Watercolor Cyclamen: Learn a technique for painting flowers with watercolor | Anastasia Novikova | Skillshare

Watercolor Cyclamen: Learn a technique for painting flowers with watercolor

Anastasia Novikova, Artist

Watercolor Cyclamen: Learn a technique for painting flowers with watercolor

Anastasia Novikova, Artist

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6 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials you will need

    • 3. Composition and pencil sketch

    • 4. Selecting colors

    • 5. Watercolor technique

    • 6. Continuing with watercolor

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About This Class

In this class you will learn an advanced watercolor technique for painting blossoms. A technique like this will let you paint a wide range of flowers, especially the ones with large petals, like tulips, magnolia, hydrangea, roses, violets, cyclamen, etc. You will learn how to work in a limited color palette, how to show the volume of petals in light and shadow, while keeping the colours clean and vibrant. You will learn to control watercolor paint on a wet surface.

Meet Your Teacher

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Anastasia Novikova



Hello, I'm Anastasia.

I’m a self-taught artist based in Moscow, Russia. Watercolor has been my favorite medium for the past years, I love working with it to create realistic-style paintings and sketches.

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1. Introduction: Hi, everyone. This is anesthesia and I have another watercolor class for you guys. This time we'll look at painting flowers. It is such a beneficial practice for watercolor artists, and technique like this will let you paint a wide range flowers, especially the ones with large pedals like tulips, magnolia, hydrangea, roses, violets, cyclamen, etcetera. In this class, you will learn how to work in a limited color palette. I'll teach you how to show the volume of pedals in light and shadow while keeping the colors clean and vibrant. You will learn how to control water color paint on a wet surface. Painting blossoms for me is so exciting and enjoyable. I'm looking forward to sharing my knowledge about it with you guys. Let's have a great time painting flowers. 2. Materials you will need: materials you will need. You should have some good watercolor paper. We're going to war with multiple color layers. I strongly suggest using 100% cotton paper for this work. It will not be harmed by multiple water washes. Plus, the pigments of watercolor will penetrated the surface of cotton paper and stay inside even when you would the paper again. Whereas in sell those paper, the paint gets lifted up and washes off. Every time you make a new watercolor wash brushes, I'm going to use one bouncy, slim brush. Choose something that has a very nice sharp tip, and it's best to use a synthetic brush because we're going to add paint toe wet areas and synthetic brushes are gonna let you have more control over the paint. Quarter color paint. I'm going to use five colors. Pink Opara, Kinakh, Redon, Red Matter, Lake Emerald Green and neutral. Great. Finally, you're going to need a reference photo. I'll work on my photo off Psych lemon. You can find it in the projects and resource is section of the class or make a screenshot. Now 3. Composition and pencil sketch: pencil sketch. Let's look at the reference photo, even on a picture with flowers, we have to find the main subject area of focus. I'll focus on these two flowers. They have a nice contrast in them. The top one is light, and the bottom one is dark. Besides, they're situated on an uprising diagonal from left to right, and this composition is comforting for the of the viewer. The other flowers will also be visible, but there additional as a background. So let's make a pencil sketch. First. I'll use a soft mechanical pencil, and I think this flowers will look better in a vertical orientation. I'm putting down these little dots to see how the objects will be placed. The top flower, the bottom flower. I I check with the picture to see which side is longer, shorter. I see that the center is shifted to the bottom right this way can measure everything out before drawing with a pencil to avoid basic skill mistakes. Now I go onto sketching flowers. When drawing flowers together like this, you have to look carefully on the spaces between the pedals. It's important not to enlarge the spaces between them, otherwise your flowers are going toe. Look us pretty. It's okay to make one or two pedals a little larger. Just so, the space between them is kept narrow, by the way. Sometimes, if you get confused, it helps to start growing the negative space between flowers. First, I like to work with the pencil without erasing it too much, just making the corrections. As I go, I find that I draw much faster like this. The lines that are wrong. I erase all at once. At the very end, we can put shadows in pencil for the darkest parts. They're not going to be noticeable under the water color, so this flower is done to finish it off calories. The unwanted lines now and I'm using gum eraser do also take out some extra charcoal from the pencil, since this flower will be very light at the sites and I don't want dark lines to stay visible. The second flower is here underneath, and I don't see the bottom of it on the photo, but I'll just make it up. It's a little longer than the upper one, and the centers also shifted to the right. Draw the pedals carefully the bottom pedal is the widest one. Now I'll draw some of the flowers on the side. I want to show that these flowers are wavy, complex and beautiful, but I'm drawing them much more loosely and freely since their background and not remain object. This is a time to just relax and draw the lines just as we see them not thinking too much about the whole forms of the flowers underneath. Drawing many pedals like this is a very good abstract exercise that enhances your drawing skills. Usually when we draw objects, our brain is trying to get in the way and construct the elements for us, and we draw the objects as we think they should be, not as they are. So we make mistakes and scale or angles, etcetera. Because thes pedals are so complex and you can't really understand what's going on here. You are forced to see and copy the lines exactly as they are not thinking too much about them, and it's a very important skill for an artist. I'll add in extra flour at the bottom to balance out the composition, and now I do the same thing and take out some of the extra charcoal from the pencil with the gum. A razor. Now we're ready to go onto watercolor 4. Selecting colors: selecting colors. The technique we're looking at at this class involves painting in a limited color palette, so it's very important to select the colors you're going to use before you start here. The colors that I decided to work with for the lightest part. I'm going to use this very bright Opara color, which is a cold kind of pink for the middle tones. I have this Kinnock Redon red, which is a little warmer than Oprah, but it's still a very bright, ringing tone. I wanted to make sure that the colors are very bright and clear, even hear the darkest parts. I won the pedals to stay bright with the darkest parts of petals. I will use this matter lay color, so my main mix will be Oprah and Canaccord own red. I would have used this cannon cred own red for the darkest parts as well, but he just doesn't get dark enough. Check the capacity of your colors. Tone wise, my Oprah stays quite light, even if I applied is a very sick layer. Connected own doesn't feel quite as dark as well, but medal rick is very deep when it's not diluted by water As for the greenery, I don't want it to be too bright, so it doesn't take off the attention from bright pedals. I'll use some emerald green mixed with neutral tent, so it's very settled. 5. Watercolor technique: painting pedals. I'll be applying my watercolor on what areas, so I'll need to control the amount of water I use. I'm preparing some paper towels for this. I'll work with pedals one by one, and I will start with the top flour and work on this pedal. First, you can see on the reference that it's very light and the color gets more intense towards the middle. Here. For this technique, you have to compare the surfaces that they're right next to each other. For example, the spell right here is even lighter and will probably be left white. And the one I'm working on now is going to have color everywhere except with this right side attend. So I'm going to let this whole area with clean water. You want to be very precise right now. What Onley? The pedal you will be working on your paper should be glossy but not have any pools of water left. Now my whole pedal is wet and this is what I do. Since this area is already wet. I don't want too much water on my brush. I only need the pigment itself. So I tap my brush over the paper towel to make a dry, and I start applying color like that to the wet area on Lee. Remember, I want to leave this edge here light, So I start with soft brush strokes at the top. Like this, I can work on this area while is still wet. Put more color in or take some color out. I'm adding some more pigments in the middle here. My brush strokes. Repeat the pattern from the reference like rays of color beaming from the center of the flower. Now let me show you how to drive. The brush actually is. See, It's rich and color tone, but dry this way. My brush strokes won't run all over the wedded surface. If you brush is like this, the color is going to run where once you won't be able to control it dried over the paper towel. Every time you take extra pigment here of the side, I see that the pedal is a little darker, so I carefully go around the edge with the tip off my brush. Now we leave this pedal to dry and go on to the next one. It has to be an area that is not touching the one we've just finished. Like not this battle or the new paint is going to Ryland or never thing. I'm going to do this large one right above it, noticed that my water is already pink. It's OK for this pedal, since it's darker than the previous one. What have you working on light areas? It's critical to keep you water clean. So either change your water often like I will do or get a next to a jar with clean water for final riends. Now that the whole pedal is wet, I deep in the tone of the center, and then I work at the bottom with an intense Kinnock redone red. By the way, if you notice a mistake while you paint is still what you can easily correct it with the paper towel, like so and you see how I get little stars. That's because my brushes too wet and the color is dripping off the tip. I'll just dry them on my napkin and try it again. Now I have solved brushstrokes much better. You may think at this point that these lines are too noticeable, but keep in mind that the paint will soak in the paper, and they will be much less intense once the water dries. And also, that's why you should make your color makes a little more intense than you actually want. It will get lighter when the paper dries, and that's especially relevant for cotton paper. Keep playing with your color mixes. Switching your color tone back and forth a little bit colder, a little bit warmer makes the pigments in different proportions. This will, you may say, in live in your painting. Here I add a shadow from the flowers below. What is specific for this technique is that you have to watch how the colors sinking and adjust your color washes like here. I saw that the tone wasn't deep enough, so I applied the paint again. I will repeat that these adjustments must be made while you paint is still wet. At this point, I think it will be a good idea to work on the bottom flower. Since it has a darker tone, I can verify how deep in tone I can go in the pigments that I chose, and then I'll have something to compare other flowers with to make them lighter than this one in shadow. Remember that I talked about how I want to make the colors more intense than on the photo, and the key to that is the shadows. They have to be more saturated than what we see on the photo, but justus deep in terms of value. In other words, they have to be more colorful, but justice dark. If you put your painting in Greece scale for the darkest areas, you don't need to apply clean water. First, just apply the pain tried away. Your brush should be very wet with saturated paint, and remember to go is dark as you can, especially since the paint will get lighter when it dries. Notice, though, that I'm not mixing in any grey or black paint because I want the colors even in the shadow , to stay very vibrant and saturated. And if you see that you went to dark somewhere, just wash your brush dried over the paper towel and wipe the extra paint right off. So spend some time on each pedal. Make all the adjustments that you need while the papers went, go back and forth, take color out. Apply the color back. Make sure you're satisfied with the results before you stop and let the area dry 6. Continuing with watercolor: continuing with watercolor. Now I'll work on this pedal in between. It's going to be as dark as the one had just finished and notice how I'm leaving a narrow white edge of the pedal that's right above this is important to show the volume of the pedals, the flowers of the back of going to be light. And I'm not going to spend too much time detailing them. I just feel the whole flower with one layer off watercolor. Now, I went this large pedal I'm planning on leaving and almost white at the left side. But I see that the edge is dark and I'm just going to go around that edge with a very dry brush. So I get this contrast in colors every time you paint a petal look around at the ones that are adjacent. Like here. It gets as dark and values as the pedal on the right. And the last pedal on this flower is almost all white. So I'm not going t even wet it at all. I just pain the edge with soft pink and make a couple of dry brush strokes towards the middle. And then I wash out the edge of paint with clean water in watercolor. It's very important to have some white untouched paper left that will give you painting that appealing watercolor lightness painting the stem. Now I'll show you how to paint the center with this Tim, make sure you paint is already dry so the dark pain doesn't run into your pink paint. I also work in one layer. Just apply dark green and then add a dry neutral gray inside to show the shadows in the stem. And I work on the shadows in between the flowers, just copying them, as I see on the photo, not thinking too much about their structure right now and decide I wash out the paint with clean water. I like when water color paint sort of dissolves towards the frame corrections and second layer. Now, if you paint dries and you see an area that you didn't get dark enough or you need to correct a tent, this is what you can dio, for example, here I want to make this pedal old colder intent. I'm going to use Opara paint for this. First, make sure you paint is completely dry, then cover the area with water just like you did the first time, and apply a second layer of paint. Since I'm working on 100% cotton paper, the pain that is already dry does not wash out, and I get a nice, transparent second layer right on top of it. I'll pain the stem on this flower on the right side. What? Since I want my painting to fade out towards the frame, I'm using a lighter green. Just added more water to my previous mix for the stem. Don't add too much details on the sides. Here I go and wash out the edge again at a couple of pain drops to get this abstract by ground. Each time I start a new area, I compare the colors again. This pedal is lighter than the one above it. The value is close to this area here. So now that you get the idea, I'll keep on working on each pedal, just like I've explained. And I'll fast forward the video of this process a little bit towards the final stage. - Now I'm working on the darkest parts. I make the same mix from emerald green and neutral tint and carefully fill in the shadows between the pedals. Here I make a really dark red shadow using intense matter leak and notice how my green is very unsaturated. It looks more grey than green. Now, at last, I pain the center of the flowers with this times, and I make loose watercolor drips at the sides and also at the top. But I keep them very, very light here because I don't want the background to be too dark. Otherwise, my flower will look very moody and dramatic. Finally, and this should only be done at the very end, because if you do this step too early, you might get muddy colors. So I add neutral tint to the color mix and go over the darkest centers with this dark grey shred. Be careful with this mix and use it very limited Lee on Leon small, darkest areas. And that's it. We're done. Thank you for staying with me all this time. I hope you enjoyed the class. I would love to hear from you guys, So feel free to leave your thoughts, comments and feedback on our discussion board for this class. And don't forget to share you work without the students in the project section. I wish you a great time with your flower paintings.