Loose Watercolor Florals for Beginners - Learn to Paint Roses, Leaves, and Berries | Kristen Knechtel | Skillshare

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Loose Watercolor Florals for Beginners - Learn to Paint Roses, Leaves, and Berries

teacher avatar Kristen Knechtel, Illustrator / Surface Pattern Designer

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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

8 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Introduction - Welcome to class!

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Roses

    • 4. Long Petal Flowers

    • 5. Adding Detail

    • 6. Filler - Leaves and Berries

    • 7. Creating a Bouquet

    • 8. Final Thoughts & Project

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About This Class

New to watercolors? No problem!  This class will walk you through how to create various floral elements in a loose, watercolor style and combine them into a bouquet!

Learn, step-by-step, how to paint roses, long petal flowers, leaves, and berries.

No fancy materials or previous painting experience needed!

Class materials:

  • watercolor paper
  • paint brush (preferably round)
  • water
  • watercolor or mixed media paper

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kristen Knechtel

Illustrator / Surface Pattern Designer



Hi! I'm Kristen and I'm an illustrator and letterer from Canada!  I always loved art and came back to it as a mom of 3 littles who craved a creative outlet.

My work includes tee designs, logos, surface patterns, custom invitations, wood signs/key holders, and printable wall art.

I'm addicted to all things botanical and bright.

I love to use watercolour paints + ink and to create digitally using an iPad Pro.


One of my favourite things about Skillshare is meeting people - say hi!! :)


You can find my prints, invitations, wood signs, and key holders on Etsy.

My illustrations on fabric on Spoonflower

Art print and illustrations on various goods on Society6.

 See full profile

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1. Introduction - Welcome to class!: Hello. My name is Kristen. I am an illustrator and the Lederer based in Canada. You can find me on Instagram, Spoon, Flour, Society six and etc. All written by Kristin. One of my all time favorite things to paint our flowers. I have filled sketchbooks with flowers. They're just so fun. So pretty. And also they can be really simple to dio I am going to show you step by step how to paint loose watercolor florals This classes for beginners. So if you have never painted before or your new toe watercolors, then this is the perfect place to start. I'm going to show you my favorite materials. Although you don't need to use anything fancy, you can really use what you have at home at the end of the class. I'm going to show you how to put them all together into beautiful of okay for your project . So let's grab our paints and get painting 2. Materials: I'm gonna go over a few of my favorite materials to use. You do not need to use these specific products. I just wanted to show you what my favorites are. Really? You could just use what you have already have at home. So I'm gonna start with paper my favorite paper for every day painting, practicing with water colors as well. It's also great for, like, markers. Pencil. Really? Anything is the cancer in mixed media. So it comes and like a big spiral book and you can get a cuff, a couple of different sizes, So these I would definitely recommend. They're a great price point for the amount of paper you get. And it does hold the water fairly well. Not quite as well as a more expensive paper that is specific Onley for watercolors. But it is a really great bang for your buck, especially when you're first starting out and you're doing a lot of practice just blown through the paper. I would definitely recommend one of these notebooks something else that I really like to use. Our the mole skin art, plus watercolor journals. They This is the pocket size. I believe in the paper, and here's a little bit better quality. I also really like the size. Close the water and ink really well. You can pay on both sides, which is also handy. Next stop will talk about paint. My favorite paint that I use currently for watercolors is are the Windsor and Newton Cotman watercolor set the common little tubes like this, and you just squeeze a little bit out onto your palate like this. I just have. I just have a very basic cheap born. I think it was like a dollar or something, but that once the paint dries in there, you can just leave it, and then you could reanimate it with some water Next time you paint, which is handy. I also use this artist's loft watercolor pants that quite a bit. It is super inexpensive. It's super inexpensive. It's not quite as pigmented as the tube watercolors, but you could still get great results. I also love that the lid had little wells in it, so you can mix colors in there, which is a really handy. It's kind of like you have a built in palette, something else that that I used a lot, especially when I was starting out. We're just my kids paints. So these are the Crayola washable water colors. The texture, I find is a little bit different. It's a little bit thicker paint than some of the other sets, but it's still great for practicing. It's fun to use super inexpensive, so you might. You might already have it laying around at home for brushes. I like to use around brushes. These are just from a set that I got off Amazon. It's they're not a brand name. They have lasted me pretty well. You want to look for ones that have a tapered tip so you can get some good details in there as well as thicker strokes. But really, you could just use whatever brushes you have it. I also like to use water brushes so you can see you fill that up with water, and then it has a little tip that, as you squeeze it keeps it wet. Okay, so that is everything that we need. So get together. Whatever you have. Once again, you don't need to use these specific supplies. Describe what you have, and let's get painting 3. Roses: So for our first lesson, I am going to show you how to paint a basic water color rose something along the lines of these. So these are very simple to paint, so we're going to start with some water. Gonna want to use a round brush if you have one for this. This one is a size six, but really you can use any size. Obviously the bigger brush you have, you're probably gonna end up with a bit bigger of a flower. The smaller brushing out, the smaller the fire. So really, it doesn't matter. I am going to use my winter and Newton Cotman water colors for this. This is probably one of my favorite colors to use this the Prussian blue. I don't have much left in my palette, so I'm just gonna add a little bit. If you're using tubed watercolors, you just gonna add a little bit of water and I usually like to put some of the paint up in the middle of her. Okay, so for the roses, we are just going to be using little curved strokes. So we're going to start in the center of the flower. You're gonna want to have a decent amount of pigment on your brush for this because we want the center of the flower to be a little darker so you can see you're just gonna make some little You're just going to make some curved lines around. You want to keep a decent amount of water on your brush so that your paint doesn't dry right away. And as we move away from the center, we're going to get bigger and thicker lines. So if you want to practice just doing this a few times, feel free. There really kind of fun fun to do, you know, stick to just one color for now. Okay? So as you can see, there's still quite a bit of water on those that is still wet, which means we can add in some more color if we want. So if you want to add some more depth to your flowers, you're gonna go back into your paint, get some more on your brush there. You're going to just dab it into these centers now because the paint on the page is still wet, you can see that the pain is gonna interact with that water and it's gonna kind of bleed out into the rest of the flower, so you can also do this with multiple colors to use this one, so you're essentially going to be doing the same thing. We want to start with darker in the middle. We're just making little lines. You don't want them to look too perfectly arranged. I find it looks a little bit more organic. If they're a little bit looser and irregular, it's also kind of fun when they touch each other, and then the paint can interact with the other flowers. So if you want to add another color, I'll show you a couple different ways to do it. One is we can just add the color right into the fire. Just change the paint color and ADM or pedals in the new color. You want to make sure that there is lots of water in your rose so that it's not such a stark change from whatever colors you're using. You want to give the paint a chance to interact with each other and mix. I'm actually gonna make some purple, so I'm just going to take my two colors and mix them up in this middle well here way you get a kind of plum color. This is one of my favorite colors to use as well. So for more of a subtle change we're gonna use the purple in the blue So I'm gonna paint my flower And then while it's still wet I'm gonna get a little bit of the blue back on my brush I'm just gonna dab it into the middle there with So the more water that you have on your brush, the less opaque the paint's gonna be. So you're going to get a lighter color As you can see in the other pedals on this, the more pigment that you have on your brush is going to give you the deeper colors like the middle of the flowers here. So that is how you paint a basic loose watercolor rose. You can do them separate or you can do a bunch together clustered on the page If you wanted to do was not quite as head on what we can Dio is put the center of the flower. Not quite, I guess in the center of your painting. If that makes sense, so this year is gonna be the darkest part with the smallest lines. And then instead of building evenly around the center, I'm going to build the larger pedals kind of out to the side here. So it looks more like the rose is more on its side. So the fun thing about these is that you're really not trying to be perfect. They're kind of loosely formed, more impressionistic. And as the paint dries, you can see that you get some really cool texture in there. So no, no, to flowers. They're going to be the same. You can get some really beautiful results. I'm just doing my lines around, so I'm gonna let these dry, and we're gonna move on to the next listen. 4. Long Petal Flowers: next, I'm gonna show you how to do a different style of flour. We're going to do one more along these lines with longer pedals as opposed to the curved pedals, like roses. For this one, I'm going to use a bigger brush, but it doesn't really matter. You can use whatever you have. This one is a 12 round brush. I'm also going to use my watercolor pan set for these. It's going to start by wedding. My brush. I'm gonna paint pink flowers this time, so I'm gonna get some water in my pink. Okay, so what we're gonna do is paint the pedals and we're gonna leave a spot in the center so that we can add some of the dark part in the middle afterwards. So you're gonna get some paint on your brush, Just roll it in there, and then we're going todo just some petal shapes. If you press down on your brush and then let up on the pressure, it will taper at the end for you and give you a petal shape. I like to use lots of water on my brush, because then it gives the pain a place to move And then if you want to add some other colors in you can So there's the basic shape of the flower that I'm gonna use I think I'm gonna add just a tiny bit of blue in the middle there. So I'm just dabbing in a little bit putting. I'm just putting a little bit of blue on the end of my brush and diving it in the middle there and because the paint is still wet, it's gonna mix with the pink. You can do it with the Pinkas. Well, I'm gonna switch back to my little airbrush to do the inside part when he is black for this . I don't wanna have too much paints on it because I want to be able to make finer lines. So I'm gonna go in while it's still wet so that my black will mix in with the pedal shape a little bit And I'm just gonna do some little lines and dots and there you so paints a couple more just to show you how I do it again. These do not need to be perfect. You just wanna have fun. I like how they alternate different, and I also love when they are a little bit wonky. I just think that there is something so fun and beautiful about a wonky flower. So, you know, paint a couple just to show you waken also paint them from a different perspective. So this one I'm going to do all of the pedals facing this way have a little bit too much water on that one. But I'm gonna do all the pedals facing this way. So then it's like the flower is pointed this way as opposed to looking at it head on. So if you do have something like this happen, we're say, there's a little bit too much water and you're not holding your paper flat. Really? I should have clipped it. Well, they were flat. You could describe a little bit of paper towel and lately, dub, and it's gonna soak up a lot of that excess paint there way. And there you have it. There is flour with longer pedals, So if you have a bunch of flowers like this and you want to add a stem, feel free. I don't feel like you need to stick to green. You can really use whatever colors you want, I think. I mean, he's black for these ones. It's gonna add in a few stones. Sometimes I like to add in the base of the flowers. Well, it's kind of the part where this stem attaches to way can add some leaves as well. If you like to paint leaves, you may want to check out my skill share class on watercolor leaves for beginners and show you a few different fun ways that you can paint leaps go. 5. Adding Detail: Okay, so these guys air dry now, and I just wanted to come back to them and show you another way that you can add some more dimension to your roses. So once they are completely dry, you can go back in. I tend to use the same color that I already use, but I mean, you don't have to. It's really up to you. You want to get not too much water on your brush. So I just put some of that blew onto my brush, and I'm going to go back into back to this one here, and I'm just going to add some finer lines over top of the pedals I've already painted. So this is called wet on dry painting. And because the paint underneath has already dry, it's not going to interact, say, like the colors did here, where they mixed like that. It's just gonna allow me to paint right over it. So it's going to use the same style of lines that we did before. Just maybe keep him a little bit thinner, but it's up to you do. If you think Erwin's, I think I'm gonna do a little bit with this one too. Do a few thicker pedals for this one just to show you because these ones did bleed together so much. I think I want to go back in with both of them and just give them a little bit more definition and separation. Gonna try some red on this one, See how it looks. This one is not completely dry right there in the center. But you don't mind way. 6. Filler - Leaves and Berries: next up, I'm going to show you how to paint some leaves and Berries that we can use for a filler. When we're making a okay or a floral piece, you can see I have a few different kinds in their way. Got a few different leaves, some little Berries. There's some leaves in these ones as well. So first I'm gonna show you how to paint the leaves just on their own. Just your basic shape. I do also have a whole scale share class on this if you're interested in learning more about leads, so the way that I usually like to paint them as they press down on my brush and then release the pressure near the end but a little paint. So just the basic shape like this, you can either fill them all the way in, or sometimes I like to leave a little space in the middle That can also add more. You can do some leaf here ones. Margus. We can do some grass here. Ones. Berries are fun. One to you can do them either with the Berries first or the stems first. Doesn't really matter. You may choose one or the other based on the spot that you're looking to fill. So we're gonna do a few different Berries that can do a big cluster or just a few, so you don't need to add a stem. Sometimes if they're like this, I'll just leave them where Sometimes I'll kind of connect them into, like a little no very branch Vegas. So things like this are great to fill in a piece. If you're looking to fill the hole P or if you just want to add a little something else to your piece, I'm gonna show you how you could incorporate some leaves if with clusters of flowers like this. So, for if I have a cluster of flowers that are facing me like this, I usually you will just do some leaves that kind of headed out from behind of flowers. And you can paint these after or you compete them while your flowers are still wet. And then the paint will have a chance to kind of interact with the colors of your roses to form or oven organic. Look, it's really up to you what you prefer. I'm gonna add just a few. Yeah, so if you wanted. You could also add some Berries, practice throwing some other elements in. You could either just leave them. You could just do a few kind of on their own. Sometimes I like to do them like this with Otis, Tim, or if you can, or if you want, you can add a little branch. One other thing is, if you want to do a little bit more irregular dots like this, as opposed to round little buries, it also can look like little flowers as well. And if you want a little bits of stone in there so these can act as little fillers for your piece and can help you create an overall shape. But don't feel like you need to add anything if you prefer to have everything. So those are just a couple different things that you can add in with your flowers to create a larger piece and to add a little bit more interest 7. Creating a Bouquet: OK, now it's time to take all of the elements that we have learned and put them together into a pok. No, when I saw him, Okay, I don't necessarily mean up. Okay? Like you would buy in the store. I just mean a bunch of flowers together so it doesn't need to look like a perfect Okay, I am more talking about just the composition full of flowers. So for this one, I'm gonna show you using a water brush. These are great for if you're traveling or maybe for even on a plane and you don't wanna have a jar of water can use this to wet your paints. Now, I'm gonna show you how you can put these elements together. Of course, the options are endless. It's really up to you. You can put them together. However you would like. I tend to not plan mine out ahead of time. I really like the freedom and organic nature of just kind of letting it flow, but really, it's up to you. You can dio whatever you would like thing for this piece. I'm gonna use oranges and pinks kind of similar to what I did here. Use the different types of flowers that I've showed you in the class. The generally you're going to want to start with the bigger floral pieces first. So I'm going to start with a rose going to do this one in or engine. So, beside this, I'm going to put one of the other style of flowers that I showed you a few more roses to kind of fill it out. Maybe littler ones this time. Okay, So I think I have most of the main flowers now, So I'm gonna add I think a few of the filler flowers and leaves now just to kind of fill it out a little bit more and given a better shape, add in just a few loose flowers, kind of indistinct flowers in the background. I thought this far here's a little bit flatter than I would like it to be. So I'm gonna come in with a little bit more of the pink and just add a bit of definition Teoh. A few of the pedals just give it a little bit more dimension. So because the paint underneath is dry, my shapes that I paint over top are going to stay consistent without mixing in with the pain underneath. Here we go. And there we go. You have a bouquet of loose watercolor florals. 8. Final Thoughts & Project: Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you found this class helpful and inspiring. I hope that it gets you excited to paint. But now that I have shown you how to paint different type of watercolor florals, I want to see you put them together. So for your project, I would love to see you use the techniques that I've shown you to build a loose watercolor floral. Okay, you can use just the roses. You could mix in a few different types of flowers. You can use one color or a few colors. It's up to you. And remember, the goal of this is to practice and to have fun. So don't worry about it. Looking perfect. In fact, I think that Messi and loose is sometimes better. I would love to see your work. Please post it in the class project section so that I can check it out and give you feedback. Other students can see it as well. If you post any of your work on Instagram, I would love to see it and feature you on my page. Please tag me at written by Kristin and use hashtag skill share wbk so please post your work. Thank you again for watching. I love to connect with you. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions or just to say hi. Thank you and happy painting.