Loose & Expressive Flowers & Leaves for Garden & Nature Journals | Amy Stewart | Skillshare

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Loose & Expressive Flowers & Leaves for Garden & Nature Journals

teacher avatar Amy Stewart, Writer & artist

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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

12 Lessons (47m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Watercolor Exercise

    • 4. Blind Contour Drawing Exercise

    • 5. Contour Drawing Exercise

    • 6. Drawing the Leaf

    • 7. Adding Ink with Brush Pen

    • 8. Painting the Leaf

    • 9. Drawing a Rose

    • 10. Painting a Rose

    • 11. More Floral Inspiration

    • 12. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Garden and nature journals come to life when you use watercolors to capture the intense, luminous colors you see in flowers, leaves, and other details.  In this class, we’re going to work on ways to really push the paints towards bold, vibrant colors.

 We’re also going to work on loose and expressive pen and ink lines. I’m going to show you my approach to creating lines and marks and shapes that look entirely original-- like something that could only be made by you, at that particular place and that particular moment in time.

What we’re not going to do is get caught up in perfection or rigid accuracy. The great joy of a garden and nature journal is that it is a record of the time you spent in close observation. It’s a place for you to be yourself on the page.

Let’s go!

Meet Your Teacher

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Amy Stewart

Writer & artist



Welcome! For the last twenty years, I've devoted my life to making art and writing books. It gives me great joy to share what I've learned with you. 

I love talking to writers and artists, and bonding over the creative process. I started teaching so that I can  inspire others to take the leap. 

I believe that drawing, painting, and writing are all teachable skills. Forget about talent--it doesn't exist, and you don't need it. With some quality instruction and lots of practice, any of us can make meaningful, honest, and unique art and literature.

I'm the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen books. When I'm not writing or traveling on book tour, I'm painting and drawing in ink, watercolor, gouache, and oil. Come f... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Amy Stewart. I'm a writer and an artist. I've written a lot of books about horticulture in the natural world, and I do a lot of sketching in my own backyard and just out and about in gardens and in nature. And what I love about that is how just a tiny portable watercolor set like this one lets me capture the really intense, luminous colors that you see in flowers and leaves. I'm always looking for ways to really push the pain towards bold, vibrant colors like this. And another thing I love about, including a lot of close ups of leaves and flowers in my nature journals is that I can be really loose and expressive with my pen and ink lines. I believe that when you're out there with your sketchbook, there's no point in trying to reproduce exactly what you see in front of you. After all, you have a camera for that. What you're doing is making a record of the time you spent looking closely at what's in front of you, the lines you leave behind on the paper and the splashes of color thes air artifacts. There, the souvenirs of the time that you spent and really close observation. So we're going to do some really close observation. I'm going to show you my approach to creating lines and marks and shapes that look entirely original like something that could Onley be made by you at that particular place in that particular moment in time. And we're going to splash a lot of bold color around on the page. What we're not going to do is get caught up in perfection or rigid accuracy. This is a place for you to be yourself on the page. All right, let's go. 2. Supplies: Okay, let's talk about supplies. It's a watercolor class. You're going to need some water color. This is, Ah, travel palette that I use, whether I'm traveling or whether I'm just at home painting and I'll have supply list with links, so I'll show you all the colors I use. But any kind of water color palette is fine. Whatever you've got and for a brush, this is a 12 round brush. I use this a lot, but for a few fine little details, I'm going to use this this water brush. I'm really just using it because it has such a nice find point. There is water inside the barrel, which could be kind of cool when you're out and about. But I find that it's hard to control the water with this, so I don't actually use the water very much. But I do like that fine tip. You're also going to need some watercolor paper, so hopefully you have a sketchbook with watercolor paper. That's of course, ideal for going out and sketching in the garden in nature, but at the very least, you'll need some kind of watercolor paper for this class. Be sure it says watercolor on it. This is a Windsor Newton block. Um, this is a hot press block from Blick. It doesn't matter whether you get hot pressure. Cold press either is fine, but just make sure it says watercolor paper. You're also gonna need a pencil and an eraser. I use a drawing pencil. That's Ah H R H B, which means it's a real hard lead that makes a very soft lines that are easy to a race. And I use one of these need herbal gum erasers because they don't damage the paper at all. So that's good. And then for pins you can use disposable waterproof pens would be perfectly fine. This is, Ah, micron. Sometimes these air called pigment liners, but they're just They're basically just fine tip markers and their waterproof, and that's what's really important. And I use a thin one. This is a two ah, thicker one. This is an eight that would be helpful toe have. And if you want to try the brush pin that I demonstrate, this is a, um, it's ah, it's a Faber Castell Pitt artist pin. It says SB. It has a soft brush tip, so this is also waterproof, Um, but you'll also see me using fountain pins. So this is a platinum carbon desk pin with waterproof cartridges, so I love this. It's so easy to just pop these cartridges in so again, platinum. Carbon is the brand, and they make the waterproof platinum carbon ink cartridges that go in there. I also have a brush pin. This is a pin tell pocket brush pin, so it's similar to this SB marker. But it's just it's got really link in it, and it also just refills with cartridges so very easy, and you can just get the cartridges with it. So that's a pin tell pocket brush, pin these air wonderful. And then I'm also going to be using my Lammy Safari fountain pen, which I love. Now this pin, the ink that comes with it in the cartridges is not waterproof. So for this one, I have a converter, so I buy this platinum carbon ink. It's the exact same ink that goes in this platinum carbon desk pin on Lee. Here it is in a bottle, and it's really easy to fill These. Basically, I would just open up the bottle of ink and dropped the pen down in it, and this little red at the end of the converted here is like a plunger. So you twirl it down and then twirl it back up and it draws Inc up just like a syringe and then wipe it off real good and put the pin back together and you're ready to go. It's very easy to use anyway. That's all we need to get started, and I'll post a list of all of that. But basically, just use what you've got. The most important thing is that your paper says that it's for watercolor and you have waterproof pens. 3. Watercolor Exercise: I spent this demo up to double time. I'm gonna talk you through it. Let's practice a few watercolor techniques that I think are especially helpful in the garden. And the first is a water glaze where you put Clearwater down and then you drop color into it. In this case, maybe it's a sky. I'm dropping in some cobalt blue, and you can even see how you could leave some little white spaces. They almost suggest clouds to try another one. This could be maybe a lawn, for instance. Um, grass. It could be some kind of leaf where you're just dropping it in and letting it let let the paint move around on the paper and just find its own way and then another thing. And I do this all the time, especially with flower petals, which you're about to see. I'm going to take some quinacrine own rose in this case, and I'm gonna make kind of a big, mushy, wet puddle of paint and drop another color in so that spiral red going in from one corner so you can imagine a flower that's looks a little pink, um, and a little red, and that's a wonderful way to blend colors together like that. So that's a really good thing to practice. Um, let's take some more yellow again. And this is something you might try with trees or even just with an individual leaf. This shape that I'm making could be either. I've got my hounds of yellow and I'm just dropping in some sap green and I'm letting it move about how it wants to. So this could be maybe the lights on one side of it, so it's much lighter on one side than it is on the other. But I'm not being too careful about where the pain goes. I'm just letting that happen just depending on kind of what the, um what it wants to dio This is new gambo sh And again, with pyre all red. I'm just dropping in that color. But this time I'm gonna tilt the paper. You can really let gravity goto work for you, and you can get some kind of cool effects if you told the paper like that. So that's another thing to experiment with and realize that you can use gravity to your advantage a little bit now that I've got something that's dry. I want to show you how different it is when you're not wet on wet. But when you're actually working with one color on top of another that's dry. You are going to get a really sharp line, but sometimes that's what you want. So in this case, um, you know, maybe you want someone color silhouetted against another. Like, um, maybe that's a tree. I don't know why the sky would be yellow, but you get the idea you can come right in on top after some things dry and lay a completely other color down. Where this is really important is with shadows, and I'm using Daniel Smith's shadow violet to straight out of the tube. It makes a really great shadow color, and you can put it down right on top of whatever other color is there for cash shadows. If you want to push it a little towards purple. This is some ultra Marine and some Eliza and crimson, and I mix it up so it's kind of blue. I mix it in with that shadow violet so that, um, I still get a little bit of a grade down effect. But look at that wonderful kind of shadow color and you can get a good, sharp edge when everything's dry. And like I say, you can come down right on top of an area of the tip by sun. So, like a lawn, um, with a shadow cast across part of it a couple other things here, I'm just gonna mix a couple of these together and show you how I can bring some light back in. So in this case, I'm just dabbing up with a paper towel, and it's a great way to show the kind of lightest sight of something like maybe a flower where you can really see the lights hitting it on one side. But I'm gonna just dab up some of these other things I've painted quite a while ago and you can still get some color up from him. So keep in mind that it's always an option to come in and lift a little color up, and you can get some really delicate, beautiful effects that way. So that's something I love to dio for, um, for lights. But darks air Justus important. You know the problem with water colors we can end up with a lot of mid range values, and the fact is that people perceived value before they perceive color, so they perceive how lighter dark something is before they perceive what color it ISS. And if you want to Really, um, if you want to really show your lights and darks, you've got to kind of work at it. So here I'm just taking some cobalt blue, and but I'm not satisfied with that initial wash. I'm really in one corner, just dropping in right out of the pan, just a riel rich extra dollop of that cobalt to really get a dark and very intense color. You know, a cool trick to do is to take a picture of your finish watercolor and converted to black and white. And how strong does it look? Is everything grey or do you really have, well, super light lights and super dark darks? I'll do it a little bit with the shape up here, which could be a leaf or could be a tree. I'm gonna use another trick, which is sap green mixed with Daniel Smith. Neutral tent neutral tent darkens a color without really changing how warm or cool the temperature is, and you can imagine like this is a tree, and there's a little shadow shapes inside the tree. How once it's dry, you could really come in and add some very distinct little areas of shadows. So working on sharpening up your darks and your lights, practice that and practice some of these other techniques as well. 4. Blind Contour Drawing Exercise: we're going to do an exercise called Blind Contour drawing. And while we're doing it, I'm gonna talk about why I think this is so important, particularly for garden and nature journaling. The idea with a blind contour drawing is that you're looking at the object and you're drawing it with asthma much attention as you can possibly focus on this thing. But you're never looking at your paper. So what you're gonna end up with, it's not gonna look like anything. So be very disciplined. Don't ever, ever look at your paper. Just look at the thing. And remember, you don't have to just draw the outline of it. This leaf has a lot of little veins. It has the stem. So at any point, you can wander away from the outline around the edge and into any of these interior lines. The idea is that you were just You're looking at the thing. You're observing it as closely as you can possibly observe anything. This leaf, the edges of it aren't smooth. There's lots as I'm looking. There's lots and lots of little ridges. If you're watching me do this, you might think this is the weirdest looking leaf I've ever seen. But remember, I'm not looking at my paper. I have no idea what this drawing looks like, and it's deliberately going toe look totally weird and and terrible. I decided to start following the lines of some of these veins in the inner part of the leaf , so I'm not even drawing the edge of the leaf anymore. Now, here's why. I think this is so important. We're gonna take this a step further in a minute, and you're going to see what you can do with, um, contra drying. But I think a lot of times when we're doing this kind of garden and nature sketching things can end up looking a little cartoony or even if they're not cartoony, they can end up looking like everybody else's drawing of that thing in the whole world. And what you want is for it to look like you're drawing. And most of all, for me, the point of getting out into the world getting out into nature and drawing and sketching is to record my experience of being in a place and looking closely at something. So even this and I still have no looked at this drawing you guys, I This is blood by blind contra drawing. This means I'm drawing these edges drawing all the way around this thing. Sometimes I'm picking up on the inner parts of it and I'm doing some of the veins, but I still haven't seen it, so I don't know how terrible it looks either, but the point is, this is really close observation, and what I'm doing right now is I'm making a record of the time I spent looking at this leaf. It's not gonna look like anybody else's record. And if you do this, please actually do the exercise because I think what you'll notice, especially if you're not talking. I mean, I'm talking the whole time, so I'm sort of not getting the full enjoyment of this. But this experience of having this direct connection between your hand and your eye, um, is very meditative. And this the feeling you get in your brain from doing this is the feeling you should always have from drawing. There's obviously no judgment here cause I can't see the paper, so I don't know how terrible it is so I can judge it. I'm not looking at it going? That doesn't look like a lever that doesn't look like the Leafs. Everybody else's drawing. Um, does not like it like that Levi saw on Instagram last week that I want to draw. No, I'm I'm having a very pure experience of looking extremely closely at this thing and and really observing what it's like. Okay, I've stopped. Now I'm looking at it. I'm actually surprised that it looks as much like a leaf as it really does. Um, this to me is sort of the most accurate part of it, because I clearly just went totally crazy and ran off the page here. But do this exercise now, after you've done it, we're gonna We're going to do it in a little bit more focused way. And I think you'll see how this experience translates to drawing in your own style. 5. Contour Drawing Exercise: Okay, so now we're gonna do another version of this, and we're just gonna call this. I come to our drying. It's not gonna be a blind contour drawing because you're allowed to look a little bit, but this is still an exercise, so don't get hung up on making this look exactly like a leaf. Don't get all judgy about it. You're glancing at your paper now and then to see if you're more or less on the right track . But you're really this is not our finished drawing. This is also an exercise. And it's an exercise and really looking closely and getting every single bit of this leaf right. And let me just say, this type of contra drawing is really useful not just for close ups, like of a leave for a flower or an acorn. It's actually very useful for far away things like a tree as well. So this is something that you can dio, um, all throughout the landscape. This is not just for a little close up kind of detail like this. So I am looking down occasionally, but I'm not getting real caught up on accuracy. You know, if you studied botanical art. A lot of botanical art is about doing something that's pretty close to a scientific illustration where it's really important to get, for instance, the right number and shape of lobes in the leaf and to get the vein pattern, um, exactly right, because botanical art had its origins as a form of scientific illustration before we had photography. And now, even when we do have typography, botanical art is often a better way to show the characteristics of a plant than even a photograph can, because the artist can put the emphasis where it needs to be. But anyway, that's not what we're doing here. But we are just really trying toe stay connected between our eyes. I'm barely looking at the page. Only occasionally am I looking at the page. So I'm kind of amazed that I even ended up back at the top, and I can even connect this And just for fun, I'm following the vein in the middle of the leaf, and I'm really am looking like Don't just draw this really fast, you know, like this again. This is what keeps it from being too cartoony, and it's what makes it very expressive and really your own. I could seriously spend all afternoon just getting completely lost in the little patterns of all these veins in the leaves. But I'm gonna stop there. You get the idea. So that's sort of part two is just a straightforward contra drawing where you're allowing yourself to look a little bit, but you're not hung up on accuracy at all. It can still be really, really off base from the thing you're drawing. These exercise is so important to do these kind of exercises and to retain that connection between your between your eye in your hand. 6. Drawing the Leaf: Now that you've had this experience of contra drawing, I'm going to show you how I would really go about starting something like this with pencil . And what I'm gonna do is not sketch out the leaf in pencil and then redraw the whole thing in pen. Instead, what I'm gonna do is draw basically an envelope for the leaf to go into. And I'm using a darker pencil than I normally would here, because I really want you to be able to see it. But imagine if you had to make an envelope that this leaf would just fit in just some kind of container. What? What would that look like? And I'm holding my pencil up to the image that I have on a computer screen in front of me here. Just to be able to check these angles and I'm going to kind of rethink this is I go. Of course there is the stem down here. So if I want to include the whole stem, then really the bottom part of this envelope needs to be like this. So what I'm looking at is like, how far out do the lobes? I guess they're lobes. I don't know what they are. The outer reaches of these leaves, how far out do they extend and what's the just outer boundaries of this leaf? And that's all I'm going to dio. I'm not going to draw the whole leaf in pencil and then redraw it in pen. You know, a lot of the time when we're out drawing in the world, we have only a limited amount of time. So rather than do the whole drawing twice, I've just established the outer boundaries of it, and I've decided where it fits on the page. Let's assume I'm I'm happy with that and I'm gonna get going now. In reality, this is probably a little bit bigger than what I would normally choose for relief like this . But I'm wanting you to really be able to see it. So this time I'm kind of going through this same process. But I'm mindful of the fact that I've I've made this envelope for myself that's telling me roughly what the shape of this thing is and has given me a part of the paper for it to fit into. And this is my first pass with pen so I can have kind of a broken line. It's OK if my lions skips a little bit. There's a lot more to come, you know, there's color and I'm also gonna do a little bit of darker work with, um, heavier Penn line. So it's OK for this to be just kind of, Ah, nice broken line. It doesn't have to. This line doesn't have to do everything. In other words, I know that I'm gonna have other opportunities toe show how this leaf looks and it doesn't all have to be this one pen line. It's OK for me toe go over my own lines like I just did a little bit. That's fine. Don't worry about it. But you're drawing one thing. I'm mindful. Love is this big curve, and this one are quite parallel, and I kind of missed an opportunity to really get those tow line up right, But I'm gonna try it a sort of make note of it. I should have been watching that a little bit more, but again, I'm mostly looking at the image, and I'm not looking at the leaf itself Aton right now. And that's just a very satisfying part of drawing like this. No will come in. So this ended up a little bit different. I have this side on the right is lowered. The side on the left is higher in the picture that's reversed. That's the kind of thing I'm not really super concerned about. It's not my goal to make this a completely, completely accurate rendering. I can also see that, um, here's the vein in the middle and I brought this in a little too much. It's one reason why I'm glad that my pens really light. I think I could kind of get away with that. So this is like a correction that I'm actually glad this happened, because when I'm if I decided to restate a line, that's what we call it and drying, restating a line. I just do it and I don't worry about like this little mistake. It's not gonna look like much by the time we by the time we get through this. So now just gonna kind of suggest the veins in this leaf. I don't wanna go too crazy with all that, but this is enough right here for me. I've got it. I've got this leave generally drawn I've paid some attention to the size it fits in, and now I can erase. But before I do that, I just want to point out other ways that this idea of the envelope could be useful. Um, you're going to see me do it with other flowers, like you're going to see me do this with a Rose, where I'm gonna sort of mark out the outer shape of the Rose kind of like that. And you'll also see me do it. It's or it's something you can do. I won't do it in this class, but you'll see me do it in other classes. It's the kind of thing you could do, even for things that are far off on the horizon. Like, let's say there's some There's a whole bunch of trees off on the skyline rather than really draw the trees with pencil and then, you know, get every single tree and then come in and do them all over again in pen again. What I'll do is I'll just sort of draw the envelope that those trees fit in. So you know, all kind of be drawing something like this for the trees to go inside. It's almost like the skyline of the trees. And then I'll do the rest with pen. But I'm just blocking out the big shapes. So I know where everything goes. Okay, now that I've done that, I'm gonna erase and then add a little bit more inclined in just a second. 7. Adding Ink with Brush Pen: okay, Ever raised my pencil and I could just start painting from here. This is plenty, but I just want to show you some other things you can do, especially if you're drawing something that's in light this leaf were using. I can kind of see that there's a light source coming from this direction because I can see the light shining on it. So it's going like that, and there's some shadow sides to the leaf, but it's not super obvious. I'm gonna show this to you anyway, because I think you'll get a sense of it and you'll see it when you're out in the world drawing. I'm gonna take a heavier line and come in and try to suggest that there is, in fact, a shadowy side to some of this. Um, by using different line weights, you give the drawing, uh, some freshness. It has some variety. It has some places for the eye to move around. All of this would make more sense if you were looking a leaf that was seriously in bright sunlight and darker shadows. But I'm just sort of imagining, like, Okay, if the lights coming from down here, where are the shadow sides of this gonna be. And I got to say, sometimes when I'm out and I don't have the super strong light stores I do this anyway cause I kind of like, even if I'm just faking it, I think that it can really help it pop. So I'll just sort of look around and go. Well, I do. I mean, I know where the sun is, even if it's a cloudy day, so I can sort of put a little bit of this in, and it will help bring it to life a little bit. We get into painting later, you'll see how that works. Oh, and then also a neat place to do that is this central sort of the central rib that runs down here. This would be the sheriff, the lights coming, like from here, then this would be the shadow side of that. So I might put in a darker side to that as well. That's kind of cool. Now, of course, the thing is, you'll hear me. I say this over and over again. But it is important to remember in in real life in nature, there are no black lines around leaves. But But when you're keeping a garden journal, you're out there with your pen. And, um, this is your hand. And this is sort of your way of making a record that you were here, and it's your way of expressing what you see, So don't hesitate to really play up the kinkiness of this. In this case, I'm taking my pin tell Pocket brush, and I'm actually I'm really emphasizing that there's a shadowy side of all of this quite a bit more. Now you can get even, maybe a little bit more of a sense of Oh, yeah, light hitting it. And then, um, continue to really play that up with paint. So this is a fun thing. Toe tryout. You don't want to overdo it. But even just a little bit of this kind of extra variety in your work can can be a really cool thing. And with this, um, Penn, tell pocket Bush pin, you can also get very lovely fine lines as well. So it doesn't on Lee have to be like you can see how fine that is so you can get these sort of soup very graceful, spidery, flowy lines and I do love that. Look, in fact, that's a, um it's really great for veins on leaves as I'm as I'm doing this. So it's a neat way to get a little detail and it's just gonna be I mean, they're wobbly little lines. They're kind of his wildly as your hand is. But again, it really it really makes it look hand drawn. Okay, so there's our leaf and next will paint. And the image of them in the paint isn't gonna look exactly like this because I'm going to do it slightly smaller on rial sketchbook paper. But I wanted to do this bigger so that you could really see what we're doing. 8. Painting the Leaf: Now we're going to get into watercolor using some of the techniques that I showed you when we were just warming up. Um, the first thing I want to dio is I'm noticing that there's ah, um kind of still a little bit of green around the central part of the rib. And I love that and the way toe work that in is to I'm gonna put it down first using that water glaze technique where I start with the Clearwater and then I drop it in and let it move around. And this always depends on how what the humidity is like, where you're painting. And I happen to be a painting in a studio in a room that's kind of dry right now. So I put the water down and it drives pretty quickly, so I'm having dead encourage it. I'm having to help it along a little bit more than I usually would. But I'm laying that green in, and I'm gonna let it dry ever so slightly. Here you can see me adding in a little bit deeper green just to saturate it, and I'm waiting for that. I wanted Teoh dry a little, but not completely, because I want other colors to be able to come up next to it and blend in with it without there being a obvious line between the dry pain and the wet pain. So I wanted to be just wet enough that I can work into it, but not so wet that the this bold color moves into the green and eliminates it entirely. And this is new. Gamboa is that I'm using here, so it's a pretty wet mixture and you can see how it's blending with the green. But the greens already kind of just dry enough that they're not totally one's not winning over the other. They each kind of get their own little spot. And this is a mixture of I've got PIRA Lauren, Joe. I've got pyre all red, and I'm coming in from around the edges of the leaf because that's what I see. And I'm just sort of playing around. I mean, at this point, you almost want to treat this like a like a little abstract art project. I mean, I'm looking at the leaf, and I'm trying to represent what I see there, but I'm also wanting to be really loose and playful and just let the paint move around and do what it wants to dio and again just really express my experience of looking at this leaf . So fortunately that green paint stayed just damp enough that those blended together pretty well and I'm continuing to drop in these little bits of red and orange where I see them and encouraging them to move into that yellow. But also just be this color that you see kind of right around the edges of the leaf, dropping in a little bit more orange here and there. It's nice that you can still see a bit of that green moving into these darker areas. This is a Liz Aerin. I'm dropping in some Eliza and crimson because it goes almost burgundy down there. But also that a lizard crimson mixed with that orange ear red just gives a nice sort of deep, deep autumn me kind of Ah, um, almost a reddish brown. And I'm picking up with my brush as much as I'm putting down. So I'm, you know, sort of making little adjustments. And here you can see I'm putting this new GAM bows down, and there is a bit of a line between that little bit of pale green, and I'm sort of just pushing my wet brush up into it and trying to get eliminate that line , trying to just erase it a little bit, which is kind of successful here. So this is a mixture of I've got some transparent earth, some Eliza Rin and, um uh, some quinacrine own rose. So these air pinks and really earthy brick red colors. And I'm wanting this to move into these wetter areas, and I'm wanting all this to blend together. Um and I'm you know, I'm looking at the leaf, and I'm trying to reflect what I see there. But at some point, you're also dealing with the drawing you have in front of you or the painting you have in front of you like you've come this far. You've done this much, and at this point, I'm as much concerned about making this work as a little painting that I'm happy with. As I am trying to get an exact copy of the specific leaf that I'm looking at. These were just some other examples from a sketchbook from last year, and you can see how really lose thes are. There's even some water spots here and there, but this is a cool record of you know. This was the first day I noticed leaves turning colors and it's nice toe have this memory of like, Oh yeah, this. It's sort of like the first day of fall because it's the first day I'm seeing these fall colors and here again, super loose, really vibrant, not coloring within the lines. But what a great just record this is of what fall color looked like in my neighborhood last year. So that's the whole goal is just to really record your experience and have a lot of fun with the color and let it flow and let it move around and really play up bold colors and let your watercolor be very vibrant and rich and just enjoy the time you spend doing it. 9. Drawing a Rose: I know what you're thinking. You're thinking this Rose is way too complicated. There's no way we're possibly doing this. But guess what? We totally are doing it using all the same principles. So the first thing I'm doing here, I've spent this up to double time, by the way, just so that I can talk you through it kind of quickly because I think you already get the idea. But it is sort of different when you're doing something like a rose, which people would consider very intimidating. So I've started off by drawing the envelope or the container that it fits in, and I'm darkening it up a little bit so you can see it here, you might think arose is perfectly round. But it's really not. If you really look at it, there are these kind of sharper angles, and what I'm doing is I'm starting with my pen, and I'm I'm starting with the just outer edge. So I'm not even drawing the entire pedal or even as much of the pedal a Seiken. See, I'm just following those outer lines and very much this principle of a contour drawing. It looks like I'm going pretty fast here. But remember, this is sped up toe double time. I'm actually going slowly and being really thoughtful about just following these lines and enjoying the experience of just looking really closely at this rose and and trying to really see exactly what all the shapes are and how it comes together. Then I just move in a level and I'm still following those lines around. I've mostly kept what I set out with my my little envelope that I drew. But along the bottom there you can see that I decided when a little farther down than what I originally thought, You're always free to ignore your pencil line. So I'm just I'm letting myself get really lost in just what the kind of outer edges of these pedals look like. And I'm working my way around getting closer to the central part and, you know, the inside of this flower you've got all these little tiny pedals that are really clustered together and kind of wrinkled, and it's actually pretty easy to just lose your place and kind of lose track of which pedal you're working on. The good news is your viewers not going to know either again your recording your experience of looking very closely at this Rose. So, um, you know, follow your I follow the lines, and at some point, you are starting to deal with the drawing that you have in front of you every much every bit as much as you are the rose that you're looking at. So at some point, you do have to sort of start saying All right, well, I see all these little lines in all these little shapes, but they have to fit inside the space that I have left here. Um and so I'm just sort of looking at how much space I've left for myself in the center of this rose and trying to just kind of, um do the best I can, you know, with with what I've got. And so now I'm gonna just go over this and start to a race and will come in and paint. I'm not going to do any darker levels of ink here because I want to show you all the different ways that we can really get those darker colors just with paint. So this one set of lines is all I'm going to do in this case, 10. Painting a Rose: this is also sped up to double time. And I'm just going to talk you through it. Normally, it wouldn't take me this long toe paint this, but I find if I'm painting and talking, I just go slower. So this seems to make more sense. What I'm doing here is I've got quinacrine own rose and I've just added a tiny bit of ultra Marine to it because I feel like that pink on those outer leaves is a little purplish. And I'm going to start down here with this Lower, not leave peddled. I'm gonna start down here this lower pedal that's in the shadow and also has a lot of intense pink color into it. So that's a kind of a wet mixture, and I'm dropping in some more. Just pure quinacrine own rose to really intensify that color. So this is that wet into wet technique of charging in with a bunch more color and just letting it move around. But there's also it's so deep in shadow that I want a little sense of this kind of purple e shadow. So I'm dropping in a little bit of shadow violent right there. I'm not normally gonna worry about capturing every single shadow that falls within every pedal on this flower. But it just seems like that one. Um since that one really isn't shadow, it kind of gives the whole thing some weight. So that seems like a good thing to try down there. Now, as I move around this Rose, I'm gonna find other pedals I can work on. That air may be in the same color scheme but are far enough away that they won't bleed into each other. So these out of one's air all kind of pink. So it's still that quinacrine own Rose with just the tiniest bit of ultra Marine dropped into it. And I'm trying to stay away from that bottom pedal. That's pretty wet right now because I don't want those to run together. So I leave just the tiniest bit of white space, and I am dropping in where I see it. It's hard, maybe harder for you to see in this photograph. But there is a little bit of that pink, that dark pink color around the edges of the pedals, too. So that's why I'm dropping it in where I am and I'm even kind of exaggerating it, because our do really want exaggerate the intensity of these colors. That's a new gambo sh and I'm adding in some quinacrine own rose to it, which makes for a peachy color. You know, this next level of pedals is more of a peachy color before it gets into that buttery yellow orange. So that's a mixture of the new gambo sh and the quinacrine own rose and, um, you'll see in a second I'm gonna really try to lighten him up because there is some light hitting them. So this is that technique I'm coming in either with a brush or with a paper towel. And once a little bit of the pigment has sunk into the paper, I'm picking some of it back up because I like that feeling that the sun's on some of those pedals. So a lot of this is gonna be just continuing to work my way around. Um, some of these colors are a bit more transitional. They're not quite the pink of the outer level. They're not quite that yellow of the inner level. And you just got to make a choice. Eso I'm deciding, Teoh, Um, let these be a little bit more orange and again, kind of kind of dabbing up because I think that they are lighter, Um, and so Mawr quinacrine own rose with a little hint of orange to that viral orange can be very pretty blended with that and just working my way around again, paying a lot of attention. Teoh, what is dry? And of course, you can hold your paper up to the light and see if any water is reflecting on it and I'll give you some sense of that. But I'm just trying to be mindful as I go that I do want some of these colors toe have some separation to him. So, um, I'm continuing to work with the new Gambo show. I'm getting in towards the centre now, so I'm looking to make a more yellow and orange e. And so, Aziz, you can see I'm just playing around with what's already on my palette. A little pirouette orange, a little new Jambos, a little Quinn Rose and I'm just kind of checking out these mixtures, dropping him down. Now it's getting much more into the yellow, and I'm pushing these extra little beads of pigment down towards the bottom of the pedal there because that's where the colors most intense. And so it's having that sense of movement of the color that I think is really so great. Um, I'm also going to start bringing in just the tiniest bit of transparent earth red because deep in the shadows between those pedals, you do see this. Um, well, you might call a brick red color and eso that's like the shadow color within the within the flower. You know, shadows can be influenced by a lot of what's around him, but in this case, this flower there's there's kind of not a lot else around is mostly influenced by the other colors within the center of the flower, so that deep, dark, brownish brick red color seems to really be it. This is a more new gambo je, but still dropping in. The Quinn rose a two very center areas and letting it letting it move around. That's Naples yellow Naples. Yellow is a very soft, buttery kind of neutral yellow. I use it a lot on buildings, but sometimes it's need to just work it into a flower, and I'm picking up some color where I wanted to be lighter, but leaving some of that more saturated, deep, dark color where I really wanted to be Where I really when you get a sense that you're looking into the very center of the flower. All right, so we're getting close to the end. Um, but I'm coming in, and now I'm really looking at the shadows. And so everything's a lot dryer. So it's easy for me to come in and just drop this really dark color in. It's OK if it spreads out a little and moves around. This is supposed to be a very loose, not quite abstract, but just a super loose, free, expressive interpretation of this rose. I'm taking advantage of anywhere the papers still wet and Aiken drop in little hints of that Quinn rose and let it spread just a bit. Just make it really fun. And I'm looking at these last few little areas I have in the center and what kind of opportunities I have to either bring in something really, really light or something really, really dark. Because you know your eyes drawn towards the center of this rose. Okay, there it is. 11. More Floral Inspiration: Now that you've seen this technique, I want to show you some examples of other ways. I've done this in my garden journal over the years. So now that you've seen how I do it, I think you can see how you know. I sketched out the envelope that this fits in and then drew this very simply with pen. I did go in and add some darker inclines here and there. But then, as I did the pedals I dropped in this saturated color to really give the sense of the variation that you see in these Hyde ranches. Um, so that's one example with these rude Becky is it was kind of the same deal. I think I did a little too much with the black here, honestly, but I was just having too much fun. But I did add a lot of deep black in this case, but again, very simple line work. And you can see how at the center I dropped in this extra bitter orange to really give some vibrancy and toe, let it flow throughout the watercolor. And then here these roses, I mean, these totally smeared what? As I was out working which just sometimes happens when you're outdoors. But one of the cool things is there was still a lot of water that moved around. There's a lot of vibrancy in these, and I also did some paint splatters. And honestly, I love paint splatters. I mean, this one. I just went crazy with that, Um and I think it could be a fun thing to do, So I probably don't have Teoh teach you how to splatter paint. You've probably splattered plenty of pain by accident, but I'm just gonna get my brush. It's kind of wet, Um, and I'm going to go with a more yellow color for some paint splatters. Um, you can shield. You can choose to shield part of your drawing. Let's say I'm just gonna take a paper tell, because that's the kind of thing I would have with me out in the field. Maybe I have something right here that I've already done, and I don't want to get paint all over it. You can just lay it down and shield that you really need toe load up on some water in order for this to work. Okay? You can't completely see on camera what I'm doing. I apologize for that. But I'm All I'm doing is loading up my brush with paint and then holding it down close to the paper and then just hitting it with the other hand. And that makes all the, um, paint come flying off the brush. So here I go with some quinacrine on Rose, and I'm gonna let it fly right onto the flower itself. That's fine. Um, you can totally do that. So there it goes. And, you know, this is just kind of Ah, cool, fun. Way to just add some extra life and vibrancy to your painting. 12. Final Thoughts : Okay, that's it. I hope you'll take your paints and go out into your own garden and give this a try. Post your paintings in the project section. I would love to see what you're working on. If you do have any questions, just put him in the discussion area and all be popping in to answer. Also, I have other art classes that come at this subject from different angles. There's one called laid back lettering. That's for anybody who wants to Adam or decorative lettering style to their sketchbooks, which could be very cool in a garden in Nature Journal with plant names and lots of things to describe. So check that out and also come find me on Instagram. I'm posting new art there almost every day. Thanks so much, and I hope to hear from you.