Draw With Me: PEONY (Plus BONUS Modern Watercolor Section) | Isa Down | Skillshare

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Draw With Me: PEONY (Plus BONUS Modern Watercolor Section)

teacher avatar Isa Down, Illustrator, Writer, Nature Lover

Watch this class and thousands more

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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 (33m)
    • 1. Intro/Trailer

    • 2. Peony Pencil Sketch

    • 3. Peony Ink & Shading

    • 4. BONUS: Peony Modern Watercolor

    • 5. Wrap Up Peony

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About This Class

In this inaugural video of my brand new DRAW WITH ME series, I take you step-by-step through the process for drawing a peony.  Using reference photos, you can follow along as I take you from pencil sketch, through ink shading, and finally to an optional BONUS modern watercolor section to bring your peony to life. Designed to be easily accessible, this 30-minute class can be taken during your lunch break, while your kid takes a nap, or at the end of the day when you need to unwind. I can't wait to see you in class! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Isa Down

Illustrator, Writer, Nature Lover




Hey you! I am an artist and writer living at the base of the Rocky Mountains.  Author of ‘Inking Florals: Learn to Create Modern Dynamic Florals in Ink and Watercolor’ (Walter Foster, 2020), I am a self-taught artist with a passion for watercolor, ink, and anything found in nature.  I have taught thousands of students, both online and in-person, and am wildly passionate about empowering others. I am excited to continue inspiring and encouraging others to find their inner creatives.

Thanks for stopping by my Skillshare page.  I’d love to see you in class!

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1. Intro/Trailer: everybody. My name is Lisa, and I'm an artist in creative designer with my company, Poppy and Graco. And if you've taken one of my classes before, welcome back. And if you haven't, then welcome. So this is the first of mice new Siri's that I'm going to be introducing, um, here on skill share. And it is Siris of Draw with Me, in which I will be taking you step by step from pencil sketches all the way through to ink and shading, and then also adding water color or other various colors at the very end, through one specific flour. And in this class, we will be looking at a pne from start to finish on. I'm really excited to be doing this with you guys because I have had so many people reach out and ask me how to draw specific flowers and finally dawned on me that I could just make a class that is accessible to all of you, and that you could take in a really short time on your lunch break after work when your child is napping. So I'm really excited to get started with our draw with me class 2. Peony Pencil Sketch: way. All right, So for the very basic fundamentals of drawing RP and either just a few things that we need , we're gonna need some paper. I'll be using those Bristol paper, which is generally my preference when doing ink drawings, especially if I want to add a little bit of water color. Um, it's not just primarily watercolor, we'll need an eraser. You'll need a pencil and Nana recommend having a couple of pens. Finally, inner pens of different sizes. I have a 01 and 005 Here comes there just slightly different sizes of the pen tip of a couple different brands here. But Micron is my typical go to I also using a person of color today. So for the first step, we, of course, will need to get our paper out, and I will be using a reference photo of a puny that I found on unspool ash. It's a free photo sharing website, so it's very easy for you to look at photos there and find a good reference without violating any copyright Waas. So when I'm drawing a flower, I will start at the very center of the flower with a general idea of where on the page I want it to be. I will if I'm looking at it on my computer. I my the reference photo on my computer. I might just size it to be about the size that I want it so that I can draw really easily, just estimating the size based on what I'm looking at, if it's on my phone and, um, it's something I might be zooming in on R. Obviously it will not get as big, just depending on the size of your phone. Then I might just sketch out a circle or something on my paper just to give myself a general idea of how big I wanted to be just very lightly. So I always start in the center. And when there's a peony, it has such overlapping pedals that I will always just draw a kind of a rough circle in the central center of where I'm going to come back at the end to do the inside part of the flower. I want to make sure that I'm getting my pedals that are sort of wrapping around the center , drawn in before I go back and add in the center bits. So starting from the center and looking at a reference photo, I will just take one of the more dominant center pedals so that I can look easily back on where I'm coming from. Um, this is especially helpful. If you were doing a different variety of a Pini that might have a lot more frills and pedals to it, Um, or if you're doing something like a chrysanthemum or another, more complex flower that tends to have. I'm just so many pedals that it's sort of hard to remember where you were. So I always like to start with a more dominant pedal just so that I can remember where I am quickly. Then we're just going to start building from the inside out. Um, when I'm using a reference photo, I always like to go from the inside out. If it's something from memory, I might do more outside in with the flower, but especially with these really complex flowers, I like to make sure that I am getting them correctly. And by doing that, by going from the center, I make sure that the proportions are correct. Now I start with pencil with my more complex flowers, knowing that when I come in with my pen, I might be changing things up a little bit also because I want to be able to erase anything . If I make any big mistakes, I will typically draw with a pencil much later than this. But I am doing it a little bit darker than I normally would just for the sake of this videos that you could, um, see it. But I do like to make sure that I'm not pressing down hard enough that I'm leaving any lines on the paper by pressing down too hard with my pencil tip so that when I come in, if I want to do any sort of color, however, I end up adding that I don't wanna That will really highlight any groove lines that you've made if you press down too hard with your pencil and then especially if you end up with your pen part being outside of there. And of course we're using a reference photo. But a reference photo doesn't necessarily mean that we're doing it exactly how we're seeing it. It is just giving us an idea and a sense of what the flower looks like and the mood that we might be going for with this particular flower In some other photos, you may find that some of the, um, farther away pedals in the back away from the camera lens are gonna be much blurrier and harder to see the exact petal shape or outline. And that is completely fine because you're still getting a sense of word is, and another good reason to start with the center or the front, or whatever is in focus is that by the time you get to these outside pedals, you've already drawn all these inner petals. And so you have a good idea of the shape that you're wanting to maintain. If you can't see a specific shape on the outside, you may not be comfortable dry an entire pne just straight from memory without having a specific, um, reference photo in front of you to show you the pedals. But you can certainly have some confidence and drawing a few pedals once do you get to that outer edge where it might be a little more blurred and you're not as able to see what's happening. You may also find, um, that you don't space your pedals appropriately to mimic the flower exactly as it's referenced. And you will just end up, um, sort of adapting accordingly. Eso I've done some different spacing here than I saw in the pedal, and I'm just kind of going with it. And, um, adapting some of the pedals that I see are on the leaf and also just adding some of my own at this point as well. Storm is gonna keep drying along here, and I'm not going to be speeding up this video for the pencil part, at least because I want to make sure that you're able to draw along with me. Um, so just keep an eye on the screen. If you need Teoh, you composite fast forward. Do anything that you need to dio um, so that you could draw along with me and see how I am building out this pne. - Do you? All right, so there is our pne flour and then we'll come on down and just draw stock at the bottom here. So now I'm gonna go back to the middle on him, really just going to give myself a sense of the direction that I want the centred orbits to go. I've included as a reference photo a close up of the center of this type of the pne so that you can see where getting the shape reference from better than he could in this there. Really, Just like long tendrils long shape through the oblong fingerling tape things on. I just wanna get myself a general shape of the direction that I want them to go. I'm not gonna draw all of them specifically in with pencil, because it just becomes very redundant winning at my ink. All right, so here is your pne drawing, and the last thing that we want to add before we add any ink into here is just one leaf to balance it out a little bit. I have included a few reference photos again from unspool ash just so they could get a good sense of what they looks like or what it looks like you're there is our pencil fine of RP any. And then the next video, we're gonna come through with eight, um, and do a quick outline sketch, and then we can start shaving it in a little bit before we add color 3. Peony Ink & Shading: this video will be adding are in clear to our drawing. The first thing I'm going to do is just go over the lines that I've drawn in here using my ink. And I am using the figure 01 sized finally in her pen tip for the outline. And then I'm going to be using my smaller, um, painted my 005 when I add the details in this just helps the leaves stand or the pedal stand out and pronounce pronounces them a little bit more when you're drawing them, especially if you're using just ink. It can be nice to have a slightly thicker line for the outline of the flower to really give it definition way. Have the outline all sketched in over pencil drawing that we did and you may be able to see . I don't necessarily go exactly over the pencil lines that I had drawn initially. I really just want to use somewhere as a guideline and then give myself permission to add flowers or pedals or frills or anything like that that I may not have initially put in there. Now we're gonna be working more in the center, and I switched to my 005 pen tip, which is thinner than the other one, because now I'm adding a little bit more detail. Then I'm just following the general shape, making sure these long tendrils overlap. They're not going to be perfectly uniform, you know, lined up side by side. Um, if you were to look at a painting out nature so I'm not gonna draw them that way. And the farther the ones in the front are gonna look closer because the farther away you go , the shorter they're going to look, Aziz a come about you from a different angle and from farther away. So the ones over here might even be more of a triangle because what you're looking at is the top part of that tundra curving towards you. Whereas the ones in the front you're going to be getting much more that long. Look to them. And then in these deeper corners where the pedals are coming in and leaning over the, um, middle of the flower, I tend to just sort of add some extra lines in there to make it look a little bit darker to give the illusion of the shadow effect in there, and I'm making these more dense in the center. Um, for if I were to just leave, this is an ink sketch, and I were not to add any color to it. So if that's what you're wanting to dio, I recommend that you make the center but a little more dense just to give the illusion of depth and shadow in the center. And if you're wanting to add color to it later, there are still enough light areas in there that you can add the color on. The shading will simply help give that death an allusion to it. All right, so at this point, I'm going to go ahead and add my shade lines to my PNE. If you needs very specific or detailed help in how to shade and you feel really uncomfortable with shading and aren't sure where to start with your drawing, go ahead and check out my shading one on one class regular into much more detail. Um, then I will be here on how to shade. But a couple of basic guidelines are always use the flick stroke just because it's a lot more delicate and gets that illusion of direction that the pedals going without being really overbearing and also follow the line of your flower. So especially with the pne, um, these pedals are gonna be coming from different directions as you're drawing with, um, so just make sure you know where the um, origin of that pedal is and which direction it's coming up and you'll be stroking from the origin up or from the top down by the origin. I mean, this one starts at the center, and it's curving up here. So the origin for the origin point of where you can see it on this flower that it's exposed , is where are going to be flicking up from. And then from the top, I always come down where there's any sort of it. Dip it like right down. I'm just to help give the illusion of the crease or the depth that is occurring because of that crease end of it in the flower. So we're just gonna go ahead and shade the flower together in your own time and will meet together again. All right, so when you think you're done drawing coloring in your pen sketch, I want you just just make sure you take a full step, step back and take a look at what you have, um, shaded in because especially with a flower that has so many pedals on it. When you got kind of in there, you sort of forgot to look at the full picture on. And now that I'm stepping back, I can see that there are a few pedals here where I completely neglected to shade them in. So make sure you always step back and take a look. I can't tell you how many times I have thought I was completely done and then as I was going along or taking pictures of it Teoh share with you all on Instagram or anywhere like that. I have realized that there's a whole section that I've completely neglected to shade in. So definitely make sure that you do that final step back and look at the whole picture again. It's easy to get sucked into the fine details when you are doing such detail work on sheeting. So I, um, negotiating on this one I went pretty light with my shading, and that was because I know that I'm gonna be coming in to add in some color, Um, at the end, Just so I wanted to keep it a little bit later to add a little bit more depth with the Pete that I'm gonna be adding. And not just with think. So this point. Once my ankles dry, I will erase all of my pencil guidelines, and you could be done at this point. Or if you're wanting to come and learn a little bit of adding color to this at this point, then follow along with our next video. 4. BONUS: Peony Modern Watercolor: way. Welcome back to those of you who have come to add a bit of color to your flower to your pne flower in this class today. So I am going to be adding some water color to my drawing that I have here. And I think for this one I'm going to do a really light wash with not tons of detail. I am going to do more of ah, whitewash with some of a bit of a modern feel similar to my modern florals class in future classes, I will absolutely be doing some more detail work and showing you ways that I paint more precisely to match my reference photo, give it a more realistic look to it. So I have three different paint brush sizes here I have a wine and ate and a 10. Um, good to use the smaller detail brush of the one for the center. And even when I'm doing less detailed and more of, ah, modern art feel he will typically still do a pretty detailed center area. And that size one brush I just loaded on some yellow and I'm just gonna come in and shade color in the 10 Drel bits that we had drawn in earlier. We try to use a pretty dense and bright yellow for the center part of the beauty, because it is such a glorious color that if the PNE has in the center, if you're looking at the reference federally included for the close up of the center, it's just so gorgeous, and I want to make sure that I do it justice. Mother, I'm doing a more scientific, um, version of a flower. We're something a little bit with more of a modern feel to it. Then I'll generally come in with a bit of, ah, dust year yellow along the edges where the shadows are going to be so that the center that is most exposed to the light will be the brightest on. Then along the outside, it will be a little bit denser with a dusty your yellow in there. Now, if you're wanting to keep this very specific, let it dry if you're wanting to keep it really detailed than let it dry before you do the pedals that surround it. But since I'm not as concerned about that and I'm wanting to do more of a free for modern art feel to this. I'm just gonna go ahead and mix and colors to make later she of pink out of my piece here, and then I will come in and start to make a pretty light wash of this. Oh, if you're not sure about how to mix your colors to make cover that you're wanting, there are some great color mixing classes here on skill share and highly recommend you take a look at them if you don't have sort of a sense of what you want to do for that. All right. So I'm gonna go ahead and just start adding some really splashy um, late wash to my flower there, certainly times that, um, I love to be more precise in my painting with my flowers. And then there were times like now, and I just kind of want to give it a general wash and have a little bit of fun with the colors. So I'm gonna went on a dry technique there, but my brushes pretty loaded with water while I was doing that. And I'm gonna add a little bit more pink to my, um, Pete mix that I had created and water it down a little bit so that I can start, um, doing a little bit more of the modern art feel sometimes all I'm having to this is water. Um, my feeling wanting it to flow a little bit more. I'll just add some water to it and not necessarily even have my color. This is a slightly different variation of my modern for all, um, watercolor technique that I showed you in my modern florals class. Um, so if you've taken that one and you're sitting there thinking, what is she doing? This isn't what you did before. That's why I'm doing a totally different ways. You could do it. Really? Anyway, that you want to. I am wanting to make sure that I just have a little bit of definition in here as well. So you have that contrast of slightly more detail with the watercolor almost just falling off the pedals. Well, it's what I'm wanting to come in, since it's such a light, almost lavender wash that I've put in here just coming in with a lab in Jerry Gray. Color just added a nice great too, the color that I had before and I was adding it in. If you are intending to add a lot of water color, I would recommend you either take down your Bristol paper if you're using Bristol or just use watercolor paper in the first place because it won't buckle If you're using watercolor and of a buck a lot less or not at all, if you take this Bristol paper down. I did not take this one down just because I can't really do that. Well, I'm filming, um, just because of my set up, but I would have probably takes this one down just to make sure there's no buckling. And I'm really not putting that much pain time here, So it's not doing too badly. Yeah, no, I know that some people who have taken my modern particulars class have added different colors. They've added the green for the stand in the leaves, a slaw as well as the color for the some flour. And those have been absolutely beautiful, gorgeous, and I love them. So if you want to do that, I absolutely I want to recommend that you dio I tend Teoh statistic with one color for my modern florals just cause That's the look that I'm going for. But if you're wanting to add breed into your pedals your stem that absolutely go for it, I am just sort of sticking with that gray color and then just for fun. I am also going to be adding some splashes in here as well, because who doesn't love a good splash? You're loading up your larger paintbrush with water and, um, your water color ink on their and you're just tapping the paintbrush. The larger paintbrush you use, the bigger your swatches will be. So if you find that you're wanting smaller ones, then I recommend doing a much smaller detail brush to get those smaller swatches. And then I generally come in while the peace still wet. Given that the thoughts that are I landed on my pedals themselves. All right, so there we go. You have your modern pani flower that we have drawn all the way from our pencil sketch through ink and now through our modern watercolor that we have added as well. So at this point, you just want to let it dry, and then you are done with your project 5. Wrap Up Peony: All right, everybody. So now you have completed your pne and you know how to draw the pne from start to finish using your reference photo and the more comfortable you got withdrawing using a reference photo or just drawing from memory, the more comfortable you will get, creating your own style of pne and adding in leaves and petals wherever you wish to put them. And you'll just have a lot more comfort with that as you gain that muscle memory. This class is here if you need to go back and take a look at previous lessons if you're needing to practice a little bit more or learn a little bit more. But my biggest recommendation if you're wanting to master the PNE not that I have mastered it by any means. But the biggest thing that you can do is to just keep drawing them different varieties from different angles and really start to learn how the PNE is built and how to portray that in a drawing. If you are going to be posting anything on instagram from this class, please tag me. I love to share and see what you guys create. Otherwise I would love. If you could upload your project into our project section here in the class so that the other students can see them as well and got inspired by your beautiful work. Thanks again for coming to my class. And I look forward to seeing you in the next room.