Drawing Water Lily with soft pastels and pastel pencils | Ekaterina B | Skillshare

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Drawing Water Lily with soft pastels and pastel pencils

teacher avatar Ekaterina B

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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

8 Lessons (55m)
    • 1. Into to Water Lily Drawing Lesson

    • 2. Water Lily. Part 1. Materials.

    • 3. Water Lily. Part 2. Sketch.

    • 4. Water Lily. Part 3. Background.

    • 5. Water Lily. Part 4. Sketch 2.0

    • 6. Water Lily. Part 5. Details.

    • 7. Water Lily. Part 6. Fine tuning.

    • 8. Water Lily. Part 7. Finishing up.

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About This Class

Today I'd like to share with you how I draw a water lily using soft pastels and pastel pencils.


I'll show you how I prepare a beautiful background with soft  transitions on black sanded paper (it can be tricky if you don't know how to do it).

I'll show you step-by-step process of simplifying a complex form so you can use this approach in the future with your own creations. 

You can use any soft pastels you have - any type will look vibrant on back paper. You can use sanded paper found in hardware stores - just remember it is only good for practice because it isn't archival quality and the colors will fade away with time.

If you only have regular pastel paper, try it too! Use the textured side. 

Have fun with it and check me out on Instagram @art_ing_around_


Meet Your Teacher

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Ekaterina B


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1. Into to Water Lily Drawing Lesson: Hello beautiful people. My name is Katy and I would like to invite you to the world of soft pastels. This is beautiful world was so many possibilities for so many artists, from abstract style to complete photo realism. Like I'm showing you here some of the works that I've done. And I only started a little over a year ago. So today I would like to share with you how I draw a beautiful water allele with his magical dust around it. I hope you have some experience with soft pastels and already have a set of pastel sticks and maybe some pastel pencils. For this lesson, I would like to use black sanded pastel paper. Because whether you have a very inexpensive set or beautiful set of soft pastels, they will look great on Bullock centered paper. Especially it's important if you're starting with it, I would love for you to fall in love with soft pastels alike I have. So I will show you how a sketch, how I create soft transitions in the water, how I combine using pencils and sticks together and my work, how I create this beautiful dust on the allele. So grab what you have and let's begin. 2. Water Lily. Part 1. Materials.: Hi, everybody. Today we're going to draw this beautiful, magical water. Lily, you will see the materials in the description of the lesson. Ah, post a picture. This is the paper amusing. You are paper sending paper, and I bought a big piece of it. So cutter in different sizes of the great is 400 for this particular lesson. So grab yourself a glove. That's what I'm going to do. Ah, a pink presto pencil and let's start sketching our beautiful lily. 3. Water Lily. Part 2. Sketch.: has already said I have my glove on and, uh, pinkish colonel color bra still pencil, and we're going to sketch the lily. So we'll start with basic shapes that we see in the flow. Er I see a circle, actually a few circles within other circles, so it has, like, layers. After I sketch the round shapes, I'm going to start focusing on more, um, specific areas or just choose one area that captures my attention. And I started there, So just start with one pedal and, uh, move from there. So after looking, which one was the most interesting pedal to start with? It shows that bottom one, and from there you just start comparing sizes. If you make a mistake, you just the race easily or draw on top of it. We're going to a resold these lines eventually. So this is a black, uh, pastel paper. It's sanded paper. You are to the company that makes it, and they have different grits. So I bought a big piece off, um, paper from bleak art materials, and I just I caught it different sizes so I could just use it for different projects. So basically it's black and so you have to sketch with a pencil that is a lighter color than black. I didn't want to use White because I didn't know if I could erase Old White eventually, because the lily is not a white. So I decided to go with thing. But you can choose gray or, you know, like green or light blue, because the water surrounding the lily will be blue collar. I'm taking my time. I'm looking at the reference photo. I am making decisions and I'm placing the lines, um, confidently. Because again, I'm not afraid to make a mistake. And you shouldn't be either. We just have to make a decision, place a line and then see eventually you will see something appointer that will allow you to correct if it's wrong, where it will confirm that the line you placed was correct in the correct place. I started drawing my waterlily to the right way from the center, just like on the reference photo. It creates a better composition rather than placing it in the middle, um, over our paper. So I drool the lines I wanted. No, I'm going to grab a brush and just dust off the excess, Um, pastel dust. I'm gonna go over my sketch one more time once again confirming the alliance A and correcting the lines if I drew them in the wrong place. I don't work a lot on scented paper, but I like it because, um it's very easy to create bright colors on it not to create how? Say it. It's very I don't know, Just pass. Still love, standard paper. It always brighter on it through. Even if you have very cheap set off pastel sticks, it will look good anyway. And on any scented hostile paper. Even right now, I'm not worried about sketch. I need it still begin, uh, covering the background. But I will still have many opportunities to correct anything that I might not like in my sketch. If you don't want to work on this catch, you can just don't look traceable. Um, sketch It already drew for you. And don't trace it on your paper. Easy peasy. After our sketches done, we're going to work on the background. The water 4. Water Lily. Part 3. Background.: So now we're going to cover the background that will create the illusion off water. And we're going to start with blue. Very bright blue color. And I'm just gonna police it using the side of the stick to cover bigger areas. Um, right next to the lily, this is a darker blue. I would like to have policed a couple colors to begin with to start creating transitions in the water. No, I'm pressing really hard into paper and blending these two colors together. I want the transition to be very, very smooth. If the great off this paper was higher like 800,000 it would be much easier. But this one is a little rougher. So it takes me, you know, some effort to rub it in the paper. The problem with higher great is it doesn't take a lot of layers, so I wouldn't be able to Mbia's flecked flexible. When I'm drawing with pastels on a higher grid, I would have to be more precise. But, you know, my style is experimental. I want to see where the process takes me. I want to be a surprised Azaz. Anybody else? Um I use the reference photo as a starting point. But then I just let go and, uh, my mind off and I create, um, like in the reference photo of the REZO leave floating in the water, and I decided, no want that leaf, but I want to keep that color on the right topside of water lily. So the color off that leaf is kind of pale, dark green. I'm using gray color to start with and that I will end a few different shades of green and we'll see you feel like it. But I'm not going to draw a leaf there, and I make this decision on the flyover. I know, and that's how drawing us for me. It's two for self expression, playing around for distressing, for just having fun. So on, placing a different shade of blue on top of that gray, and I'm blending them together. The green I used doesn't seem to blend very well with other colors. Maybe it would be easier if I was using a higher grade paper, but for this paper, it's not. So I'm getting more pastels on top of it. Now I'm using green, and that's what I mean. The lower the grit, the more layers I can place on my paper and the more it can play around with 1000 great. I wouldn't be able to do this here. My paper would get filled, filled up with the pastel dust, and I wouldn't be able to do anything else anymore. It wouldn't be sticking to in my paper, so that would be the problem. So I thought I grabbed black, but it was actually very, very dark green collar, and it worked really, really well. I really liked it. So it's a dark green, even though it looks black color. But when you start blending it, you see it's green. There is a shadow on bottom part off the drawer. You that's, um, coming from Lily. And that's why there's that darkness there gonna but ends abruptly. We won't keep a doctor abrupt, well blended. Make it softer, and I'm making my decisions about how I want order look like right now, I would like the lily stand out more so a meeting darker color right behind it and impressing really, really hard because I want very, very smooth transitions if they're not smooth, and I just add more pastels that side were placed gray still know very smooth. So we'll just keep pointing with it until I, um, reached a desired look. But I might not. Dude, right away, I might work on the lily first and then in your shop with the bad grown in the end roll. See on girls. I really like this 400 grip darkening the area underneath the lily. And, um, I'm trying notice much the sketch, but we don't want to have any paper between the lily and, uh, a background. So we do need to get as close as possible. Now you can see that dark green. It looks very nice. Next to balloon. I think that blue is a little too bright, so I might have to tone it down the bid by, you know, maybe dragging some dark colors from the outside. Even though reference photo doesn't have this a lighter spots on the water, I think they look nice. So I'm heading Carnaud. A lighter spots here and there 5. Water Lily. Part 4. Sketch 2.0: No, let's start with our under painting. So I choose to bring Bug in my sketch with a very light gray color, and I'm only going to police it in the areas off pedals where they highlighted. So it's pretty more John the tips off the pedals not going to use. Oh, this light gray on the darker areas. I just make a decision and make a confidence stroke. We want our strokes, too. Be to look confident. That always looks better than shaky, kinda un decisive lines. And, uh, if you need to practice on a separate piece of paper, feel free to do so. Or you can just police your strokes and erase if you don't like him. So for the back leaf, I don't have a darker gray, so amusing rental light brown color there and back to my light gray Onley on tips where you can see kind of white color on those pedals. Now that I've brought the lines back, I'm going to start working on under painting. So I'm going to start placing dark darks, uh, the shadow areas. I don't have a dark burgundy color, so I'm going to use it in combination with black, some placing the color that I have. And then I'm going to, uh, draw with black stick on top of it, and it will give me a darker color. And that's what you can do to if you don't have the color you would like to have just place a couple and makes them blend them together on paper. And it might not look like the color we want in the end, but we need a starting point. It's always an experiment because different paper, we'll have produced different results for the pastels. So while I still have my black, I'm gonna place it under the lily without a shadow. There are many ways to go bald drawing with pastels, and I'm just showing you my way. I like combination off lines and, uh, cardamom, vague transitions and my drawings. So I'm using hostile pencils and sticks together. The under painting will look like a blurry version off the end result, so I know I'm just placing colors. I see In the reference photo, I decided I like them. If I don't, I just two different color, and then I'm going to Belinda Mall together. So this is Ah, peel greener. Mm. Pilot color. I'm using you, too. Draw the lines on the petals. No, we're going to blend everything together. Just press. If you help the same great as I do. 400. You compress pretty hard where you will have to press pretty hard to blend colors together . It's a good thing you don't want paper where everything smudges very easily and you're great mess by accident, and it's hard to fix it here. You can just keep, um, adding layers. If you don't like, something in, the people will be able to take him. I'm using a pencil to great precise strokes on paper, but they won't be as bright. Er's, um are still sticks. So right now I'm just kinda bringing the sketch. Fuck. And I'm still working on my under painting, which should look kind of blurry. So at this point, we want everything very soft. Look, - those five leaves on the outside of the lily, they the north pedals, it leaves. So they're kind of green on the outside, and, uh, bronies graze greenies. Golar on the inside kind of warm color also should see some violent color inside them. Just a reflection because they're so smooth. Um, they reflect the color of lily petals. This is a dark green for the outside of those leaves and brighter, lighter green for the areas where the light hits the those leaves. I love the green disappear into the black area. So I just place it during, um, home blundered. I see the leaf, uh, have some God awful ideal low color. And I decided to use a soft pastel stick for it. No, just a pencil, because it covers larger areas. No, I'm just gonna blend it together with, uh, what while it color already had their and our album together. So they blend nicely. Transition Very well. A little bit off off white. And this leave because though, paper wasn't allowing me to boland them together very easily. I'm using a pencil to move past ills. That's what you can do as well. The highlighted areas of the leaf. I'm bringing back with gray presto pencil. And, uh, I also Colonel Robert in. So it doesn't look harsh. You will just work on Hi. Let's forbid then will use a black charcoal pencil to define the flower better. This is, uh, pink are still stick the pastel pencil I used earlier. It wasn't enough. I wasn't as bright as I would like it to be. So that's why I chose to go over it, where this pink stick and again on policing it on tips off the pedals. That's where the highlighted areas are and where the lighter colors are. Sometimes they notice the same color I have in my hand in different areas. They're just add it here and there. And I wanted to bring a little brighter color to the red areas. I'm applying it, um, in choppy kinda strokes to create the lines that pedals hope. So I'm adding this color between the pedals so I could see the layers within the flower. Better now. This either every pedal pedals. Bottom part is darker, and it just turns into almost white on the tip, now blending everything together very well, creating this blurry version of the flower. Just look at the reference photo and, uh, pay attention where the darker areas are, place some of that red color there and we're done with the under painting 6. Water Lily. Part 5. Details.: At this point, I would like to define the flower better. So I'm using the black carbons catch pencil. And, uh, I'm using the back scratcher to rest my hand So I don't smudge any parts of my drawing up already Creative. So just go into outline all the pedals and I'm going to make the line darker and Federer in the areas where the pedals are darker and I barely will touch, um, anywhere where their highlights are. So I want the highlights to remain as bright as possible, but I want the darker areas to be more defined. So I am outlining the pedals right now and again. I'm trying to have my strokes be very confident. So I make a decision and I draw a line and it doesn't have to be precise on the edge. Uh, it can be going up off the edge still looks beautiful. You see, I'm not very precise. Were placed the lines. You can still see that there's some aerial left on the outside of my lines, and that's totally fine. This is not a realistic drawing. One of these days we will draw something, you know, photo realistic, but this is more stylized kind of mixture between realism, realism and, uh, abstract. So, again, I am intensifying that dark area beneath a Louis for the shadow, using my black pencil, very easy to work, birth, a little more interest in the water. I got a little bit of black on my leaf, and I just wiped it off with my, um, finger. 7. Water Lily. Part 6. Fine tuning.: So I'm going to add a yellow room home inside the flower I'm using. It's kind of orangey yellow pastel pencil. I don't have exact color like the reference photos, so we're going to create our own, so a little bit of red on the bottom. It's much a little more because I would want those yellow, uh, parts disappear into the darkness of the middle of the flower. At this point, I'm just trying to achieve the effect. I seen a reference photo you might have already a gym did full needs a little harder. I don't seem to have the right color. So now I'm getting darker areas in between, and I'm smudging it a little bit for highlights. Amusing light yellow. I want those lines to have soft beginnings and endings like they're disappearing into the flower. I don't wanna have harsh Indians there. I'm using your pastel pencil to blur the Mount. I would like my lily, the red zones where the red color goes to be a little brighter. You can use our the postal pencil or pastel sticks for that. I really like this con tape pencils. They are very good pigment drawing lines and said the pedals and always blending them with other colors so they have very smooth transitions. - This point, you might find that you're quite happy with your lily, and you can stop, but I'm going to continue adding different colors to it. This point. It looks kind of stylized and very pretty, already dark green for the outside of the leaves, a little bit of the dark green inside the flow. Er, if you no something about the color wheel. You know that bread and green can create brown color, so that would work for us. And remember what you see on the screen. There's north exact colors that I see when I'm drawing pastels. They reflect all the light. You will know that it's really hard to take a picture that shows correct coloring of your drawing. So it's kinda that's like the colors. Um, I have, with lessons there, suggested colors. You can use whatever you find. Um, that looks close enough to what I'm doing, but it's just a suggestion. This is a pale in your little color for the highlighted areas on the leaves. This is a white press still pencil, and I'm just going to defined the tips off the pedals a little better. It won't give me very bright white. I'm going to use a different pastel stick for that. With the final highlights go that can give me It will help me lighten summaries up and I can create the lines inside the leaves and petals Just blend. Um, - so this is a white are still stick around once it's softer than my new pastels and I'm just policing. You didn't again tips off the pedals for hundreds. It's Colonel big and fat, so hard to achieve thin lines with pastels around pastel stick. So I will use a pastel pencil to fix those lines. Uh, just use it to draw a line in. Also moved. The pastel said weren't moving very well on this paper. A few dogs of white inside the lily and, um, just a few white spots here and there for highlights. With my white, um, someone just got little messed up because I was, um, moving it. Ever seen room? So I'm just fixing those areas with the darker, hostile stick. This one's dark green. You can use black because it's underneath the lily. I'm just fixing the edges off the lily. You might not need to do that. It just in my case, I do got a little bit messy here. Now I'm just moving the areas with the pencil. Where did not blending in very well with other colors. 8. Water Lily. Part 7. Finishing up.: So we're own our lust part off this project, and I'm using black carbons kids. Been so you can use any, um, charcoal pencil for this part to intensify the darkest areas inside lily, where the shadows are just making the darker areas a little darker to create more interest in contrast, in my drawing, so not outlining Blang Lee everywhere. Now I'm just darkening some. Here is where I think should be darker, and I took my glove off because I have more control blending pastels with my fingers. And when I had a glove, I'm fixing the edges off the pedals, and I'm very careful not to smudge where I don't want anything to be smudged. And because again, as I said, this pretty rough surface, it allows me to do just that. It's not moving the whites into the darks easily, and that's a blessing because I don't have tiny fingers when the lines change direction. I'm just getting a little more darkness there, and you see, this happened, so hit us much and I loved it. And now I'm just going to smudge a few other areas, and that's what I mean. Oh, my drawings. They are experiments. The decisions I'm making are in this moment. And now I decided that Why don't we put some magic? Very dust on it. So what I'm going to do, I'm just going to scratch my pastel stick with my finger, Neil, and it will drop some dust into the paper. So, what you do, then you clean your hands, grab a piece of paper, so I'm going to grab on. Is the paper put on top of this dust? That is loose right now? And I'm gonna use a pencil to roll on top of it and roll up. Look how beautiful it is. No. So that's how we create Dustin paper. Now, I'm using fingernail to scratch some of those specs. Uh, what do you call off those little, um, dust in? Make them into sparkles. So we're using your fingernail. Just scratch some areas and it will create sparkles. I want a little more of it, so I'm just gonna put a little more dust on top. I can even dab it on paper and blow it off. It's Grote. Maybe it a little more everywhere. No. Sometimes you don't even have to put the paper on top, which is you can just carefully rule the pencil across the paper and just make stick to paper. It's like it out. Just blow off whatever you don't need and we can sign our beautiful drawing. I hope you had fun. Now look forward to seeing in your results from this lesson.