Summer Zinnias

By  Kathleen Macomber 

  • Summer Zinnias
  • Painting Chart


  • DecoArt SoSoft Fabric Acrylics (for skirt and tote): Alizarin Crimson, Avocado Green, Cadmium Orange, Christmas Red, Fuchsia, Green Apple, Lamp Black, Light Soft Sage, Primary Yellow, Prussian Blue, White
  • Tote: Dioxazine Purple, Grey Sky, Lavender
  • Brushes: Loew-Cornell: La Corneille Golden Taklon: Filbert, Series 7500, #6, #8; Angular Shader, Series 7400, 1/4", 3/8"; Round, Series 7000, #2; Script Liner, Series 7050, #10/0
  • Specialty: Deerfoot Stippler Russian Fitch, Series 410, 1/4"
  • Denim skirt, in appropriate size
  • Large denim tote bag (13"x15")


  • DecoArt SoSoft Transparent Medium
  • Stay-wet palette
  • Cardboard inserts

Pattern - Summer Zinnias

  • Preparation
  • 1. Wash and dry skirt and tote according to manufacturer's directions; do not use fabric softeners or sizing.
  • 2. Print out pattern; transfer basic pattern lines. (Transfer details as needed.) Transfer single zinnia onto back pocket.
  • Artist's Tips
  • 1. Use dry or damp brushes; fabric paint should not be thinned with water. Use Transparent Medium to float or to thin paint for washes and line-work. To keep fabric clean, place a piece of waxpaper or paper towel under your hand while painting. Wrap cardboard scrap with plastic wrap; place cardboard under surface to prevent paint from bleeding through to other side. Work wet-into-wet unless otherwise directed.
  • Skirt
  • 1. Refer to Painting Chart.

    Painting Chart
  • 2. Dark Green Mix = Avocado Green + Prussian Blue + Alizarin Crimson (3:1:1); when mixed, add a touch of Lamp Black if needed to deepen color (add a little at a time to avoid "muddy" color). Place mix on wet palette.
  • 3. Leaves: Complete one leaf before moving on to another. Use angular shader and Avocado Green to base. Wipe brush dry. Load tip with Transparent Medium and Dark Green Mix to shade edges and center; softly blend colors together. Wipe brush dry; load with Transparent Medium and Lt. Soft Sage to highlight, blending colors. For center vein, load liner with Dark Green Mix and Lamp Black; thin with Transparent Medium if paint is too thick. Beginning at base of leaf, pull a thin line towards tip, stopping before reaching end. Wipe brush dry; reload with Lt. Soft Sage and repeat, going over same line. While leaf is still wet, deepen shadow or edge where one leaf sits over another with float of Dark Green Mix and Lamp Black. Dry brush small.
  • 4. Green Apple reflective highlights; repeat keeping area smaller. Dry brush Alizarin Crimson or Cadmium Orange on some.
  • 5. Stems: Base Avocado Green; shade with Dark Green Mix and highlight Lt. Soft Sage. Shade stems behind leaves or behind another stem.
  • 6. Bright Pink Zinnia: Work one row at a time. Starting with back row, use filbert to base Alizarin Crimson from tip of petal towards center; let paint set but don't let dry. Return to first petal. Wipe brush clean. Load brush with Alizarin Crimson and tip in Fuchsia; re-stroke petal. Repeat for entire back row. Tip filbert in White to highlight some petals. Thin Alizarin Crimson with Transparent Medium; use script liner to pull short thin lines on each petal following petal contour. To darken lines add small amount of Prussian Blue. (Note: If lines are blending in, allow paint to set a few minutes). Repeat entire process for second row of petals and then for third row.
  • 7. For flower center, use deerfoot stippler to pounce Christmas Red; deepen center and along lower edge with Alizarin Crimson. Add small Primary Yellow comma strokes around top center.
  • 8. Large Orange Zinnia: Paint petals in same manner as Bright Pink Zinnia using Alizarin Crimson to base back row, then use Alizarin Crimson tipped in Cadmium Orange, then add final Primary Yellow highlight. Repeat same for second row. For third row, load brush with Cadmium Orange tipped in Primary Yellow. For thin lines, use mix of Alizarin Crimson + Prussian Blue (1:1).
  • 9. For flower center, use deerfoot stippler to pounce Green Apple; deepen center and along lower edge with Avocado Green. Add Primary Yellow and White highlight dots around upper edge. When center is completed, add six "newly opened" petals around base; load #8 filbert with Primary Yellow and stroke with side edge of brush from left to right. (Note: Yellow will pick up green from center when adding petals.)
  • 10. Small Orange Zinnia: Paint in same manner as Large Orange Zinnia except base three large petals in front with Primary Yellow; highlight tip with White and darken with Cadmium Orange.
  • 11. Bud: Base flower Christmas Red.
  • 12. Back Pocket Zinnia: Base Alizarin Crimson. Reload brush with Alizarin Crimson tipped in White and stroke down center of petal. Use mix of Alizarin Crimson + Prussian Blue (1:1) to add thin lines.
  • Tote
  • 1. Flowers: Paint flowers in same manner as skirt. For small lavender zinnia, base petals Dioxazine Purple. Reload brush with Dioxazine Purple tipped in Lavender and re-stroke petal. Tip filbert in White and highlight petals. Use Alizarin Crimson to add thin lines. For flower center, pounce Christmas Red; darken with Alizarin Crimson and highlight with Primary Yellow. Add White dots.
  • 2. Purple Salvia: Paint stems in same manner as skirt. Sparsely stipple Avocado Green and Green Apple over and around stem starting at top and increasing in width as you work down stem. Little flowers are more open as they go down stem. When paint has set, use script liner to stroke small Dioxazine Purple and Lavender teardrops. While wet, add some White teardrop petals.
  • 3. White Salvia: Paint in same manner as Purple Salvia using Grey Sky and White for teardrop petals.
  • Finishing
  • 1. Evaluate work on skirt and tote, if more highlights or shadows are needed, float paint color with Transparent Medium.
  • 2. Follow manufacturer's instructions to cure paint. Wash on gentle cycle with mild soap. Lay flat to dry.