Dandelion Delight: Paint Watercolor Wildflowers and Playful Pollinators | Kelly Johnson | Skillshare

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Dandelion Delight: Paint Watercolor Wildflowers and Playful Pollinators

teacher avatar Kelly Johnson, Connecting humans and nature, creatively!

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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

5 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Dandelion Delight: Introduction and Supplies

    • 2. Dandelion Delight: Painting the flowers

    • 3. Dandelion Delight: Painting the leaves

    • 4. Dandelion Delight: Outlines, Lettering, and Painting the pollinators

    • 5. Dandelion Delight: Finishing the Project

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About This Class

In this relaxed class, we focus on process while painting very loose dandelion flowers and bumble bees.

We then add lettering on growing, not mowing, these often overlooked flowers that early spring pollinators appreciate so much for food! 

We use the wet on wet and blowing techniques, as well as add in some pen work for outlines and lettering.

This is a fun and laid back little project that is great for celebrating the lovely wildflowers that often get called weeds, but are actually special and helpful plants in their own rights. It is appropriate for both adults and children.


Meet Your Teacher

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Kelly Johnson

Connecting humans and nature, creatively!


I'm your guide into nature inspired drawing and painting, Kelly Johnson!

If you drop by my world on an average day you might find me gardening, making art, snowboarding, surfing, vegan baking, traveling, or helping humans build deep relationships with nature through art and organic gardening!

I have a BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design, an MA in environmental studies from Goddard College, an AMS 6-9 teaching credential & 10 years in the classroom, + 20 years experience teaching art & 11 years teaching nature-study to children and adults in a wide variety of settings.

I've painted everything from huge murals in Mexico to tiny paintings in Virginia to tropical plants in Florida to veggies in Europe and I love how art builds community and connections in e... See full profile

Related Skills

Fine Art Creative

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1. Dandelion Delight: Introduction and Supplies: way. Welcome to the world of wings, worms and wonder. I'm Kelly Johnson, your Creative Nature Connection guide, and I'm so happy you're here in my new class Dandy lion delight painting, watercolor wildflowers and playful pollinators. In this class, you learn how to paint dandy lions in a wild watercolor way, so we're gonna actually blow the paint just like you would blow a dandy lion flower into the wind. But before we do that before you gather your supplies, do you know how fantastic dandy lions are there in the daisy family? Their name comes from the French. Don't deal young, which means lion's tooth dandy lion. They're native to Eurasia but were brought to America as a food originally were brought to North America in general for food. Their leaves are very nutritious, their roots air used in medicines and teas. They're fantastic for your yard and, most importantly, as pertains to this painting. They are a vital early spring nectar plant for our pollinators, So if you have dandy lions in your yard, celebrate them, what's paint them? Let's enjoy them. Let's learn about them and let's leave them there for the bees and for the pollinators and teach all our friends toe. Leave them there as well. Not to mention kids and grownups complain with them as well. And all the wishes made when blowing dandy lion. So I hope you have fun with this class. Go ahead, gather your supplies and I'll see you in the next video way lives. 2. Dandelion Delight: Painting the flowers: Welcome to video One we're going to be painting are dandy lion flower heads. So you need a couple of yellows on your palate and just mix them together loosely with some waters. Get it nice and juicy. See, I'm using a lot of water here, so just get your paint flowing and make a blob wet blob. That's all you need to do. Anyone could do this. See? It's very fun even Children. Now take your straw and literally below the paint to get a nice splash there, just like the wild pedals of the dandy lime. Now make yourself another blob again, playing with the saturation of the pain. You see, the 1st 1 had a little more water. Now I'm just gonna blow it very hard to see this one had a little more paint so it doesn't quite blow. You gotta give a little more air a little more force. Turn your page, Play with how you're splatters. Blow across your paper and keep going in the same fashion wherever you want a dandelion flower First, make your blob at a little more water and then blow Nice splash and let them run into each other let them connect, so they become sort of, ah, cohesive composition. So that was looking a little thin at a little more pain in there to give a depth of color. If you think it needs it and then keep going, I'm going to do five flower heads. If you want to do more, do more. If you want to do less, do less each time when it's very wet, making a blob and then blowing. It's all very technical art terms here. Blogging and blowing very loose. You could see how you could make fun. Sun shines with this technique. It's a kind of wild, just fun. Loose has that air of spontaneity about it. So you know it's not always up to you. You have to sort of relax into the process and just let the paint go where it wants to go right on the water Color paper. Add more. Turn your paper. However you like your blobs toe. Look, just keep working with them, and then once you have your blobs were you like them, let it dry 3. Dandelion Delight: Painting the leaves: Now we're gonna add our stems and leaves Who have your greens? I'm using hooker screen sap green and olive green, but you can use whatever combo of greens you want, just mixing them together loosely on, then adding where the flower attach is to the stem. So just a little slow, little splashes of color and then a line a nice, smooth line for the stem coming down. Give it a little bit of wobble. It doesn't have to be perfectly straight. Make it a little dynamic again, adding a little green. My flowers are not 100% dry there, partially dry. I think this is a nice way to go about it because the green blends into the yellow and integrates a little bit. It's going around from each of your flowers, adding the little bud leaves and then the stems in any way that looks nice to your eye, keeping it very loose. You see, I'm just doing little short quick marks from the centre outwards now for relief, draw the main vein, and dandelion leaves, like named for their remember the lion's tooth, have jagged leaf margins, so kind of like a wave shape almost on the leaf margins, and I'm adding a little more of the hooker's green in for the leaves to make them a little deeper green and bolder. Just filling in, keeping it very wet. Very loose, raising a wet on wet technique here. If you're not sure about your painting techniques and you're brand new to painting, you can always go to my website and my YouTube channel. Wings rooms wonder dot com and do my a watercolor basics class, which is a free class. And it's fun and teaches you all the basic techniques and then just adding leaves, I'm just gonna see going over the stems, keeping it loose. I know from personal experience that dandy lion leaves sort of growing a rosette form, so I'm just adding them and side to side. But of a circular ish pattern here, I'm going to move around the painting, you know, at a little bit gestural leaf coming out. You can see I switch brushes, make my leaves a little thicker, make filling them in a little easier, always starting with that main vein, then doing an outline of the leaf margin than filling in keeping it loose, keeping it very wet, although I'm not wedding. My paper first, like you sometimes do in wet on wet. But I'm letting the paint do the work. I'm letting the colors blend primarily on the paper you see, adding in splashes of color. I've got three leaves and then a little gesture of a leave. But add one more leaf behind and you can do your leaves anyway. That looks good to you based on the shape of your paper. Make a square piece of paper looks different, based on how your dandelion flowers blew out onto the page. How they're overlapping, how you want them to overlap with the leaves. So just working, you know, to your eye, I'm making this leaf go little behind that flower. If you don't want the green to blend into the yellow, remember toe. Leave a small line off white so the paint will only go where the paper is wet with with paint or water. So if you want to keep a hard edge, leave leave dry paper in between. You see, I added a little hooker's green here, too dark in it, up like a shadow where a leaf falls behind at a little depth and dimension to the stems to where the stems attached to the flowers just moving loosely and freely around the paper. Make sure not to put your hand in. I've done that a 1,000,000 times. Bring some stems in front. If that looks good to your, I send some behind. This whole project is very process oriented, so just enjoy it now. Let it dry completely and I'll see in the next video, and we'll add our pen outlines and our pollinators. 4. Dandelion Delight: Outlines, Lettering, and Painting the pollinators: Now we're gonna use our pento. Add some definition. So observing this little dandy lion I have, I'm looking at how it's a little wild. It's got little spikes and little leaves and little petals coming off every which way that are all very angular. And now my painting is completely dry. And so I'm going in with I'm using a pig mom micron pen here. But as long as your papers dry, you can use pretty much any pen you want. I am using 01 size black you could use. Um, a sepia would be nice, and I'm adding inthe e spiky shapes. You could call them pointy EMS pointy W's Point TV's pointy zigzags. But just to sort of add a little bit of definition to the flowers. A little bit of a, uh, harder outline, because we've got a lot of abstraction going on here. Not that thes thes shapes are very, you know, photo realistic to a dandy lion by any means, but it just it just defines it a bit and going in and defining the edges of some of the leaves. Now this step is completely optional. If you don't want to do this. Don't do this. I'm going to do it on some of them, but not others. So you can see now you could do definition and pen outlines on the dandelion flowers. You wanted to appear in the foreground and leave ones in the background without lines. That will help set them back as well. So play with it. See what you like. Um, practice your little zigzag e shapes on a different piece. Paper, if you want. See how I'm not tracing like a coloring book. I'm just adding some definition lines in here and there. I'm not giving a full outline to any of it. I'm just adding a little depth CEO. It makes the flowers look a bit more three dimensional, a little less flat. It's moving around the painting, you know, popping a line and here gives a bit of a shadow to the underside of a stem. Just just loose, however, every like the look and stop when you want to stop. Now moving in to the next step, the words Get your pencil ready. You can have a scratch paper to practice. I have practiced my cursive, Um, quite a bit and again I am keeping this very loose. You could print out a fun and trace it on if you wanted to. Um however, loose or tight you want to do this I'm treating. This is this process is sketchy, so I'm I'm free handing it on. I say grow Danny Lyons and help the bees. Now that I've got it written out in pencil, always do pencil first. I inevitably spell something wrong. I'm tracing over it again, tracing loosely and pencil. I'm not going over every single perfect little mark, Not trying to make this perfect. That's not what we're about here. We're about having fun, and we're about process with this project. So just adding your quote, I used green. You could use any color you like. You could use a bright pink. You could use a sepia to tie in to or black to tie into your outlines, whatever you like. And then you go back once your ink is completely dry and erase the pencil lines. Any pencil lines that. So I'm gonna hold off on that. And while I wait to just to make sure because sometimes you think the ink is dry and it's not in it smears! We're gonna work on our pollinators. So doing little sprigs, starting at a central point and doing like 123 restaurants. 123 brushstrokes. 123 You can see it's you're thinking of the shape of a bee's body. So kind of in an arch, Um, but again, very loose. You can see how I'm doing just some gestural brushstrokes coming from what would be the bee's abdomen just moving around. The reason I did the words before the bees was because once I saw where the words air than I would decide where I wanted the bees to be and how the bees might interact with the words . So that's why I waited their new five dandy lions, five leaves and five bees now getting that C p a paint. My bees are not completely dry. I chose C Pia instead of black. You might think, well, bees or black and yellow black can be a little harsh with the paint. And when black mixes with yellow, we often get ah, very drab green and bees. Thes bees, anyway, are not green bees, thes air bumble bees. So in that same fashion that you did with the yellow, adding Ah! 123 brushstrokes 123 Starting from a central point and brushing outwards, I'm using a zero size brush here, so 123 and thinking of the stripes to see how I'm leaving the yellow. Start with the yellow because it's the lighter color now, adding gestures of legs and head again. Very gestural, very loose little bees here, going back in, darkening up the paint. If it need be always, you start lighter. You could always go back in and add darker paint more layers. If you want, you go back in and add more yellow. If you feel like the CPS took over the yellow a little bit, and now add your wings. Noticed my wings air very light. It's a very watered down See Pia because wings air clear, so adding wing shapes moving around each be see how they're very, very loose. Little, little fun, little pollinators. And once the paint starts to dry and soak into the paper, you may not notice it needs to be dark. End up especially only the abdomen of the B. Once you've got your bees, how you like him, you can go in and start to add antenna. Just two very light brushstrokes from whatever side you want. The head of the B two B when were insects all have to antenna six legs and four wings. While we didn't paint four wings, we just did to opportunity just can't see the others here because again, this is just a loose, fun dandy lion and pollinator project to celebrate spring, celebrate wildflowers and celebrate this particular little flower that brings so much joy to early spring. And I'll see you in the next video and we'll finish up this project. 5. Dandelion Delight: Finishing the Project: Hello again. Welcome back, I hope. I hope you had a blast painting some dandy lions in a wild and whimsical watercolor playful way and had fun playing, painting your little pollinator bees to go along with them. Now you can use this same watercolor blowing technique with a straw to do any sort of wild kind of wildflower, like Azania or anything with like spiders. You could do paint any kind of thing that might have legs or pum pum Franny kind of like splashes. It's a fun technique that you can apply in his many areas as your imagination can come up with. So I hope you enjoyed this class. Go ahead and start your project below and be sure to upload photos. Be sure also follow me to stay updated and lots more fun Activities. Wings, worms and wonder dot com. And on instagram wings, worms and wonder for lots more fun. Lots more art projects, lots more creative nature connecting. So I hope to see you in these other venues. I hope you have fun. I hope you enjoy the rest of my classes here on skill share. Have a great way