Painting Basics TRACK: Week 5


Create a painting of 1-3 roses. Observe & investigate the forms and spaces inside the rose(s). Aim to capture 1) the gesture of the rose as if it were a figure and to 2) establish a mood for the painting. (example: a “sad” rose vs. a “perky” rose)

Recommended media

Any paint medium: watercolorgouacheacryl gouacheoilswater mixable oilsacrylics. We recommend using the same paint medium for the entire track.

Reference images

Work from life: Purchase rose(s) and watch Kathleen Speranza’s tips on how to set up your rose(s).

Work from a photo: Use our reference photos of roses here on on Art Prof’s free reference photo collection on Flickr. Don’t just pick any random photo, rather choose your photo with intent. Think about which photo will more easily emphasize gesture and emotion in your painting.

Artists for inspiration

Kathleen Speranza, Adriaen van Utrecht, Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Vincent van Gogh, Rachel Ruysch, Jan Philips van Thielen, John William Waterhouse 

Rose Drawings in Pencil & Charcoal

See how to draw roses with pencil and charcoal as preparatory drawings for oil paintings. Kathleen explains her engagement with roses as a figurative subject for her paintings, providing a comprehensive demo on how to set up the lighting and placement of the roses, how to sharpen & prepare pencil/charcoal supplies, and then how to draw a structural drawing in pencil, and a pictorial drawing in charcoal. Art Prof Clara Lieu and Guest Teaching Artist Kathleen Speranza.

Rose Oil Paintings: Process & Vision

Painting roses can be not just a beautiful painting experience, but also one that communicates emotion and thought. This video is a discussion about Kathleen Speranza’s oil paintings, graphite drawings, and charcoal drawings focused on garden roses. In the discussion, Kathleen’s inspiration for roses and provide insight into her drawing and painting process. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Art Prof Guest Teaching Artist Kathleen Speranza.

Kathleen teaches painting online, more info here.

Share Your Progress

Post your ongoing progress in the #artprof-tracks channel in our Discord, you’ll get support and feedback from out staff and the community!

Tag us on Instagram with #artproftrack to show us what you make! We love sharing what you create in our Instagram Stories