Learn to Paint Winter Wreaths in Watercolor | Irina Trzaskos | Skillshare

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Learn to Paint Winter Wreaths in Watercolor

teacher avatar Irina Trzaskos, Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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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

6 Lessons (60m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Floral Winter Wreath

    • 4. Gingerbread House Wreath

    • 5. Winter Wreath with a Bird

    • 6. Happy Holidays!

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About This Class


Welcome to "Learn to Paint Winter Wreaths in Watercolor" class!

It is the holiday season and it is the perfect time to grab a cup of your favorite beverage and spend an hour painting.

In this class, I will explain step by step how to paint 3 different winter wreaths.

During this class, we will explore different watercolor techniques and will have fun creating festive artwork, so suitable for the holiday season. Feel free to add your own details from my other winter classes.

This class is geared toward all watercolor lovers. 

Happy Holidays and happy painting,

x Irina.

More Watercolor Winter classes


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Irina Trzaskos

Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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Check out MY husband's Lifestyle Channel HERE

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Irina Trzaskos, a watercolor artist and illustrator. Welcome to my Skillshare channel. Here you'll find a big collection of watercolor classes for beginners. In today's class, I will show you how to paint winter wreaths. Winter wreaths are a great subject to paint. You can use them for holiday cards, you can use them in pattern designs, just to send messages to your friends or family. They're a wonderful holiday artwork to add to your portfolio too. All my classes are filmed in real time, so you can follow along. So Ii you're new to this channel, thank you for joining and welcome. Press that follow button on top, and let's get started. 2. Supplies: So in today's class we will be painting winter wreaths. Feel them. We'll need the following supplies. We'll need water color paint, whatever paint you have. Watercolor paper; this is a good paper for beginners. It's a cold press and 140 pounds. Water, paint pad, a paper towel, eraser, pencil, a pretty large water color brush. This is number six. Number eight or number 10, we'll work to. A medium watercolor brush; this is number four, and the smaller watercolor brush for details. This is brush number two. Also we'll need a paper circle because we have a leaf circle-shape. We'll need to makes it easier to draw or any round object. In today's class we will be using a lot of colors. Also we'll need whitewash. In today's class we will be using following colors, Naples yellow, golden, rose cyan, red ocher. I was thinking about cadmium orange when I said that. Cadmium orange will be used in [inaudible] cadmium. Violet, seal or zero blue, Payne's gray, green just classic green and sepia. You can use any colors you have and make your own color choices. Also we'll be using whitewash for details. 3. Floral Winter Wreath: We'll start our wreath by drawing a circle in the middle of the page. I'm using just a paper circle I cut. You can use a cup, or a bowl, or any round object. I am leaving a little more space from the bottom, because we'll have more going on in the bottom of the wreath than on the top. A very light line just draw a circle. Next, I'll start painting the focal points whichever focal points you have, it could be a poinsettia flower like I'll be painting now, or it can be a bow or Jingle Bells, or bells. If you have focal point, that's where we'll start. I'm taking some Naples Yellow, and I'm making some dots. We're painting, of course, a poinsettia flower. I have a class of poinsettia flower, so if you watched it, you probably already know how to paint it and if you don't, it's okay just follow my steps here. I'm adding a little bit of green to my yellow, and I'm adding some green dots to the yellow dots. Also, we need some carmine red, just a tiny bit. We can always add more if we'll need to. I think this is enough. Next what we'll do, we'll mix some carmine red with carmine orange, add a lot of water, and we'll start painting first petals. The closer to the middle, the petals are smaller on poinsettia. Just a brushstroke of pretty small brush, this is number two. It's called a synthetic brush. Use any brush you are comfortable with working; your favorite brush. I'm leaving some space between the petals. We can always fill it later, but maybe we won't. We'll see how it looks. This is a first row of petals for poinsettia. Next, let's add some more carmine, and more water, and keep in check the next row, which are bigger petals. We'll be adding later some texture and details on the petals. But for now, we are working only with color. Your pencil or a circle has to be way lighter than mine. I usually repeat it in every class because of transparency of water color, it will show through. Sometimes you can erase it after water color is dry, sometimes you can't it depends on canvas staining or the pigment you are using. This is our main poinsettia flower we'll have more flowers, one on this side, and one on this side, some smaller flowers. Now, we can start painting those. Again, we'll start from the middle. These two flowers will look sideways, so here is the middle of one, and here is the middle of the second one. Let's take some orange, add it to our mix, add a lot of water, and start painting these flowers. I'm trying to avoid the middle because it's so pretty already, so I don't want to mess it up. These two flowers could be roses, could be other flowers than poinsettia, because poinsettia already is showing that it's winter-themed leaf. It's enough over here, plus we'll have some wintergreen wreath. You can use other flowers too. Don't be afraid to use other flowers in the winter wreaths. It doesn't have to be every single flower, it doesn't have to be a winter flower. Nice. This one will be a little different, with more rounder petals. But they're all the same color, so we've tried to do a more limited color palette in this wreath. This one is like this. Once we're done, we'll start working on the greenery. For our greenery, we'll take a bigger brush, and avoiding the flowers, we'll just cover the circle with a big wide line of water. Just clean water. Make sure you're avoiding the flowers. Otherwise, they'll bleed into this wide line of water. After we add this wide line of water, we'll take some teal, mix it with violet. You can use other colors too, and with a small brush, we'll start painting branches on the wet surface. You can see what happens, they become fluffy. We have to work pretty fast, because they won't look fluffier if surface is dry. I have a heater on so it's drying fast, in this bottle of water here. You can see it's a pretty concentrated paint. I am going along the line just joining the branches and it's already beautiful, nice; very easy trick to make some fluffier branches. This is enough because we'll want to add some more greenery as much as these and while it's drying, we'll get back to our flowers. Let's take some carmine red and mix it with this beautiful blue we had. Let's add to it a little bit of water because it's darker than I want. We're adding some shadows to the middle of the flower to give it some dimension. For our other flowers, I'm taking, again, the mix we had before of the carmine and carmine orange. On some, we're going to add some lines, some dots, some shadows on the petals so they don't look flat, and the same here. I feel like we need another petal somewhere here. We're going to add it now. Maybe some lines here. Next we'll start edging greenery around the flowers. This is still wet, so we're not working in that area. Let's take some classy green and mix it with a blue we had for this bridge. You can see how all the colors connect together. Let's paint some leaves. I love leaving white space between the object, but if you don't like it, you can do it in your own style and fill the entire space with colors, it's totally up to you. So these are opposite leaves. Now let's take some more of this blue and a little bit of green shade, start edging some evergreen branches. Feel free to turn the page anyway you are more comfortable with, I'm not doing it because I'm filming but you can do it. Suggest if some brushstrokes, we start painting on some evergreens and keep it edging some blue and green trees to heel up your evergreens. Take more blue, and some of there, are still wet, still will be longer and some will be with shorter needles I still wait for this area. I have a class on when they're getting ready to grow here. Some went there green and you can paint it if you want. Some pine cones. [inaudible] , or let's make some glow with red and orange here. Add some grayish leaves of eucalyptus, it's just dark we need more water in it. It came out chunkier than I expected but it's okay. It's interesting shape. So some more leaves. With that we'll add some shadows to our evergreens. So again, we get more dimension, more flatness. Lets add some dark in the needle here too. So this is almost dry and let's take some sepia, mix it with yellow we had at the very beginning and add some branches. You can notice in this class and working mostly with the small brush. It gives me more control. And it's not the smallest brush. It's number two. So you can make a bigger brush strokes and small brushstrokes at the same time with the same brush, you can improvise. So we have a branch on this site. Small branch here. So you can see when you press harder on the brush down, makes a thicker line. When you go lighter, it's a helium inline. This is still wet. You can see how it's running. It's a painting I like it. So why not. Down makes it look more alive, more interesting. So now what we'll do is we'll take some of these dark [inaudible] , which was common mixed with blue [inaudible]. We'll add some berries. So not all the berries have to be attached to a branch. Coloring here. [inaudible] Empty. Some berries, here are small berries. I think this is enough so let's fill a few more spaces where green. this is still very very wet so if you have time just let it dry. If you want to add some more branches, leaves somewhere, just draw it its your painting. Color the gray one to balance this one. Next what we'll do, we'll take some whitewash and we'll add some magic. So first of all, we'll add some dots. In the middle of our flower setup. Some dots here. Some lines and brush strokes. It's winter, so there's snow everywhere. Now the brush strokes. Just whenever you feel like and some white. Bigger, another smaller strokes. So it takes a while for gouache to dry. So wait a little bit before you scan your artwork, you guys can engage or, create a market for some paints or or cards just to make sure it's dry because otherwise it will stick to your scanner. So this is our winter wreath leaf [inaudible]. 4. Gingerbread House Wreath: For this wreath, I draw again a circle. In a little to the bottom and to the left, I draw a little house. I didn't set where the bottom will be. If you're drawing, just draw way lighter than I do. Because the pencil will show through the watercolor. It's hard to talk and draw. We have a roof and it can be crooked. It's okay. Let's have some windows here. This is all the drawing. I want to show you how to add some lights to your wreath. Again, we'll do a wide water line here and leave a little bit on the bottom so we can paint something while this will dry. It can be as wide as you want. Next what we'll do, we'll take some yellow. Let's take Naples yellow. We'll put small dots and some big dots. Anyway, this actually I hope you will do this. This way we have lights. After, we'll be painting over them. It will be shining through the branches we'll be painting. Let's try to fix this two with a giant brush. [inaudible] the one out but it's okay. It'll work, I'll show you. While all this area is drying, let's help it a little bit with some little bit of water. We can paint our little house. We want it to be a gingerbread house. Let's take some red ocher. Mix it with this Naples yellow we had. We want it to be pretty and dark because we'll be painting with white gouache over it to get the details, the frosting. This is a red ocher with Naples yellow. You can see when they are drying, they are getting lighter. It's going to be all right. It's going to be pretty. For the roof, let's take some Carmine red. Mix it with red ocher and a little bit of teal, tiny bit of teal. This is too much teal, so let's add some more Carmine red. It looks pretty dark now but we'll be adding white details. Don't worry. You can decide on your own colors for the door, for the house in general. For the windows will take some of Naples yellow we've diluted it with a lot, a lot of water. This is too dark, more water. Our house is ready for now and while everything else is drying, let's paint here some berries. We'll take Carmine red, mix it with Cadmium orange, dilute with a lot of water. Let's start painting circles with a white dot in the middle, not in the middle but on them. For a white dot, we're just leaving the area unpainted. Afterwards, it will have too many highlights. Then we can just paint it but maybe we won't so just in case we are leaving a white uncovered area on the base. The shadows on the berries will be edging with this color, and this way they will look more balanced with the house. There's a lot, a lot of berries we're painting here. This area is done drying so we can start painting some berries right here too. For those, we need some berries here too. The triangle-shape is very balanced shape and it is very often used in fine art. Don't be afraid to use it. We have one, two, and three triangles. Paint as many berries as you want. We can always add more later. This is good for now. Next what we will do, we'll mix some of classic green with Naples yellow for our greenery. Let's use the medium brush, and we get this soft, beautiful green. Let's start with it. I'm painting first some holly leaves. Let's add some here too. They're pointy and a little bit spiky. Some can be smaller. Some can be bigger. I am working with a bigger brush. It probably would be easier with a smaller brush but it's a pretty big wreath and I'm afraid that it will take so long, if I'll be working with a small brush. You can see how the lights are shinning through watercolor even through the leaves, showing some magic. I am leaving some distance because we'll have other branches too, not filling the entire area of the leaf just with holly leaves. This berry is running again to the leaf, it's okay. Don't worry if it happens to you. You can see the leaves don't have to be perfect. They just have to look like leaves. There is nothing perfect in nature, it's just perfectly imperfect. Okay, these are enough holly leaves for now at least. After we can decide if we need some more. Now let's take some raw sienna and a little bit of red ocher too so all the colors work together. With brush strokes, we'll be painting pine cones. Make sure you are leaving white space between your brush strokes. One brush stroke, two more, and then just follow them in pine cone shape like this. Very easy. One brush stroke, two more, and pine cone shape, leaving white space between brush strokes. They are very fun to paint, very easy. Just play with your brush and trust your heart. Maybe one more here. Later, we'll be adding some shadows to our pine cones, but now this is good. Next, we'll be adding some evergreens. Let's mix some teal with some violet, and a little bit of green. It's very important to show some different shades of green on your leaves. It will add more dimension, more interest. Try to mix these two greens to cover. Don't be afraid if the greenery overlaps. It totally happens in the real leaf. Add some lines and shadows to your previous leaves. Again, you can rotate your paper. Turn it any way you're comfortable. Sometimes you want to take a step away from the painting and just look from further, if you need to add something, because you can see on this side we don't have enough leaves to balance this side. On this side, I think we're missing some red, so we'll be adding some berries. Some classic green. Keep adding as much green as you like until your draw the leaf as full as you want. Different types of branches. Now let's take some sepia and add pure branches for our drawing, for our berries, and maybe some more here and here. If you don't have sepia just use the brown you have, and here we need a shadow. Of the same brown, we'll add some shadows on the pine cones. With this color, we'll add shadows on the berries. Let's add few more berries here, because it looks like this part can use some red. These leaves needs more details, because it's so close to the house, so it will be in the focus. I tend another branch here, a little darker. Add some shadows on the leaves. Next lecture we'll take some whitewash and we'll start decorating our gingerbread house. Again, it doesn't have to be perfect. It has to have a hands-on feel. Just some dots, dots always work for me. If you don't know what to do, just add some dots around the doors, around the windows, but you can go more creative on your design. The lines can be figure or a filler. Here again, we'll have some white around the windows. Let's add some dots along our roof too, and some white on our berries, on our leaves. This is good. The last detail what I want to add, with the sepia, I'd like to add some lines on our windows. Our gingerbread winter wreath is ready. 5. Winter Wreath with a Bird: For the next wreath we'll have a bird inside above inch. I'm drawing, a bird silhouette like this, and a circle again. Usually draw an eye, so I know where eye goes, and both inches usually have two colors. It's red if gray and with dark gray. For this wreath will be using Payne's Gray and common red. Let's start with the [inaudible] of the medium brush, just add some common red and then will add some gray diluted in water. Now we will let it dry because everything else has to be a darker gray maybe a little a few feathers of light gray here like this. Next, let's paint some branches. Will take gray, a little bit of Carmen and we'll mix them together. A bird is sitting on a branch to. This is a very faster and easier way of painting the leaf. We don't have to paint the branches all around the leaf, we can always add more later. With brushstrokes, chest, really freehand. Add as many branches as you want along your circle. Next time taking the medium brush, dilute your gray with a lot of water and agent, just a tiny bit of current. Next the brush strokes and obvious really see through leaves because of a color re-look winterly. Usually in our seasons the leaves have more color and in the winter look like frozen and monochrome. Let's have a little bit of Chilcho gray cho. We'll get a little bit different shades of gray. In this leaves, if we have just one leaves, we can make them smaller or bigger, and very minimalistic, but still beautiful, with the leaf. Next with a small brush, let's add some berries. Decide yourself, whatever you would like your berries to be. I made another triangle, composition also you can add some more here and there. Set few more, brighter strokes on the bird. Next we can paint the eye of a bird with small brush. Using again pens gray, next we'll make a leaf, a white circle around the eye, so very, very careful. Leave a white highlight on the picture. Next time we're going to have more water here. Gray because I don't need to control it as much personal had. Then leaving some lighter gray with painting before. We can see it in between the dark gray. Here's our bofink and all its beauty. Let's add few more branches where will be easier. We can add few more leaves in this part. Why not? I think this muted colors may look so dreamy and sophisticated. This usually the last step, we'll take some whitewash. We won't add any white on the bird because it's still wet, but we can add some whites on the leaves. Not so much, maybe one on the bird. Next, let's mix some white with the gray and we can add some snowflakes. The snowflakes against the sky, always look gray and not white. This is our simple Winter wreaths. 6. Happy Holidays!: Thank you for joining me in this class. I hope you had the chance to paint with me. If you like the class, please leave a review, and upload the [inaudible] project section of the class. If you're sharing the project from Instagram, please tag me so I can see a beautiful artwork. Thank you so much for a wonderful year on skill share for your project comments, and reviews. I get a lot of inspiration from you for my new classes. Happy holidays to you, your family, and your friends. See you in the next class, bye.