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Making Art

Paper Art: Mastering Origami Flowers

"A flower blossoms for its own joy." -Oscar Wilde

Origami is one of the loveliest forms of paper art. The intricate folds and curls can bring paper to life in the form of animals, buildings, flowers, and so much more. Beginner level origami is about getting comfortable with the folds and getting a feel for the style of different designs.

origami lily photo

Photo by Angela Corpus

Moving on to the "master" level takes knowledge of different types of papers, understanding of advanced fold instructions, and sometimes even the use of techniques like "wet-folding" and "backcoating." John Blackman, of Origami Flora, has developed a "Hand Coloring" technique that adds a natural look to your paper and is perfect for folding lifelike floral pieces.

Hand Coloring

-Fold the model completely first to identify the areas that need coloring.

-Using dry pastels (not oil pastels, which can stain the paper with oil) in the colors of your choice, rub them on a piece of paper to make small areas of color.

-Pick up some of the desired color with a cotton swab, then rub it on the area, using a little pressure to work it into the paper in the center of where you want it colored.

-Spread the color outward with the cotton swab, trying to avoid creating hard edges of color.

-To color the interior of a flower's throat, twirl the tip of the cotton swab to narrow it before picking up the color. Try to pick up the color on the sides of the swab, not just the tip.

This lily design was created and diagrammed by David Shall, of

how to make an origami lily

Image and Hand Coloring description excerpted from Origami Master Class: Flowers from Race Point Publishing

What techniques have you discovered to enhance your origami art?

Angela Corpus

Angela is Marketing Manager for the Quarto Publishing Group USA. A Chicago gal at heart, she recently relocated to southern California and can usually be found exploring the beaches, feeding her newfound inner artist, and chasing sunsets with her camera. A collector of stories old and new, she's an avid postcard sender, and origami cranes always seem to tag along on her travels. Follow her adventures on Twitter: @angelacorpus

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