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Friends are flowers in life's garden

by Michelle Roberts © 2002

Pattern (pdf file)

Enlarged Picture

African Daisy


Materials Required
Painting Instructions
Finishing Off





Materials Required


Matisse Background Colours
Gum Tree Green

Matisse Mediums
MM11 Satin Varnish

Matisse Flow Formula Paints
Hookers Green
Green Grey (Antique)
Antique White
Titanium White
Diox Purple
Brilliant Alizarine
Australian Sky Blue
Cad Yellow Medium
Cad Yellow Light
Cerulean Blue

1" Flat brush (basecoating)
No 10/0 Liner
No 4 Round
3/16 or 1/4" Angle Shader
½" Angle Shader
1/8" Stipple brush
No 6 or 8 Smooshing

White Saral Paper
600 grit Wet and Dry
Kneadable Eraser
Hair Dryer


•  Using the 1" short flat brush, basecoat the wooden inside piece with 2-3 coats of Gum Tree Green basecoat, sanding after each coat except the final one with 600 or 800 grit Wet and Dry sandpaper.

Hint: To find out if you've sanded enough, gently rub your hand over your piece to feel how smooth it is,

Hint: Do not put your paint on too thickly; it will crack as it dries and you will have to sand it back. If your paint is thick (in the tub), add some Acrylic Painting Medium to it first and stir it in well.

Hint: Always basecoat your piece at least twice. The first coat will seal the piece, the second will get a better, and smoother, coverage

Hint: Don't sand before basecoating, unless there's little burrs on the routered edge. The craftwood will become furry if you do.

•  Using the Saral Paper, transfer the pattern onto your piece

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Painting Instructions


•  Using a 3/8" angle shader, block in the leaves in a mixture of Hookers Green and Green Grey (Antique) (1:2)

•  Using the smooshing brush, buff in some Burgundy mixed with a little of the leaf mix into the shadow areas of the leaves

Hint: When using the smooshing brush, first ensure that the brush is dry, and use a very small amount of paint. Brush excess paint off either on a piece of paper, or onto the back of your hand, until it comes off the brush in a powdery fashion. Lightly tickle the area you are 'smooshing', gradually building up pressure when you're confident with the amount of paint coming off the brush. Blend out the harsh edges with a nearly empty brush.

•  Using the smooshing brush, buff in a lighter version of the leaf mix by adding some Antique White to the mix. Lightly buff some over the burgundy areas in places if you need to tone it down.

•  Add more Antique White to the highlight mix and outline the leaves with a thin line and add the centre vein to each of the leaves using the 10/0 liner.


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African Daisies

•  Using the #4 Round brush, load thickly with Titanium White and paint comma strokes for the petals of the daisies. These strokes should lift and end within the centre of the flower - you will paint the centres over these so it will look like they're coming from behind the centre. Do not paint the petals (generally at the front of the flower) that overlap the flower centre.

•  Mix a very small amount of Diox Purple, Cerulean Blue, Brilliant Alizarin (1:1:touch) and float around the centre of the daisies using an angle shader with the tip pointing towards the centre.

•  Dry

•  Using the 1/8" stipple brush, gently stipple in the centres of the flowers with a brush mix of Cerulean Blue and Diox Purple (2:1).

•  Using a dirty brush (don't wash out the last colour) pick up a touch of Australian Sky Blue on the tip and stipple in a soft highlight to the centres.

•  Paint in the front petals in the same manner as the other petals.

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•  Make an orange by mixing Brilliant Alizarine and Cad Yellow Medium (1:2) and stipple in the small puffs of wattle using the 1/8" stipple brush.

Hint: Make sure your brush is dry by blotting it on some kitchen paper or an old towel and holding it down for a few seconds - you will see the water disappearing.

Hint: Pat out the extra paint on your palette first, to make sure the wattle turns out fluffy.

•  Add Cad Yellow Medium to the toe (tip) of the brush and Terracotta to the heel (base) of the brush and repaint the wattle circles with the Cad Yellow Medium coming (down) approx 2/3 of the way down the circle.

•  Wiggle your brush on your palette to mix the paint before painting

•  Don't do all the highlights in the same place, turn some around

•  With a clean and dry brush, wiggle the tip into Cad Yellow Light and pounce further highlights on the wattle balls.

•  Add extra highlights to the ones in the front of the group to make them stand out. Do the back ones with a brush that's nearly run out of paint so they're not as bright.

•  With your 10/0 liner, add short comma strokes to make the small leaves and one long stroke surrounded by small commas for the larger leaves (see pattern) with Green Grey (Antique) sideloaded with Antique White.


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Finishing Off

•  Sign your name (or initials) and the year on your work!

•  Make sure everything is dry and then gently rub out any transfer lines with a kneadable eraser.

•  Dry and double check that you're happy with everything. Wipe over with a damp chux to clean up any fingerprints.

•  Varnish!

•  If you are spray-varnishing, do it in a well ventilated area, away from any asthmatics! Start spraying from off your piece and work left to right (or R-L) taking each spray off the piece. Work also from the bottom up, that way you push any excess varnish up - this help stop dribbles!



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This design is for your personal use only. While I don't mind you reproducing or enlarging it for personal use, it may not be reproduced for sale or to lend to another person. You may paint this design for yourself, as gifts and donations, and for sale at local markets, but you may not mass reproduce it for profit. I hope you enjoy painting this as much as I did.

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