If you want to try a quick and easy painting that anyone can achieve, why not try this method of painting with cotton buds? In this blog post, I’ll show you how to paint wisteria flowers with cotton buds.
Cotton buds are really versatile for painting with. It’s surprising just how much you can convey with some simple dots! You only have to google pointillism for proof of that. This is clearly a more abstract painting than any of the pointillist masterpieces, but I’m betting it’s much quicker to complete too.
To make life easier when painting with bundles of cotton buds, I’d recommend you use an elastic band or something similar to hold them together tightly. It’s so frustrating when a cotton bud makes a streak across the page because it slipped out of your hand… (and yes, that’s me speaking from experience)
You may find that the cotton buds go a little flat and clumpy when you’ve tapped them onto the page multiple times. If that happens, you can start using the other end of the bundle or just grab some fresh ones.
You’ll notice that I’ve used watercolours and acrylics in this painting. This is just something I fancied doing to get a really soft background. I know acrylics can be used like watercolours, but I wanted to use actual watercolours for this one. If you choose to, you could make this painting work with just acrylics or craft paints. As always, use what you have!
How To Paint Wisteria Flowers With Cotton Buds Step-By-Step
- Watercolour paper
- Masking tape
- Watercolour paints in different shades of green and yellow
- A large, soft brush
- Acrylic paints in white, purple, dark blue
- Cotton buds tied into small bundles of three
Use the masking tape to tape the watercolour paper flat so it doesn’t curl up when you paint on it. (Make sure the surface underneath is protected. If you have a drawing board it might be a good idea to use this.) Dampen the brush and wet the entire sheet of watercolour paper.
Paint the entire sheet of paper in different shades of green watercolour paint, keeping the paint nice and wet so there are no sharp edges. The idea is to create the effect of a blurred background, as in a photo where the wisteria flowers are sharp and in focus and the greenery in the background is blurred out.
Leave this to dry completely. If the page has curled a little, flatten it out under a heavy book when it’s dry.
Squeeze out a little of the blue and purple acrylic paints. Grab a bundle of cotton buds and dab them into the paint, making sure you pick up a little of both colours. Don’t worry if they’re mixed together or not, either way is fine.
Dab the cotton buds onto the paper, covering the top of the page with dots of colour and then working down to make some clumps of flowers. Wisteria flowers hang like bunches of grapes, so your clumps of flowers need to come to a point. Go back for more paint regularly.
Get some fresh cotton buds and squeeze out a little white paint. Pick up some white and purple on the cotton buds and start to add that over the top of the blue-purple you’ve already painted. Work across the page, adding a little more white each time to create lots of shades of purple, gradually getting lighter and lighter.
Flip or change your cotton buds when you feel you need to. If the colours seem to be mixing together too much rather than staying distinct, leave the painting to dry before continuing.
Finish the painting by taking a single cotton bud and some pure white paint. Add a few dots here and there, quite sparingly, to create a bit of highlight.
Then your wisteria flowers are all done!