Watercolor Dandelion: Mastering wet-on-wet technique | Maria Smirnova | Skillshare

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Watercolor Dandelion: Mastering wet-on-wet technique

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

9 Lessons (48m)
    • 1. What is this class about?

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Drawing

    • 4. Preparing paper

    • 5. Background

    • 6. Exercises

    • 7. Dandelion

    • 8. Final touches

    • 9. Drying paper

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About This Class


Wonderful watercolor effects can be achieved by using wet-on-wet technique. I personnally apply it a lot in my sunset paintings.

But If you ever tried to paint with watercolors you defininitely struggled against instantly drying paper.

In this class you will find one of the ways to prepare you paper  to keep it wet longer while painting and it will help you to master a wet-on-wet technique.

Join this class and you will discover:

  • How to keep watercolor paper wet longer
  • How to¬†combine wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry techniques
  • How to¬†mix colors for a sunset palette
  • How to¬†paint loose dandelion fuzz
  • How to¬†create lighting effect in painting

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

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


Music: bensound.com

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Maria Smirnova

Watercolor artist



I'm Maria, a Russian watercolor artist, 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. This is Maria, watercolor, artist and tutor. We love watercolor for its flow. It's transference and smooth transitions between colors and tones that it allows to get. These things are normally achieved by using wet on wet technique, and I personally applied a lot in my sunset paintings. If you ever tried to paint with watercolors, you definitely struggled against instantly drying paper. So in this class, after demonstrating white fast separated drawing process, I'll explain to you one of the ways to prepare your paper to keep it wet longer while painting it will help us to create a nice big ground for future than the lion picture. I want to show you what set of materials I used and which color palette I like to apply for such light field scenes. And, of course, you will discover the whole process of painting this deadline from the stem to the last tiny, flat umbrella gender class, and then do what Argos 2. Supplies: first, let's take a look at the materials I'm going to use for this project. The very important thing will need is a waterproof clipboard. I use this one a piece of transparent plastic. The main thing is that it shouldn't let any water inside, so you may use a wooden board covered with a water perfume, for example. Next, of course, we need paper. Today, l paint on 100% cotton, family and artistic. A court press paper. It's 300 grams per square meter density and around 25 to 25 centimeter size. I lost the use a piece of watercolor paper for color tests and exercises. It banned so and in the razor. As for brush, I'll use white gold brush for preparation, moistening on the paper were going toe work wet on wet today. Next, I've prepared wide brush off the size I used very often for different purposes. Both of this brush made from nature on gold hair. You probably don't have exactly the same brush, so you can replace them by any white natural brush or even by Iran's Creel brush. Important that it should be big enough, and Finn, the former off your paper if you have a brush like this one, which might be flat, but at the same time it's synthetic. It wants you to our purposes. It's quite side, and you actually can't load enough of a liquid in it, so I wouldn't recommend it. For today's work. You better take as queer or square limitation round brush, but not a synthetic one. Also ill use small round Squier limitation brush for details and wet on wet work and a rigger brush with a long time for all the time. The details. If you don't have these brush, please use any small around synthetic or even squeal brush that you have. Of course, I prepared some water. Let's see what's colors we need today. I'll use Naples yellow in the credit on Violet Rose, Doc says in while it in Central in blue and pains. Greg, I always keep some paper napkins nearby, or you can also take a piece of tissue. And at the very end of our work, we will need to fix the painting for drying. So I'll need several paper clips like that or a masking tape. I'm gonna use the tape, but I'll show you both options anyway. It's not necessary for the very beginning. So here's our scent of supplies from today, let's begin. 3. Drawing: I begin as usual was a preparation drawing This time we don't need to draw all the details . I won't charge a position off the dance. Relying on paper and which shape is gonna have not is how I'm drawing the shape under Asarco but in very light manner. I don't start from a central part, but from the biggest form I'll try to draw. It may be darker for you to see contras better. In the end, we won't even need this exact line. We just need to see the borders of the flower. Next we draw a central part. I make it a bit. Tells it like this and there will be seeds around it. They'll take approximately this space. See, we have a big circle, Another one in the center it trouser have in oval shape and this zone where we will pain seats and we can also draws them. How bandit a bit not is that the stem of the flower isn't very thin. Please draw it wide enough to begin. I'm trusting a group of lifelines and then I precise it with a darker line. So I dont droid at once, holding a pencil like this. First, it's better to draw approximate outlines and then you accurately draw a final concert. All right, I haven't underlying I have its center. I could also add its future leaves here. You know that there are some. Actually, I could paint this part directly with the brush. But if you're a beginner, it's always better to have a drawing before you start water coloring. So I'll do for myself, too. This drawing may change in future. I remember that I can paint it another way. If only I feel needed. You can get rid off unneeded lines using the razor or self to razor for that. That's it. I don't think I should draw anything more. No seeds, no fast, no stamps. Inside the flower, it's enough. The rest we will do with the brush. 4. Preparing paper: first thing for us today is preparing off paper for work I've already mentioned. Then I'm going to use a waterproof board. It's very important. Make sure that you have one, too. Otherwise, this technique will be complicated to reproduce. Also, your paper should be thick enough to contain quite a lot of liquids. But if you paint on carbon paper, you can take even 185 Graham Speirs Career mental density. But I work on 300 grams paper. So what I'm doing now I turns around the sheet and with a white brush, I'm moistening the back side of the paper. After that, the sheet may become wavy, but this is normal. Why do I do this? My students often ask me how to work longer in wet on wet technique and how to keep the paper wet. If you ever tried toe work with water colors, you know that the paint dries very fast and to get all these nice, most transitions is usually an issue, especially when the paper is dry and are in glistening no more. We just have no time to do everything we want. So one of ways to facilitate the process is to read the paper inside. Especially. It works really good with thick paper. I work now with the three hundreds grams per square meter density paper. It makes so quite a lot of water. I do a lot of moments and I don't have any bottles here. All this water, I careful, distribute On the surface, I pay more attention to the edge as they normally drive faster. Of course, I start wetting the paper after I have preliminary drawing already finished as it would be quite difficult to draw on the wet paper with a pencil. Now, when the paper is loaded with water, I could better leave it like that for a while to let water to go deeper into it. But to accelerate the demonstration, I'll turn it back right now. Already. Now, hopefully you understand why we need a waterproof clipboard. All the waves we had will become flat. Now you'll see next under the same thing with the same brush very carefully on the front side of the sheet. Important not to leave any air bubbles under the paper to get rid of them, you just leave the paper and smoove it with the brush. Otherwise, near the battles, the paper will dry faster than in other places. And it's uncontrolled processed that I normally try to avoid. A let water to my paper until the moment it become flat and even league listening for some time. I don't think any bottles justice shining paper surface and you may see that all my paper now is stuck to the board. If I have some excess water, I take it away with a brush. Pay particular attention to the paper edge. Now I can let the paper like this for a while and at the same time to blend color meets for painting. I also take away water drops I have on the board to save my painting from Assad and water invasion Now papers almost ready. Let's prepare our A ballot. 5. Background: all right, bastard, by blending paints mixes I need basically I already have my favorite combination of colors for the similar subjects I usually apply in Apple's Yellow for Sandy part. Next, I'll need something red in the CRIDLIN Violet Rose, for example. I really like this color and they nicely blend with each other, and then I let the wide it to very company. I'll blend it here with maybe some of Indian train blue and Payne's gray. So here is my bed. Not is that paper should even the glisten Let's get started to defend my choice of such a big brush for this work, I'll show you one thing. Let's assume Dad's I only have this small one, so I start painting with it. I paint a sound raise or sounds it, and I'm going to place the sun here. I'll have the light part around it, and then the sky will become darker and darker, By the way, another painting tutorial off this kind of sounds and pictures, as well as exercises for wet on wet on wet on dry technique you can find in my first skill share video watercolor sounds it in the field I begin, look, as I'm trying to bein this guy with a small brush, I get a group of lines which cover this guy, and evenly. I feel like the size of the brush is not big enough for this work. So now I take a brush off a suitable size and starting to pain directly with it and gives wide brush strokes. And as the papers wet, I get a smooth transition. I already can add some rose to the blend. That is, I make a maximum of work with a minimal afford. Like an artist's work optimization, I add more rows cover. It's important to remember that we paint on the cotton paper. Besides, it was moisten from the both sides. It means that the color will become much lighter drying way. No, that's watercolor itself always loses a portion of situation and talk after drying. Next, we can diversify these backgrounds a little. Let's make it darker, so I take some while it see I don't clean my brush. Doing it on purpose to avoid excess water in my color planned way also can add clouds. Here I keep painting wet on wet, and then I go lower and paint aboard. In part, if it's spread too much, it means the brush was too wet. If you want to end details more precisely, you can take a small brush and and some clouds. For example, as the paper is wet from both sides, it allows me to paint longer in wet technique. Well, I found that I don't like the cloud, so I blurred the way on what paper I can make this blurring very smoothly on due to work also own changing hues, but I won't do it for too long, and I'm moving to the next part. I take these while a tint ending a bit of blue to the bland, and I put the color to the field part. There will be blades of grass here. I still working with a big brush. It's good even for such a small paper for months. Moreover, it's important to paint it dark enough and this stage, but I take some yellow again. Not just the wild blue Meeks or cleans are quiet. I'm blending all the colors I used, but adding more violet and blue this time my brush being semi well. It gets this shape so it let's me to pain several lines at once. It looks like grass. I take thicker paint, check out its texture. Onley. This thickness lets me to get really dark tone on wet paper. Always check out if your pain is dance enough. You already have a lot of water on paper, so now it's time to add a pigment on it, Not just more water again. Otherwise you won't get this effect. Next. I want to paint with more blue and grey. I makes them here aside. See, the blend is really dark, too. I can keep painting using a side of the brush or at the moment you can change the brush and continue with the smaller one. Actually, I prepared it exactly for a dissection on the Grand Blue in the bland this time and I m the mix to some place is too precise. This shapes like this. - I had some doctor details here in the bottom. I don't think too many of them. I also can take a dryer brash and to paint some blades of grass ing there behind. Anyway, I don't need them too many. As I said, I live in obstruct them here and there to get rid of excess details. See, I'm blurring them. Dedicate Lee here and there in the field. I know that everything will be lighter very soon, so I put more doc pigments to the grass and places. I think it's more than enough already. If you like to add some spenders, you can do it to add some spontaneous details. But you should do before the paper surface gets dried now, demanding more blue in some areas in purpose to have, um, so really called elements in the painting for a more intense warm called contrast. Hey, presto! When I can have some details off course, it's important to stop in time. Now I wait until the moment when the paper surface is dry, so stopped reflecting the light, and I'll paint the deadline in Western drying technique. 6. Exercises: I take a scene brush and it would be really good for you to practice a little bit then the lines and breasts are not something heavy. They are very light. Feel the difference? It was a fuzzy part on the theme stamp, the flower itself. I will draw holding a brush more vertically, which leads me to get more spent Sandoz lines. I also interrupt the line a little, and here we'll have a seat and how to pains when we need them a lot. I just keep in mind this shape. Imagine that we haven't done the line here, so I pinned the fast connecting umbrellas want to each other? It looks like a web, and then a center and sticks will be here to. But I avoid this kind of a movement because especially these umbrellas we try turned to as like this they will have another shape, actually like a star or a snowflake Way should remember that they're shaped changed in different parts of this fear. Thus, in this place where I have a lot of them, I paint this sort of a web to make it more nature of spontaneous. I'll hold the brush in the middle or even by the tip of a handle. I hold it vertically and try to paint very easy like this. I'll get a desired form. So here is what we could do, and that is what we will dio. And, of course, after will pain seeds and the center of the flower, I'll explain this moment when I make it in the next step off the glass. As for Liston, not is that I don't paint it as an entire heavy lion. It's a very light and find sometimes even dotted line. You don't need to draw all its lengths. The beginning or the end of it is enough to okay practice little and tried to use this tapes for a final drawing. 7. Dandelion: All right, let's start to paint our dental line. Notice that paper here doesn't listen no more. Not in the lower part, neither in the upper, so I understand that it slowly gets dry. I see it also on the Congress, which are no longer stock to aboard. To fix it for a while, I can use a paper clip. If you see that paper peels off the board in too many places, you can accurately leaves a corner of a sheet and Morrison its backside with a clean water . You'll need to wait for some time while water socks, the paper and so the paper to be stuck again. You already know that. However, please note that I don't most in the front side of the painting. Actually, all the sheet edge will be dry very soon. Okay, let's finally paint the flower. I take this theme synthetic brush I've mentioned before. I also keep the second small brush nearby. I mostly pains following the principle off painting from light to dark, and so we're going to do right now here important to understand that this part of the sphere is eliminated by the sun from the back, so we painted lighter and warmer and the further from the sun, the colder and darker it will become. I'm going to use this same colors to create a harmonious picture. I take yellow. It's days a majority. After I painted the background. I hope you took your time to practice little painting than the lines for us, and it's clear for you now. So let's get started. I'm preparing a yellowish mix that is, I'll start directly with this lightest part, which is the most interesting. I load enough of a liquid, but the paint itself is not very light, though it's a quiet dance mix. I'm holding the brush by the center of the handle. Now I take even more water. Let's outline our future fast. I put them in this direction somewhere I can fade. Additional ones in this part of have a lot of them, So I am painting them as a group of connected lines. I take even more water. See, the band is same, a transparent, and I'm kind of connecting these things altogether. Then, as I said before, they will become darker and darker, so I end while it to the yellow mix and I'll add more and more the further I move from the sunny area, the same color I used to paint scenes stems off course to facilitate the process. You may choose any further off the line on the Internet and try to paint carefully all its fluffy umbrellas. But this is a time consuming process, So I chose the easier way and painted in the more spontaneous way with this kind of a brush movement. I think it's even more artistic or something. You see, I try not to go back to this yellow part. I don't use the color no more that is. I tried to complete this part right away and now moving to the far below, it is already much darker and colder, so don't be afraid to apply a suitable dark color. I'm landing more dance Saleh Stems can be darker. I changed the hue. I keep working the same way I take the color remains after the background wash and now I use it for painting the flower as I still have some here and there will be an empty space like we have blown away if us from here. But there it is quite it as group of umbrellas and umbrellas from here flew this way, we'll paint them here later. Somewhere. I may add a bit of yellow truth to make a dark part more interesting to watch next to bring a final shape to this flower texture. I am Blanding, a thicker color first with the less amount of water. Then I put this small dots here and there. They're like good tips of umbrellas, their centers. So I banged them like this. So this fear is becoming more texture. I keep painting these subtitle stems. It seems we can move to a heavy part off the down the line. What did they have inside? This part is quite dark, so let's paint the center first. I took the same yellow pains and add even more violent this time. Notice that as the papers toe wet inside, so the sport we painted over it recently is too wet to this web of lines is still reflecting the light so I can even add some dark details into it to make this color more they worse and interesting. I mean, it's not necessary to do it, but you can do it if you want. So the sensor I painted like this, actually, I should probably take this brush. It's more handy for this work, all right, I'll also draw the beginning over stem. Well, it would be better to paint it more carefully following Contour that's put a napkin here. I remind you that a paper surfaces already dry, so I'm not afraid to put it like that. I pain this damn this way and let's also outlined future leaves. The flower is in the back light, so it's still it is dark so I can paint these leaves over the funds as their darker. Next. It's time for seeds. I take more water and add some rain to the bland. Seeds are quiet dark, too, but I'm going to change their color. This is not a final version yet. I work on leaves and the center of more soon. So let's begin amending this since digs this way. Remember, we drew a small circle here. Now imagine seeds in this circle, and also where there there is a thin stem. Besides, I don't paint it with this moments. I'm just touching it like that up, up, and let's very beat the tone and colors off states. Well, it's already becomes looking like something. Now we lead to darken. This takes a little. It's amazing. We still come See that This water car spot I've painted is still wet. You see, I don't beta strife decline, but just a short thing line like this and it gives an impression of a stem. I don't paint every stem. Neither. I need Onley several together and needed effect. No, for again that there are lots of umbrellas here, so logically we expect a lot of scenes. But here, conversely, some off umbrellas flu Wait, the flower stamp out pains a little darker because now it's not conscious enough to the background. See, here on edge of paper feels off to It means we'd better to finish. Well, you can either keep it semi transparent like it's fading into the background. A possibility like this, or you can draw it until the bottom of the painting. I especially make its on the only painted Well, I'll draw it till the end here. After all, somewhere I am adding these small details. Yeah, I want to make them longer to see them better. This thing I can never swipe with the napkin to see the central part better. Now it's get its shape, and we can also clearly see the saints. I lengthen relief here. Next. I see that leaves turns out to dark here, so I'm taking away some color from them as well to better see the leaf shape. Otherwise, it looks just like a flat, dark spot. If they in opposites turned out to light, you can add some shadows here and there may be to add some more details is not a bad idea. - I'm just watching what's missing and completing the shape of the dinner line, some small shadows or something? No there and lets it. There are only a couple of fluffy umbrellas are left to paint, and I think that's will be enough for this picture. 8. Final touches: in this area. I want to end a couple of flying spas, umbrellas in the air. Let's draw them closer to the sun. He and they will be lighter and warmer, important to check its length on the dandelion in purpose to paint it correctly. Otherwise it will look weird. I loaned my brush was the same amount of liquid I can even gained right here on this sun and to make it bright. Now it's drawn more precisely than in the flower, so it will be this long. It's damn deceit. Not I paint the seed with the Calder teens. Let's end a fluffy thing. And also here, but with the more precise shape I wear the same color tone as I did here. I'm just touching the paper to draw it. I use in asking to make them light up. All right, one more and we finished. I pains optimistic Din's lines, umbrellas. They're flying up. I can make it more transparent and to add some more tiny lines. Okay, it's almost ready. Out of just a little dark thing here in the center of each umbrella. It's a tiny shadow. Should be. There aren't. I think it's done 9. Drying paper: Usually when we paints using this technique, one of the problems arrives in the very aunt. When the sheet starts to get dry, the edge off the paper peel off, and if we will let it dry freely like this, it will be wavy to solve this problem. In the case of here, board is more or less same size than paper. You can take several paper cleaves and fix it along the perimeter. Also, if you have the same situation is mine. When the paper is Bartley dry and partly still stuck to the board, you can first Morse in the paper from the back very carefully, trying not to damage your finished painting. So I leave the paper corner on and with the paper, - especially at the edge. I tried to moisten them enough again. No need some time for that. Now I can see the paper socks, the water important to check If you don't have too much water under the painting, I carefully pressed to the edge. Officiate carefully. Take away excess liquid, which goes outside with a napkin. Next I take a masking tape and where there is a dry paper surface on DNO, extra water ice tickets to a board and painting. There is some water remained, which goes out and wait until this part will be drier and sticking them. I don't press too it strongly because of the weather, which may stay under the edge and islands painting like these to get dry for around 24 hours. Once it's dry, you'll see that it's flat and warm in touch so that you can remove the tape. So here's our painting I home. The tips and instructions were useful for you and that you enjoy this lesson. Now it's your turn to paint your weather card online. Share your results of the project section below this video to get comments from me. Share the most in social media And don't forget about our hashtag. Thank you so much for watching. See you next time. Bye bye.