How to Paint a Blooming Magnolia Branch in Acrylic for Beginners – An Art Tutorial for the Perfect Panel Picture

Hello, dear followers of free Art lessons online!

I hope you will really like the new painting lesson.
Our today’s lesson is dedicated to the wonderful spring magnolia flowers.

Here are the photos that have helped me to paint it:

video acrylic art lessons: flowers
Blooming magnolia

The subject is very simple. This is the abstract art lesson optimized for the work with the oil paints.

Today we will manage to paint the beautiful and striking picture. It will be quite easy to paint even for beginning artists. Also I would like to say that I haven’t got any specific idea and I have improvised a lot.

We will need acrylic paints for art lesson:

  •  White;
  •  Prussian Blue;
  •  Red (cochineal or madder lake);
  •  Van-Dyke Brown;
  •  Black;
  •  Green (whichever you want).
  •  «Chameleon» decorative acrylic paint is necessary (if you cannot find it, you can use «pearl», «mother of pearl» or at least «silver»).
  •  Also I`ve used the decorative paints such as «graphite» and «bamboo sprouts», but it is also possible to do without them.
  • Necessary tools:
  •  prepare the wide flat paint brush (you can use the quality bristle whitewashing brush instead of it);
  •  palette knife;
  •  water, airbrush;
  •  and a few synthetic art brushes.

So, let’s get started our lesson of abstract acrylic painting:

The main and important thing in this work (and in any other one either) is to place our flowers properly and harmoniously on the canvas. As you can see I use the big square (50х80 см) canvas which is set horizontally. The magnolia branch also will be placed in horizontal direction.

If we have placed the flowers properly on the canvas, all the rest that we’ll paint will look beautiful and interesting anyway. Here is an example:

And remember there should be one central flower.

After sketching everything with the graphite pencil we can begin working with paints. Let’s take the Prussian Blue and the White, press them out on the palette, mix them up and make the background for our magnolia. At first splash up the canvas with water. Apply the paint on the canvas surface making strictly horizontal brush strokes with the help of the wide brush; do not smear the stripes made because of the badly mixed paints.

Let`s come over to the flowers:

Mix the White and the Red Cochineal, also you can add a bit of the Brown there. At first you should just sketch the flower petals with the help of the small brush and paint them in light and even a little bit transparent (adding some water) pink color. Then slowly but steadily we will finalize the petals location, their shape and direction. The color of our magnolia flowers will become more intense and expressive. As far as we create the decorative panel picture, we can paint magnolia flowers in broad strokes diverging a bit from the realistic look of these flowers. The main and important thing is to hit the leaf shape and the bud structure. For this purpose you should look at the photo of the real flowers.

Let`s paint branches.

Mix the Van-Dyke Brown and a bit of the Black. Reproduce the neat shape of magnolia branches. There are some kinds of nodules on magnolia branches. We can mark them with the blade tip of the palette knife cutting off the paint in places of these whorls and knurs. Also it is possible to cover the branches with the «graphite» paint. But I would not recommend doing it, because I didn`t like this experiment and had to cover them with the dark paint one more time in order to avoid this bright luster.


After our flowers have got the clear lines and proper shape, we can hack upon the shades, the overtones and the light. Imagine that our flowers are lightened strictly from above, so this means that the edges of the upward petals should be lighter than the main color of the leafs. For this purpose mix the White and a bit of the Red, you can also add the «chameleon» into this mix. You can slightly darken the bottom of the bud adding a bit of the Brown to the main color. Magnolia buds will look very beautiful and gorgeous if you slightly cover them with «chameleon» paint. But do not «paint» them with this decorative paint. Just slightly cover the lightened parts of leafs with the rare (almost transparent) paint.
In order to make our decorative panel picture more vivid, let`s add the green. Making the light dabs we will hint at the green leafs which are unfolding under the flowers. Do not try to put them into the clear shape – just make a hint. In order to show the overtone on the green leaf, I`ve taken the decorative «bamboo sprouts» paint and made a few brush strokes with the rib of the palette knife in the direction of the leaf growth.

The background.

Draw the shades with the rare Prussian Blue under the flowers and the branches. Also you can add lighter brush strokes over the branches: Prussian Blue + White.

And finally let`s work on the clear décor using different heavy-bodied paint mixes that are lighter or darker than the background. Dip the rip of the palette knife into this mix and make the vertical bands on the canvas background. Pink, red, greenish, white and pearl volumetric bands will greatly refresh our panel picture and make our work more interesting. If you have overdone the bands a bit somewhere, you can cover or shade them with the background blue paint.

You can stop at this stage and finish the work on the picture. But if you want, you can go into details a bit and make the flowers more realistic. However it is a matter of taste and desire and you can continue the draughtsmanship at your convenience.

Thus our story about the decorative panel picture with the flowers comes to an end. And our fine art lesson is over.

Ask questions, leave your comments and share your painting art ideas!

I wish you good luck and new success in your creative work!





2 responses to “How to Paint a Blooming Magnolia Branch in Acrylic for Beginners – An Art Tutorial for the Perfect Panel Picture”

  1. Emily Avatar

    What is the best way to blend colors to create the perfect magnolia flowers?

    1. admin Avatar

      The key to blending colors successfully is to use a small flat brush and blend the colors while they are still wet. Start with lighter colors and gradually add darker hues to create a beautiful blossom.