Watercolor Botanicals for Beginners | 4 Easy Projects | Suzanne Kurilla | Skillshare

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Watercolor Botanicals for Beginners | 4 Easy Projects

teacher avatar Suzanne Kurilla, Watercolor & Acrylic 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

8 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Drawing Practice

    • 3. Monstera pt1

    • 4. Monstera pt2

    • 5. Prickly Pear Cactus

    • 6. Creating Fillers

    • 7. Small Cacti

    • 8. Closing

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About This Class


In this class, I will cover all of the basics and how to get started with creating your own plants/botanicals. First, I will go over all of the materials that you will need. Throughout this class you will learn how to create 4 different projects. We will explore the popular monstera plant, fillers, and various cacti.
This class is great for beginners and those who are new to watercolors. I have listed down below the supplies that I used throughout this class. The supplies listed are just guidelines for new students/artists. Happy painting! 

 In this class, you will learn

  • wet on wet technique
  • wet on dry technique
  • how to blend your colors
  • how to layer¬†
  • loose watercolor techniques¬†

Supplies Used

  • Watercolor Paints - Art Philosophy, Tropicals
  • Brushes - Princeton, Neptune Series size 4, Silver Black Velvet 8¬†
  • Watercolor Paper - 140lb cold-pressed¬†
  • 2 cups of Water¬†
  • Rag/Paper Towel
  • Watercolor brush pens
  • Fine liner pen (waterproof)¬†




Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Suzanne Kurilla

Watercolor & Acrylic Artist






    Some areas I specialize in are Watercolor & Acrylic Painting. I have worked with adults of various ages and artistic levels. I enjoy creating content and helping others on their creative journey.

You can find my work on Instagram and FREE mini-tutorials on YOUTUBE, ArtwithSuzanne!
Also, l have Art prints for purchase and more in my Society6 shop.  

Now on TikTok, mini tutorials, Artwithsuzanne. 

See full profile

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1. Intro: Thank you for joining in and for today's class we are going to be exploring the watercolors and some fun and botanical projects that I have created here. There are four different ones that we're going to go over today. We have the Monstera leaves, some fillers and then the prickly pear cactus and some more. And what you can expect to learn from this class is how to layer blend some of the wet on wet techniques as well as the dry method. And of course to relax and have fun with these projects. Up next, I will discuss some of the supplies that you will need. Of course, your watercolor paints, some watercolor paper. I always recommend the 140 pound small brush in a medium brush. I have a size four and an eight here. So anything close to those will be fine. If anybody is curious, this one is the silver black velvet and then this one is the Princeton Neptune. Just a regular to be pencil. For some of the details is optional. You can have a small fine liner minus the 0.8 there. Make sure it's definitely waterproof. And also some of the watercolor brush pens, these come in handy for details as well. But if you don't have them, that's okay. There are nice for some extras. You will also need two cups of water you can keep on one to actually wash the brushes and then one to rinse a little bit. It's just easier so you don't have to keep going back and forth for water. And then of course, I'm a rag to dry off your brushes or paper towel. And all of that will be listed in the description. If you were on the app, makes sure that you actually go to the Skillshare site because some of the information and photos, then I will include sometimes it doesn't come up on the app. So if you're looking for something and you can't find it, make sure to check out the class on the actual site. Now we're going to jump right in and get started. First step, I am going to show the monstera leaf first, also known as the Swiss cheese plant. 2. Drawing Practice : Briefly here I am going to show you how to get started drawing this first leaf that we're doing from the Swiss cheese plant. And it's almost like a heart shape on the top. And then you're gonna come up and around and meet your other piece there. And then just continue with the pattern. So you can feel free to practice this a few times. You can put little extra holes in early if you wanted to do that. And then when you're ready, you can come back over to the watercolor portion and then we'll get started. And also right here I'm going to draw some guidelines. These are going to be for my veins later on. 3. Monstera pt1: Once you have completed your drawing, now we're going to jump right into the water polar portion and be right before you do so, use a kneaded eraser and we're going to lighten up the lines a little bit here. To start off with, I am using my size 8 brush and I'm using a lighter shade of green with some yellow mixed into it. I am spreading it on dry paper right now. And then I'm going to use a deeper shade of green, similar to hookers green. The set that I have there on the table is from Art Philosophy. And it doesn't have it. It does have names, but they're just a little bit different. I believe it's called palm trees for their their deeper shade of green and then the lighter one is pair it. So I would say in a basic set of colors, something with yellow, green or sap green. And then like a hookers green for your deeper green. And there I am mixing the two shades together. And periodically I will dip my brush in the cup and use a little bit extra water if things look too dry to spread it around. And as I work my way down, I'm going to continue with the same two colors. Just repeating the process. Up top here was a little bit to light. That's why I'm going to add some more of the green. But it is nice to add a little bit more in certain areas than others because you want the variation. You don't want your leaf to be all one color. And with the water, I would say less is more in the beginning because we can always go back and add more layers. But you don't want to use too much water because then it'll create a lump-sum peddling. And if you do see that, you can take your brush and soak up some of the water and then just drag it to a different area that's a good tip. Okay, completed your first layer. Then we're going to go back and take a look and use some water that's on your brush and blend out some creasing that you may have. And some of the lines there, some people refer to that as the cauliflower. And sometimes the texture can look nice. But again, if you, you know, you can use some extra water and then just blend it out really easily there. 4. Monstera pt2 : And for part two here and the second layer, and we're going to work on the stem and some of the veins that are gonna go on top. So I'm using the lighter green and my smaller brush. And I'm just going to create a stem. They're just clean and simple. And I will be adding some of the same deeper shade of green that we used from before. And I'm going to continue with my small brush here in the deeper shade of green and go on top of my leaves there with the veins, just make sure that your leaf is completely dry before you do this. And then I'm lightening up on the pressure so that you get some variation in your lines. They're so skinny, skinny and then you can press down to widen the line and gently like I could lighten up your pressure again. So it comes to a nice point. 5. Prickly Pear Cactus : For the second project here, I'm going to show you how to create this small prickly pear cactus. I'm going to start off with my Tooby pencil there and just draw a simple shape for the pot. And then two small lines on this side. So it looks like it's either on the ground or a tabletop. I am using my size four brush again, which is my small one. And I'm going to go ahead with a golden yellow shade that I chose for the pie. That this wouldn't be nice and bright and vibrant for summertime and spring. I'm going to use this same shades of green that we used in the other project from before. So the lighter in the deeper with the lighter first. For the bottom portion there, I'm just using a lighter shade of brown. I did go ahead and zoom in a little bit so you can see it a little closer. If you have water color brush pens, you can feel free to use them. I have one right there that was from the Karen dash brand. And I'm just going to create some tiny little flowers. And if you don't have these, you can just use a very tiny brush, whatever the smallest one you have. And either like a pink or a red for the flowers. Also, I am going to leave these alone the way they are. I am not going to add extra water on top of anything because they are so tiny. And the same brown shade that we used before. I'm going to put a tiny bit on the top of the pod to squeeze a little bit on the side. So it looks a little bit more realistic for some dirt or racks. For the last section here, I'm going to use my fine liner, make sure yours is waterproof. And I'm just going to go ahead and outline some of my edges so that they're nice and crisp in a definitely gives more of an illustrative look. And then I'll put on just a tiny bit of the little little spines that would be on a cactus. And that's it for project number two, we're going to jump right in next to project number three. 6. Creating Fillers: For project number three, I'm going to show how to create some of these fillers right here. And I will start off with the branch and some smaller ones stemming off a big one with the lighter shade of green and I'm mixing in a little bit of brown. So then in almost has more of a muted olive tone to it. I am switching over to my larger brush. This is a big, fluffy one. It's a size 12. In the AM, continuing with the same shades of green. This one being just a little bit more muted because it has the brown in it. So I'm going to be pressing down on the brush and then letting that create the shape. And also you can use your tip for a little point and then do a press and release. For this project, I did want to show more of an abstract type of way of doing things. It doesn't always have to be super detailed. So this is a looser style. That you can feel free to have fun with and play around. We're going to do a few different shapes here. I'm still working on the large ones, but then I'll use smaller strokes to create little baby leaves. And I also used some of a deeper blue in with my green to create some variation. When you're all done with your green and your leaves, I'm going to use my small brush and deeper shade of brown for Google in and tidy up some of the branches and make them stand out a little bit better. And the color that I'm using here, I would say it's a little bit deeper than a burnt sienna. Once you've completed this step, that is it for the project number 3 here. And we're going to move on to our last and final project. 7. Small Cacti : Lastly here for project number 4, we have some cacti. I'm going to do the big one in the middle and then two tiny ones on the end. For the middle cactus here I am using my tiny brush again, this size four and the deeper shade of green. And also I am leaving some of those whitespaces for highlights. For the pot, I am using some of this bright opera pink, which is really fun. Again, for the spring and summertime, you can feel free to use whatever color you want. Something nice and vibrant. For this little tiny cactus on the end, I am going to be using my watercolor brush pen for the flowers because they are so tiny, it's just a lot easier to create those details with the pen. And lastly, I am going to go back in with my fine liner just like the second project. And what's nice about this is that we created two of these. So if you want to display them together on a small easel or in tiny little frames. I thought that would be really cute. That's why I tried to coordinate the colors so that everything matches really well. And then after these little details, that is it for this last project. 8. Closing : And that is it for today's class. You can feel free to check out some of my other classes. I have a lot of other watercolor projects to choose from, including watercolor pencils and some guage and a lot of fun other art classes. So thank you for joining in and I'll see you next time.