Painterly Autumn Flowers and Leaves in Watercolor | Irina Trzaskos | Skillshare

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Painterly Autumn Flowers and Leaves in Watercolor

teacher avatar Irina Trzaskos, Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (47m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Painterly Autumn Flowers

    • 4. Painterly Autumn Leaves

    • 5. Painterly Autumn Branches, Berries and More

    • 6. Last Thoughts

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About This Class


Welcome to the class! In this class you will learn how to paint autumn flowers, branches and leaves in watercolor, in a loose painterly style. You can use the skills learned during this class to paint botanical prints, beautiful wreaths, pattern design for fabric, wallpaper or wrapping paper, stationery designs, digital products or to create more complex nature art compositions. Let’s capture the beauty of Autumn together!

Happy painting, 

x Irina.

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Irina Trzaskos

Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Irina Trzaskos, watercolor artist and illustrator. Welcome to my Skillshare channel. Here you'll find a big collection of watercolor classes for beginners. In today's class, we will be painting [inaudible] autumn flowers and leaves. Also we'll be painting some [inaudible] and branches. All my classes are filmed in real time. So you can paint along. If you're new to this channel, welcome and thank you for joining. Please upload the button on top and let's get started. 2. Supplies: To paint autumn painterly flowers and leaves in watercolor, we'll use the supplies we are using in most of my classes. Here is watercolor paint, whichever paint you have is fine, a watercolor paper, I suggested to be cold press if you're a beginner, and 140 pounds, 300 grams, water, paint palette, paper towel, also we'll be different brushes. This is a large watercolor brush, synthetic one, you can use a natural one if you want to. This is number 12, make sure it has a good sharp tip. Also, we'll be using a small watercolor brush, this is also synthetic brush number 2, and the medium watercolor brush, this is number 4 Kolinsky brush. These are all the supplies we'll be using for painterly leaves, flowers, also we'll be painting some branches. Let's get started. 3. Painterly Autumn Flowers: So painterly flowers are so much fun to paint and if you are painting flowers in autumn colors, then they'll look like full flowers anyway. The difference in autumn, the middle of flowers becomes bigger because it's ready to turn into the seed. The first flower we'll be painting, will start from the middle with some naples yellow, so I'm making some loops and circle and it's going to be prettier, big middle. If it'll be a new flower in the middle of summer which just opened, it would have a smaller middle. But in autumn, the middles of the flowers are darker because they're turning into seeds and they are bigger. These are enough loops we need, just with a tip of a brush, loop after the loop, after the loop, after the loop like this. Next in this, naples yellow, but add some burgundy and some magenta, this magenta is better, and some more yellow. With the brush by putting the tip next to the middle of the flower, and just pressing the brush on the paper like this. Two times, and it makes one petal and again two times, and it makes one petal. If you're not filming, you can turn your paper. Two brush strokes, and you've got one petal. You can see, if you're pressing it like this with the tip out, it'll be pointed, but however I wanted to be around, so you can see better. Nice. Next what will do we'll, take more magenta and let's add some darker color shade. Let's add some classic green and some more naples yellow and a little bit more magenta, and add some petals in between. Let's stack them around the yellow middle like this. After it dries, we can decide if we want to add another layer behind. Meanwhile, the middle is pretty dry, so we'll take some sepia and we'll add some dark dots, dot, dot like this. Instantly our flower is going to seed, so it looks more autumn. For the next flower will use again naples yellow for the middle and we'll make just some lines. We need short ones like this. Next the middle brush, medium brush, let's make one petal, the second one, and a couple here just by pressing the brush on the paper. Next I'm switching to a bigger brush. Again with burgundy, we'll add some bigger petals around just like this. For this flower, I'm going in a circle, I mean, I'm rounding my petals like this. Let's make a couple petals coming out. Don't forget to leave some white space. Let's add some burgundy too for middle here too. Let's let it dry and then will add more details. For the next flower, let's use some pins gray, but any color you like. We'll start with the the top petal. Again, I'm using that thin brush. Then let's add two petals on the sides of the first one. This time you can see I'm turning the brush with the tip out like this. However, do it the way you are comfortable. Then let's add some more water to our gray and just play with a brush like this, painting the petals. There are no many rules here. The main rule is to experiment with your brush and see what you can do. Here, I'm leaving the space in purpose for the middle of the flower which I want to be young and bright and beautiful. This flower turned darker than I planned, but it's okay. I thought it'll be light gray like this. We can always add water and dilute some of these so dark. It doesn't look like flower now, but in a second, I'll add some burgundy middle, like this, and you can see how it instantly comes to life. Beautiful. Next type of flower, I also wanted to show you how to paint some autumn looking grouses. We'll just use some of these color. Let's add some more yellow shade so it doesn't look too similar to these because I want to paint it right here. With a medium brush, we are making one loop then we'll take a darker color and then make another loop and again. So just by pressing the brush on paper and go like this. Next I'll take some more magenta, let's mix it with some burgundy too, and right here in the middle, add some darker lines like this. After it dries we can add some more lines in the middle to add some a little bit of precision char, painterly flowers and doesn't look too fogging. Now let's leave it and let it dry, these petals look too regular. Meanwhile we can paint another flower. Let's make some shape here and this one will be looking sideways, so we're making some loops and again, nice. Today I'm trying to use the colors right from the paint ballot, next we'll take a big brush, I will paint the petals. Again, just by pressing the brush on paper and dragging it any direction we need, make this and a big one here, a rebel one. Next type of flower I want to show you is, what color should be use? I'd like to use burgundy again, is the one with pointy petals. Just start by painting pointing lines like this. Then with two brushstrokes and more petals around the white ones. Let's add some [inaudible] this burgundy it doesn't look too autumn. Again we'll start painting pointy petals around the white one's we painted first in a circle or in a half circle, if it side wise looking flower. You can keep going as much as you want to make it as big as you want. You can also derive the size of a petals they don't have to be all the same size can be smaller or bigger. If you don't feel like you have confidence of painting them right away in a circle. You can draw a circle with a pencil and have some guidance to know how far or how close two have your petals. This is another flower. Now let's look what are our flowers doing, and we'll add some more details. Our rows needs a pure brush strokes with a dry pit like this. This is too green. Here let's add, a leaf and few more points maybe, this one needs a stem. Again, somewhat precision maybe, I took some more paints gray, this one again, I've paint gray let's add some darker dots in the middle. We'll put paints here add some precision that's too dark, I better add some paints gray on the brush some more precision to the middle of the flower, let's add more paint red here on this to precise. Take your time, just play around and enjoy the paint with painterly flowers. Come up with your own shapes if you want to, and to add petals, leaves and stems and the branches. These are our painterly autumn flowers, feel free to use them in your composition or on their own. 4. Painterly Autumn Leaves: This is not the first time we've painting leaves. Again and again, I come back to this topic in a different forms or sometimes it's wintergreen there is, sometimes it just the leaves class we had. So once again my paints and leaves, and this time we'll try to use painterly style as much as possible. Trying to work in one layer or in two maximum, and just relax and see what the brush can do for us. The basic shape of the leaf is this one. So it's pointy and nothing complicated data. However, to make it more interesting, we can add multiple colors to it and we can make it a little bit scarlet, just by dragging the paint outside the line, just like this. Then the stem can go straight or it can go a little bit bended so just like this. This is a basic shape and it can be thicker, it can be a longer. So you can have like heart-shaped and it's still going to be with a basic shape, pointy and so much purple. So I'm using grow Sienna with purple for this one and then we've a smaller brush. Let's make a point here tip, just like this. Let's take some paints gray and that with your brush, you can derive is basic shape. So let's with a little branch and with a medium brush flows and gateway paint. I'm starting with a little line and then I'm pressing the brush on the paper and then releasing it like this. Again starts here from the stem and you can lead your leaf in any direction you want, see is like dancing. I believe sorry we're not we're painting. So we are starting with the stem and without taking the brush around the paper we are leading the leave wherever we want. Then sometimes we have leafs which have more than one point, so let's try to paint one of those. Take some red amber. No, this is red ocher, sorry. So start from the bottom to get up, and while it's still wet, take more paint and pick it up, and then oversight. Rounded like these, bring it back and here we have a smooth, this one used to be pointer like this. Again we have a nice little stem and sometimes it wouldn't have this many point, it would have only one, two, and they don't even have to touch, three, four, and Five. Some leaves are like creating the entire stem and I'll show you in the second. So lets take on a raw sienna again. So down was like a branch and it has leaf, and then I must like this one but this time we don't have to make a stem of the leaf. The leaf starts right at the stem of the branch. So we are just pressing the brush right here and leading it up. A little bit of magenta, and sometimes we have the leaves which are on the branch two-by-two. So it's two leaves together and there is some branch, and then there are another two leaves together. So it's another way to have a variety of leaves. So again, I have the same basic shape, just in different a way of growing, and we made a very usual type of branches. So just to have medium leaves like this and just on a stem and we repeat themselves symmetrically. So they're a lot of point and not around, just [inaudible] leaves but still it's something we're always looking to in nature. They are Interesting and cute. Just to decorate symmetrical branch with some leaves and then the leave class we've painted other leaves to where I showed you how to draw and paint maple leaf and I'm now going to show them here and other type of leaf I wanted to show you. Sometimes the leaves are not always scaled the entire way. They are just having like one little point and then its precious just know, then they have main shape, and then they're point taken here, some are two and then they have main point. Let's make one more equals [inaudible]. So one, two and on like this. You can always of course come up with your own leaves. You can make one like totally round like this and again round, and with a stem. So just play with your brush and trust your hand. You can come up with your own shapes of leaves, and of course always look for inspiration in nature. 5. Painterly Autumn Branches, Berries and More: I am always amazed by the variety of seeds, berries and other Autumn treasures we can find in nature, during this time of the year and I think they are very fun to paint, and I hope you will have fun painting them with me. There are all kinds of shapes of branches out there, so if you want to make a paint of flower composition with some branches sticking out, you can shape it any way you like and that is always so nice. Which kind of branches can we have? Some are very straight, so by taking a small brush and we'll just make some very straight lines, and some of them have spikes, like this. The branches are a good way to also exercise with the brush of the lines. For example, if you are not good at painting straight lines, this is a good way because you can't really do it wrong. Because there are all kinds of branches out there, so you can't say this is wrong. These straight branches usually have some berries on them. I saw somehow, blue colored berries on straight branches, so that's what I'm trying to paint now. I added a little bit of burgundy to my blue to make it more Autumn. They don't have to be perfectly round and they don't have to be on every single little branch. These are the straight branches we can find maybe they have a leaf on them or something or not. Let's paint a burgundy little leaf too. We'll paint it with some arrows here, right here. Maybe one here, and to balance it, let's add one more here, nice. Other branches are like vines. They are vines form, like bittersweet, so they have this way of growing in a really soft, curvy lines like this. Then they have like little nodes on them. I'm trying not to take the entire page because naturally I will go allover the page, and I want to fit more varieties on this page so well, they'll be all in one lesson. They have little nodes on them, and they have berries too. They tangle like this. These kind of branches is a good exercise to trust your hand and just let it go any way it likes. Just add some nodes. Sometimes the water gets on this part of a brush and then it just drops. Happens a lot to me. Let's add some nodes, and then we'll add some berries. Some berries will be pretty bright, so I'm taking golden orange and just adding the brightest color now and then I'll comment on a little bit of a darker details. This is just a little bit of berries to instantly give us a [inaudible] of bittersweet. Another drop of water. It's okay. Another kind of branches grow pretty straight and just bending a little bit, something like this. Again they'd have little spikes or little nodes on them. Sometimes if we are lucky, we can find some seed pods on them, and they're looking like this, so 1, 2, 3. A few three or four brushstrokes, and we have these chunky seed pods. This branch will continue until it gets really thin like this. For seed pods, I'm watering the paint more, so they're more see through than the branch. Don't want them too dark. I still want them to be water colored. Let's add some more spikes. The branches always add interest and detail to your painting. Sometimes, we would have really chunky big branches. I don't use those a lot, but sometimes they're interesting. You would hold your brush farther from the tip and just let your hand free, just like this. Sometimes, it's interesting to add a couple of these in a composition too, however, I don't like to make them too dark. If you want, you can add some color to them and they're still wet. If we have one of these branches, we would normally leave it just without adding anything. Let's take some burgundy and mix it with orange we used for bittersweet and add some darker details on these berries because they are way too bright for autumn. Also, in autumn, we can find some rose hips. To paint those, we'll just use some magenta with some golden orange and say, why not. They're so easy to paint. They are just like a drop shape and this, very easy. Next, I'll take just [inaudible] again, but we could use some green too. I try that into the berry, I didn't plant that, I didn't want that, but it's okay. We can wait until it dries, so it doesn't happen. Here, we'll have leaves, like a little crown. Next, let's use some regular green with golden orange to give it a more autumn feel and we brush strokes like this, we need some green to yellow. We can paint with painterly leaves. Again, just by pressing the brush onto paper. Let's make another one, so it looks more like a rose, a little close. These are rose hips. Instantly, we got some color into our berry. Next, I want to show you some more seeds, how they grow on the branches. I have two different ways of painting them. First one would be to take some [inaudible] by painting of a stem just like it would be in the branch. After painting of the seed parts right on the stem, you can always add more and they can be in clusters. Again, feel free to direct them any way you like, whichever works for your flower composition, if you are painting a flower composition, I mean in the future. Another way would be with a bigger brush. I would just paint a little brush strokes, again, in clusters. Then we have a smaller brush, I would just bring them together on the stem and add more if you need. Again, you can have them tiny, you can have them bigger, whichever works for you. Also, I wanted to show you how to paint some spikes, which always look good in a composition, especially in autumn one. We'll start with a stem and then we have a small brush. Let's add some more branches like this and like this. Again, just by pressing the brush on paper, bleeding it, and taking it up. Nice. Also, we can have spikes where shorter, see it. Again, we start with a stem and then make small brush strokes from it. We can have all kind of seed pods. For example, we can have this kind and let it dry and also, we always can have maple seeds, which are these shaped and with the darker bottom. It's running too fast, so let's catch it. Let's paint another one too. For this kind, we can always add the seeds like this. These are all the branches, berries, and seeds I wanted to show you. 6. Last Thoughts: Thank you for joining me in this class. I hope you had enjoyed painting with me. If you liked the class, please leave a review and upload your project in the project section of the class. If you're sharing your class on Instagram, please tell me so I can see your beautiful art and I'll see you in the next class. Bye.