Live Encore: Paint Your Plants With Watercolor & Wax Crayon | Ohn Mar Win | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Live Encore: Paint Your Plants With Watercolor & Wax Crayon

teacher avatar Ohn Mar Win, Illustrator surface designer teacher

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

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 (46m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Getting Started

    • 3. Making the Pots

    • 4. Painting the First Plant

    • 5. Painting the Second Plant

    • 6. Painting the Third Plant

    • 7. Q&A

    • 8. Final Thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Relax into a loose watercolor style as you pay homage to your lovely plants.

Enjoy a fun and meditative multimedia session while painting the plants around your home! Taking inspiration from your own greenery, you'll paint alongside Ohn Mar and learn more about the ways you can mix, match, mess up, and make some magic with watercolor, crayon, and paper.

In this class, you'll learn

  • An overview of Ohn Mar’s loose watercolor style, and how it can be applied to leafy plants without flowers
  • A playful exploration of how you can use other mediums to add more texture and variety to your watercolor work
  • A chance to paint some lovely plants alongside Ohn Mar

Grab whatever watercolor materials you have, some basic crayons (even the cheap ones work!), a glue stick, some scissors, and a few of your plant babies (or pictures of ones you wish you had), and get ready for a relaxing painting session.

While we couldn't respond to every question during the session, we'd love to hear from you—please use the class Discussion board to share your questions and feedback.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ohn Mar Win

Illustrator surface designer teacher

Top Teacher

Hello I'm Ohn Mar a UK based illustrator and surface designer with a long and varied 20 year career. 

I am a great advocate of sketchbooks with 25+ moleskines serving as a record of my creative journey as a self-taught watercolourist for the last 6 years. They have helped capture my explorations in texture, line and tone as I extend my knowledge with this medium. Filling my sketchbooks remains a constant in my life,  and furthermore inspiring many folks to pick up a paintbrush. Oftentimes these sketch explorations provide the basis for classes here on Skillshare.


These days I'm is primarily known for my textural foodie images, which have now appeared on food branding  and packaging projects for clients from the UK, U... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: I really love working this way because I've reached a certain level with watercolors and I just got a little bit bored. So I just thought, let's just throw a whole load of different things together and see what happens. It just brings side much fun and liveliness into my work. I can't wait to see what happens when all these different elements are thrown together. Hello, I'm Ohn Mar, and I'm a UK-based illustrator and sketchbook artist. I'm mainly know for my field illustrations, that some of my watercolors have appeared on greetings cards, and, well say, giftware items like this. In today's class, we are going to be incorporating three slight different elements, a bit of wax resist, collage elements, and also watercolor to create some pretty house plants. I really think it adds an offer of interest as well as another dimension to our watercolor work because not only does it help with colon trials, as in the dock and light shades that we are going to be using but also it contrasts between the elements of the stalk, graphic shapes of the pots and the more softer watercolor sections. For today's class, we are going to be using some watercolor brushes. These are quill brushes, and they come in number 4 and number 2. We also have some watercolor pens that is going to be a mixture of greens and also dark blues and also watercolor paper. I'm using Fabriano, around 280 GSM, but any watercolor paper will do. This is just completely up to you. Please don't feel you have to use an expensive brand. This class was recorded in real time and they gave me a wonderful opportunity to interact with the students who are participating. It always gives a really great energy. 2. Getting Started: Thank you all for being here today. Before we get into the session, I'll just introduce myself. My name's Alley. I am an associate producer on the Skillshare originals team. I go by the pronouns he, they. I've worked in film and TV and just moved into producing. I was a makeup artist, so I'm super excited for Ohn Mar's class today. What are we going to do today Ohn Mar? If I bring you an example, potentially we might do something like this, but I might change my mind. We're going to incorporate some wax resist, the collage element, where are we going to cut out the shape of our pot plants, and then bring in the watercolor elements. This combination is just so fun, and I really think it will add interest and another dimension to your work because we can talk about contrast a little bit, not just in color-wise, but also the contrast between the straight lines when you cut out this and set against the softer watercolors. That just builds up the interest. I love just combining these different elements together. I think for most of you it's a slightly different approach. If you already do watercolors, I hope this will bring in an extra bit of fun for you. The last thing I was going to say was it's very freestyle. I will just go with the flow. If I spill some paint. I'm just going to incorporate it. So it's a very fun and loose way of creating, and I hope that you enjoy this approach. It's not setting stone. Awesome. Great. I'll just pass it over to you, and if you have any questions, please put them down on the chat and I'll pass them on to Ohn Mar. This piece of paper is going to be what I'm going to paint the watercolor onto. But on a separate sheet of paper, we have to create the collaged versions of your pots. So I hope you've got a separate piece of paper. Even if you've only got print paper, that's fine. I'm going to take my wax. I don't know if you'll be able to see it. I'm just going to quickly go through. Just do it really random. Don't overthink this aspect. You're going to create three areas of wax, basically. That's going to be our first one, I'm going to do my second one about here, and third one about here. I don't know if you'll be able to see it. Oh, yeah, you can. Can you see that? You can vaguely see where I might have applied that wax. Again, please don't overthink this aspect. I'm going to take my larger brush and just start mixing up my indigo and my Payne's gray. It's two rather dark blues. I'm going to start off with a light wash of the indigo and apply it very liberally. You can see already where the wax is, and just go over it. Right I'm going in with the Payne's gray, so it's the darker blue. I know we talked about contrast just now. I'm just going to add the Payne's gray to one side of the wax resist, about there. This page, like I said, it's [inaudible] hot in the UK, has already dried, so I might not get as many effects, but I think you still get the idea, and this last one. I know that was all really fast, but it's intentional because then you can't murk about with it too much, and now you just have to leave it, and it is already really warm in here, but I'm going to stick it on my radiator just to let it dry, and in the meantime, we're going to have a brief interlude with my sketchbook, just to fill up that two minutes while this piece of multicolor dries, if that's okay. This is the sketchbook from, I can't remember. It must be autumn because I've got terrible stuff in here. This is the first time that I was combining the wax resist with water, and this particular one is where I started. I don't normally collage, but I just thought, ''What the heck? Let's just give it a go'', and I found that I really enjoyed it, so I started including collage elements, and you can see that I've put in Posca pen and fine liner pens. This is collaged again, and ink line pens. It's all a real mishmash, but I'm really interested to see what comes about. I don't have a plan. When I do this, I don't have a plan. Here another example of wax resist in the cups of the mushrooms and also with the stalks. This also allows me to look at positive and negative shapes as well, because where you apply the wax, the paper shows [inaudible] that creates a positive. There's also wax resist on these cocktails. Someone wants to know what kind of sketch book you used? It is the Moleskin sketchbook. This particular one, mostly it has several versions of sketchbooks, but this is the watercolor version, and the one you might see me on Instagram using, because of COVID, there was some weird supply issues, and I had to use an ordinary sketchbook. But that in itself helped me with the challenges because it's not meant for watercolor. Anyhow, this is where I've been using oil pastel as a resist, and that created some really nice effects as well. I think I'm going to leave it here because I am now ready to cut out my [inaudible] shapes. 3. Making the Pots: Now, one of the things I do when I collage is I do need to know roughly how big it's going to be. I think this first pot is going to be roughly about eight centimeters. It's going to sit about there. We have to be mindful of that. I don't want it to be too large, otherwise there won't be enough rooms for the rest of the plans. This particular plan pot is slightly curvy. I don't know if you see the line that I'm creating here. Yeah. You can see, I'm not even thinking about it. I'm just getting it out. There we go. Hold on. missed missed a bit there. If I place it on this sheet of paper, let me see if that's going to be too big. I think that's probably all right. If we use this line here roughly, as the base for all our pots. I think we'll be fine, so let me quickly cut out the other ones. This middle one is actually this one, but I'm not going to try to recreate that. It's basically like a big square, so that's why I'm going to cut it now. I want to know if you used the scraps for other projects? Sometimes but often when I'm working like this, by the time I've cut this out, you'll see that there isn't very much left. But there are different ways that I collage, and most of the time, I do keep scraps. But no, I won't redo this one because there's just not enough to go around. I'm going to do the third one, which is the smallest. It's my live version of this one. You can see it's got a distinctive shape and I'm going to try and incorporate that in this last one. I don't have an exact dough knife, so I'm using eyelash scissors. That's fine. When I worked in freelance in a design studio, it's a greatest class studio, the girl who sat opposite me used his mom's hairdressing scissors all the time. This middle part is a bit wonky but I don't think it matters. There we go. Let's just give them a little. I don't know if the base of this one is just a tiny bit too creepy. I'm going to slice a tiny bit of that. Just because it looks a tiny bit off-kilter. That looks even weirder. Hold on. Let me just slice a tiny bit more off. That's probably better. We just want to fairly evenly space them. Hold on. I think this middle one is going to be too thick because I'm mindful of the shape of this plan. You can see where this plan is hanging downwards, and I want those to hang down in between. I want to have just enough space. I'm actually going to make this middle one a tiny bit thinner. Just so that we can allow for that to happen, that would be better. Now, I'm going to be using just a glue stick. In the UK, some Pritt stick. I'm going to just do that really quickly. Also, Pritt stick probably allows you to reposition it while it's slightly sticky, but it makes it a bit harder once it's set. Sometimes I change my mind, but often it's like, I'll just go with it. You can see it is slightly peeling but that's because the paper is damp and I'm mindful of how long the session is. But that will do, she says. Try to run away. You got it. 4. Painting the First Plant: The first one I'm going to do is going to be based on this plant here. You can see it is quite spiky, but in this middle section, it's quite solid. I've painted this plant a few times and sometimes the paint tends to merge, so what we need to do is paint parts of it, leave it, wait for the paint to soak into the paper so it doesn't merge too much and that we get a chance to separate the leaves out. I'll show you another trick that I'm going to do. We'll just leave some white paper showing. Let's start off with that. I am not going to be using a palette, I'm literally going to be mixing on the paper. This is where it's freestyle and some people might be like, wow, just give it a go, see how you feel about it. Let me wet these hands really quickly because we don't want them too sticky. How do you know, whether you ever place the parts after you paint the plants? You could do. Yeah, you absolutely could do. Because I know where it's going to start, I'll talk about in a bit. I can contrast the leaves better. But there's ways and means. This is a version of it. I'm sure if I did the other way I'd find a method. Let's start off with looking at my plant. It has a V-shape, so we just want our light yellow wash to begin with. Wow. Someone wants to know whether you only use 100 percent cotton paper for water coloring? I have no idea. Honestly, I just buy loads of different papers. Some of them like arches, I know it is more expensive, but for today I don't think [inaudible]. This is like me just playing around. If it was for a client, I'd probably use more expensive papers. I don't want to spoil my paper and make a mistake, and I don't want that to be an issue, so I just buy loads of cheaper paper to play around with. You can see I'm wetting my greens and I'm just going to be adding almost these individual spikes. But it's just the wash at the moment. It's almost like I'm trying to get the basic shape, that V-shape that I mentioned, and maybe just a bit of this olive green. I think I need one more just at the end, just to create that impression of the V. There we go. I can see, if I hold this up to the camera, I can see it's glistening. If I were to add a bit more watercolor now, it will just spread too much. Now I'm just going to wait a tiny bit. You're going to see my face looking at it sideways, I don't know. The parts of that are drying. Let's go in. It's so tricky sometimes to gauge because it's really hot day and you have to adjust sometimes depending on weather conditions, on the paper you're using, and even the watercolors you're using. Kuretake will create just gorgeous results. Let's do this really quickly. Again I'm just having fun. I don't want to think it will have to look exactly like this plant in front of me. That plant just acts as a inspiration. I'm going to add a little bit of the indigo now at the base here where it meets the [inaudible] , and you can see I haven't filled in all that section. There's a bit of paper showing, and that helps with the contrast issues. Otherwise it's just a solid clump, and it will read as well as a spiky house flower. I might come back to that. Hold on. It's a little bit dark at the moment, it needs maybe some of this lemon yellow actually, just to brighten things up a bit. I'm going to drop in some of this, where do I think it needs it? May be here yes. That has brought in an extra dimension, maybe at the tip here. I might add another leaf here actually, just to fill in that gap. Now it doesn't look like much, but when it dries, it's going to create just something else. I can't control it. You just have to wait and see what happens. 5. Painting the Second Plant: Let's move on to this middle plant which will involve using different types of brush strokes because it's so frothy let say. Again, I'm going to go in, I think I'm going with that lemon yellow. This lime-green, lime- yellow at the end. Again, a very, very gentle wash. Starting on this side and like I said, I wanted to fill in that gap. This is my guide, it's the stalks. I'm just going to fill it in like that. Let's start going in and add the little leaves. Someone wants to know whether you're using very pigmented watercolor with your very, very wet quill. I think karetake A is personally, it's actually brought to the more I have used in the past. I think it's a higher quality set. I think it's pretty pigmented. The reason I'm working really fast on this, I want to introduce a variation of greens. Again, if you look at this plant in the middle is just this mass and I don't really want it to be a solid mass and what I'm going to do is give an indication of the leaves like this. But don't fill it in. Use the white paper. The white paper showing through will still help you tell that story. I'm going to show you another trick but I need to get all these different stems and leaves in really, really fast. I'm working faster than normal only because it's so hot otherwise I'd take a bit more time. If I was doing this in winter I'd go at a different pace. Because the effects that I want to achieve, I can't let it dry too much. Would you normally wait for one plant to dry before starting a second plant? No. When I was practicing this, trying to get the layout right, some of it was merging. I'm going to show you what happens. Let's get this really, really fast. I want one coming down here I think so. This particular set, I think that one I've just gone a bit too far but let's not worry about that. Let's get these leaves to fill up this section. It's almost abstract in here. Just make sure you don't fill in all that area because when it's too solid it won't lead to this particular type of leaf. You just want it to communicate that this particular plant has different leaves to this particular plant. Do you clean your brush when you go from one color to another? Yes, I am cleaning my brush. Although I think I have had people gossip in horror that I don't clean it as well as I could do. Sometimes I might mark-up my paint patterns. You should see my Winsor and Newton Palette. That is an absolute explosion in the tail. But it doesn't bother me. That's just how I paint. What I really want to show you is that magic stuff. As long as I don't let it dry too much. I want it quickly. I think this is the last little elements I need to add. I might come back to this but what I wanted to show you is, oh, this is my favorite part let's say is when I go to, I'm going to pick out some indigo. Not too much, not two loads but I love to drop it in like that and it will just spread and it will only go in the areas where you have painted in those fronts. You can see already that it gives, how can I say it? The color is already changing and it gives the impression that it is more dense, that's the word, I'm after in this lower section because I'm using a slightly darker pigment in that. I might even add a few drops of the Payne's gray as well. Not too much. I think I had too much on that brush. It looks like it started breathing almost. I love it. This is absolutely my favorite part and I was rushing to try and show this effect. I just love it. It just makes me happy to see those effects. 6. Painting the Third Plant: I think I'll start off with a yellow at the base because when I squint, the base seems lighter then it gets darker. I don't know how else to describe it and there's three main stems that coming out with that little pot. We're going to do the same thing pretty much. Let's get those other little weird, it always looks like hollow really and we're just concentrating on shape really when I'm using this greenish-yellow, I'm just trying to create the basic shape of this particular plant, succulent even. It's got these blobs at the end right there. Someone would like to know whether you use ready mixed paint colors or do you like to mix the green you want by mixing different colors? Well, it really depends what palette. I do have smaller palettes. The colors I'm using today from the Kuretake set have got maybe 30 colors and to be honest, I tend to gravitate towards the same ones, whether I'm using Kuretake or Winsor and Newton. You can actually recreate almost any color with a palette of 12 colors. It's trickier, but it is possible. Just presents its own challenges really and if I'm out and something mentioned sketch con. If I was painting out in public, I would only have a small water color set. Oh, I've been talking too much. Sorry. This is drawing and I wanted to create some special effects. Let's quickly get this in. Hold on let's this weird coral shapes in. It stretches outwards at very, very weird angles from down here. I think I let that base dry out too much. I'm just going to have to re-introduce a tiny bit more coloring pigment. Now, I want to introduce some of that indigo to the top sections now. I love the way it spreads. That's so exciting to watch. Yeah, I really love it as well. Again, if you look at the silhouette, there is a mass of tangled branches almost. I don't know what you call them in succulents, but we don't want to fill them all in. I do love it when they merge like that. We're going go a little over given a lot of time we have for the class due to a technical difficulty, just so that everyone can still get the most out of this class. Okay, but we're almost there. You can see where this is touching. No, I'm not going to merge it. No. I was thinking, should I merge it? No, let's just stick to the plan because often when I'm playing like this things just happen by accident on the side. Maybe I'll explore that, but this is a live class and I don't want to freak you out. But I think I'm pretty much done. If anything, I am a little bit disappointed. I merged the color too much, I'm just going to take a paper towel, just stab it down here because I really wanted the contrast of the yellow with the blue plant parts. I'm just going to remove some of that and just reintroduce a tiny bit of yellow again, which is fine. We just have to wait and see how it dries. If I go back to this first one. This is still wet in places. Here it's cooling here and here. If you hang around for another 20 minutes until it's completely dry, there would be some really amazing effects happening here. I'm saying again here, when it dries it because at the moment the pigments are still merging and especially as I'm talking to you as I watch it. I just want to add a bit of water to see what happens. That's just a brain thing, it's like what if I do this? Now it's so beautiful. No, it's fine, leave it. Actually, no. I'm just going to add that. A bit of water there and see what happens. I'm going to call it and say mixed media houseplants. I mean, that was pretty easy, wasn't it? 7. Q&A: Let's see, someone would like to know what number of brush you're using. Well, this is a quill brush and it says number 2 on it, but in quill brush sizes, I'm trying to find an equivalent. The one on the right I don't know if it's on your right or your left is a quill brush which says number 2. It might be an equivalent of an 18 round brush though is very big. When I was making the pots, that's an even bigger brush. I just really favor these now because you can still do fairly detailed work on it with the points but it means you can't overwork. Someone would like to know whether you have any tips on getting the right wetness for color blending. To be honest, it comes from knowing how your paints work, so you just have to keep going. For the longest time, I only used Winsor & Newton. But then somebody said if you want effects, then try kuretake and I bought a set and I was like, "Wow". Again, they're still the same pigments, but they just behave slightly differently. If I did the exact same painting using Winsor & Newton they turn out differently. You have to understand how it works. They're like children they just behave differently. Yeah, that makes sense. Someone would like to know what plant is the middle one that you painted. I don't know what this is called. Is it some fern? Yeah, That's a fern. I don't know what species of fern it is but that's a fern. I have no idea. A splenium? Splenium, I feel like I don't have any friends in my collection yet, but soon. Asparagus fern maybe? Is that maybe an asparagus fern? I don't know. It could be. Do you add details with gel pens or microns after it dries over? I could do. As you saw in my sketchbook, if I'm not way inclined I might do but not today. Someone wants to know if your sketchbooks are online. If you follow me on Instagram, that's all I post pretty much just sketchbook stuff. If you go to my Instagram, the last one would have been the dandelions. Oh my God, stunning. That's done in ink. I was saying when I showed you the sketchbook before, it was a proper watercolor sketchbook, but this one is just a basic sketchbook because of COVID, Brexit, I just couldn't get hold of my preferred ones and I can't watercolor in this one so I've had to come up with different ways of using it. I've basically been using inks and collage. Someone is asking, what do you mean with achieving effects with the Kuretake versus the Winsor & Newton? Because of the way the chemical composition of how the different manufacturers mix their inks, it will get different effects, whatever binders they're using. I don't think I could achieve this type of stuff with Winsor & Newton personally. That's why I'm using this one today because I really wanted to explore that. I just interchange. Someone wants some advice, they have a Van Gogh Pocket set. They want to know if you've used it. Do you think it's good enough to make the type of wet on wet art that you do? I'm not sure, I know of the Van Gogh one. Did it say student quality or was it a student set or did it say professional? Because they have different grades. All the art manufacturers have different versions. Which was this one? This is a shrinky. [inaudible] student version. Give it a go. When I do workshops, I think the first workshop I gave out this Winsor & Newton one and we did really well. I started with a cheap watercolor set when I taught myself so just give it a go. Honestly, you can't go wrong because you learn, whatever you do, you learn. I know. [inaudible] how is it? Watercolor requires you to not overthink and work fast, is that something that comes easily to you or is that a skill that you've had to learn? If you have the patience to go to the beginning of my Instagram feed, let me see if I can bring out one of my very early. Oh, look, here's my first one. Yes. This was my first watercolor sketchbook. How tight is that? I spent ages painting that. Looking at this now, there's not very much contrast and it's overworked. We all have to start somewhere and this is where I started. Then I started introducing line because it was easier that way. But I was learning, I didn't arrive at this loose style it's taken me 2015. It's coming up to six years. That's amazing. Do you enjoy going back at your old sketch books and seeing your progress? Is that a thing [inaudible]. I do. Sometimes I think how, where, how did I do that? Sometimes I think what was I thinking? But it's interesting to try and workout the thought process. Look, one day I'm painting a beer bottle, the next day I'm painting Iron Man. I'm just learning in all different aspects of it. Someone wants to know how to create backgrounds for projects, so it's not against all white paper. I'm probably not the best person to ask because I rarely add backgrounds to my watercolors. It's all pretty much white. Oh, no actually I'm telling a lie. But these have got backgrounds. What I would say is go in with a light wash first and then build up the color and see if you like it. Because then if you make a mistake, at least you haven't put down a massive black blob. I don't know if I've got any other examples. Yeah, there's me trying to work things out. Oh, wow. I'm not the best though. I don't do it very often. Stunning. Someone wants to know how do you feel about gouache? Pronouncing that wrong I think maybe. I think I have a gouache sketch, but again, I just can't stop mucking around. I can't find my gouache sketch at the moment, but I do have a sketchbook just for gouache. I'm not the best. Some of this is gouache. I think this might be gouache. I don't really know how to paint with it if I'm honest, not like some of the other Skillshare teachers. I'm just mucking about with it. I would like to know how to paint with it more because there's all kinds of possibilities, but I basically have to become a hermit for a month and work it out. Someone would like to know what storage you have in the back there, what your setup is, because it is [inaudible]. Oh, it's basically Ikea. Everything in here is Ikea. I had the most disorganized office because it was all over the place, but now everything has its place. All my materials are in either containers, boxes, all my inks are organized and somebody said to me, "Oh, that won't last long." I was like, "No, it does." All my Winsor & Newton inks are in one tray and all my acrylic inks are in another tray. Organization does help art. I have tons of makeup, but it is all very streamlined. No, if you saw my desk now, it's not organized, but it will be cleared. Well, in progress, art can never be organized but the prep can so you know where the things live. Yeah, exactly. Because then all my watercolor papers, I know where they are and there is all my sketchbooks are stacked in a certain way. I sound like a control freak. No, believe me. No. Last one, someone would love to know how you put together your color palette. Honestly, I just take inspiration from what I see in front of me. Compare this to this. It's not real but when I looked at this, I thought. "Wow, it almost looks blue at the base." That's why I started adding indigo. What I do find with watercolors is to use a small palette, but to dot the paint gray it's like I added it almost everywhere. But just tiny bits and that combination brings all the elements together and it makes for a nice read. This is just a random page in my sketchbook. I don't think there are any pink octopuses like that or dolphins that look like that but I just use it as a starting off point and it just develops and I just go with the flow. I'm not the best in terms of painting, I know surface design is something different. 8. Final Thoughts: I would really love to see what you've created. Please upload your piece to the project gallery and I will try my best to give you feedback and some advice. Thank you so much for watching this class and I shall see you next time. Bye for now.