Learning to paint Cherry Blossoms in 5 steps gives you the basic ideas that helped me complete this painting. Blossoming trees in the Spring are one of Heavenly Father’s joyous gifts to us.

When we moved to Indiana from the West we were delighted that first Spring to see the trees burst forth with color and beauty.

From Magnolias and daffodils to cherry blossoms and peonies, our entire city seemed alive and vibrant.

Spring in Muncie Indiana Cherry Blossoms

Spring in Muncie Indiana

That, of course, inspired me to paint those glorious blossoms – from street views to close-ups.

Stepping Through Magnolia Petals 24x36 – oil painting by Bill Inman – this is Jefferson Street, just a couple blocks from us.

Stepping Through Magnolia Petals 24×36 – oil painting by Bill Inman – this is Jefferson Street, just a couple blocks from us.

Jefferson Street is full of the old historic homes with trees and flowers that have aged as gracefully as the buildings.

Lavender and Lace 12x9 – oil painting by Bill Inman

Lavender and Lace 12×9 – oil painting by Bill Inman

The Cherry Blossoms in the tutorial were inspired by some chokecherry trees that grow along the side of our home and bloom out beautifully each Spring.

Let’s find out the steps I take to paint color rich Spring flower petals:

5 Simple Steps to Paint Colorful Cherry Blossoms

Step 1

5 Simple Steps to Paint Colorful Cherry Blossoms

I began with a warm Transparent Oxide Red underlayer. I knew the light-drenched petals would be on the warmer side. Further along with the painting, having warm orangish bits of color drifting through the layers of paint would suggest petals in the background without actually painting them.

Step 2

5 Simple Steps to Paint Colorful Cherry Blossoms

The sky and simple blocking-in shapes were added on top. Notice how loosely defined the structure of the plants begins.

The paint for the sky was thicker because I wanted the leaves, petals and branches that overlap the sky to carve through that thick paint. Carving through a thick layer of paint, rather than overlapping a thin layer, helps soften edges and creates a harmony between the two layers.

Step 3

5 Simple Steps to Paint Colorful Cherry Blossoms

The simple block-in allows me to add branches, stems, petals and leaves and then move them or rearrange at will without disturbing some intricate planning. Which it turns out was a good idea since I moved the original vertical branch about an inch to the right.

At this stage, I began adding strong strokes of color to determine how far to push the color range. If a color feels out of sorts now, I know it will probably not work later in the painting. At this point, it is much easier to remove or paint over the offending color or value.

Step 4

5 Simple Steps to Paint Colorful Cherry Blossoms

Very quickly I fill out the blossom-laden branches. This was one of those paintings that flowed wonderfully from the start and was completed in a little over 2 hours. Having a clear image in my mind of what I hoped to create was a huge help with that.

The strong brush bristle texture and strokes of rich color added energy and life to the painting. Since this was a small 6×8 panel I wanted to ensure that each brushstroke contributed to a powerful viewing experience.

I was also careful to keep the painting from becoming busy – not an easy feat with all that paint texture and color. To do that I made sure to keep the brightest petals to a minimum. I was also selective about adding the powerful redbuds and strokes of color. A little is stunning – too much is overpowering.

Step 5

5 Simple Steps to Paint Colorful Cherry Blossoms

In the final refinements, I added sky between the branches and petals to open everything up more.

I also thinned the width of the vertical branch so it wouldn’t feel too heavy reaching up to the heavens.

Final Result

Cherry Blossoms 6x8 – oil painting by Bill Inman

Cherry Blossoms 6×8 – oil painting by Bill Inman

This painting was pure fun. I love working with paint texture and juicy color – light-filled spring blossoms are the perfect subject to play with!

The 2-hour Cherry Blossom training video is being released this month. It won’t be available for individual purchase but can be viewed in The Membership Library.

Learn how to view the Cherry Blossom video if you’re not already a member:

By the way, I realized in looking at the photo of the painting that the signature was missing. Called the Broadmoor Gallery and yep, I forgot to sign it! As Krista said with a chuckle – what a rookie move.

Years ago, they shipped a painting to a collector in Texas. She discovered the missing signature a few weeks later and shipped it back for me to sign. So glad this one just got to the gallery last week.

Have you ever forgotten your signature?