Creating Abstract Florals: Using Watercolors, Ink, Colored Pen or Pencil | Juliet Bedell | Skillshare

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Creating Abstract Florals: Using Watercolors, Ink, Colored Pen or Pencil

teacher avatar Juliet Bedell, Artist and Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Your Class Project

    • 3. Materials

    • 4. Practice Ink Drawing

    • 5. Practice Watercolor Part One

    • 6. Practice Watercolor Part Two

    • 7. Practice Textures with Pen and Pencil

    • 8. Practice Texture with Ink

    • 9. Conclusion

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About This Class

If you love painting and want to have a daily practice to discover your style and develop a looser style, then this class is for you. Grab your brushes and pens, and let’s get started.


For the last few years I have been working with watercolor and incorporating color and texture into my work. You will learn my tips on how I have incorporated these techniques using watercolor, ink, colored pen and pencil in my work to create abstract florals. You can use these techniques to start a daily practice in your sketchbook or build your portfolio using different techniques and apply them to your own work and subject matter.

In this class you will learn how to:

  • Use watercolor to create the basic shapes of a floral
  • Use pen and ink to create line drawings
  • Use ink, colored pen and pencil to create layers and textures on watercolor for a dynamic floral painting
  • Techniques you can use to create your own abstract floral

For your class project you will be creating an abstract floral using the techniques and tips shared in this class.

Whether you are a beginner or have some experience with this, you will be able to use these lessons to develop a daily practice or add to your existing style.

So let’s get to it – see you in class!

Music Credit

Carefree by Kevin MacLeod

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Juliet Bedell

Artist and Illustrator


Hi, I'm Juliet! 

I live on a farm in rural Missouri where I spend my time painting and farming with my husband, our two dogs, a cat, and chickens.

I studied art years ago and gained an appreciation for abstract expressionism and impressionism. I really liked the use of physical gestures, color, line, texture, and layering effects.

I began by painting on large canvases using acrylic, however these were difficult to store and required a lot of paint. I wanted to find a process where I could create art daily without using a large amount of materials given my limited studio space but also maintain the style of work I fell in love with.

For the last few years, I’ve been developing my style using watercolor, pen and ink, and gouache, in sketchbooks and h... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Juliet Fidel. I live on a small farm in rural Missouri where I spend my time painting and farming. I live here with my husband, two dogs, a cat in chickens. I studied art years ago where I gained an appreciation for Abstract Expressionism and Impressionism. I really like the use of gold, physical gestures, color, line, texture and the layering effects I began hating on large canvases. However, these were hard to store and require using a lot of. I wanted to find a way I could make our daily without using a large amount of materials, given my limited studio space, but also maintain the sale of work. I fell in love with part of this. Classes teach you assalum pain. You enjoy your new sketchbooks. Over the last few years, I've been developing my style, using watercolor pen in ink and wash in sketchbooks. I've participated in daily challenges to develop my style and artistic skills. One of the projects I really enjoy and that helped connect my love farming, botanicals and art was the abstract florals In this class I'll be sharing with you Some of the techniques and tricks used create beans for this class project, you use what I've shown you to create your own effort. For I found a daily practice helped build confidence in drawing, painting and developing a style. The album of this class could be a final product that you can share with friends and family or a starting point you can use to expand a current skill set. I hope you'll join me in exploring the use of water colors to make abstract florals. Now let's get started. 2. Your Class Project: today I'll be walking you through my process to create an abstract floral. I chose this project because I love flowers. I have a garden where I grow vegetables and flowers, and I really enjoy watching the whole growing process. Florals were a natural first project for me to explore. In this assignment, students will research a floral theme of their choice herbs, wildflowers, roses, tropical plants, whatever you. Whatever you choose. You will research images on the Internet or use live references. The final project will be an abstract floral using watercolor, ink and pen. I will be looking for a floral watercolor painting using ink and pen to create textures and layers using the images you've researched. Painting will be on watercolor paper before the final assignment. The class will work on two projects, a line drawing using a nib pen and ink. I will be looking for ink drawings that focus on line quality. Second project is painting in our sketchbook. I will be looking for ways in which to explore the subject matter through drawing, painting and texture. The point of this exercise is to have fun and really push the boundaries of the materials to see what you can come up with. Using your floral image is your reference. Now that we've decided on a floral theme, let's grab our depends and get busy. I'll see you in the first lesson. 3. Materials: so I'm gonna share with you. The materials that use you can choose to use the same things I do, or you can use things you you have on hand. But what we really didn't want to make sure we have our watercolors, watercolor paper and pens or pencils to make the texture marks. So let's go ahead and go over the materials that I use using this for my palate. There's also these you can use. There's many others as well from the paper towel so you could drive after brushes. I'm only using a couple of different brush. Site is here. I've got a number 10 round brush, and here's a number eight round brush for inking sessions will need A and nip N and a nib pen holder. Here's the link that I really like to use. This is my favorite for the water colors. I've got two sets here that I really like to use. I've got this pan that I filled using the tubes, the use, a few different brands. I've got Windsor Newton. There's Daniel Smith and holding Holbein artist watercolor. I really like all of them. I like these bits and another one of my favorite watercolor sets. This is the current tacky gun Day Gundy Tubby. I really, really like this one. You can buy a new pan efforts used up, so I've got a few ready to go for some of these that are getting really low, you need to have water. I use just old ball jars to two jars of someone to clean your brush and want to get the fresh water onto water up here, your paints there and then four pens. Let's talk about what I'm using for texture, so it will sometimes be the ink. But I also like to use these zig memory system pens z greater. These are also Cora Taki, and I just love these. They have such a great range of color. There's, uh, thin and and then the thicker and these air just so much fun. I've also enjoyed using these Prisma color pencils. Susan, I said, get quite a variety of colors as well. I like to use the East remaining that texture After putting down the watercolor now for paper, I really enjoy the fabric. Yano Hot pressed. This is a smooth sue, their watercolor paper, the texture smooth and then I like this arches cool pressed, and this is gonna have more texture. I love both of them for different reasons and fortune for the lessons here, I'm gonna be using an ICO job. Sketchbook. I love the small size the papers. Wonderful works really well, we were using this for ink. It also works pretty good with watercolor. So I like this for a variety of things, and we're also gonna Well, I also like to use this most skin we're gonna be I'm gonna be using. This is a lesson to play around with our materials and just kind of get familiar with everything that we have. So I recommend. Like I say, this is what I use. But please feel free to use whatever you might have on hand that similar or that just you feel comfortable with. And let's get started. Basic materials you'll need for this class are watercolor painting, paper colored pencils, markers or pens, two glass jars with Water Inc and Inc nib, pen and holder, paper towels, palette and a paintbrush. Now that we have all of our materials, we can now get to work on our final project. 4. Practice Ink Drawing: for our first project, we're gonna be using Inc. We've got our ink here that we're going to use and we're going to use our NIB pen. Now. I have to choose what I am going to use to draw in here. What's this one? These are so cool. I really like these plants. So here we go. All I want to do is start capturing, capturing the plant, the flower, the flow, just how this whole thing works. And I just I just think it's great. I'm not going for perfection. I just really want to see my impression of it. My interpretation of it just get lost in it. A mentioned contour drawing. I love the idea of just letting the image do the work for me. I just look at it and it's it's informing me of what needs to happen over here, and then that's just all I care about. It just makes me happy know where that one's coming from? See that one coming from there? So I just have this dialogue say, where's that? Go on. Where is this coming from? This is another angle, but I'm going to stick to the one that's right here. So I'm gonna pretend that's not there. I'm just gonna completely putting this guy away all the way to fruition, and I will. I'm just doing angles like this isn't obviously representational. Uh, but I see a clump of stuff at the bottom here. That clump of stuff is the end of this, and I just think it's important. I see that summer closer somewhere further away. You know what? I think I'm gonna capture the leaves because that's so important. So I'm gonna try to get I don't know, maybe a little something here. We've got a leaf coming out over here like this, and then other part comes out over here. See, I'm not holding it like this. I don't know the right way or wrong way, but I really just like to let this be kind of further away from me. So the point of this is to really just explore the outlines, discover how the works use a small space, fill it up, have fun, see what you see, what what you like. See what really makes you happy and inspires you. So I'm gonna follow this up like this. This middle stem here and I'm just gonna pay attention. So what I see. And guess what? It's not gonna be perfect. Really cool with that. And the more I do it, like, the more I go up the line here, I start to get it. And then maybe I'll fall back a little bit. Now is I get closer. They're starting to bunch together a little bit, so I want to be really mindful of that. All right, so there's that and I'm gonna give these guys a little bit of texture Here. Go texture. Whatever. Lying quality, keep the marks you make unique. And now I'm just looking at this now. I'm what I like to do is is use the photo as a reference kind of get lost in the shape. Let this define what happens over here. So what us all look at it. I'll say a lots is kind of balance, and I see these kind empty. So I'm gonna put one up here, so I'm just kind of making decisions based on what I see on my paper. Now it's about this, and it's not so much about the original photo anymore. So that's it. I think I'm gonna leave it here Every really enjoyed this project. I have enjoyed learning more about these plants over here. I've enjoy experimenting, experiencing the ink in the well, the drying. And I'm gonna take this and develop it war in our sketchbook project, we have learned how to hold the pen and how to create bold and thin lines and use contra drawing to draw the object. Now that we've practiced with our ink drawing, let's work in our sketch book to practice using the other material. 5. Practice Watercolor Part One: So I've decided to use photographs that I took at the Botanical Gardens here, Missouri in ST Louis, which was such a wonderful time. And I'm gonna use my sketchbook here. I'm gonna start by using. I like using this big guy that a 10 size 10 watercolor brush here and I'm just going to start placing a a replacing watercolor on here. Not sure what I'm gonna use, so I use these of mine. My pen drying there may dry. Think I'm gonna use them again and I'm gonna use a lot of things. I'm gonna fill this page up and again, I'm gonna have fun. I'm gonna do what I want to dio I'm gonna do I'm gonna pick images, pictures that make me happy and I'm just gonna play with them. So here we go. I'm gonna do I'm gonna use this guy right here. So little. I started with this one, but I want to use this guy that I'm gonna say So what all day was I stick to colors. I kind of go away from the like, the colors that are on there, but I see this is a pink, and I see this is like a really, And I'm gonna do little testers here. Who that's That's good bye. Thinking used to be even more pinky here. Two purple. I think you think here, that's that's it. So, money, you just get right here and I'd like to get it just really wet. Then I'll use my palate just kind of late Now bit. Here we go. So let's go for it. Here's there's a lot of white here, but I don't know that that matters, but I'm going Teoh. See, that's too dark. So let's kind of let's water that down a lot and get this white. Well, now here, like this Nand er's this leaf right here again. I like to blow him up a little bit here again. I kinda holding here. I'm here, but really during this who's coming out like this? And you know what? I see a lot of green in there. So guess what I grab. No, no, I'm gonna come over here now with a little green to this end. Well, it's spilling their not enough. There you go. Okay. There you go. I think a lot of wanna like to do with color is to really dull down the just original chroma where you just see pink. Well, you know what it was. What's the opposite of pink or red? Well, it's green. So add I have to compliment to it just to dial it down a little bit because I love the grays. I'm also gonna say this guy has a little bit of pink highlights in here. We're getting gonna explore and emphasize because it's pretty nice going over to that one. So switch between these two palettes. Just think it's a lot of fun. Here's this. Okay, Down a little bit. There's another this here. So there's a basic get the basic shape of this clump, right? There's another little guy coming out back here so that a basic shape and I really like that and I see like this just darker pink right there. So I'm really just gonna go in with a heavier read about gonna just like this. And now I see these shadows is being mawr of media greenish writers. That's that's how I see my nephew, right? That's always a Okay, So actually, that looks marvelous. Sorry. There's a little more blue in there. I see ultra Marine is probably a good favorite. Lines go here. So this is how I get color. It's not really color. It's more like the shadowing dulling down of the intensity of pink. And I just think it's I just love it. So now I'm this way Get some greenery and I get the flowers in there Click again. Here we go. Green Still for a basic green right here. Start with the basics. No, dull it down. What a little this guy. See what happens where, Mr Start? Right? Freaking here. Of course, it's a big relief. And I am going to just get in water to this. Likes to start with things later so I can end darkness to him. So that's like that. This is a kind of ah, dark green. So I'm gonna go in there at that. But you know that Green needs a little more red to it. We're going to see what that does. Okay, so there's that understanding with those two. Now, I'm going to get into these flowers. Of course. Okay. On some reds. We're gonna go for it, and it's coming right out of here. Later. More water. Having a little more water because I want to make sure I have things that look translucent . And they go on later. And if I want to send a lot Well, this is my bigger one. But I can still get like, these thinner lines. Just one wish. This may be a little better. Little or orangey. We're gonna come over here. It looks great. Really. Think there used to be a little more skill? That trance listens? Perigee. Very go. Okay, keep going. Keep on keeping off like this. Red to bring more out from over here. Here. Get picked. That tip right there to get thinner. Here's this. Here's what we're doing. Thicker. They're one brush. I just I love it. I love to use that one brush. Here's this so pushed out here I go pushed down Italy Far. We finished the first portion of practicing watercolor. Now let's get started with Part two 6. Practice Watercolor Part Two: all right. Now that we've laid down our flowers using watercolor, these air kind of basic outlines of the shape go back in here and I'm gonna find a couple other things to explore. Some wanna look into these leaks. I'm gonna start making shapes. Just kind of playing around. Use my smaller brush this time. See what that does when I choose. Believes here. Little Stam here. So I'm gonna choose to work with this. These guys here, just like the shape of those will be a lot smaller than this. I'm gonna change my brain. Kind of a leafy green, I guess. Green Green gonna start there and then add other types of green and probably reds in there , too. Or blues, maybe to tone it down a little bit. So I don't look Assam likened to pencil. All right, I'm just gonna start drawn it with my my rush here. I want to call it what tone? That they understood a little bit here. There we go. That's better again. I'm really looking closely at belief itself. Kind of checking back real quick, but I really want to focus. It started a little red there has to change her up a little bit, and then I'm gonna come back here for this leaf, and we're gonna run the page, try to make it small. But I couldn't just like this here. You know, Pete, what I'm really seeing are these. I need to emphasize that I'm not doing quite it. It's good of a job like to and getting that like that, right? This guy just going, Do you have to take a Well, it was kind of orangey yellow, for sure. I'm gonna check out of here. Hello? Add more orange to it, actually. See what happens there. Oops. More or more. More More E. Think that helps. I'm just gonna sneak this guy right here. A little bit. Struggle line. I see it has a way more orange. Come on, get lots. Lots of orange here. Okay, here we go. A little bit. Start here at the bottom. Yeah, get the pressure right. Get the start. I like to start very water down and then build up from there the sheep. But I'm just gonna shape like this, and, Oh, well, that we hear still more or McGinnis So pushing down to make it sick looked up a little bit to kind of give us real. It's kind of rupture a little bit more. Yeah, that's how I'm shaping cheeping. And it looks like some of these have opened someone, and it's a little darker staying quite lead. But I'm gonna add a little reddish to this to give these little openings here. This? Yeah, I like that. I just had some highlights. This. There you go. Admiration with color. Alright. So, Bolling, that guy like that. Okay, great. Okay, let's stop here. This is where I've laid out the water color, and now we're gonna go into using the pen and pencil can maybe sending watercolor and ink and start playing around with texture. 7. Practice Textures with Pen and Pencil: Great. Now we've got our bar color laid down here. It's all dry. Make sure it's nice and dry. I'm gonna go ahead. We're gonna look, we're going to start playing around and working with our pens and our pencils, so let's go ahead and look at what we got to start here Really strong lines here in the flower. So I'm gonna start over here. I'm gonna find pink here and I want to test her out. I think that looks pretty good. Define it. Bring it up So they go find the line, the water goes around. So here's this. They all kind of come from here. Go. But yet we're just establishing I like these colors together. See how this really helps define where this is moving and everything. So I'm really liking used together And I like the variation under neath everything There's a little bit of blue there should get your variety And then this is kind of what's keeping it all together. There's that this is what could I do for that? Who's want to do like a grayer's? See what happens that bad, like it kind of showing that maybe that's attorneys know We've got these cool eyes here. Their little darker Try. So pencils here? Yeah, those were darker. Someone going here? See if the human doesn't. You can't really see that. Does anything? Kind of does? Yeah, so that's cool. Just make sure that you can see it coming off there. I think this is too dark for these guys. This is he uses. Stop here. Okay, so that so that been looking like this. Let's try this leaf right here. Where? Which one was that? That waas this guy when I actually used the old yellow pan. Just a after use a thick into this. You just show up on this. What would do? Yeah, that's better than I thought It was a house that the same colors that I'm not really worried about that right now, we're still like it right there. Like so might do. Even more fun is to go in here, and I just kind of start going like this. Oh, that looks good too, given the veins and everything, but I used green pencil green here. When I do a little test on here, it's pretty nice. So here's where it starts. This is kind of the centerpiece here. Go on. I'm just kind of like to hold it and drag it, you know, I'm dragging it down. I'm not like writing with pulling it in there. She's calling this a little lines. Now that we've explored using pen and pencil on watercolor, we're now going to explore using ink. 8. Practice Texture with Ink: The final thing we're going to cover is adding texture in the form of pen and ink to our watercolor painting. Just a couple areas here. See if I like. So okay, here. Okay. From one to train, use how many's along the marker, and I'm gonna go back to the stark pen here. Used thicker end and see what that does just really kind of define these areas here. So I still get the later stuff behind it, which is nice, but I got this stark on top. So, like how that looks now, I'm gonna go back in in trade and draw flowers using money it off a little bit. Now for these flowers looking like here, start here. Kind of goes up thing this and a this there's a part like this. I just see. See what I've got going. Okay. That's really big ugly. See what happened here? Small in the forefront. I would say it's going all right. Yes. Someone leave that like that, I might get this because these air like, try this out. I wasn't really pleased with the shape of this leaf. I liked the variation of the green watercolor I chose to draw over it with ink to give it more definition and have it show up better on the page. Like it much better now there's with that. So that's kind of the center of that guy in here. This is going to go. All right. So again, what we're doing now is we're exploring our theme or material seem likes. He works for us. We may use some of this. We may use none of it in our final project, but this is a way for us to explore, So I think I'll go ahead and stop here. We've used watercolor. We have used Marker and we have used a little bit of pencil here. We have also used the ink. You know that we've got all this. Let's go ahead and work on the final project. I have shown you a few of my tips using a pen with ink to create a Chris blind drying. How to use watercolor to create a face for adding textures, and I would encourage you to take these tips and explore them in your sketchbooks and uses to make your own abstract world painting 9. Conclusion: you've made it. Congrats. Thank you for joining me and participating in this class. I hope you'll take what you've learned and making your own way have covered everything from using contour, drawing to practice, using watercolor and mixed media to create texture. If there's one thing I hope you take away from this class, it's this. Don't over analyse working on projects. Focus on the image and not the outcome. Look, the image of urge. Have fun and explore your ideas. Once you've completed your project, please be sure to upload it to the Projects gallery. This way, we can all take a look and comment on each other's work. Thank you for joining me here and making abstract florals. If you enjoy the class, please be sure to leave a review and follow my profile.