Fall Wreath in Watercolor | Karen Stock | Skillshare

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Intro to Fall Wreath

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Sketching Wreath Elements

    • 4. Painting Yellow Birch Leaves

    • 5. Painting Oak Leaves

    • 6. Painting Cornflowers

    • 7. Painting Berries

    • 8. Filler Leaves and Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Learn  how to paint a birch leaf, oak leaf, cornflower, berries and filler leaves so you can make your own a colourful Fall wreath or swag.

Meet Your Teacher

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Karen Stock

Watercolour artist/instructor


Hi, I’m Karen and I have more than 10 years of experience as an arts instructor working in acrylics. I taught Decorative arts in my home studio “Tole House Crafts” and  currently teach for the city of Ottawa. 
I have published four instructional books and have had my designs featured in decorative painting magazines such as Tole World, Paintworks, and Quick’n’ Easy Painting.
I began painting in watercolours several years ago and Fell in love with the challenge of working in a new medium. After posting my designs on Instagram I decided to share my process with others wanting to learn to paint in watercolour.

I love painting designs inspired by my garden and nature. My goal Is to show artists of all skill levels to find inspiration... See full profile

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1. Intro to Fall Wreath: Hi, and welcome to my fall wreath class. In this class you will learn how to complete the main elements to put together your final project. We will go over the color palette and switching colors. I will show you how to draw an ink, each of the main elements, and you will learn how to paint each of the elements and filler leaves. In the Materials section, you will see the three main things needed to complete your final project. I will show you the kinds of brushes and paint available and why I prefer 100% cotton paper for my artwork. You will also learn about other materials you probably already have in your home. Once you have completed your final project, please upload it to the project section of this class. So others can be inspired to try their own wreath or swag. I have attached photos of my swag and wreath in the Class info section. Please let me know if you have any questions. I'll be happy to answer them. 2. Materials: The three main pieces of equipment you're gonna need for this course are brushes, paint, and paper. I'm often asked which types of brushes are the best to use with watercolor. I think whether you choose animal hair or synthetic brushes is a personal choice, and it depends on the kind of watercolor you do. For this project, I've used synthetic brushes and I'm using round brushes, numbers 810, as well as a number to mop brush. For the blending and larger areas. There's such a wide variety of paints on the market today, both tubes and pins. And I think it depends on your preference. I use tubes mostly. And I my favorite right now is sent LEA and I've just started using Daniel Smith. I find both of them have a really wide variety of colors and I really enjoy working with them. Although I've tried various brands and weights of watercolor paper, I have found a thicker white paper works best for me. I now by large sheets of 200 pound cold press paper and tear it into the sizes that I need. I find this is the most economical way of buying paper. Many artists use 140 pound cold press paper. I do recommend buying 100% cotton paper if you can. Cotton paper accepts watercolor more readily and allows pigment to blend more easily on the paper. Both are important elements of watercolor art. Most of the other supplies that you need, you may have lying around the house, masking tape, a white plate to use as a pallet, and a mug or cup for water container. And mechanical pencil to sketch in the lines of the various elements of the project. A white artists eraser, paper towel to remove moisture from your brush. A scrap piece of watercolor paper to test your pigments strength. And finally, a clean tissue to remove pigment from areas where you don't want it. 3. Sketching Wreath Elements: K. So before we get started on our final project, the floral wreath, I'm going to show you how to do draw each of the main elements, the yellow leaf, the oak leaf, the blue cornflower, and the stem of buries. The filler flowers will take care of later. We'll let, that's an another lesson. So let's start with the yellow leaf here. I started by putting in a stem and then at the bottom, curving upwards, going to a point above where the Stam is or the stem ends and then coming back around. Okay, so stem there. That's how it goes. Very easy. I mean, these are stylized leaves. They're not really supposed to look so realistic like a botanical drawing, the oak leaf. Now, I did the same thing. Center stem. And then the smaller veins going off, getting larger as they get towards the bottom. So three on each side. You start at the bottom and you go around each of the veins and up around the top and back down until you get back down to the stem again. As far as the cornflower goes, all, all you have to do is draw a circle to save the place of the flower. Okay? We're not gonna do any detail work now that all comes with the painting. Finally, the berries. Again with the stem, starting at the top, small circles on either side of the stem. As large as you want it. Okay? And that's it. So we'll now go onto inking. So the inking is, I'm using a number to Pittman pig micron marker archival ink. So you should be able to erase it after. And again, the circle for the corn flour. That's it. That's all you have to do. Same with the, you're going to follow the same line that you drew with the pencil and just go over it. Now, if you're more comfortable, just take going directly to the marker and drawing your element. Feel free to do so. That's these are not hard shapes and they're not difficult to draw. So if you want to just do it directly with the ink, that's fine too. Okay. 4. Painting Yellow Birch Leaves: Before we get started painting the elements, I wanted to show you that I have taken them all and made them into a fall wreath. This is my final project and I will of course be posting that and attaching it to the video for all of you to see. You don't necessarily have to do a wreath. You could do a swag. You could just do all the elements separately. It makes no difference. What I wanted to teach you and show you in this class was how to paint each element. And then it's up to you to decide where you want or how you want to place them. To paint the yellow leaves. I'm using a wet on wet technique. I have applied clear water to the leaf sections. And then I'm adding in a bright yellow color by Sen. LEA called ora Lean. I'm basically adding the yellow around the edges of the leaf and allowing the color too blend in with the clear water on the rest of the leaf. It gives a much softer appearance and not so many hard edges. You can then come back in with some darker pigment, especially at the stem and the point of the leaf and a little bit along the center vein with some more of the yellow color. While the yellow leaf is still wet, come back in with some Chinese orange and allow that color to flow up into the wet paint. This will provide a shadow on each of the leaves and also give you that the appearance of some blotches and some, some spots continue blending the Chinese orange into any other sets of yellow leaves that you have added into your final project. Next, begin adding burnt umber into the darker areas of your yellow leaves. Around the edges near the stems, et cetera. Add burnt umber here and there around the leaf to give the effect of splotches in a leaf that is turning brown and falling off your tree, making sure that your base layer is still a bit damp so that the burnt umber has a chance to soften out and blend across your leaf. 5. Painting Oak Leaves: The oak leaf is painted in a similar fashion to the yellow leaf in that it is a wet on wet technique. So we're going to add clear water paint, clear water onto the leaf sections before coming back in with the Sap Green and allowing the pigment to flow all over the areas of the oak leaf itself. If you find that you have applied too much pigment, wipe that up easily with a dry brush. While the leaf is still wet. Add some ora lean or your bright yellow color to the open and white sections between the darker green areas and allow the yellow to blend into the green by itself. Add small amounts of Chinese orange or whatever Orange you are using. Here in there. Near the yellow and the green sections. Then do the same with a small amount of burnt umber. Always making sure that the layer that you're painting on is still damp so that the paint has a chance to flow and mix in with the other colors. 6. Painting Cornflowers: Add your blue paint to a damp circle of clear water. Clean off your brush and dry it, and pull lines out from the center of the paint that's wet. You don't need any additional paint on your brush. The paint that is in the circle should be sufficient. This will have the effect of giving you some thin lines that pull out from the center. And it will also lighten the center itself. Once the initial paint is dry. Come back in with some darker pigment on a liner brush or nice pointed round and in-between the lines that you've already painted or brought out from the center, adds some thicker, darker lines. For pedals. At some small thin darker lines around the center circle of your corn flour. Next, darken the edge of your center around the outer pedals. Okay. Okay. Okay. 7. Painting Berries: I used Alizarin crimson to paint the clusters of berries. And all I did was use my very pointed round brush to fill in the individual circles that I had previously. If you find you have too many whitespaces, just add in some red circles between the circles that you've already drawn in inked. 8. Filler Leaves and Final Thoughts: At this point of the final project, I've completed painting all the main elements. But I find that there's still a few spaces left open here and there. And I want to add in some clusters of filler leaves to fill out the wreath and make it look more complete. Using a darker green and your round brush. Practice some small stroke leaves and stems by combining two curved lines together. And that will complete your leaf. Then go back to your project. And wherever you feel you have some empty spaces. Draw three to five of these smaller leaves with stems reaching back into the wreath or swag or however you have. I decided to place your, your elements in your final project. Right? Okay. Once you have added all the filler leaves into the open sections of your final project. It's pretty well complete. Please be sure to upload your final painting to the projects section of this course so that others can be inspired by your work. And if you enjoyed this class, please give it a thumbs up and follow me. So you'll be notified when my new courses or published. Let me know if you have any questions. See you next time.