How to paint a dahlia flower blossom.

One that is fiery red using oil paints.

Home > Tips from my easel > How to paint a dahlia flower.

Below you'll find the speed video I did for this painting.  As you notice, there are no toning of the canvas, no brown under painting, and no gray or dead layer!  Why?  Good question.  I'll try to answer it for you below.  In the meantime, here's the video.

Now, if you've enjoyed the video, if you've learned something or just like the music, please consider clicking the thumbs-up icon in the upper right of the video screen, or even click the YouTube icon in the lower right to sign in and leave a comment. 

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Now back to the explanation of the why no under-paintings.

Well, this is a technique that follows some of histories earlier painting techniques with egg tempera (centuries old).  Using mostly glazes, the paint is applied in thin layers that allow light to pass through the layers.

The luminosity of the reds and yellows (as they are transparent colors) can be heightened by allowing thin layers to be applied and the white background serves to bounce light back through the paint films.  Like a stained glass effect.

Three full hours of video has been compressed into this 8 minute session shown,  and it only shows part of the first layer

The first layer took a few hours more to complete.

Each successive layer was then completed after the painting dried thoroughly using an accelerator. Also a coat of retouch varnish was applied between each coat to enhance the stain glass effect.  The photo is pretty good, but to see it in person is so much better.

dahlia flower painting

I hope you've enjoyed this very short demo.  Click here to head back to my easel from paint a dahlia page.

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