves.
    33. Instruction #28
    34. Load a ¼” flat brush with the greens on the palette. Alternate colors and tap in some shapes of the secondary geranium leaves where there are spaces you want to fill. Do not overwork the shape as the goal is to create the illusion of a leaf.
    35. With a #2 round brush and Snow White, paint the daisy petals and a dot for the center. Let dry.
    36. When dry, paint the daisy centers Saffron Yellow. Let dry.
    37. When dry, shade the daisy center by using a ¼” angle brush loaded with Burnt Sienna. Shade around the center with Payne’s Grey.
    38. Instruction #32
    39. Load a ¼” or ½” flat brush with Plantation Pine to basecoat the daisy leaves or paint an elongated one-stroke leaf.
    40. Create a highlight color by adding some Snow White to Olive Green. Using a ¼” flat brush, dry-brush the Snow White/Olive Green mix on the edge closest to the light source.
    41. In the same fashion as the highlights, shade the leaves on the shadow side with the same Peacock Teal, Payne’s Grey, and the Peacock Teal/Payne's Grey/Snow White mix used to accentuate the geranium leaves (see step 28).
    42. Add a little Snow White to the Snow White/Olive Green mix (step 34) and dilute to an ink-like consistency. Use the new mix to paint the veins and stems with a 10/0 liner brush.
    43. Instruction #36
    44. Add some interest by painting the fallen petals and leaves to the tabletop using the same colors and strokes as used to create the flowers in the Peacock Teal pot. (See steps 30-32.)
    45. Trace the outer outline of the butterfly to the surface. Basecoat the butterfly shape in Snow White. Let dry. When dry, basecoat in one or two coats of Saffron Yellow to ensure it is opaque. Paint the details on the wings, body, and antennae in Lamp Black.
    46. Instruction #38
    47. With a 3/8” angle brush loaded with Glazing Medium in the heel and Payne’s Grey in the toe shade the following areas: 1) Strengthen the Payne’s Grey under the pots and under the geranium on the table top. (This will ground those elements to the table.) 2) Strengthen the shadows in the geranium and/or daisy pots where you feel there needs to be more differentiation between the elements.
    48. To finish the piece, apply Glass Texture with a large, soft brush in a slip-slap motion. (I prefer sealing canvas or flat surfaces with this product because I think the textured effect makes the acrylic look more like fine oil paint.)


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