Watercolour painting on flowers | Surbhi Bahl | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

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

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 (27m)
    • 1. Introduction and the art materials needed

    • 2. Sketching roughly with a pencil

    • 3. Light washes with lighter tones

    • 4. A shade darker

    • 5. Little detailing

    • 6. Adding the contrast

    • 7. White highlights with acrylic white

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

I came across this beautiful wing chair with designs of flowers and wanted to capture a section of it, and bring it out in watercolours. Let's create some magic with the medium which is always a bit unpredictable, and which allows us to build from light to dark tones with our shaky hands!

We need the following art materials:
1. Water colour set - cakes/tubes
2. Thin brush
3. Water container
4. Pencil
5. Dry cloth
6. White acrylic paint (optional)
7. Thick paper of at least 140-150gsm


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Surbhi Bahl

Artist, Illustrator and Graphic Designer


Hello and namaste! I'm Surbhi, a Delhi based artist who loves to create and teach along with my cup of coffee. I graduated in MA Fine Art in painting from Chelsea College of Art & Design, London and have worked as a graphic designer along with my studio work, and have exhibited at art exhibitions widely. I love drawing, shading, painting, animating, creating comics in various mediums and I'm here to share some great tips and shortcuts on how to bring out super impactful works. You can check some of my works on my Instagram and a few video animations here on Vimeo. 

During the lockdown I have been teaching art online at Preply along with other platforms, so feel free to get in touch if you need any great personal tips and new methods:)

I a... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction and the art materials needed: Welcome to my class. I'm here in the lovely hills from one of my travels. And I have a makeshift studio, a little messy table. And here I saw a beautiful wing chair and I thought I'll capture a section of it for the class. And these are lovely peony is, if I'm not mistaken or a day I decant, I hope I'm right. A family of rules, I suppose very similar. And I'm creating them in watercolors. Watercolors is all this fine, isn't it? The scholars study how are we going to go from light to dark? Very important point to note in watercolors. First we're going to build it up with the pencil. Then build it up with the lighter shade, with the washings and then the darker tones. So for this class we need the watercolor set. I have the cakes, which are very useful for my travels. If you have the tubes, that's fine as well. I have a makeshift palette, a 10 brush water container, and a dry cloth which is below that, pretty much it. And the paper can be a tick quality of at least a 140, 150 GSM so that it doesn't get lumpy. And the last section of the class, it's optional if you have white acrylic paints to give the final highlights. Let's see how it builds up. If you That's an optional one. And I, for the project, I hope you pick up a section of the venture. I have taken this part if you want the same or any other part of the venture to capture the nobly peonies and the leaves and the stem. So let's study this in watercolors and build it up. Watercolors after all are very unpredictable. We do now it's going to be. So I would love to see everyone's works. So look forward and happy creating. And hello again from the hills. 2. Sketching roughly with a pencil: Looking at the section of my lovely wind chair, let me begin. I've cropped out the section that I'm going to be finally drawing out. And hope you start as well. The stem. Beautiful big roles. I'm just drawing a very rough with the pencil. I'm not going into details, just getting the form right. This is the insight, but all this is going to be beautifully covered with watercolors. And this is the stem again coming back now that we draw bigger petal, the leaf. Now the leaf and another leaf. See the way I'm holding my pencil. And that's pretty much the way we're going to be holding the brush as well when we're doing watercolors. So keep that in mind. Another leaf. So coming back here to the stem, then we go up and make a little bud, budding little flower, the future. Some leaves coming out through them. And it's good enough. Let's take the stand behind this leaf and some little bit of orange flowers. What do you think? So we'll draw the center first. Rough outline, that center hill rough outline. And some leaves here. Remember this is just a reference for my little picture, not little, but of nice venture with a white background. So I'm not going to be doing anything. I'm just going to need the background incidence. And maybe I can just stop in this part. We just kept, you know, small section. And so this is our work. I think we are good to pick up a brush and a watercolors. And let's start painting this little section. 3. Light washes with lighter tones: So here I am with my watercolors set. I have the kx, which is pretty useful as well, along with the Duke that you may have, that's fine. You still need a palette. I have a rough plastic lid and I need a water container and a thin brush. That's what I have here. Along with that, any dry piece of clean clot. So with these objects in mind, with these materials, I mean, let's start. The basic rule of watercolors is always, always go from light to dark. So I'm going to be building up. I'd take a little bit of the pink, bringing it to my palette here. It's kind of light going to dip some water, some more here and mature remap added water and spread it out. Now another rule of watercolors is, It's a little funny way, but yes, I over C tried to pretend as if you had this leg electrocuted. So keep moving like we've drawn the rough shape. So move as if you're some electric shock that's happening. This way. You don't get to stay in one place too low. But yes, of course, define the edges. But once the urine side given them wash, dip it in water. To put on the ballot. Come back, you keep moving. My little pink petals. Remember we're going light to dark so you don't have to focus too much about bringing the dark, but as yet. And try not to overlap. This is pretty much my pink flower. I could define the shape under More. This is the bud. And that's pretty much towards going to be my first goal for the pink one. Now, let me typically my brush decoder bit of orange. Bring it up to my palette here. This is Photo, little bit of orange flowers, a couple of them that I picked out. Again. Your hand is electrocuted and falls to move quick. Little water so that we have the wash effect. And watercolors. We like to move in layers, but gradually years because we have to wait for it to dry. So we've done the pink and orange, let's bring out our green. So again, we'll start with the lighter green. Bring it here. Any part of the palate doesn't matter. Let's begin. The percent water. My electrocuted hands. And little leaf here. I do hope you have a thick paper. If you have 10, you'll already come to know that the pages getting NumPy minuses well little bit towards 150 GSM. But still, it's always important to not to be in one area too long that water collect so we have to keep moving. Remember this is only the first quote. And the light green. Or do we leave or to speak here? Maybe we'll come back to that. And yes, take some green and work on the stem as well. So lovely dark green stem. But again, we're going light first. Let me scooper my pink that we left here. So heavy covered everything. I think so. Maybe a little green here as well. And maybe in a year. So that's pretty much it. Our first layer, Let's wait a few minutes, depending where you are, the weather, let's wait for it to dry. You might see there's a bit of a shine here. It's going to go away. That's the water and the reflection that's coming of the night, the spotlight. So let's wait and meeting the next step. 4. A shade darker: So we're continuing with the works. I always like to have a rough sheet of paper as I'm working on. Because this way I get to test the colors as well. And if it's dark or if it's the tone instead of applying on the ballot and then bringing it here. So from my set, let me take R for example. Let's see how this would be a darker pink. Bring it here. Let's put it a bit in water and bring it back. Let me check. I think so it's a darker tone then what we have. So we're good to add our second layer of a darker tone. So here again in my electric utility hands, let me put it up on certain areas. Moving. We're not copying it exactly as it is in the fabric. But if we're just looking at the areas where a dark and light so that we can get a good, good contrast. And then our center part is the darkest. So maybe it's not overlapping with what we've done. So perhaps I could pick up C, dark brown. And Mexican might think. This cake set that I have is a Japanese ones really needed quite advanced. I don't get all the color options, but here it gives you a lot of freedom to mix. Maybe I'll take the job black as well. So that's the doughnut I have been doing inside part of the w bar. Again with my shaky hands. We never been like this. And just keep moving when they give very light. And I can quantum gradients, some of the dark areas. I hope you're making lots of mistakes. Because sometimes mistakes and watercolors comes to our advantage. So we're not copying it exactly. Watercolors are always so unpredictable. We don't know how the final word is going to be. There's lots of white here, so I'm going to leave that and bring the outside part. Let me come to the little bud here. The Living Future floor. That's going to bloom. So I'm getting dark hill. They can pick up some pink as well. The dark thing that I started with, work a little longer nights groups the water runs out, so it's watercolor after all, we're not doing too much solid pips. Yes. And let me take out orange, mix it with the polarity, the dark color that are heavier and work on the darker tone of orange with the maybe. So remember, I've just picked up two floors of the orange. Feel free to pick up more. It's your canvas. You want to fill it up. I've just taken on a sample here and filling it up slowly. So that's with our floors. And let me finish this one nicely with a nicer pink light areas given a wash. But I'm going to be adding another layer of the floor. Yes, it's not. It. Let's meet in the next step for the leaves. And the stems are adding a darker shade of green. 5. Little detailing: So remember we had worked on a lighter shade of green for the first good. Let me pick up, scoop out a little darker one, maybe mix it with the other dogs that I have. So if you have two shades, That's also fine. I have four, which is pretty useful for me because I love drawing nature increase. So it's always nice to have ownership family of greens, but if you just have light green, so in the next step, work only on the dark web. So that's my green. Let me test it out. Yeah, it's good. If I want to add a little darker stone, I could take not just my dark green, but I could use black as well to give out even a darker dog. And let's begin with the flowers, I'm sorry, the leaves. Dependent water. I don't want too much of a solid effect. Always good to see your work with little bit of blurry eyes. It helps, trust me. It comes out even more. And keep moving. The doctrine here on this leaf here and bring it up. And print got two different veins of the work here and the dark dots here. Let's work further on it. Let me scoop all the green, the darker green, and maybe a little bit of black. So understand if you'll notice one side is dog and the other side is light. So I'm gonna go, Let's pick up the left side. Dark. Whoops, come out. Okay, It doesn't matter, Be careful. It's a bit too dark. I'm going to give it a wash and be careful with the next one. Dog only on the left or the top bar to the stem. It looks running doesn't inhibit the contrasts. We don't wanna make it a flat screen. Oh, there was a bit of pink here. We could have added. Okay, This leave work on the dog, but inside weren't already looking quite pretty. This leaf, we can add an arc here. And as I'm doing it, I think my flowers quite enough drying as well. Well, that's why it's good to work section by section. Come back to where I started. Now I could bring out some lines. Go this beautiful big leaf here as well. So many elements in the world, right? You don't get to, you miss out so much engrossed in one section. That way it's important to see your work from far. A big leaf, which is just true for my imagination. And that's our second coat told actually, and that's come back with our final touches of the watercolor set. But yes, I, like I said, there was an pink. I could have just done. Well, it's Cooper the pink that's already on my palette. Just a different flower hanging their little one. And the green on top. So that's pretty much it, I think Enter, Let's come back with our very final touch. 6. Adding the contrast: For the final touch, I'm going to be quick. I'm going to pick up my dark green. Mix it here. Little bit of black again, mix it here. So I have a sort of a darkish don't know me. Do a little inside part of this Florida nectar areas too dark, so green, but I'm just debris and water. And add a little greenish dots here. It's not green, yerba, to let it be, doesn't matter on this one. Final bit of green here. And as I'm quick as well, orange water. I don't deny need a palette. Maybe spread it with my little shaky hands. Spreading the green. Moving top and come back to a darker green. Water. Come bring a little dark dawn in certain places, not everywhere. Just to have a stunning contrast. On the top of this leaf. Top of this one. This one side on this one. I think we're done with the greens. Let's come back to our pink. And finally Dutch. And the girl, my pink here. Bring it on the ballot. And let me define the final bit. Dolby going light to dark, but I'm just adding a bit of highlights that again. That's fine. What I like to do is if I if I were to have done a lot of pink everywhere, I would have added a little white. Dawn is difficult to add. We don't have white watercolors, right? I mean, if you equate smudged because I keep adding mixing colors in it. We don't have white begun add white on there. So what I like to do sometimes is add a highlight of white with acrylics. Just it's a personal choice, but or you could maybe added with white crayon, just the final bit of highlight. And let's add a bit of, maybe say a yellow and side it's not really yellow, but to see a yellow ocher, just a tiny pinch of it. Going to directly floors, sort of facing this way towards the wind. Coming back to the dark area. Mixing a bit of brown. I'm going to bring the contrast to this loop pattern that's behind under this. So this is the white area. Remember, let me take some water. Drag this dog barks so that I know have dark everywhere I think. Oops, we'll do doc. Water's pretty quickly. Shake your hands. See if the blurry eyes and maybe a dash of pink here as well. On the top only dash here as well. So tiny drop of pink there and maybe a petal. The future battle. We done with orange. And maybe because I have some green left, I hate to waste paint. So maybe I'll do a leaf here. And you don't have to draw anything. But if you feel you want to extend a little bit, feel free to add your lines. Split better, isn't it? So that's whether China's coming. So that's how we built up a watercolor. And I think this is pretty much the final bit. It may be a little messy, but that's all right. We're here, we're here to learn how we built it from light to dark. So I hope you've enjoyed creating your section of the Florida of your choice. That's what I joined that I hope you pick up something that I love to see you as well. Thank you for joining. 7. White highlights with acrylic white: A little extra bonus. I've got my white acrylic set here. The tube. I'm just going to take a little bit like I was talking about the highlights. Let's see how it looks with white acrylic paint. The trick is not to use much water. I've dipped my brush in water for lag 1 second and I dried it with a dry clot. Maybe scoop out the white and add the highlights here where I see it with my little blurry eyes. So like I said, with watercolors is tricky to bring that extra light back once you've gone light to dark. So I'm using acrylics like a solid color. Little bit at the tip. I anyway, left it out, but just to give it a few extra, extra. I love white. I always like I try to buy as much white as possible. So that's our highlight here. Let me take out some more white. Maybe for the orange flowers at the bottom. There's not too much highlight, but just to add a contrast, this white that I have is anyway, quite water-based. So I'm trying not to use any water in my brush. Coming back here. Finish the light a little bit here. And maximum here. In fact, you don't even need to take it out from the palette. You can just scoop it out here with the site to get a more solid feed and there's no water. So feel free to do your work on the easel and then work on it and see where the extra highlights can come. So I love using the white, not just for watercolors, but I even put it on top of oil pustules or, you know, any kind of shading.