Watercolor for Beginners: How to Paint a Dahlia | Michelle Gonzalez | Skillshare

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Watercolor for Beginners: How to Paint a Dahlia

teacher avatar Michelle Gonzalez, Watercolor Artist & Teacher

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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 (51m)
    • 1. Hello!

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Color Mixing & Basic Brush Strokes

    • 4. Painting the Petals

    • 5. Glazing

    • 6. Final Touches on the Petals

    • 7. Painting the Stem

    • 8. Project

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About This Class

This is a beginner friendly class on painting a Cafe Au Lait Dahlia using watercolors. The entire class is filmed in real time with voice instructions to adequately guide you from start to end. In this class, I will provide you with the list of materials you need for painting, I will show you how to mix colors to achieve the soft shades for the petals, and I will also show you the basic brush strokes necessary to paint the petals. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Michelle Gonzalez

Watercolor Artist & Teacher


Hello, I'm Michelle, also known as @brushstrokesbymichelle on Instagram, and I am a watercolor artist and teacher from Manila, Philippines.


I started pursuing my artistic passion in 2018, as a birthday gift to myself. I did not know that I would be painting almost every single day after I attended a 3-hour workshop on basic watercolor painting techniques in March of that year. I was just so in love with watercolor!


A year after, I started teaching my watercolor painting process here on Skillshare, as well as other platforms and 1-on-1 sessions. Aside from the personal mental and physical be... See full profile

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1. Hello!: Hi there. My name is Michelle and I'm a watercolor, our desk from Manila, Philippines. In this class, I'm going to teach you a very simple way that you can paint this cafe or lay Dahlia using watercolors. I have designed this class specifically for beginners like you. So you don't have to worry about failing because I will be guiding you all throughout the process. I'll be showing you the materials that you will meet. I'll also be showing you how to mix colors to achieve these particular shades. I'll also be showing you the basic brushstrokes needed to achieve these parallels. And there's no drawing needed for this particular class. The entire class is filmed in real time. So you can easily paint along with me. So without further ado, let's move on to the next video so we can start painting this very beautiful flower. I'll see you there. 2. Materials : For the materials, we're going to use a 100% cotton, 300 gs m watercolor paper. This one is slightly textured and it's cold pressed paper. Now it's time to crab. Also, some of you used watercolor paper for practice. And of course, we're going to need some water colors. A size two round brush, a size 11 round brush, or any bigger brush that you have, you can use either synthetic or natural hair brush, a ceramic pellets, and of course, a bottle of clean water for rinsing your brush. 3. Color Mixing & Basic Brush Strokes: The colors will be using further pedals would be mineral, violet, burnt sienna, and permanent yellow D. We will also be using burnt umber later on for the details. Now let's start mixing the color. So I'm adding a lot of water to my ceramic palette because I want to achieve 80 consistency for our pedals. By T consistency, I mean that we will be having a very diluted pigment. The first color that I'm adding is permanent yellow deep. The color that we want to achieve with this is a slightly pink colored brown. So mixing all these three colours will help us achieve that. Then rinsing my brush so I can add in burnt sienna. As you can see, it's now slowly turning into a coffee like color. And I'm going to rinse my brush again, and this time I'm going to add mineral violet. Take your time in mixing the colors. You want to make sure that once you're done mixing the colors, everything is ready for you. So that once you start painting, you won't have to mix colors again while you're in the middle of your painting. This also helps you to achieve a more consistent color all throughout your painting. Now let's test this on paper. So far I'm liking the color. It's very thin and transparent. That's what we want to achieve. However, it lacks the pinkish shade that we want on our Dahlia. So at this point, I'm going to rinse my brush and grab some opera Pink. Now, I'm going to tell you this colors well, to make sure that the color of the petals remained transparent all throughout. So I'm going to add some more water onto this opera pink to maintain its transparency. Again, we want a very, very light shade that soft for our pedals. So at this point, I'm happy with the color already. So I'm going to leave it at that. Next, we're going to prepare the colors for the stem. So after events by brush, I'm going to grab some sap green. And this will form the base color of the stem. The second color that we'll be using for the stem is olive green. Now we worked in mixing it directly with sap green, but we'll be adding it onto our pallet so that it's ready later on. When we added as a second layer on the stem. Now are ready to do some practice brushstrokes. The first thing that I'm going to teach you would be held to draw the perfect circle using your brush. Now as you can see, I just trusted my brush in a circular motion. Adding some pressure onto the paper as I do this. Let's do that again. Next, we're going to drop in some of the upper pink into our base there so that you can see how nice the color is. And that would form part of the center of our cafe or a Daria. Next I'm going to show you how to do a diamond stroke for the pedals. Once a tip, if you brush, touches the paper, press and glide upwards or say the base. Now let me just drop something on to this so you can see the color. And if you want to have a wider panel just to a couple of strokes together. And for a longer pedal, just glide your brush for a longer time. Now let's start practicing on some finer brushstrokes. And this time we're going to use the size to round brush. Similar to how we did the diamond strokes were going to glide upwards or sideways, adding pressure the moment the tip of the pressure touches the paper and lifting it as you glide. Now let's do a few more strokes, but this time we're going to use burnt umber. Let's try that on the pedals that you painted earlier. As you can see, using the size to round brush, we're able to create very fine lines onto the pedals. And these will be the details for our cafe elite area. And these are the basic strokes that you need to learn before we start painting or can fail the Dalia. Now, I would encourage that you practice these strokes first a few times before you head onto the next video. And when you're ready, we can start. I'll see you there. 4. Painting the Petals : Now let's start painting arc a fairly Talia. I'm going to use my size 11 round brush. Now. I'm going to just wipe my brush a bed, taking off the excess water by tapping it against the rim of my rents bottle. And I'm going to take some of the coffee color that we have mixed earlier. At the center of my paper. I'm going to create the small circle by just using my brush in a twisting motion that I'm going to dab some opera pink onto this center to create that nice pinkish coffee color that we want. Now around this center circle, I'm going to add small petals using DYAMAND strokes for most of the pedals and just going to use the coffee color. But you'll see that from time to time, I will be mixing this with the opera pink to soften the cholera bit. As your painting, each petal. Try to make sure that it's the same length as the one that you paint it before it. This will ensure that even without the sketch, you are able to form a nice circle for each layer of our pedals. Taking a closer look, you'll see that some of the pedals are glossy. This means that these are still damp while the others are already dry. So far those are already try. We can add the details for this. We're going to use this size to round brush. And the color that we'll be using is burnt umber. Now, well, we're adding details to the paddles that have already tried. The ones that are damn, have now begun to try as well. So we can now add details to all of the patterns. It would be. Next, we're going to add some details into the center of these would be the pedals that are folded inverts. So we're going to use the same color, burnt umber, and the same brush size to round brush. I'm going to start by outlining potato, which is a teardrop shaped petal. And once I'm done outlining each petal, I'm going to add very fine lanes into each one of them. Let's now add some shadows in between the potatoes. I'm using the same color here, burnt umber. For now, ready to add the second layer fed us. And I'm using my size 11 round brush for this. Using the coffee colored mixed earlier. I'm going to add each pedal in-between. The pedals that we've painted previously. This time, the petals will be a bit longer and wider. And I'm dropping in some opera pink to give that nice pinkish color to our coffee color. You'll notice that there will be times when I would just use the brush without having to reload it. Now, at this point, there's a puddle that formed on the first pedal. We'll just take that off to have been a tissue paper at the edge of that pedal. Now let's continue with the rest of the pedals. Again, I'm just using the coffee color that we've mixed earlier. And unlike the first layer of petals, I am now creating wider panels by doing a couple of diamonds strokes for each petal instead of just one. Now, each petal does not have to be the same as the other one before yet. But we do want each pedal to be of the same length. And you will see that there will be times when I would be adding opera pink to the pedal. And there are times when a will not be doing this, since we already have that sense of color in our brush. This forms a variety of color within the layer of petals that we're creating without having to drastically change the color of each petal. So as a whole, our dollars till looks very coherent. Okay. Now let's leave those petals to try and add a few more shadows are details onto the center of the Dalia using burnt umber and our size to round brush. So basically anxious going to darken the outlines of each petal so that they are more defined. Now at this point, I'd like to add details to the second layer of petals. However, you'll see that some of them are small dam. So like we did earlier, I'm going to add the details to the ones that are already try. So for this one, I'm using my size to round brush again and burned similar to what we did to the first layer of petals. I am just going to add very fine lines into each. Be very careful when you add these mines. Makes sure that they're very thin all throughout. Because we really want to create that very soft appearance for the pedals. And we'll be looking at they can come and go. Good. By this time, before are now already try. So we can now details go onto these pedals as well. And now we're down to the last layer of our paddles. But for this particular layer, I would like to mix our coffee color, opera pink. By doing this, I want to achieve a much softer, much lighter color to the last layer of petals. Once I'm happy with a color that I've mixed, I will now be adding one or two pedals in between the gaps of the previous theorem of pedals. You'll notice that these pedals are now very much lighter and more pinkish in color compared to the previous petals that he fainted. And also painting them in. Yes, thanks. Although not too drastic. And at the same time, I am also going to add pedals in different directions. Since this is the last layer of our petals may dealing so we create a more natural appearance that Dahlia that repainting. Here. We go. Okay, now I see that there are some spaces that need to be filled with some more petals in between these gaps. Now the other pedals to the last layer, we will now the details to each of these patterns. Again, I'm using burnt umber for this and my size to round brush. And I'll be applying the same process as I did in the previous two. There's so it will be up to you. If you want to speed up the pace of this video. Pause or paint along with me as a add the details to each petal. Yeah. Good. Ok. And what they can do, it, it would be good. But this isn't good. In the data. The good news. Even if we can get more details on to this. 5. Glazing: In this lesson, I'm going to teach you how to glaze each pedal so that it looks more vibrant and it's accentuated even further. So with my size 11 round brush, I'm just going to add more opera pink onto my palette. And I'm going to add some of that coffee color that we have already mixed earlier. The color that we want to achieve here is more of a blush color. And we're only going to add it to the inner parts of each petal. Then, after we've discovered to some of the pedals and playing to rinse my brush onto a tissue paper to take out the excess water, softened the edges. These colors that there's a very nice transition from the inner pedal going outward. So we're going to do this for the rest of the pedals, as we did earlier. I am going to suggest that you paint along with me. But if you prefer to stop this video and do this by yourself, you can do so. Yeah. Good. Okay. This isn't good. It would be good. Okay. Okay. And what they can do it it would be good. Please. Take a look. Now we're done pleasing the pedals. We will add another detail into the center of this Dahlia. And we'll do that in the next video. I'll see you there. 6. Final Touches on the Petals : Let's further accentuate this portion of the flower by adding some shadows around it. Now, I'm just going to clean my brush and just water. I'm going to use my size 11 round brush to wet each of the petals in the first layer. Only. Now, once a pedal has been wet, I'm going to grab some burnt umber. And I'm going to use my size to round brush for this so that there's just enough pigment. Now let's do this for the rest of the pedals, only for the first layer. So I'm going to wet my pressure again, my size Leben round brush. And I'm going to use this wet brush to go over all of the pedals. In the first layer. There's no pigment added at this time. I'm just using water. Next, I'm going to grab some burnt umber. And I'm going to dab this color using my size to round brush onto the inner parts of each of these petals that are connected to the center of a Darja. Lastly, I'm going to add very tiny dots to further accentuate the center of the Dalia with a quick poking motion. And we're finally done painting the pedals of this cafe. Only Dalia. I'll see you in the next video for painting. The stem. 7. Painting the Stem: Now let's paint the stem. So this term would be very simple. It's just going to be a very thin line stemming from the center of the flower going downward. And we're going to use a size two round brush for this. The first color that I'm going to use would be Sap Green. This will form the first or the base layer of this term. Now make sure that you are starting from the center of the middle part of the flower going downward. Be very careful with outlining this time, making sure that it remains very thin when we don't want a very thick line for this. Now, as you're going down the lower part of the stem, the color will be a bit later than the rest of the stem. Next, we're going to use olive green. And we'll be adding this to the part near third flower or near the bottom petals. That's it. We're done with this ten. And the artwork is now complete. 8. Project : Thank you so much for joining my class. I hope that you enjoyed painting with me as much as I enjoyed preparing this class, especially for you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask them in the discussion section of this class. I also encourage you to share your project here so I can give you feedback. Also, if you're going to have your project posted on your Instagram account, I would love if you would tag me, so I could also feature it in my stories. Again. Thank you so much for joining my class. So the next time, bye for now.