Dreamy Watercolor Florals - Quick & Easy in the Wet-on-Wet Technique | Cathrin Gressieker | Skillshare

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Dreamy Watercolor Florals - Quick & Easy in the Wet-on-Wet Technique

teacher avatar Cathrin Gressieker, Artist and Textile Designer

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

7 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Art Supplies

    • 3. Painting 1: First Layer - Wet-on-Wet Technique

    • 4. Painting 1: Adding Details

    • 5. Painting 2 - Wet-in-Wet-Technique

    • 6. Sketchbook Flip Through

    • 7. Thank you & Exciting Things to Come!

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About This Class


Do you love loose watercolor florals and would love to paint them in a quick & easy way?

In this beginner's painting class I am showing you the wet-on-wet technique and I will lead you step-by-step to a beautiful and dreamy painted floral bouquet. 

What you will learn:

- art supplies you need (not that many!)

- a loose way of painting roses, gerberas and leaves

- how to let water and paint start their magical dance

- a bit about floral composition

- hopefully to have a lot of fun while painting!

I have prepared all the floral reference you need with beautiful photos of a bouquet from different angles which I will be using in class. Feel free to use these photos or reference of your own. You can find the photos under Projects & Resources.

This class is the beginning of my Floral Extravaganza Series where I will be showing you lots of different techniques how to paint loose vibrant florals.

So, please grab your brushes and let the flower magic begin!


Meet Your Teacher

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Cathrin Gressieker

Artist and Textile Designer


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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to my class. Dreamy watercolor plurals quick and easy in the wet on wet technique. In this class, I'm going to show you step-by-step how to achieve these beautiful dreamy flowers with lots of color bleeds. My name is Catherine Brassica, and I'm an artist and floor lattice and a textile designer. And I have the big privilege of painting flowers every day for fun and for a living. And I've seen my designs becoming products and getting licensed all over the world. This class is aimed at beginners and also painters at the intermediate levels. And everybody who would like to learn more about the technique and see my process. For your class project. Please paint your own beautiful dreamy watercolor page. You can use any of the photos provided by me or your own. And I would love to see them in the class gallery. 2. Art Supplies: Art supplies, you're going to need watercolor paper. Of course, I'm using this one here by German brand boost now, which is cold press, I guess 24 by 32 centimeters, but use whatever is your favorite paper, what you have at hand, try different things. The paper then you need paint. Of course, I used the doctor ph Martin's radian concentrated watercolor, which really, really very saturated. You just need a little drop. You will see they are very bright, but please use whatever you have. If you have, like watercolor paints in pens, then use these. If you have some tubes, also use them, whatever you have. So I will mainly use the definitely the yellow and orange, lighter pink and ice paying. Most rows should trues. All of green. And maybe also a touch of violet, but that being said, and also if you hear this click, it's my glass table when I take pains from it, the bottles. So that being said, I'm quite a spontaneous mixer. So for mixing I'm using a watercolor pellet. That is this one. It's the paper pellet. Something like this here. You can see it's just different sheets. They are CO2 and yeah, I just like to put some my watercolor paints on it and just reuse them, reactivate them, have areas that are bleeding, become more muted, reactivated again to have it not so bright, it will still be very bright, but this is what I'm using, this pellet. And I also have two small pellets away also push paint into it some more for the red color, some for the green blows. But also here, no system to my madness or I adore their watercolour painters who can just put one color in one place and leave it there, sir, mine become always very mixed up. And I'm also while painting, using it very intuitively. So then we need rushes, of course. So my go to brushes, a size 12, cheap rush here. So this is what I want to use for painting. And four, wetting the water color paper used a quail brush, but also he had take any brush that takes a lot of of water to wet the page, maybe you have something like this. This also works well. Then I have two containers of water. One I use for them. The first wash off the brush to get the pigment out and then I usually try to leave one very clean. If I need clean water or second wash, I used for this and then my secret weapon is paper, paper, toilet paper roll to just step my brushed in-between. Tests of the papers. I like that it's quite sturdy for need something. I just tear it off and can debit on the paper. And preferably it has also flowers on it. As for painting reference, I will be providing you with everything you need. I bought a bouquet of flowers and I photographed it from different angles. And all these beautiful photos are all free for you to use. So please use them. You will find them in their downloads. 3. Painting 1: First Layer - Wet-on-Wet Technique: Here we are with our first painting, wet on wet painting. And I've chosen this reference photo. I will work from, maybe I'll switch from time to time. If I'm looking for another kind of flower, another angle. But this is my starting point. I have my paper ready, my pains and my brushes, and I'm starting taking my quill brush to wet the paper. So just take some clean water and put it on your paper. So it's good to have a look like from an angle to see whether you have covered all the areas. And yes, then it is just a question of timing. When to start. So when you start to early, Everything will bleed. It's too late, then everything will be kind of dry. So I'll just think this looks quite fine. This is a bit of dirt here. We can take that of later comes from the brush. Okay, so we have them, the wet watercolor paper now. And I'll think, I'll just dive in straight away the first flower here. And yeah, let's see. I'll just take a little bit of pink here from a pellet and see what happens if you just put some dots on paper. Oh, you see, now it's really, really bleeding. Do we want that? Let me wait for moment and start with the petals. So I'm just doing quick strokes here and it will bleed even more. So. Just be aware to let some whitespaces here. And also maybe vary a bit the intensity of the paint. So it's a bit more interesting. So leave some wide so that it will not become one big blob, blob after awhile when it dries. Okay, so let's put some wind in the middle. Can be that this will merge together with a pink and become a dirty as they're quite complimentary, but I'll just give it a go. Ok, not too bad. Rinse my brush and debit on the paper to get some water out and then take some more pink and just Yeah, debit all around here, some places for that little inner petals like this and then add a bit more here. So I'm going quite intuitively, feel like a little bit of yellow might be interesting. It's not really in the flower, but just to give it some interest. And you see that the green is completely spread out. Now. Maybe you have to wait a bit to add some more, but I'm just trying just taking some more, give it a go. And let's see what happens at this moment. So focusing on this flower, let's go to another one to the rows here. Quite dreamy. So I'm starting kind of a darker middle. And do this. See shapes all around. And there's also a little bit of green tinted petals with green. So it can come back later here and add some more detail. If you just put too much now, will all bleed and just become one blob. So you see here it's already much drier. So it's like nearly like on normal paper. So I just put my paint on it and then I just use a lot of water to dilute it. To also get this dream effect. And also like this on it's quite a lot of paint is green screen petals here. So you see all these edges, how it's bleeding, how it's creating this streaming effect. And let's go for the yellow ones here. So they quite blurry and see how the paper reacts already quite dry. So I'm just doing a couple of strokes here. And some here. And maybe a bit of orange. Let's see how this will dry them. Good. So time for some, some greenery, some leaves I think. And we'll just take some olive green and add a bit of green here. That's quite bright, maybe talented bit. And yeah, let's see how those rows this will be. So it's not gender picture, but I'm just doing this more. Oval shapes. Roses often have, and here it's already quite dry. Then it would be also nice jet, some of these more oblong shapes really dry him. How is done? The paper here, this should be. Still quite quite wet. It's not. But some areas are you see it's bleeding here. This can be a very nice contrast or have it like this and like that. So suddenly it's good if it's not too wet. Put the stems now otherwise they lead really wide and so they can stay like this on some leading again happening here. And I'm just looking at the reference c, Where could be nice to read some, some leaves. Okay, and let's see if we just take some, some paint and let it come here. Pair underneath. Just trying out things as if there was more leaves here. So this is really bleeding. You see? This is already quite dry or wet. It also just take some of your brush, some water, put some pain, some water on it. And you can even try to put somewhere is already paint, still get some leading effect. So lots of room for experimentation. Hamm. And then, yeah, let's do array lied. But flour here, up here and the light pink, probably globally and spread. I'm trying to keep some white spaces, but now it's O one, but trying different color tones to make it more interesting. And then also adding a stem may be suggested, leaves and greenery. And as you see, this is really the main center of attention here. There's flour, which is ok with me. But let it be surrounded by and another leaf. And then you also see those bats here. This could be an interesting touch to add this, these coming out here and see how they will react with the Paint. 3d bleeding here. Not so much here. Okay. And just some strokes. And just add a little bit of yellow up here maybe like in the in the photo. One rows, tuck tier. Behind. You see everything is drying quite quickly and you have to make quite quick decisions. For these. Let's try to add some more of these blow shapes. And then just, yeah, you can have a look at it. And I thought I'd use another picture, but actually I'm quite pleased. But this at the moment. And yeah, let's just let it dry and see how it will dry and whether we want to add some more details after that. Okay. See you in a moment. 4. Painting 1: Adding Details: So this has now nearly completely dried. There's still somewhat areas here and here where there was lots of water. So it's a good time to step back and assess the painting. See what you like, what you would like to keep. I mean, you could keep the whole one as it is in this dreamy quality, hazy quality, bleeding edges. It's something in itself and its own right, and it's great like this, but maybe you feel, let's add some details in some areas to have this contrast between very loose and dreamy. And then some areas that are a bit more interesting because there's detail and what I really like and it's still with us, this area here. So and I will leave it as, as is because there's so much dream equality happening here. So this is nice. I won't add too much to this here. Maybe in the middle. This could have some detail. Maybe in the roses, maybe here, maybe a little bit here. So I'll just, just see how I will go with this one. Let's take some pink just a bit and then just a little bit of these see shapes indication to yeah, to have it to be read as a rose. Actually, you could also see it was arose before and maybe just just bleed some out here. You know, I don't want to paint over, over everything and leave and allows this lose quality, which I started out painting with this technique. So this is for my taste already more than enough. And then I have these rows is here. So just add a bit here and there. Just tiny, tiny little bit of detail. As if this was the inner and alive of the rows. And also lets do it up here. Ao still quite, quite wet. Those two something like this. Maybe even a little red dot to just felt like this. Let it bleed out. And cleaning my brush, dubbing my brush. So I try, I usually paint everything with one brush. I could change brushes for different colors, but I prefer to do it, do it, do it, doing it like this. Okay, so just a little indication here of the center. He said this is quite dry now. And so there's this contrast between something that is really detailed in the middle. And then you have it bleeding out. And maybe even add a bit more of this detail. Some strokes. Because there's some petals that are in front and somehow somewhere behind, tucked behind. See how this will look. Just doing it in some areas. Maybe even some yellow free artistic license with this. It doesn't have so much to do with the original one, with a reference. Just see what you likes, react to what you see on the paper, and go from there. And I feel I would like to add a little bit of purple here. We have not had purple suggest a little bit for these inner petals. Just stabbing and trying. Some areas. Just for extra, for that little bit of extra interest here. And yeah, as centers are usually a bit darker in a row, so I also add some hair, this is also already leading. This will also lead some more into it. Purple alone. So lonely. Let's do some, some pink here. And also doing it everywhere. Just as if the light was falling and there will be some areas that are more in the in the shade and some in the light, and some areas have more details and somehow I have less. What happens but we just let it get out of it. Clean the brush engine than just yeah. Like this. Okay. All these little finishing touches. I also go by my feeling and see what can be done, what could be interesting. And also here, it's kind of like in the background and fading into the background. So I don't want to add too much here. Megabit, just some, some strokes. Quick brush trucks. So indicating that some are more visible in front, the other some more behind it. And disappearing in the background. And then we also have all these lovely bleeding here with the green. So it doesn't want to mess with this too much. This is serving yellow. Why not add a little bit just to indicate it? And Herat dancing around the page. Ok. So these stems here are quite loose. This has all bled. No problem. You can just add some on top. But here and also here. Supposed to be one leave is really now a big green area. Where was the stem? Nothing here. Just re painted and then they often have these little green ones here, the roses. And can just become another leaf. So also be nice to add some sudden leaves on top of the, of the bleeding leaves. So this is actually quite nice with all the blades. So I will not do so much here, just just a bit. So there's some in front, some in the back. It gives it more, more depth and more interests to look at. And just little touches here. What I think could be done, all not really necessary. But adding this other dimension to it, which just adds another layer and has a little bit of more contrast between detailed and, and lose. So these, I just keep like this tucked behind, very dreamy. This one. I will just leave this nondescript area where all the magic happens. Don't need too much to add here. Maybe just to contrast it. One leaf here, so one brush stroke here, one there. Well, so very free with my, my leaves, some of these little green things going into all directions. And maybe add a bit of a leaf. And the bottom button here. So as some kind of of contrast, Yes. And I think I will call this a day with this one. 5. Painting 2 - Wet-in-Wet-Technique: Let's paint our second plural page now. And I think I'll paid some, something like this close up here of my bouquet. And it's also wet on wet painting. But we won't waste the whole page. So I'd rather like to cold wet in wet painting because we're going to have very wet areas paint and then will drop even more pigment into it. Technically, it's still wet on wet painting, but I prefer to call it but in wet painting. So this will be my reference picture. I might go back and forth. Sometimes I do this, sometimes I stick to it. Let's see how this goes. And I will, yeah, let's take a lighter pink and nice pink here. And then just stop. All makes exciting the first brush strokes. And usually when I start, it's always this inner voice told me this. Not going to work out with beginning is always difficult, but just keep painting. React to what is on the page and see why it happens and that's where the fun happen. So I also never sketch out my paintings because then I would lose this spontaneity. And it would be more like coloring in. And I want, I want the thrill and the excitement and the exploration. And see, seeing what happens while painting and building my composition from there. So this is now you see I added these areas quite whetstone. So if you're like edit some more pigment here at the base where they connecting. So this is also wet on wet, on wet. And just do, let watercolor do. It's beautiful, magical thing, thing that no other medium gives you these bonus gifts. You get, yeah, the magic for free. If you're willing to be lows and have like watercolor as your fecal framed. And also some things you might, you might can plan, plan out, but oftentimes what ecologists will do what it wants to do. And that is fine with me. Even now of this will be a little bit of a dirty spread here because it's complimentary. Green and red and pink. She's clearly do it. Okay. So maybe one more here and just clean brush. Touching the paint and then it will just rush in. Who? Beautiful isn't it? But maybe I don't want too much of the green happenings and just take a bit of a tissue and stop this little robot. So it will look differently. Anyway, when it's once it's dry. Just trying and everything is still wet. Why not? Drips happening? Also that fine with me. Can also be interesting later on. Just add some, some leaves at this point to let it not so be floating in space disc. This deborah, even though you said, See it becomes an abstracted flour. It's just my starting point painting and then it will become something else. Anyways. Okay, so let's do the roses and see how much bleeding can happen here. So I still have some orange or think I also take some yellow, quite dirty my palate, it's put it in here. If I can remember that it's there. So my color pallets always become beautiful math that I also like it like this. Always happy accidents and color mixing happening. So just, just to the middle here, little strokes and then some orange and then just to indicate the shape also, this is just my interpretation. What I see. Try to pay attention to the, the shapes but then see what happens. So just be full of risk and then I'll just step this touch here to have this bleed happening. And let's add another one down hills facing down. The C shapes, brushstrokes, I paint quite fast. You might see this. Sometimes it's hard to follow because I tried to paint faster than I think so I don't overthink it. So maybe you're paying much slower or even faster as it just don't let me stop. You. Just go into your own pace. And it's here at some of these more oval leaves. I have lots of bleeding happening here just a little bit. And you see, I also left some whitespaces here, is if the light would be reflecting. And yet because the white of your, your water color paper is the wide in your painting. So it gives it a bit more dimension. And I also like this one that is facing down also here, adding like a bit of quite a murky yellow by now, right? Oh, and I tried to paint brush strokes in the direction the petals are growing. And often I also use the side of the brush, brush stroke and become one leaf. Sand. We want some more wet and wet. So you see with touching here the stem there is more, more shade and darkness and then let's take it darker. Orange, sunshine yellow, yellow, oranges, orange. Let's take orange and let it come in here. Just let it wet on wet. In wet. So there's some more like areas that are darker. Touching adding some dreamy touches to it. Already, cleaning the brush again, taking some of my green, let the stem come here. These little green things here I thought would be bleeding walk and now Alice, the green lead into it. I also add a leaf here and there. Ok. So let's leave this for a while, like this. And here, this, this row cells are looking here is actually fine here. So I'm also doing this light rows here, little bit of the inner petals and then cleaning my brush and dendrites, touching it. Letting it laid out also bleed with the green. Dropping some more, more pink here. Let's add another one up here, like in this picture. So it's more facing here. And paint around. Some Let It Bleed. How much did it, but that is what happens and that is what I love with watercolor. Okay, next, little leave. Here to let it not float here. Okay? So this, we have this. What else can we add to? It? Would be nice to have maybe some more of this, this big one to have a habit like repeating to create some, some rhythm, not so much space left, but why not? Do it here or there? And it loose way? Yeah, just just take this one and I will just do a medal. First. Maybe it's tucked behind here and a little bit. See here it's already, it's already pled. Some more. Tim. Cleaning my brush, jabbing at cleaning again, taking some of the pink. And then just go at some of these very loose strokes that can also lead to make just like a kiss on the page. Hardly touching at breathing, but still give some kind of rhythm. Diagonal here. So just denoted tenants. Just very loose and watery may be interest to some of these petals and let it also bleed into what is wet here. And as we have roses here, you can also add some him. So this was good in this picture. The middle, which has become quite a blob. And then just, I just touching it with nearly a clean brush and let it bleed out. Not even looks much like a nose now. It's dreamy. Florence can be anything on here. And this will even react differently and look differently after awhile. And also maybe let's have another red cherry to have it here. Still. Pink on my brush cleaning, dubbing, putting it on a couple of SEE strokes in the middle. And then just letting spread. Cherry red. Not so strong. Maybe now you see still, still lots of plates happening and has also this very, very, very. Bright rows here. They're not just stick with him. It is not so Cherie. Because there's so much pigment on my brush and these liquid water colors are very saturated. And letting it do its thing laid out, touched the others. Also bit of texture down him. Okay, that's really a lot of reading here. So you can really not distinguish which is what, which is which. But this adds to the, to the dreaming effect and I'm very fine with this. Adding a bit of detail in there. And we have lots of flowers, but not so many leaves at this moment, just adding some here and there, maybe end. And what we could do now is just add a little area that is still wet. So little bonus here. Just combining the technique. Just taking my brush and adding some water, maybe even an hour to pit. So this can be done is just, just had the idea that it could look good. It's not plan. And then come in with green and see what will happen then. It could be a nice bit muted grey. So just looking at the leaves. So they're all these oval leaves. So they don't have the real lives of roses here. There's some sticking out which would be a bit more, yeah, here we have done a bit more like round. So let's have this contrast of of a lot of wet in wet. And then also just letting these plead out a bit more. Rows can be one that is more dry. Can also add some more pigment. And some areas see what happens then. Just adding pit to those places and why not. Do also something that is more like a little leaf here sticking out with these little shapes. Leaves for some contrast. Interest. So you see, I just built my composition as I go. See where they are, the places I would like to add something and just reacting to, to every moment what I see. So there's some compositional elements you can always keep in mind, but it's also not about feeling. It's nice to have the colours, like dancing around the page, drip some focus. Bigger flower, secondary flowers. Always leaves. Cause some flowers or like people, they need to have clove. And then they also, they only really shine and look beautiful. Painting. You know, playing. This contrast here should quite like this, like this. This is like this. And maybe there's some I often have to stop myself from really filling the whole pages. It still reacting. Yeah. And leave some some spaces just as they are. And let them just stand in their own, right? Well, it's a talk on what's on my palate. That's also due this pit of some drug companies and may be here. So you can drop again little bit of more paint, see how this will react after awhile. Only when it leaves the sea. Still lots of bleeds happening here. And they're still we have all these these loose areas, this wet in wet here. But you see there's a difference. If you leave them, the paper dry in the beginning. So you also have some more clear edges and you can just play with the techniques now that you've learned them and apply them to your own paintings. 6. Sketchbook Flip Through: So I would like to show you some of my wet on wet paintings and my sketchbooks every now and then, I would go through a wet on wet painting phase and yeah, let's have a look. So here's a sketch book page and it's very those and wet poppies, some roses in-between. And also here, all flowing blue poppies. And then I wanted to show you this one so you can have all the wet in wet here. And then I also added some weights on with some areas to have both, both techniques here, like we did in our second project. So this is all crazy. So it doesn't always have to be watercolor paper like in the first sketch book. This is just some sturdy of paper. And the technique still works. So it's pansies, quite abstract. It all flowing. Nearly looking like tie-dye. Small pansies, wet on wet, dropped in the collar here. And then we also have like the pink variation, also very bright S1 here. Some more. So here, for example, is another one, wet on wet. Gerber's similar bouquet I had as a reference image like we did in the project. This is small p, nice, wet on wet. And here's one that is also wet. In wet. Everything's bleeding together nicely. Also here. And nominees, just free play with watercolor and all these wonderful mergings and leadings happening here. So this is the strength of watercolor in my opinion. Let's go on here. Another one where we lose and summary roses. I also added some background here, which you can also do while it's still wet. Same here. You see the background. The Turk was also roses. And nominees again. So again, different kind of paper. See how this will react with your painting. And Ben, I'm, I went totally crazy with this one here. The jungle was calling me. And it's become this, okay, in this jungle explosion extravaganza. So maybe it is inspiring for you. Just try, try it, take what you like, push it further. And I would love to see what you create. 7. Thank you & Exciting Things to Come!: Thank you very much for taking my class. I would so love to see your floral pages, you bouquets, your dream, you flowers. Please post them in the class Gallery. Also process photos and if you have any questions, just ask me in the comments. I would love to hear from you. So this class is the beginning of a whole painting series, MY floral extravaganza series. I will show you lots of more techniques and flowers to paint, and I hope to see you soon in my next class. So see you soon.