Watercolour My Garden - Echinacea and Butterfly | Rebecca Humphreys | Skillshare

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Watercolour My Garden - Echinacea and Butterfly

teacher avatar Rebecca Humphreys, Scribbler of Doodlebits

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

7 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Hey There! :)

    • 2. Supplies and Your Drawing Guide

    • 3. Starting the Butterfly

    • 4. Petal Work

    • 5. Butterfly Finish...him off, no, wait!

    • 6. Flower Finish

    • 7. Wow! You’re Awesome!

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About This Class

Welcome to Watercolour My Garden! The class will show you how to paint this beautiful echinacea bloom and it’s visitor- a Painted Lady butterfly.

I have included a free PDF drawing guide so you can dive right into painting without worrying about getting the sketch just right. 

This scene is straight out of our flower gardens here in Nova Scotia, Canada, but Painted Lady butterflies are fairly common in most parts of the world, so chances are, these little beauties have fluttered past you at one time or another! :) 

Grab your watercolours and come along with me while we paint a bit of summer today! 

See you in class!

~ Rebecca :)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Rebecca Humphreys

Scribbler of Doodlebits



A few ink and watercolour tidbits snatched from my sketchbook....


I enjoy the process of using traditional art supplies and seem to encounter less barriers to creativity when I’m using watercolours, ink or oil pastels in the real world. I do some digital work, too, and I imagine that the more familiar I get with using those tools, I may enjoy using them just as much ... or almost :) Traditional tools seem to evoke more of a feeling of ‘play’, which I find highly addictive! Maybe that's why I enjoy making my own watercolours as much as I enjoy actually painting with them. :)


And some Oil Pastel pieces...

Hey there!

You thought there would be something interesting here, didn't you? Ah w... See full profile

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1. Hey There! :) : Hello. Welcome to Watercolor my garden. They were going to be painting Econ Atia. Um, this particular bloom is being visited by a painted lady butterfly. I love seeing them in our garden. In the next lesson, I'll shoot all the supplies that you'll need for this class, right from the size and type of paper to what paint colors you'll need and everything. This class also comes with a drawing template, and I'll show you right where to find that so you can print it and get going. Let's paint. 2. Supplies and Your Drawing Guide: Okay, let's get talking about what supplies you'll need. First of all, you're gonna need your drawing template. So to find where to download that, go to the projects and resources tab. And on the right hand side, if your tablet is sideways, you'll see a pdf, and you can download that and printed out. I have listed here all the colors that we will be using for this class. And I've included a screenshot so you can feel free deposit if you want. And you may look at this and say while couldn't we mix most of these colors? Well, the truth is, yes, we could mix a fair amount of these. But as color mixing is actually most often the difficult thing for beginners, I'm choosing to show you what colors that you can use straight from the pans. Um, for this project now, uh, you can match them. I'm using White Knights paints, um, for the paper that we're using today. I'm using this paper. It's 100% cotton watercolor paper. £140. It's nine by six inches, which is the important part because you're drawing template is purposely made to fit nine by six inch or 6.9 inch watercolor paper. So when you print that out, um, you can see that it fits Ah, very nicely on that page. So the first thing that you're going to do is we're gonna turn your print out into, um, sort of like, ah, carbon paper or transfer paper by using pencils. So we're going to put a layer of graphite on the back. I I like to put a pad underneath mine because it just makes it a little bit softer and use this side of your pencils. Don't use a mechanical pencil. And just so we don't all go crazy, let's just skip ahead. And there you go. It's all finished. Um, So now we've created our own carbon paper, um, out of just plain printer paper. So you don't have to worry about whether your water cooler Baber fits through a printer and all that kind of jazz just printed out on regular paper and turn it into your transfer paper. Now, you definitely want to tape this down. I'm just using painter State because I have that handy. Um, you can use whatever tape that you want because it doesn't really matter if this, um, tracing guide rips later on. And if you want to do a little test before hand to see what type of pressure that you'll need, that might be a good idea. I know roughly how hard I have to press. Um, I'm just making myself a painting guide. None of this is going to be inked later on, um, unless you choose to go right ahead. But this is just a painting guide for me. So, um, you don't want it to be pressing so hard that you make a dent, but you want it hard enough so that you can have a copy made onto your paper. Basically like a ziff you were drawing quite lightly. Um, no. When you get this all Ah, tree stoat and whatnot. Um, I'll show you mine. Mine might be a little bit darker than yours. Needs to be. Just so let it appears on camera a little bit better. But, um, as long as you can see it, that's perfectly acceptable in good enough. Now, once we get this all, um, drawn up, we will take her tape off and we will get painting. So, like I mentioned before. Ah, you can match the paints to the ones that I showed you, or you can use white knights paints, or you can switch it out and use whatever color you choose. It's up to you. 3. Starting the Butterfly: Okay, so let's get painting. So we're working on 100% cotton paper. And the beauty of that is that it doesn't dry oat as fast as cellulose does amongst many other things. But the first thing you want to do is wet both of the butterfly's wings. I know what you're thinking, but we're not wedding them so badly. So much of a lake, so that when we put pigment down, it bleeds all over the place. It's on Lee enough So that the payment that we put down softens and blends into the paper. So we're laying down a base of her Hansa yellow, and then we're going to drop in a little bit of golden into that in a couple of areas, um, and then even intensify that a little bit further. So here's some golden going in. And then right after that, we're gonna go in with just a hint of ruby rate here. No, you can go back in and intensify both your hands yellow, and you're golden. Um, with a little bit more paint. Now, I'm not, um, working superfast. Here it is. Sped up a little bit. Um, but I'm working fast. enough so that the paper doesn't dry raid out completely. So that's again. The cotton watercolor paper will allow you to do that. Um, if I'm going to quickly feel free to put the class on half speed and that will be, um, riel life speed. So then you can go in with a, um, lightly pigmented, um burn number color for the body of the butterfly. When you paint this, try to leave. Um, quite a bit of little white spaces in between that will make him look a lot more textured and furry rather than just one solid color. And then to identify the difference between the wing and the body, get a little bit more pigment on your brush. So it's a little bit darker burn number and just lay that in the area where the wing meets the body. You'll need to carry that burden number up through the wings a little bit and even into the second wing. After this, we're going to start on some of the pedals and let our butterfly dry, and then we'll go back and finish him off. But we're not gonna kill him. That sounds bad. 4. Petal Work: OK, now let's get started on those beautiful pink econ atia colors. We're going to work just with Quinn Rose for all of the pedals. But once again, just like we did for his beautiful wings were going to wet the pedals first. So, um, I like to work with a few of these pedals at one time because they're not very big. And the cotton paper allows you to, um, have a little bit more playing time so you don't have to be quite so worried about something drying on you. So I went three pedals at a time, and then I'm going to drop in just a the top and the bottom of each pedal a little bit of magenta. Now, I spread that out a little bit, but I try really hard to stay away from the center of each pedal. Um, that's gonna blend out into really nice, um, a soft pink color for each pedal. But it will leave the middle section of each pedal, um, nice and white with it, like a highlight so that it will look like that's where the sun is hitting it because the pedals are all curving haute, right? so that allows for that curve to be more obvious. So now that those pedals air finished, I'm gonna work on three more pedals. Now, you don't have to wet right down into the most detailed part of the pedal, like where the tiniest of the curves is, because you can put that in with your brush. When you're adding in your pigment, you can paint that part in Ah, well, the papers dry and then sweep it up into the wet pedal and it will blend out just fine. Try to ah, blend towards the pigment and not a yank your pigment up too far into the middle off the paper. I kept forgetting to do that, and you'll see me switching back and forth, and then we just have three more pedals to do. Um, I don't ah, stay always right in the lines here because it's an illustration. It's not a botanical lying drawing, and I wanted to have some life. I could show you the painting that this is from It's from a painting that I took of my own garden. But the pedals weren't, um, a place where I might like them to be so um I took artistic license and I put the pedals where I wanted them to be. Now we're going to go in, um, with some golden that's nice and dark. And we're gonna add in almost like you're painting in little blades of grass or a little tiny fence. And the idea for this is to leave the center white. Um, you can have the little blades. They're not grass. You know what I mean of varying heights and have some of them poking off in different directions. But what this does is it highlights the circle of the top of the vaccination flower. And once we get that in, we're going to take ah, light. Uh, the pigmented green and econ Isha Flower has very tiny. They're like leaves, but they're like little green pedals that stick out between each one of their magenta, um, pedals. So we're just gonna stick in a few of these and then we'll go back to working on our better flight 5. Butterfly Finish...him off, no, wait!: Okay, so for finishing our butterfly, we're going to mix up a very dark mix of our indigo. Now, if you happen to have black or like to use black, go right ahead. Um, when you're outside, this guy looks black. Hey, doesn't look into go. I just like using a very dark mix of indigo for my blacks. So the first thing I'm doing is painting in the little black, um, polka dots kind of that he has on the back of his wing, and I do a little trick here. Um, painted ladies wings have a white edge. Um, they do not have this white and then black edge. So, um, the tiny, tiny lines that I'm adding on the very tips of his wings, um, are so that white edge shows up. Now, if you were gonna put this butterfly against a dark background, which you're more than welcome to do, then you wouldn't need to put in that little, very, very thin, fine line of indigo or black. Now I'm just painting around some of the little white dots that are at the top of his wings . I say hiss, I don't actually know if this is a male or female. Um, now, if this is too intricate for you, you can feel free to make this, um, like, on all blue butterfly or all yellow. Um, you can use the drawing guide and make your butterfly, um, purple pink. Whatever you choose is you. Um this is just how I perceived Ah, the painted Lady Butterfly and tried to make it into my style. Now you'll notice that I didn't leave, um, like a very, very harsh edge around the yellow between the yellow and the black. That's because it's kind of like that. It's kind of modeled looking like that up at the top, Um, on his underside of his wing. Of course, it's foreshortened. Um, so try to make the shapes look that way a little bit more foreshortened. Not like big round circles like you would have maybe more on his the top of his wings. And um yep. E don't know what else to tell you about this black. Um, if you mix it up a really nice dark color, that indigo works very nicely, and it has a bit more charm than the flat black that often comes with watercolor sets. Um, I also like how deep and dark it gets. It looks really nice. Um, I'm just adding in a few lines here to make it look a bit more foreshortened. And once I get all that in, we want Teoh, you notice that I'm using my detailed brush here because I definitely want a very fine line because we're now going to do, um, his antenna and feet and things like that. So that will be very friendly. Now, you could do those with a fine liner if you didn't trust yourself to do it with a A pen. And that's in no way saying that. Oh, I can do with pent or a paintbrush, So I'm wonderful. Um, I just chose to do it with a paintbrush. Um, but you could easily do this with, um, a Micron Pan or something like that. Uhm, I'm going just going in and adding a little bit more to darken up his body a little bit. It looked a little bit out of place with the darkness of the wings. So, um, to make a very fine line and very steady. Um, I rest my hand on the paper, so make sure that the rest of your flower is very dry before you finish, um, doing anything like this. Otherwise you'll stick your hand in your wet paint. 6. Flower Finish: Okay, so now we're gonna finish off our econ ation flower. First thing I'm going to do is go back in with some Titan red. This is just a darker, um, orange color. Um, that's actually the color that I used for this in the first place. I'm just darkening up. I believe that I said that it was golden, but that's not corrected. It was Titan. Read. Um, I will show you a screenshot later. That will help you sort that after we do that top part, we're gonna leave that section a little bit. But these pedals air now dry. So we're going in on dry pedals with just another layer again of queen rose or a magenta color. And instead of making it flat wash again. The idea behind making these little lines that come up is that it looks like the veins on the pedals, and it adds the the shape of the way that the pedals are growing and curving and twisting. And so it adds some life and movement to the pedals. And you can do this, um, with a larger brush if you want. I'm far more safe. If I use a small detailer brush for things like this, But you do what you want to do. And once you get all of these pedals, um, with this mix on dry, then we will move on to the next part of flour the, um, first layer of the pedals. We we'd like to make that mix a little bit more with the top layer of this magenta or Quinn Rose. And so what I'm going to do next is take ah ah, slight light wash of the queen rose. That's almost halfway between the lightness of the first layer and the darkness of the next layer. And I'm just gonna add in Ah, a few swipes of that, um, light wash to basically make the pedals a bit more pink. Um, right now, they're just a bit too sort of washed out, and we just want to add in a little bit more pink. So I'm going in with this, um, just a little bit of a wet light pink wash to add a little bit more color to the pedals. Now, once you get the pedals done and once they're dry, you can now go in with this mix. This is ah mix of Ruby and Quinn Rose, and this is the secondary part of the econ. Atia blossoms thes air, actually sort of like little parts that are next going to open on the flower. And there, that strange red orange color. Um, I like to go in and make some of them a little bit darker because it adds some texture and some depth to the colors. Once you get those done, um, you can go in and wet the area that makes up the stem of the econ ation flower. And once we get that all wet and going to be putting ah, mix of indigo and green in the deepest part of the shadow right here of the flower and then fade out to a bit more of just green at the bottom now this is quite wet because I wanted to run around a little bit there and then I'm still It's still a little bit of indigo mixed there, but I'm sweeping up green and letting the mix on the paper. This looks so much better when you do a painting than mixing it on your palate and putting it on the paper. Um, letting the colors mix on the paper gives it Ah, riel liveliness to your painting. And even though this is more of an illustrated style, I really like that. Look, I wanted to go in and add in some pedals that were kind of hiding in the back, but, um, as they're very much in the back and in the shadow, they're just going to be one flat layer of magenta, and they're very easy to kind of plop in there. I added a bit of water here to the stem because I actually wanted it to bleed in together and look a little bit more messy than it actually Waas. 7. Wow! You’re Awesome!: Okay, everyone, I can't believe we've already come to the end of her painting. Thank you so much for joining me in this class. I really appreciate having you here. You remember we talked about specifically what pigments that we used for this illustration . And I made a little chart for you so that you can see exactly what pigments I used Where, in case that's of help to you you composite or take a screenshot, If that's helpful once again. Thank you so much for joining me. I can't wait to see what you make and everybody says about it. Really? Can't wait to see what you make. Please upload your work to the project section here on skill share.