Master Loose Watercolor Roses - 1 Easy Technique For Beginners | Alifya P. Tarwala | Skillshare

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Master Loose Watercolor Roses - 1 Easy Technique For Beginners

teacher avatar Alifya P. Tarwala, Artist | Acrylics, Watercolors | Painter

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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

10 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Exercise 1 - Techniques

    • 4. Exercise 2 - Layering

    • 5. Brushstroke Practice - Roses

    • 6. Brushstroke Practice - Leaves

    • 7. Painting Process - Rose

    • 8. Painting Process - Rose & bud

    • 9. Painting Process - Leaves

    • 10. Thoughts & Class Project

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About This Class


Always wanted to paint dreamy, watercolor roses!?

In this class, I will be teaching you how to paint simple Loose Watercolor Roses by using only 1 easy technique. I will teach you basic watercolor techniques and brushstrokes and will demonstrate how to apply those brush-marks in making these roses! This class is perfect for beginners and beyond.

A former art teacher and now an independent full-time artist, I am so excited to be teaching on Skillshare and I truly hope you find this corner of your space comforting, inspiring, and encouraging! Can't wait to connect with you all!



  • Prepping your paper and materials – I will show you how to prep your paper before painting and all the brushes and paints you will need for this project.
  • Warm up exercises and Brushstrokes – I will go through 3 exercises and cover basic techniques, layering, and washes along with brushstrokes on roses and leaves.
  • Painting process and details – We will go through the painting process, keeping our exercises in mind.


MATERIALS I USED (but use whatever you have available.)

1) Paints:

- rust red, golden yellow, magenta, fern green, 

2) Brushes: #10 round, # 2 round  -

3) Arteza Watercolor Paper 140 lbs -

5) Bowl for water

6) Paper towel / rag

*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will make a commission, if you click through and make a purchase. I only recommend products that I genuinely use on a regular basis!



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Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Alifya P. Tarwala

Artist | Acrylics, Watercolors | Painter


Hello, I'm Alifya Plumber Tarwala, a Fine Artist from sunny California and founder of 'Alifya Lifestyle' where I create and sell my Originals, Art Prints & various Merchandise (phone cases, mugs and much more!) I also have an Etsy Shop to fit YOUR home! A former art teacher and now an independent full-time artist. My classes here will be focused over Loose Landscapes and Florals in Acrylics and Watercolors. I am so excited to be teaching on Skillshare and I truly hope you find this corner of your space comforting, inspiring, and encouraging! Can't wait to connect with you all!

To keep up with snippets of my artist life, follow along on Instagram or join my private Facebook Group, where you can connect with a community of other art lover's! I als... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello everyone. My name is Olivia, and I'm an artist here in San Jose, California. Welcome to my painting class, where I'm going to be teaching you how to paint simple watercolor roses for beginners. I'm going to show you one simple technique on painting these roses instead of showing you too many all at once because I do know that there are so many different kinds of roses and different techniques that you can paint them. But I figured let's just dive into one for now, that way you can really focus and practice the specific brushstroke. I do plan on making upcoming videos on different kinds of roses. If that interests you, make sure to follow me, so that you do not miss it. In this class, I will go through all the materials that you will need. I will walk you through basic techniques and layering. We will also be going through a quick exercise on brushwork, and then we'll begin painting these roses in the class project. This class is perfect for all levels, beginner and beyond are welcome to try this. I will be adding in a class project at the very end. I cannot wait to see what you guys come up with and how you paint these beautiful roses. 2. Materials: For today's class project, you will need a bowl for water, paper towel. I only use these two brushes which I will be linking in the description. So make sure to check that out if you're interested. I use Arteza watercolor paper. I cut mine into a six by eight. I'm also using Arteza watercolor palette. It's comes in 36 colors and it looks like this. Again, I have linked everything in the description. 3. Exercise 1 - Techniques: Before we start, I just wanted to go over some basics with you. I'm not going to overwhelm you with a lot of techniques and brushwork, but I'm just going to cover the techniques that we will use in today's class, so that you can get a more practical approach for this. The two most common watercolor techniques are wet on wet and wet on dry. For the wet on wet, paint is applied to wet paper. You can layer different colors on top of existing wet paint, which will create this blurred out expansion effect, where you will notice the color is bleeding into one another. The second technique is wet on dry, where paint is applied onto dry paper. It is as simple as that. Let's look at the effects that these gave us. Now, the wet on wet gives us soft edges, it's more blurred out. This is great when you want more delicate softer paintings, great use for backgrounds or far away objects. You can also blend easily by getting an effective gradient, and also creates a misty effect. It is also unpredictable, and hence not so much in your control. The very opposite of the wet on wet is the wet on dry, which gives us sharper edges, so you can definitely have more control where you can get well defined shapes. The wet on dry also allows you to layer your paint as much as you want, we will go through layering in the next step. 4. Exercise 2 - Layering: Here I'm going to show you how you can layer your paint in watercolors. I'm going to show you three different washers here, each one with a little more pigment to show you the effects of layering. If you want well-defined shapes when it comes to layering you will have to work on this wet on dry. I'm drying out my paper with a blow dryer to speed up the process before I begin to layer my shapes. Once your painting has dried, layer your shapes little by little, getting darker each time. But also wait for your paint to dry in between each layer that you add. As you can see, the lighter your initial wash is, the easier it is to build upon layering. Keep that in mind when you are painting with watercolors, you always have to work light to dark unlike acrylics where you can get away with walking from dark to light. I think watercolors as a medium does require you to be more patient. 5. Brushstroke Practice - Roses: In this lesson, I'm going to walk you through simple brushstrokes that will be used in today's class project. This brush is also used to paint the roses and it is listed in the description below, so check that out if you're interested. I call this brushstroke the C brushstroke, which also resembles a half crescent moon. Begin by holding the brush straight up and use the tip of the brush to begin and slowly use the belly of the brush to form the C-like shape in the center. Then end it by using the tip of the brush again. One more time, use the tip force to make a thin stroke and then the belly to form its center, and then lift the brush back up by using its tip to narrow the end. I'm just working with the stroke big to small so that you can get some practice on the different sizes with this brush stroke. Now, switch sides for an opposite C-like shape and practice going small to big this time. Feel free to practice this brushstroke over and over again as long as you like. Experiment with some of the thickness and taper some ends more than others. The more you will use the stroke, the more confident you will be while painting this rose. Now, let's loosen the stroke up a little bit by shaking up your brush more as you paint. For instance, this time we will use the belly of the brush more and squiggle your brush as you taper at the end. This will give your petals a more loose and organic feel. I use this brush stroke a lot on the outer petals of the rose. Again, same thing, just keep practicing from big to small. Then once you reach the middle, switch sides and practice on the other side so the opposite C, but in a more natural, organic, free-form method. Just to show you some reference on how these brushstrokes are applied, so Here we have these tighter Cs in the center of the rose. Then the more loose C-like shapes are apply towards the edges of the roses here. This loose, organic brushstroke has also been applied to the rose bud here, but we'll go over this in more detail once we begin painting. 6. Brushstroke Practice - Leaves: Before we begin, I wanted to do a quick exercise on painting leaves. I'm going to show you a very basic shape here on how you can practice painting leaves by using just simple brushstrokes. Holding your brush straight up, use the fine tip to make a thin line and press down more by using the belly of the brush to create the body of the leaf, and gently lift up your brush as you near the end, creating a little pointy tip. You can add more definition to your leaves and drop more paint in certain areas of the leaves you want to create a more loose feel. Keep practicing the shape and brushstroke over and over, until it comes more natural to you. Now, let me show you what the shape would look like, if we were to paint it on a stem. Again, make a short thin stroke to begin using the tip of the brush, and then press down gently using the belly to form the body of the leaf, and then lift off gently towards the end. Feel free to pour color more in certain areas, so either at its tip or at its base, that's totally up to you. Also, remembering to leave some white lines and spaces every now and then to create more interest. Another way to create this basic shape is also starting at the tip first, so basically the opposite direction of the one I just showed you. Here, I'm starting at the tip of the leaf and pressing downwards by curving slightly towards the base of the leaf and the stem. I then close off the shape from the other side, leaving a little white line in the middle. Here, I'm simply making a slightly different variation of the leaf by using a more warm color and making my leaves more longer and crooked at the edges to create more of a dried leaf outcome. There are tons and tons of leaf variations out there that will probably be a separate class by itself, but for the purpose of today's project, I'm only showing you one simple and easy leaf that you can practice yourself to get better at. 7. Painting Process - Rose: Let's dive right in and begin painting this beautiful and simple roses. For the first rows, I'm going to use this rust red color, but feel free to use whatever you'd like. Keeping the exercise in mind of the brush tool practice that we did in the previous lesson, let's begin forming those sea-like shapes, but this time make them a little more curvier and small. Do the same on the opposite side, forming the bud, follow up by making more of these curvier sea-like shapes close together while leaving tiny gaps in between each of the separation of the petals. The bud of a rose is a group of clusters knit together, and that is what we are painting right now. I like to paint my rose petals lighter as I move outward, so I'm going to be using more water here and less paint for these next petals, you can do that by dabbing the excess paint on your paper towel. For these petals we are using the second loose organic brushstroke we practice before, so remember using the belly of your brush, wiggle your brush lightly to make it more of a random C-like shape. Notice how I do join some petals with each other and intentionally leave out some of the petals by itself leaving the white lines in between. This allows for some more variety when it comes to your shape and makes it look more natural. I think the hardest part here is understanding when to stop because it can be so tempting to keep going on and on, but I would say as you keep adding in each petal take a step back or a quick glance to make sure that the shapes make sense to you. Do not aim for perfection or symmetry, just go with your instinct here. Also I will recommend looking at pictures of roses to help you with that, to give you a bit better sort and understanding of roses, especially if you are an absolute beginner, just make sure you pull out a bunch of pictures of roses just to give you an idea of the shape. Before your paint completely dries, you can also add in some extra paint to certain sections if you wish, especially in the center, to build some more definition. Here I'm adding just a tiny drop of paint to the outer petals as well. Make sure to blend the edges slightly by pulling out that paint. You can also lift paint off by the edge and tap it on your paper towel. 8. Painting Process - Rose & bud: Now let's move on to the second rose. I'm going to be using orange this time. We will be using the same exact steps we did for the first rose but this time this one will be facing towards the right. Think about slowly getting lighter as you move outward. The first 6-7 petals, I like using much tighter see like shapes and then I loosen them up as I move outward while also making a few of my petals larger in size. Keep these loose and random and be conscious of keeping the right shape in mind so that you do not overdo them, so take it slow. The more you will paint these and practice this specific type of rose, this technique will become second-hand to you and before you know it you will become a pro at it. It's really quite simple and fun once you get the hang of it. Keep practicing and don't get discouraged. If you do not get it right the first time, it happens to everyone including me, so just take it slow, one petal at a time. Here I'm adding in some extra pop of color to build up the shape. Remember, it'll be easier to do this step if your paint is still wet. Once it's completely dried, you won't be able to have that blending effect. For this last rose, I wanted to show you how to paint a small bud. Super quick and easy, can be done by using the second brushstroke that we practiced in the previous lesson and also the same technique we used to make the outer petals of the other roses. Start by forming a small C like shape but wiggle your brush as you move along and use the belly of the brush to create this. Do the same on the other side. Drop in some extra paint at the base and you're done. Now, wasn't that quick and easy? 9. Painting Process - Leaves: I'm now switching to a thinner brush to get in some stems. So using some dark green, I'm going to paint in a thin stem and a few leaves coming out from it. Nothing crazy, just simple and basic. Making one more of these little stems on this side with some few droplet leaves on it. A thin brush applicator would be better in this case, so make sure to switch to that if you have one. I'm just going to drop in some random leaves to fill in some of these gaps and give our roses some background. Again, feel free to reference back to the leaves' exercise from the previous lesson if you need to. But I'm keeping these leaves very simple and just really quick and random. Start by giving it a tiny stem and then press the belly of the brush to form a curve and then follow up with the same technique on the other side by closing the leaf. Play around with different values to keep it interesting, so some of the leaves can be darker while others are much lighter in color. Also, you can drop in more color to certain sections of the leaf, that always looks really interesting once it's dried out. I'm just adding in some different foliage and color. Play around with the background and use different kinds of leaves and shapes as fillers. Like I said, if you're a complete beginner, the exercise that we did on the leaves can be sufficient enough to fill this background. I'm simply using those shapes and changing it up a little bit, but mostly using that shape as my standard baseline to make these. For the most part, I don't really have a strategy when it comes to this background. I usually just go with the flow and add in some foliage and leaves and buds as I move along. Again, just thinking of the composition in general. But it can be helpful if you would want to maybe look at some pictures online, maybe like pictures of bouquets on Pinterest, and just get some ideas on maybe how do you want to fill the background. Eucalyptus leaves are some of my favorites to paints, so I'm adding in a stem of that here. To start, you want to get that thin little stem, add little irregular circle-like shapes for the leaf section, and then just fill them up. Keep them light and vary them in colors so that you can pull some extra color at the base, that always adds some really nice definition to the leaves. You'll see me doing this in a bit. While the paint is still slightly damp, I'm adding in some dots of color at the base of the leaves. This wet-on-wet technique creates a fully nice blending effect. It's very subtle, but it looks really nice once the paint is dry. I wanted to add just a little bit of pink to this bottom right side just to balance the color. I just felt like it was very heavy on the pinks towards the left, but there was nothing on the right. This is what I mean by looking at the composition and then just filling up your leaves as you go along. Look at the colors, look at the placement of things and the composition of everything, and add your fillers accordingly. But of course, feel free to copy my exact background for your class project or you could definitely do something of your own and have fun with it. This completes our loose and simple watercolor roses for today. Hope you all enjoyed and learned some fun, easy techniques from today's watercolor painting class. Hop on over to the next lesson where I will share some final thoughts and class project. I cannot wait to see what you're going to come up with. 10. Thoughts & Class Project : Thank you all so much for watching, and I really hope you all enjoyed today's class and you learned how to paint watercolor roses. For this class project, I would love for you to try painting these roses with me. Just take it step by step, layer by layer. If you are a beginner, I would highly recommend you to try and practice those brushstrokes you went over and all the techniques and layering and so forth. Once you're done, do not forget to post your project in the Project tab below. I love looking at everyone's work, and it really does make my day seeing all of your artwork coming through. Feel free to leave this class a review and ask me any questions, if you need any help with something. Do not forget to follow me, if you enjoyed this class so that you do not miss out on future art classes. Once again, thank you all so much for watching and for completing your class, and I will catch you very soon. Bye, guys.