Watercolor Plant Journal | Anina Rubio | Skillshare

Watercolor Plant Journal

Anina Rubio, Visual Artist

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7 Lessons (10m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Illustrating Leaves

    • 4. Color Wheel and Mixing Colors

    • 5. Watercolor Techniques

    • 6. Painting Process

    • 7. Final Artwork and Class Project


About This Class

Creating a watercolor plant journal is a good way to practice painting and it also helps you track your progress. When I was learning watercolor, I had no idea how to go about painting plants so I got inspired to create a watercolor plant journal to push myself to learn more about the craft. This process helped me practice scaling, illustration, color mixing, and painting. It also gave me an eye for detail without being too obsessed with every line or detail of the plant reference.

I'm confident that you guys will learn these same things when you start creating your very own watercolor plant journal!

The topics we'll cover are:

  • Why journaling helps
  • Materials
  • Drawing in pencil: How to scale your drawing
  • Watercolor techniques (Wet on wet, dry on wet, glazing)
  • Final artwork and doing your class project

This class is ideal for all levels and for hobbyists who loves both nature and watercolors.

Looking forward to seeing your class projects!



1. Watercolor notebook - It's ideal that you use a binded pad or notebook so that it has a journal feel to it. You should make sure that the paper of the notebook is okay for watercolor use. In this class, I used KHADI Journal but feel free to use other brands of watercolor notebooks.

2. Watercolor paint - Artist grade or student grade, it doesn't matter. The journal's sole purpose is for practice so you can use any watercolor paint that you already have. I use Mission gold paints from Mijello.

3. Watercolor brushes - Have at least 2 different sizes of round brushes ready so that you can do finer details with a smaller brush and cover more space with a bigger brush. Synthetic or Sable, it's fine. I use brushes which I have already been using for 4 years now: Raphael and Escoda. 

4. Pencil and Eraser - Pencil lead should not be darker than HB as watercolor becomes transparent when dry and you don't want pencil marks to be very visible on your artwork.

5. Water containers - Any jar you have at home is fine (so that you can reuse them). Have 2 containers ready. One for rinsing brushes, the other for activating paint and making your mixtures.

6. Leaves - As much as you can, don't pick leaves from a live plant. Get the leaves that have fallen off from the plant so that you don't harm the plant in the process. Size of the leaf is up to you, as long as it can fit in your journal!

7. Tape (masking or washi) and Paste - For sticking the leaf on the journal page


1. Introduction: Hi, everyone. I'm a Nina Rubio, a visual artist. M your list faith in the Philippines. I am deeply inspired by nature. So as a way to practice watercolor painting, I started creating my own plant. Jornal, my plant journal, evoked my creativity and aided me in practicing my art in a small skill with constant practice, I also learned how to mix colors and paint details, too. In this class, I'll be showing you tips and tricks and how to illustrate leaves and create your own watercolor plant journal. Keeping a plant journal is a good way to push yourself to practice and track your progress more or less, looping one leaf at a time, so it's not going to take much of your time. It's a fun way to document leaves that you see around you to if you guys already, Then let's start 2. Materials: you be needing a water caller five order notebook. I use a Qadi Journal because it has a good texture, and it helps bring out the details in the leaf. Using a good watercolor paper will absorb the water properly and prevent the paper from buckling or curling up. You'll be needing water color paint. I use mission Go because they're very pigmented. He also need at least two different sizes of round brushes, two cups of water. The other one is for activating debate. The other one is further in saying pencil and a razor for sketching, washing tape and based to stick your leaves onto your journal. And, of course, the most important part, the leaves that you will paint and stick onto your plant journal. 3. Illustrating Leaves: When illustrating plants or leaves, you have to identify the general shape off your leave. Try to avoid being too conscious about drawing all the lines and curves perfectly. The important thing here is to get the general shape off the object. Start by identifying the center or spine. Mr Didn't length and start from there. You don't need to have a ruler. You can use your pencil to check the size and scale the leaf so I mark the endpoints and then you draw the line from there. Eventually, with practice, you can train your eye to do the proportions without using any measuring toe. Don't be too conscious about following the exact shape of so much. You get the general overall shape, then you're good to go in terms of details. No need to sketch everything because we will be painting them anyway. I'm just trying to get the overall shapes of the other color for me to be able to block it off later. This applies to illustrating other plants as well. Always start by identifying a spine or a central line from which the other leaves branch out 4. Color Wheel and Mixing Colors: before we start painting, let's review the collar real having an idea on this topic and help you expand the cholera range of your existing ballot. We have the primary colors, which then, if we mix, can create other colors. Let's say we want out of a certain shade of green. By varying the amount of either blue or yellow, we can come up with different days of green. The's collars, in turn, become adjacent colors. Adjacent colors are colors beside each other in the culture real. In this example, I used cobalt blue and two different shades of yellow. As you can see, even though they're very similar, they have actually varied shades of green. So to expand your palate, you can either choose to use a different pigment or to vary the amount of pigment. Now let's go back to the caller meal diagram. In painting, you rarely use black because it flattens the image. In this case, what we uses a complementary color. Complementary colors are colors which are opposite each other in the color wheel. In this example, you will see the difference between using black and using a complementary color, which is red using red instead of black to pay the darker areas off the leaf will make it look more natural. Mixing complementary colors result in different shades of brown. If we mix red and green, the result will be a version of brown again. The shade will depend on the amount of red or green that you mix, or whether or not you use a lighter green or a darker green. It really depends on you just to recap. Adjacent colors are colors, which are beside each other in the color real painting. Adjacent colors in one object can make the grade agents appear more natural and organic. Complementary colors are colors, which are opposite each other in the color wheel. They give the highest possible contrast and stability and win Mix. The two colors create an illusion off a shadow or shade of brown. When mixing, always watch on a scratch watercolor paper to see if it's a colliery like when you are okay with the color, swatch it on your journal and take note of the pigments used in this way. When you encounter a similar leaf, you have an idea on what color mixture you need to use 5. Watercolor Techniques: There are so many techniques on watercolor painting, but we will only tackle the ones that will be helpful and painting leaves for your plant journal. The primary, saying to take note about watercolor in general, is this pigment follows water for the wet on wet technique. When you add a layer of weapons toe another wet layer, the paint spreads because both layers are very fluid. This technique is useful when you want your color transitions to look more natural. Note that leaves are never one colored only so for the base layer of my leaves, I always use the wet on wet technique with varied shades of green. Make sure that whenever you paint based the years, you start with a D like mixture, meaning there's more water than pigment. It is easier to add layers and details when you start with a light layer versus a very dark and pigmented layer where the other layers will be visible anymore. Dry on wet technique, it's useful when you want certain details to soften up on the edges. Since the base layer is wet, adding a relatively dry layer will give you more shape control because the new later will not spread as much, unlike in the wet on wreck technique. In these examples, you concede a difference of wet on dry detailing versus dry on with detailing watercolor paints appear lighter when dry. This is why most artworks require more and more layers to give it dimension in detail. Leaving is a technique off adding a wet layer through a dry layer. From this, you can see that I have added more layers to the previous layers to give it a more detailed look. Lifting is a technique I used to lift or remove either excess water or paint from the artwork. You can use any absorbent material to lift, but I use a dry brush so that I have more control over the areas that I want to lift. 6. Painting Process: Let's move on to creating our watercolor plant journal. First, you need to stick the leaf on your journal page. Ideally, it should be leaves that fell off so that you don't harm the main plant. Next is we sketched the basic shape off the leaves off the plant. No need to fill in details, as you will paint it later, preparing mixtures ahead. It's useful when you want to save time. Ice watched my paint on the side, and I listed a colors I use for future reference. Now apply the three techniques, but under giant Web and glazing. Most importantly, have fun. This exercise is a good training for you to paint from an actual reference. - He could write other details, like leave for plant names, date when you're painting it and location where you got it. 7. Final Artwork and Class Project: that concludes our class for today. Hope you guys get inspired to create your own water. Calder Plant journals Challenge yourself to make blank Jornal E a regular habit so that you can practice and improve your painting skills. Take photos of pages from your plant journal and shared him in the class project section so we can continue to give each other feedback and perhaps increase our knowledge. Also unplanned identification and Dr Bathing guys until the next class. If you want to see more artworks, please don't forget to check out my social media accounts.