Paper Butterflies: Upcycle Your Watercolor Practice Sheets | Joly Poa | Skillshare

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Paper Butterflies: Upcycle Your Watercolor Practice Sheets

teacher avatar Joly Poa, Watercolor 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

7 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Painting Abstract Brush Strokes

    • 4. Class Project: Paper Butterfly Using Bond Paper

    • 5. Class Project: Paper Butterfly Using Watercolor Paper

    • 6. Tips on Using the Paper Butterfly

    • 7. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Watercolor practice sheets remind us of our hard work when it comes to practicing painting. I have always believed that practice makes progress which is why I have a lot of practice sheets. Instead of keeping it in our drawer, why not turn it into something decorative? Join me in today's class as we reuse our watercolor practice sheets and turn them into Paper Butterflies.

The class will be divided into 2 parts. The first part is for students who don't have existing practice sheets but would like to try this fun project. You will learn how to paint expressive brush markings on bond paper and fold it into a paper butterly.

The second part is for students who have watercolor practice sheets. You will learn some tips on how to fold a thick paper.

At the end of the class, you may use the paper butterfly to decorate your wall, or put it on a frame, or even add it as a decoration to a gift box. The ideas are just endless and I am so excited to start the class with you!

Let's make paper butterflies!


Meet Your Teacher

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Joly Poa

Watercolor Artist



Hi everyone! 

My name is Joly and I am a watercolorist based in the Philippines. I discovered painting with watercolor back in 2013. I started out as newbie and learned to paint better through making mistakes and learning from other amazing artists. I just love how we can express ourselves through painting, creating wonderful watercolor florals using our artistic interpretation. It makes each painting really unique! 

My instagram account (@jolypoa)  serves as my art journal where I post my progress in the form of timelapse videos, real-time videos and photos of my paintings. My goal was also to be able to share what I have learned in watercolor. I hope to be able to do the same here on Skillshare! :)

<... See full profile

Related Skills

Fine Art Creative

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1. Introduction: I don't like exposing my practice sheets because I feel like they're memorable to me. And they remind us off our heart where? But what if I told you that instead of keeping them in your grower, you can actually turn them into something that creative from this piece of paper into a paper butterfly? Johnny and I mean, whether color art space in the Philippines, I'm also known, asked Julie Poem on Instagram Light here I love painting watercolor florals, and I'm a firm believer that practice makes progress and because they practice a lot, I also have, ah, lot off practice sheets and scrap paper and pretty sure that if you have been painting for a while, you might have some too. In this class, we're going to talk about the materials first, and then I will be slipping the class into two parts. The first part shows you how to paint some abstract brushed more case on a fun paper, and then you will turn that into a paper butterfly. So this part is four students who don't have existing practice sheets but would like to try this project in the second part. I will give you tips on how to fold your existing practice sheet that was painted on watercolor paper. This glass is suitable for both beginner and season artists who want to preserve their practice sheets and turned it into memorable decorations. After learning how the pain people brother flies, what you can do it, it is to use it as a decoration on the wall just like this one. Or you can put it on the frame or use it as a decoration for your gift boxes or paper bags . And there's just so many ideas that you can do with this one single paper butterfly, so that starts the class. 2. Materials: Oh, so it's part of the materials. And for the 1st 1 we need a bond paper. This is just regular bond paper or type writing paper, the thicknesses 70 g s m. And you're going to use this paper to paint thes abstract brush markings, which we will then fold into a paper mother fly as, of course, he needs some practice sheets. So these are my, ah practice sheets, and it's against. You have painted a lot of leaves, and this is just roughly 200 G S m. It's a student grade paper. So in this class, don't use anything above 200 years and because that would be too thick for you to four, that will be difficult to fold paper about replies. I suggest just using the student grade paper that is quite thin. So anything 200 GSM and below will do. I also think that if there's a student grade watercolor paper that you don't really like and it doesn't perform that well, maybe now is the time to bring it out. Just being some simple brush marquees, or just use it to swatch some colors and then use it for folding. The paper butterflies, Since we will be practicing some brush more case, I've decided to use this art philosophy watercolor confections so you can use any brand that you want. I just love using this set because it has a lot of blues and greens and so convenient to use for the brushy can use the silver brush, black velvet, a round brush and size eight. But of course, you can use other sizes as well, and also you can bring out some brushes that you don't usually use. Um, so I have here some dagger brush, a deer foot brush and a flat brush. Maybe this is also good opportunity to try out some brushes that you don't know how to Hughes or maybe brushes. Since you have been keeping in your drawer, perhaps you can create some oh expressive brush mark eggs. You can stamp your bra. Je sweet your brush and just have fun if you want to create some texture on the paper. You can also use an old toothbrush to create some um, splatter effect. And I'm pretty sure that you will just have fun creating all of the's patterns on the paper . So we also need a pencil, a ruler and a jar off clean water. That's also grab some tissue paper to plot out the excess paint in our brush to hold the shape off the paper butterfly. We need a super glue so any brand will be okay. We can also use a glue gun and then to stick the paper butterfly on the wall or any surface . I'm going to use this tack it. So it's a removable and reusable adhesive, and it'll be saying this if he says because it doesn't damage the surface just to share with you. I also use Tackett to stick me half pants on my palette instead of using a magnet. Last but not the least. We need scissors to cut off the squares for the paper butterfly. All right, so we're done with them with your girls. I hope that your s excited. This I am. Let's move on to the next video 3. Painting Abstract Brush Strokes: way we are going to paint some expressive abstract brush markings. So I have here a bond paper that this roughly 70 g s m in thickness. I just measured some squares over here and the measurement ISS foreign just by four inches So far. This is the best measurement for me. When it comes to folding paper, brother place. We will be using this silver brush Black velvet in size eight. So this is an example off a paper butterfly made from Monte prayer and design On this paper butterfly Waas Just some expressive brush markets that we will be doing right now. All right, so let's grabber brush and dip it in the water and then grab some pain. You can use any color that you want. Right now I'm using the art philosophy watercolor confections. In the current set, let's start painting by Draghi or brush and changing the pressure in her brush. So, as you can see, I am just seeing my Yuras and I'm also changing the shade off blue that I'm you say. And you can also top your brush and create some tiny strokes. You can also practice your see strokes if you have begin my floral classes before. This is a good way to practice those strokes, or you can use this to paint some leaves. Or you can pain some wiggly lines. So try to practice applying less pressure and more pressure on your brush So you will be painting all over this bond paper, and this will look a lot better if you will change the shades of blue that you will use for the pattern. Another idea that I can give you is to use brushes that you don't normally use, so you have year a dagger brash, and it's just tried to paint some strokes. So I have a class on using a dagger brush, and there are many brushed broke exercises. I think that you can apply that to this project. This is a good way to get to know your brush without feeding the guilt or without feeding the pressure to create something perfect. Now let's try to grab a more pigment that blue, so I can suggest using indigo or pain scree. This will give more contrast through your pattern. What I'm doing now is making sure that in one square there are big strokes medium strokes and also some tiny strokes. Here I have a flat brush and let's just try to paint some fun strokes so you can just stop the tip off this brush on the paper to create those sin strokes. And sometimes I like adding a little bit of green, so just have fun, and there is really no right or wrong way to do this. My tip is to make sure that you have painted on the sides off the squares, trying not to leave. White space is on the edges because when you're folding the paper butterfly, it will also leave a white space on the wings off the paper butterfly. So we want, Ah, sort off a seamless pattern and you can just go back into pain. Some strokes on those whites basis, I'm going to show you an interesting brush called a deer foot brush. This is from the brand Princeton, and I love the effect off this brush. Some people Eustis for the fur off on animal painting, or they use this'll to make grass for their landscape painting. But right here we're just going to stamp it on the paper and just create those fuzzy strokes. Another alternative is to use an old toothbrush. You're almost done. I'm just going to fill in some of the white spaces on the sides off this paper. Well, I hope that you had fun doing this. Just remember that there is no right or wrong way to do this. You can definitely create your own pattern now, this week for this to dry, and then you can cut it into squares, and then let's fold it into a paper butterfly in the next video. 4. Class Project: Paper Butterfly Using Bond Paper: Okay, so now I have my little square over here, and I'm just going to flip it. And then revenge you folded in half again. This paper is four inches by four inches so that we just flat in this, I'm gonna open the paper, and then we're going to fool this again. So I'm just going toe, align the corners, and then I'm going to press the part where we fold in the paper right there. Okay? So when you open it, we have a cross over there, and then we're going to fall this diagonally. So we are going to form a try and go, okay? And then I'm going to fold it again on the other side. So this is easier if you try to align the corner first before you press on the folded parts . So now let's just opened it and let's flip it to the part with the design. And I'm just going to pinch the corners off this square. So this is in preparation for the next step. Okay, so now I need you to focus on what they're about to do. All right, So now I'm going to put my finger on the two sides. I'm going to press the two sides until they meet, and then we'll be able to form a triangle, so you will have some flaps on both sides. Now, we're going to fold this again in the half, because we're going to cut this corner over here. We're doing this to get a nice shape for the wings off the butterfly. All right, I'm gonna get my sisters again. This is the side with the flaps with the loose flaps, so it doesn't really have to be perfect. Don't worry. Okay, so let's just open it up and going to rotate this triangle. So the longer side ISS facing upwards and again, the flaps are on the side. So this is just a tip. You can check the inside off the flap so you can choose which the sign it looks better. And that will be the one that will show on the wings off the butterfly. Okay, so it's not time to fold again. And I'm just going to grab one flap on the right and just fold it downwards. Let's grab the one on the left, and then they will just meet in the middle And right now I have just created this dime one shape. I have this small flab at the bottom, and you're just going to pull it and fold it up wards until we reach the top, which I'm going to show you now. So let's pull this still and move it aboards until we reach the top and you'll see the small triangle. So let me repeat that again, and I'm going to show you what it looks like at the back. So as you can see, I'm just pulling it upwards and it will feel like you're going to tear the paper. But you really won't. All right, so I'm just going toe ally in this and just create that small triangle at the top, and this is what it looks like at the back. Now it's time to fold the small triangle at the top and just pinch it really, really hard. So this will keep this butterfly in place. And then I am just going to fold this butterfly and half because we want a nice shape for the butterfly so we don't want a flat butterfly. You wanted to look three d just like this. So it has sort off a letter V shape. All right, so now it's folded in half, and I'm just pinching the part where the small triangle waas and because this paper is quite thin, it can hold its shape. But later on, when we're going to fold the watercolor paper, we will need to put some glue to keep this shape off the butter. Fay. All right, so congratulations on your first butterfly. We did that in just about five minutes. I'm pretty sure that you will be making some more later. So don't forget to check out the next video where we will be folding paper butterflies using our watercolor practice sheets. 5. Class Project: Paper Butterfly Using Watercolor Paper: And in this video I'm going to teach you how to fool the people. Mother fly. You saying watercolor paper? So this is just 100 GSM in thickness and here are some off my practice. She's as you can see, I've painted a lot off leaves, and I'm pretty sure that you have some practice. She's like this. So I just measured some four by four inch squares on this, um, practice sheet. All right, so let's start full day. So the procedure is just the same as folding the bond paper that we did earlier, but a seek and see this paper is just thicker, so you might see me struggle a little bit when it comes to folding this paper. That's why I recommend you saying, um, paper that is less than 200 g s m. And so I'm just holding the paper and half and you're going to try to make a cross, which I'm going to show you in a while. So just try to press on the folded part and make it relief that now it's open up this paper and then you'll see that you have a cross. Now let's fold it diagonally so we can create a triangle. So I'm just aligning the corner first before I fold it. So I'm really trying to flatten it as much as I can so that it's easier to fold the paper butterfly later. Let's open it up and then fold it on the other side. So it's the same procedure year just forcing it. They are gonna Lee, and now we have another triangle. We fall. It is in lengthwise, crosswise and the two diagonal folds. That's flip this to the part with the design. And then right now I'm just going to pinch the four corners off this paper. So we are doing this in preparation for the next them. So now we have the four Corners pinch and then gonna put my finger right there in the center, and then you're just going to sort of flatten the top and bottom. Then we will create a triangle like this. So just try to flatten all the fools and just press it really, really hard. If your paper is quite saying, you can do this just for the triangle and half again, and then you can just cut the corner. But in this case, the paper is quite thick, so it's difficult to I'm cut on Ah, thick paper. So I'm going to cut this separately. So it's cut one corner first. It's great around corner then. And now let's cut the other corner. Okay? So if once I doesn't look even, we can go back and just cut it some more. Now let's rotate this paper so that the longer side a seizing up. All right, So I'm just checking the design on the inside off the flaps. So I'm choosing which one looks better for the ways off the butterfly so we can use the front set off lapse or the back set off flaps. And right now I just flip my paper so I'm using the back part because it looks nicer. So our goal here is to create a diamond shape and let me just full the right flap first. It might be just a little bit of a struggle because the paper is quite thick. Just fold it really, really Well, okay, so now this for the other flap, and then you're folding it. Just make sure that you reach that Ah, middle part. So after folding the flaps will get a diamond shaped right there. Now we have this small flap at the bottom, and what they're going to do is we're going to fold it from the bottom going up. So it might be a little difficult because the paper is quite thick. So what I'm going to do is I'm just going to sort off bend this paper back and forth and make it that was a bit softer, a bit more a pliable. So this is what it looks like at the back. And I'm just constantly bending this paper. And now let's try to pull it up. So we reached the top and then you'll see that small triangle. Now it's full this small triangle and just try to press it really hard. So this will keep this paper butterfly in place while holding a small triangle. I'm going to try to fool this paper butterfly in half just like this. So I'm doing this so that the butterfly will have a nice shape and that don't look flat, so I'm just pinching it over there now. This won't really hold that well, because the paper is thick, so we need to help off a superglue, and I'm just going to grab my superglue and just put the small dots on the inside off that small triangle. Alternatively, you can use a Guga and just be careful so that you won't burn yourself. So what we want is a glue that will dry pretty fast. That's why music superglue or you can use glue gun if you're using a thin paper. We don't really need to put glue anymore because it will hold its shape. But when you're using a thick paper like this, most likely it won't really hold that well. That's why we need to help off a glue. All right, so let me just press that part where we put the glue, and that's just reach for it through settle and dry. So because they used to redo, it's starting to dry quite fast. So I will just fold this paper butterfly and hold it in this way, and I'm doing there so that we can keep the structure in place. All right, so I think the glue is already dry and we are done. So now we have a small paper butterfly that you can use as a decoration. As you can see, we have a nice the shape over here because we folded the butterfly in half. So let me just put the side by side with the paper butterfly that we made you saying bond paper, as you can see, the watercolor paper butterfly. Um, it looks obits 30 year compared to the one made with bond paper. But I think that there So both So pretty. That's no move onto the next video where I will give you some ideas on how you can use this paper. Brother fly as a decoration. 6. Tips on Using the Paper Butterfly: way have learned how to four paper butterflies. I will now share with you some ideas on how to use them. So the first idea is to stick this paper butterfly on our wall right here. So in order to stick this on the wall, we need an adhesive. And I will be using this a teasing called attack if and I'm gonna show you what it looks like inside, So it kind of looks like Clay. Ah, the way to use it is that it? Just grab a small please. So I can just grab half only And it looks like this just looks like a clay and just to get on the surface. And what I love about this is that it doesn't damage the surface, unlike other adhesives. So I have my paper butterfly here and gonna show you what it looks like when you stick this case. It's just like that, and I'm going to press this on the wall, so let's try it out. So this is our wall. And as you can see, it's not the flat surface, but because our adhesive use like a clay. It can stick on this wall even if it's not ah, flat surface, so I can just fill in my war with a lot of these paper butterflies and create my own art installation at home. And what's nice is that you can cost a my status so you can make ah, paper, mother flies and different colors. This is a good way to decorate your wall without spending too much money. Number two is to put the paper butterflies on the frame, so this is just a blank picture frame, and it's so easy. I just put some talk it at the back off the paper butterfly, and we are just going to stick this on the glass. Or, if you don't want to use the glass, just use a board and just decorated in any way that you want. And you can also use different colors depending on the theme off your here, you'll okay, so it looks like this. So I think that it's really, really pretty. Yeah, number three. So if you have paper bag for a gift bag and you just want to spruce it off, make it really pretty, you can use the paper butterfly and just stick it on paper bag and it just gives that extra effort on your paper bag. And I just love it. It looks so nice. So those are my three ideas for you? I'm pretty sure that you can think off more ways on how you can use the baby butterfly acid , that creation. So let's now move on to the next video. 7. Final Thoughts: e reached the end of the class. Thank you so much for watching. I hope that this class gave you an idea on how to up cycle your practice sheets or scrap paper and turn them into something really beautiful. I think that this is a good idea if you are innovating room or just want to put up a new decoration in your workspace. Just changed the ambience off the room. Don't forget to upload your project in the project calorie section off the class. And I'm really excited to see what you can do with the paper butterfly. If you're going to upload it on Instagram, don't forget to use this hashtag so I can see your work. I guess that's it. I will see you in my next class.