Step-by-Step Gouache Floral Bouquet CollageMay 05, 2022
Today we are going to be creating a gouache floral bouquet collage. This easy to follow tutorial will help you create a beautiful and vibrant piece of art that you can keep for yourself or gift to a friend. This technique can be used in many different ways, like a DIY Mother’s Day or birthday card. The possibilities are endless with collage!
My name is Julie Malizia, and as part of The Pigeon Letters Design Team, I absolutely love sharing these projects with you. I love to see the way you take these tutorials and really make it your own beautiful work of art. Let’s get started!
- 8 x 10 sheet of cardstock or watercolor paper
- 9 x 12 sheet of watercolor paper
- Filbert Brush or 1” Wash Brush
- Water cup (for rinsing)
- Gouache (3 for flowers: Rose, Lilac, Light Apricot; 3 for stems: Deep Green, Viridian Green, Lemon yellow; White)*
*A quick note on the gouache: If this paint isn’t available to you, you can use acrylic paint. Your colors don’t need to match mine exactly, but aim for 2 shades of pink/purple, 1 lighter shade of pink/peach, white, yellow, green and blue-green. You can mix them yourself, too!)
Want to watch the video walkthrough instead?
Step 1: Paint with Loose, Abstract Brushstrokes
The first step of this gouache collage process is to cover your 9 x 12” piece of watercolor paper with paint. The top half of the sheet will be used for your florals, so you’ll paint it with Lilac, Rose, Light Apricot and White. The bottom half of the sheet will be your Deep Green, Viridian Green, Lemon Yellow and White.
Starting with the darkest shade, make C-shaped brush strokes with your filbert brush. You will vary the direction of each stroke. Dipping your brush in the water will adjust the thickness and opacity of the paint. I like to vary those, too! Next, fill in the blank spaces with your medium tone and your lighter tone. Using the white (and an un-rinsed brush) add some highlights in the same shape.
On the bottom half of the page, you will follow the same process as above but with the shades of green, yellow and white.
Allow your paint to dry completely before moving on to the next step. This is a good time to use any excess paint on another paper, too! You can save it for a future collage.
Step 2: Cut Out Florals, Stems and Leaves
Once your paint is dry, you get to chop up your hard work. I like to cut the top half off to make the size a little more manageable to cut.
You are going to be making a bouquet of five flowers, with two different designs. The shapes are a little more basic and cartoon-y to allow the texture and colors of the gouache to be the star of the show.
Cut out two flowers somewhat in the shape of puppy paws. They will have a rounded bottom and three little bumps across the top. Next, cut out three circles. Arrange these on top of your black sheet of cardstock so that you can measure the length for the stems.
Starting with your longest stem, cut a thin strip from the green half of the gouache sheet. This strip will be in a slight C-shaped curve. The next flower will be a C-shape in the opposite direction. Keep alternating curves so that they cross in the center like a bouquet.
Finally, cut out leaf shapes for your flowers. On the circle-shaped flowers, cut out a few, small tear-drop shaped leaves. On your “puppy paw” flowers, cut out a few, thin and pointed leaf-shaped ones.
Want to try other collages with fun nature elements? Grab yourself a copy of Peggy Dean's Guide to Nature Drawing & Watercolor for some inspiration.
Step 3: Glue and Embellish
The final step in this process is (of course!) glue. Starting with that longest stem again, glue it down to your sheet. Glue the back of the flower and place it on top of the stem. Repeat this for all five flowers, being sure to leave a little room for each of them to breathe.
Once your flowers and stems are glued down, fill in the spaces with the leaves. You might have to trim and adjust as needed here. Remember to leave a little of the black paper shining through to really highlight how vibrant your colors are!
After everything is glued down, grab your filbert brush and turn it upside down. Dip the tip of the wooden handle in a little of the white paint and add three dots to the center of the circle-shaped flowers. Next, add two groups of three dots to the black paper above the larger, paw shaped flowers. And that’s it! You’re done!
Thank you for making this gouache collage with me today! If you share it on social media, please tag me! I would love to see your work!
See all of Julie’s tutorials here!
Julie is a self-taught, multidisciplinary artist living in California with her husband and three daughters. She is inspired by the beauty of the mundane and the chaos of motherhood. One of the greatest joys in life is sharing her art to help ignite the creative spark in others.
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