Home assignment:

Painting Flowers Inspired by Robert Kushner



Photo Reference

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Right-click and open in a new tab to enlarge and print.


Week 3:

Send me an email of your finished painting to hello@primamateriainstitute.com. I'll update the website with your images when you send them.

How to protect your finished paintings:

UV (the sun) can make the ink of the book pages fade. Tempera is lightfast and will not fade unless in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

Here are a few ways to preserve your piece:

  1. Frame your art with UV protectant glass or acrylic. The link has frame options that all come with UV-protective acrylic.
  2. Spray your piece with UV protectant spray. The spray that's linked is matte but there are also glossy options. Keep in mind that this will uniformly change your piece - so if you have some glossy areas that you want to preserve, you may want to choose a different option.
  3. Hang your art in a place that doesn't get direct sunlight.
Week 2:

Finish your outline in paint. When choosing your colors, think about color harmony and contrast. Do not block in or color in any areas yet. Keep the flower as a linear outline.

Week 1:

Glue your book pages and other paper elements to your watercolor paper (or other sturdy surface). Make sure to apply glue at least around the edges and in the middle in the form of an X. If you want to make sure it's glued evenly and without bubbles, you can apply it to the entirety of the surface. Remember not to use too much glue that the paper becomes wet and fragile (it will be very easy to tear if it becomes to saturated with glue).

Press firmly over the areas you glue for about 30 seconds so it doesn't lift while it's drying. It takes longer than 30 seconds to dry, but holding it for that amount of time will probably be enough to adhere the surfaces together without needing to continue holding it. You may need to apply a heavy object on top of the areas that are glued if your paper is very thick and continues to lift after you hold it for 30 seconds.

If your edges peel up after it's dry, you can take a little bit of glue and put it under that area to readhere it.


Find at least 3 photos of flowers with beautiful silhouettes. If you want to use flowers with simple silhouettes, you can make it appear more complex by having more flowers on your piece.

Artist Examples

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Group Photos

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