The flowers that frame this nativity are stroke flowers that have their inspiration from the very old French bridal painting style. The flowers were traditionally painted on small love gifts so they are especially appropriate on the frame of this year’s Christmas plate honoring the nativity theme.
The flowers are painted with beautiful, bright colors of a rejoicing brush. This makes them dominate the scene so they are subdued with a glaze, then the nativity scene is slowly revealed starting with sky and angels and working down through the scene. The painting is not as hard as it would seem. It is really just revealing a few features from the dark background and then controlling the work with a glaze - just “fun stuff” for a decorative artist.
Please enjoy the brushstrokes. Re-live that magical night of adoration as the figures come to life under your brush. Develop the faces just one step at a time and they will be so much easier to paint.
Enjoy, have fun, and paint a special memory for your loved ones. A blessed holiday season wish to you and yours from us here at the studio.
Complete Supply List:
Cherry or Mahogany Gel Stain
This is a large palette and I’ve included some convenience colors that you could mix. They are noted and may be omitted if you’d prefer.
Indian Red Oxide
Red Earth (a toned red)
Rose Pink (red + white)
Jaune Brilliant (white + a touch Vermilion)
Gold Oxide (a toned orange)
Yellow Oxide (toned yellow)
Naples Yellow Hue (white + a touch of yellow)
Sapphire (medium value blue)
Celadon (light value blue-green)
Amethyst (Red Violet + white)
Brilliant Violet (Dioxazine Purple + white)
Unbleached Titanium (toned white)
#4 & #6 Filbert, #3 & #4 Round - Basic painting techniques
#2 Liner - Fine details
#3 Round - Lettering
1” Flat - Applying Retarder
1/2” Oval Glaze or Filbert - Applying glaze color and gel stain
Stippler or Mop - Blending out the glazes
1” Bristle Blender or Mop - Evening out Retarder application
Old large Blender or Flat (about 1/2”) - Sky, clouds