Step-by-Step: Watercolor rose | Maria Smirnova | Skillshare

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Step-by-Step: Watercolor rose

teacher avatar Maria Smirnova, 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

10 Lessons (1h 25m)
    • 1. What is this class about?

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Practice on wet paper

    • 4. Drawing

    • 5. Rose: Step 1

    • 6. Rose: Step 2

    • 7. Rose: Step 3

    • 8. Rose: Step 4

    • 9. Leaves

    • 10. Final touches

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About This Class


Painting flowers is always a challenge, especially if it's a rose. Difficult drawing of multiple petals, a lack of flower's volume and capricious flowing watercolor - this video-tutorial helps you to master them and to paint beautiful watercolor rose illustration.

Join the class and you will discover: 

• How to draw a complex flower
• How to avoid common mistakes when you work on wet paper
• How to paint with only three primary colors
• How to create a volume of a flower

The class may be interesting both for beginners and advanced artists who never stop improving their technique.

I'm looking forward to seeing you in the class!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Maria Smirnova

Watercolor artist



I'm Maria, a watercolor artist and instructor, currently based in Paris.

An electrical engineer in the past, I've changed my whole life chasing my dreams.

I draw and paint since I remember myself and the last several years were about practicing watercolor. I totally fell in love with this amazing material and it has become a big part of my life by now.

Almost every painting I’ve made is about light. It is all about something instant, flash slipping away. 

I'm glad to share with you some techniques and tricks I use in my work!

See full profile

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1. What is this class about?: Hi, everyone. I'm Maria. Welcome to my new video tutorial in this class. I'll show you step by step, the way I paint watercolor roses using basic water car techniques. First of all, I explained to you specifics of painting a wet paper, and I also give you tips which may help you to white some common mistakes. Then you learn a way to make a preliminary drawing of such a complex flower. You'll be able to apply this principle to any objects in your future paintings. And, of course, we're going to bend together this beautiful water cornrows from the very first layers to the final details joined the glass and enjoy watercolors. 2. Supplies: Here we go. Let's take a look at the materials I'll use in this class. I have a real flower, but for mine, today's purposes I took a picture of it. I'm going to use 100% cotton called Press water car paper. I stuck it to a wooden board, although for this picture it may be quite enough just to fix it Here at the corners for a preliminary drawing and the pencil and to a razor's ordinary and soft I'll use to synthetic brush off different sizes. Here you conceive three tubes of water car pains. A ceramic plate will be my palate today, and you may use any pattern that you prefer paper towels and, of course, water. This is a minimum set of supplies, which is enough for this class. 3. Practice on wet paper: in this part of the video, I'd like toe over here the most frequent difficulties, which you can face while working with wet on wet technique. So first to walk, I'm moistening the paper surface. Notice that I make this demo on the same paper that are pain till after. So here I have some water now, says diving. The first thing you may encounter, and that you probably already did, is that you try to paint a theme line on wet paper. But the paint prints too fast, and it's very hard to manage. It means in most of the cases that your brushes too wet to fix it off course, you just need not to put a lot of water to color bland. And to use a paper towel or piece of tissue with every touch you leave excess water. Nate, so you can paint a wet paper in a comfortable way with more control. And don't worry. You'll still have paint on the brush, but it's will be just last liquid. There is a situation on the same kind when you paint a line and on it, and a drop of paint appears. The cause is the same too much water on the brush to control pains better while applying them. When with paper, you should focus primarily on how wet is your brush. The same method helps in the baiting off these kind of color fills and radiance. Look what happens if I take more liquid. Moreover, pay attention to a way you put what a color on paper. I always recommend to my beginner students to avoid this kind of movement while painting went away. Because when you do a serious of touch every time the rash leaves a drop of water on paper , and when you have a wet surface, it gives you this. Do you see? In that case, we have even more water and pains than usual? If you touch a paper only once and then just move your brush in the needed way, the result is different. Hopefully, you can see the difference. Of course, if you find that you've put too much pains on and it's not dry yet, you can always wash your brush, ring out excess water and pick up extra car from the paper with cotton paper. It works on Lee while the paper still wet so you could manage what are called off this way . Like here, for example, this line is to stick so I can take some paint away from it. Remember, though, that every time you touch a watercolor spot with the brush, some of it stays on the brush, so you need to wash it and squeeze it all the time in purpose to clean the paper from extra color. One of the greatest advantage off weather where technique is making these soft contours. But there is actually another way to get them. Let's imagine that we paint a shadow between the battle's over flower. I start painting directly on a dry paper. I put some color to the place where the shot is going to be, and then I clean my brush or just simply take another one with some clean water in it. I start to moisten the paper in this area, slightly closing up to the color spot. Once I've touch it, water car spreads into the water and creates a soft credit. And on the edge it's like we have a paddle here on the 2nd 1 here. So if I need to rapidly pain the shadow between them. I can use this technique. I need only toe work fast. Otherwise, car one spread. I also can help it too bland with water on the edge. For that, I need my brush to be as well. This paper is in that case. I don't add more color on taking away neither, so I can just move it. Big Men's on the paper surface. It's also important to control how weather paper surfaces s paper becomes drier. Opens with less liquid watercolor as well. Otherwise, Bengals pretty match and it will give me unpredictable effects in this exact painting. I don't want to get any as usual. If you see the paper surface already dry stopped reflecting glide, it's better to stop painting on it for the same reason. Any water or color being put on mostly dry color layer makes big men to move. It does here for today's for painting. It's also important not to paint and joining bells, while the 1st 1 isn't dry yet. If we do, we got this so it's necessary to let a drag first. I think that's it. Try to not is how I'm going to use all the small tapes in the following painting process 4. Drawing: I'll start as usual with the preliminary pencil drawing. I'm only going to pay in the rose without least the flower will take this area. I think so. I start with a lie drawing of with shape. I know this also did. The flower is tilted like this. Next. I never start with the details. I rather draw lie direction lines off the pedals, constructing the flower like this first, I'm not trying to draw every pedals band I need the main shapes first to be captured here is the rose, but and this is an external piddle Here I draw it in a very straight and even angle shaped first using acquired heart pencil to get lighter lines that I'm going to make them and be darker on with a more precise shape. But for now, my purpose is to place them correctly on paper. First, there is the future band of a battle here. All right, It's okay if you can't get the nice shape over flower from the beginning. It's absolutely normal. No one can capture the exact shape of an object right away. Feel free to use and the razor to correct it. You'll see. I use it a lot, too. This line divides the flower almost in half, and here I have a beginning over Stam. Later, I'll draw. These. Small is in there to make your preliminary joy on a watercolor paper as clear and accurate as possible. You can draw the rose on a drawing paper first, then transferred toe watercolor paper using a light and table window, tracing a copy paper. I always look at the photo and compare my drawing with the reference. Yeah, you have one pill on another is here. It's important to clearly separate every small part of a flower. Look. Here is the pedal, its shadow side on the next one. I'm also checking the position of reference points like, for example, where is this point? Comparing to that, I'm checking its position, and if it's correct, I continue drawing in doing so. I'm not trying to create a very precise flower portrayed. I wanted to be quite fast painting, so I just focus on its shape. In general. It's not very clear how to draw all the battles in the center, so I also start them with general lines on their upper common concert. I'm giving attention to the point where these lines touch the counters off the battles. I've already drone. Then I'm just feeling the central barred with lines starting from the biggest forms as usual. And for that I've been following the photo at all. Now when I have all the guidelines, I work more carefully with shape counters on details. So I take a beat bounce away. It is softer on and I'll get darker lines like that. You'll be able to better see my drawing, but you actually can keep drawing with light lines. I'm using a softer razor to take away excess graffiti from the paper, but keeping the lied guidelines of my drawing. And now I'm working on details comparing my picture with the father all the time. And then I want to have only one correct counter for each petal. Laughed here. Want to just the battles for him a little. So you see, to make correction is totally okay. - Meanwhile , I'm raising unneeded lines in the stage. I can already add some details of the pedals texture here on the photo. I see two pedals, but I decided to draw only one instead. - And this one I really want to move a big lower. Well, now you can see how much time it takes to draw such a flower. To prepare a drawing for watercolor, I delete unnecessary lines to keep my drawing cleaner. And now I have a final culture off the rose. I only have these small leaves left to draw. I'm taking carefully every pedal one more time. It's oh, may seem extra work for you, but I prefer to make a nice drawing, which I'm not gonna worry about in the future while I start to work with water colors. So, in general, I already have a drawing. The main thing here is that I can clearly see every single part of it. And exactly was these parts one by one. I'm going to paint the flower. I also take a look at the general shape of the rose. Don't hurry to start water coloring. Take your time to finish a really nice drawing. First, you'll be grateful to you for that in the future. I will leave the photo in the class materials for you so you can use it for drawing on. And you can also can draw more leaves if you want, but I for today I'm going to paint on Lee the Flour. It's although So finally, let's get started watercolors. 5. Rose: Step 1 : I finally began to paint with watercolors, and as I said before, I'm going to do it step by step, piece by piece. I'll start from the central part, but you actually can begin from wherever you want. The main point is not to paint areas nearby. I'm lost in this small fragment. I put the paper towel next to me like that, and you'll notice how often I really use it in the painting process. Now I take a brush with appointed deep for painting, so I have one for clean water and one for water color. I blend quite enough of the color in this part of the flower. I can see pink color as well as a bit while it. So I put some blue into the bland. Like that, I've got a called rose color. I started to paint this area with the pink color. This is the one of the lightest parts off the flower, so I use a very light here, and it becomes much darker in the corner where there is a shadow. So I take a more dense color to paint it as watercolor isn't dry yet. In this area, it spreads and makes this wonderful South radiant. I put some called her collar here. Below this pedal on, I blurred carefully. It's important to pay attention to these edges because they are also part of our next battle in front of it. Then again, I put some clean water for the next part. Well, what are not has a light roast end. It's because I haven't washed my brush well now. But that's OK as there's no white in this area, actually, even simply working with water. I tried to do it as carefully as possible because I know that what color will spread inside the sport after I also tried to get a paper surface to stay reflective. No bottles just like that. If you see that it drives fast just at some more water Onley. When the paper surfaces reflecting, you can work whether let's comfortably, I'm adding some yellow to the Blount to get a warmer here. This time, all this part is in the shadow, so it's not going to be very light. If I makes all the three colors I have, it gives me less saturated tent. I also makes it darker, so I had just um, a little bit off water and more color to the bland. I'm going to use this color for the shadow. - While watercolor is wet, it allows me to get soft edge. - I keep painting this way before I switch to this big piece. I'd like to do this small one first. Remember, it's essential not to bank next to the wet parts. Otherwise, fresh color will move into them, too. A twisted metal is going to be here on below it. I've been a shadow, not very dark. As usual, I carefully follow the edge of the pedal because it will create a life part of the pedal nearby. It's important to head color before paper goods dry here, and you already know that if you see that the paper surface has talked to reflect the light , just leave it like that. Lead this layer dry. You'll be able to correct it in the next layer. I'll show you later how it works. 6. Rose: Step 2: now I'm moving to these big and interesting part. I begin is always with clean water. I could start for made, for example, but I didn't want to put my hand on freshwater color After that. I saw the paper in this area, - so I bland again all three colors altogether. It seems like there is this color in essential Bart off the battle. Although I start painting with the Rose pain first. I also keep in mind that there is a natural texture off flower here. It means I'll drove fine but soft lines. So I leave access, whether on a T shirt like that, to paint the texture in the most nature away, I follow a shape of the flower with my brush. - I'll try to draw as many details as I can in this first layer while the paper is still wet. Possibly you'll be able to paint even more or less, depending on how fast your papers dry. And that's OK. Now I pay particular attention to the left part. L moistened paper on the right, a little to continue painting there. I changed the color to think again. I take just little food because the paper was drying here, already here in the bottom. It's supposed to be much darker in the future, but I'll do the shadow in the next layer. So let's continue with the right parts. As usual, I'm very careful with the edge here. It's quite dark in there, as you may see, so I took a very dense collar, bland for that. - Everything is almost dry here, so I can pain here no more until it's completely dry. Now I want to work on these lower edge of Appel. You can paint them separately if you want, but I decided to paint both parts. It's ones I keep using only three colors, just trying their huge for this battle. I'm adding more ultra marine blue to the bland. I take quiet, then Spain's, as this piece should be, dark doctor than the one we've just created here. And these part is even darker. And let's move forward. Some clean water is going to the next pedal. I take called and light color. Oops. It seems I've confused battles have been here. Ah, well, whatever. I take my extra color from here. I keep painting where the wild now I use very pale teens on almost dry brush. And I put a rose color just right here. So now I have kind of a live rose background. Now, very interesting moment goes next I take a dark violet land almost dry brush, and I'm painting in line here and the shadow in the corner. And now it's a dark rose blend working important that I don't take web brush. Otherwise the color will flow too much and the zone is too small for that. These areas are dry, so I can't keep painting here. I'm gonna bring this part now and maybe even these part of a battle to check out the paper here first it has to be dry. Oh, - I take this color. I like it here. I can see I've put too much water. So I take some away and let's make this uhm pink drop on the tip of the pedal. This entire pedal is in the shadow, so I cover it with the bluish tends to create a background. And now I'm adding dark red rose color into it. Almost like here. - It's important to keep a color here the same all along the battle surface dry brush works again. I tried to reproduce the twisting battle shape. All right. It seems like my roses getting its form little by little. 7. Rose: Step 3: All right, let's move on. Now. I'd like to work with the center of the Rose. Here we have a group of similar small battles, so I begin covering them with light rosewater color layer. I'm doing it on the dry paper, so I really try to do it fast. Here are meeting some more water to make this area brighter. And maybe some yellow teams would be not better as well. - Next , let's move to this part. I've put some water again and I work with these warm tent. I'm aiding rose paint Very light and I'm painting with almost dry brush again. Then here I can add some while it Yeah , I always compare and check the difference. Ah, the difference. Off colors on color values on the border between pedals. Which one is lighter and which is darker. I wish my brush and take some color from here. I prepare paper four of the next pedal off course. I've checked first that battles nearby are dry. I start with some rose color. Well, wow, it's ah, it's too bright. I also add some to the edge and some violet grey to this part. By the way, can you see that in this part? The pedal is even darker than the background behind it. That's important as usual of the stage. My brush is almost dry. Even the ballots you see has already become dry. Some were called tend in this part. And I have a nice pedal shape here. Maybe more shadow to these part wouldn't be bad to Now it's time for this part. I start again with some water, working carefully on the ads. I take this a bit dirty color. The flower is not perfect. So why not to add some imperfection to the painting as well? Pinky? Violet edge will be here. I'm gonna let this area dry. I'll go back to eat later. So now I moved to the sport. I use clean or ah well, almost Clearwater again. Remember, we don't need to make a pool, though just to make a paper surface reflected. I keep working the same way with the next pedal. All right, We still have some work to do. Let's move on 8. Rose: Step 4: Let's work on this one. Now I take this low saturated, bland. Oh, well, this is probably too dark. Let's move it a bit. Okay, it's better now. I put a shadow here. - Thank you. As usual, I keep an eye on paper drying. It's important, especially if you see that you are working for a long time already. With one piece, - I bring some texture to a battle surface. Here it can be even darker, but I'm not sure if I can paint it now. Almost dry brush, as usual, allows me to control what a color. Let's make this edge darker, so I only have to finish the central part and maybe to add some tiny details here and there . Here, I even pains right on dry paper. - So now let's complete these small paddles. Here I put some water and and color. Okay, It's better now, so I continue the same actions here. There is the shadow here on the edge, so I add a darker color and keep going it for other parts. I put the color and make a gradient in the center. I'll make simply dark petal, but it's actually not evenly colored now, Let's move to these one. After the first layer is completely dry, I most and it once again. And even if I need to correct only a small part of it out, put water into all the battles surface. So this part is completely in the shadow and a very dark thing. ISS here, - you see, Once I did it, a volume has arrived. If the paper still wet, I can add some more color here, some texture on the bottom edge. That's more than the bid. Great. This part is very important, as dark tone here is responsible for pedals volume as it's closer to us than another, we need to make it more contrast to create this perspective effect. I still have some incomplete areas here in the center, so that's finished them off course. I put some water first, as I didn't follow before the reference in this part, I need to be quite creative and imagine how it should be 9. Leaves: to paint the leaves. I've applied the same colors but I'll mix blue and yellow this time and I start to pay in just right on the dry paper. I had some pinky color on the cheap and I also like to directly make a shadow. - Actually , you can take any green color that you have if you want. I just can see no need of it for me now. The same cholera used for the stem lives in the L A wish And I finished the Stam like this with the dry brush stroke. I like how it looks. Let's make some shadows Now I've been all the three pains from my palate. - I can put some water to make it lighter Here. I'll see the difference when it will drive. And I also add a shadow here, you see, in the end, Onley three colors are quite enough for this work. I add shadows here and there. And the sleeve is doctor as well. No! Okay, that's it. 10. Final touches: All right, let's complete the painting with some details. - I'm gonna add shadows here and there. This side is in the shadow, too. You may see now how these petals get separated here. I fainted over this battle. So now I need to correct its shape a little. And I finally can cover these bottom part with shadow. More details? Yeah. Yeah. This part has a lack of a body Might say so I'm gonna make it with this shadow on the edge . Same thing for here. - Okay , let's check. What do we have left? - This pedal seems a bit flat to me, and you know that it means, actually, that I need to add more contrast, which is in this case means some more shadows. So I moisten the paper on ed. More pigment. - These details will emphasize the petals texture. I had some more shadows for the leaf. What in this time? And I also will add Ah, light pink layer on the stem. There's shouldn't be any light birth here. As this area is in the shadow as well as this one. I think it's almost ready. Maybe some last details in the center are missing. I just add tiny on the smooth shadow to bring adapt Here. I'll emphasize the border here this barred I'd like to see darker, too. - Now when the painting is finished, I see that this part I did in the beginning Ah, should be darker too. And I think that now it's almost done. I've ended some more tiny details and I want to see more shadow here. Just a final think. Now that's it. It's better to stop at the right moment. So now I let it dry and take away the masking tape. So here is my rose. Of course, if you're going to paint it for the very first time, it probably won't be easy. Hopefully the protests is clearer for you now. And you may see that even as complicated flower as this rose can be divided into some small parts which are much easier to control. Don't be afraid of experiments. An ambitious object to paint like this one. Take your time to practice. It's the best way to improve your skills. Share your paintings and the project section to get comments and tips from me. And don't forget about our instagram hashtag when you share your watercolors. I hope you enjoy this video. Thank you for watching. See you next time. Bye bye.