painting relaxed ink florals | Erin Kate Archer | Skillshare

painting relaxed ink florals

Erin Kate Archer, art & illustration

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6 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. intro

    • 2. supplies

    • 3. roses & filling out bouquets

    • 4. composition

    • 5. bouquets

    • 6. outro


About This Class

this class is an intro to inking relaxed florals, starting with a basic rose bouquet.

pulling inspiration from the popular watercolor floral style, we’ll be creating floral rose bouquets with just one color to make beautiful high contrast florals.

we’ll learn how to overcome the lack of transparency and create dynamic flowers and greenery. i’ll provide you with step by step worksheets for creating simple roses and filler flowers & greenery, and reference floral arrangements and composition.


1. intro: Hi there. I'm Erin Kate Archer. I'm an ink and watercolor illustrator, and this class is intro to inking relaxed florals, and we're going to start with a rose bouquet. Learn how to create roses in different stages of life and from different angles, and then creating different filler flowers, and the techniques you need to fill out an entire bouquet. Then, we'll move on to composition and referencing another Skillshare class, and some principles for composing your own bouquet. Then, I'll walk you through, step-by-step, through a few pieces I've created in this style. So if this sounds like something you're interested in, enroll now. 2. supplies: Supplies for this class are actually pretty simple. So starting out, we are looking at ink. Here I'm using just an Indian ink that I got at Flick. You can also find really good ones from Winsor & Newton and I liked to have the Indie inks because they're waterproof. Not that it really matters because we're not water coloring over these, but if you feel like it, you can. Then I'm using a round brush. This is a number four, actually I don't know what brand this is, but I will find out and I will list it for you and it's really nice because you can get dry lines like that, or you can use the very tip of the brush and get a skinny line and then flatten it out and get a nice thick line. I also sometimes use these pre-filled brush ones. It comes with ink already inside of it and then you just squeeze it to fill the cavity and then you can create really nice lines with this too. This is handy if, like me, you tend to bringing your work over onto the couch with you and you don't want to have an open pot of ink. Then of course, we'll have to have paper towels. This is a messy business. You have to rinse off and clean your brushes too, but it's good to have a paper towel around just in case. Then for paper, a lot of times I honestly just use regular computer paper, which is what's above, or I use mixed media, or watercolor paper. It's really a personal preference, it really depends on how you like to work. If you just want to create a bunch of pieces, you can use cheap printer paper. You can also use Bristol board, which is a really nice hard surface, and using watercolor paper gives you a little bit more of the texture. So it depends on whether or not you like that look. 3. roses & filling out bouquets: Let's jump right in. I've created this worksheet for you. You can download it in the class files, and I've also provided one that has reference images on it. I will also upload my finished one to the class files as well. So you can go ahead and paint directly onto the page which is what I'm going to do. Just use a light hand or you can paint on bristle or watercolor board, whatever you prefer, and then just glue it onto this piece. This will be our class project. First we're going to do the full and straight on rose. So I'm dipping my brush in and using the very tip to create the center petals, which are really just little swirly shapes that are folded around each other. Then as I go out from those center petals, I'm laying my brush down a little bit heavier and letting the side do some of the work so that you get more of a wiggly and thick line. Then once I get to the very edge, I'm using mostly just the edge of the brush and creating a tapered petal that. So for the side facing rose, it's really similar, you are going to make those little scrunched pieces with the tip of your brush. Then instead of making larger petals all the way around, you're going to brush up on one side and envelop those little scratchy bits. Then for partially bloomed, I'm just going to use a few strokes to suggest the shape of a partially bloomed flower, since we don't want to have the detail of the little scrunching petals. Then for a rose bud, it's even fewer lines, you can even just dip your brush and press down once or twice and create this shape. Then adding the leaves on either side is what really gives it the final form. Next we're going to start working on our fill-in flowers, and first up we have baby's breath, the classic. Baby's breath is really lacy and light flower, so we're just going to use the very tip of the brush and create these little branches. This is something that really comes with practice, just creating these branch shapes, but you can copy what I have now until you get the hang of it, then it becomes really fun. So then after I have the shapes, I'm literally just stippling my brush and making the lacy shape. You want to stick to the outer parts of the plant because that's where the buds go and it gives a really nice little lacy effects. So you can see that I'm not keeping it all consistent. Like some dots are a little bigger, some are a little bit smaller and that's what makes it look more natural. Baby's breath is a really nice piece to give your bouquets a little bit more fullness in real life and in inking. Next, we're going to do daffodil, which is more of a structured flower, It has a column shape and then it tapers up at the top and has a little bit less of blooms closer to the top. We're going to start out at the bottom with thick brush strokes and then taper it up towards the top. Again, at the very top of the flower, I'm using just the tip of my brush to create that skinnier effect. Even see how even just a few scruples really makes that flower come to life. Again, I'm using all different sizes of brush strokes here. Keeping it inconsistent is actually your best bet. Next up we have statice which is very similar to baby's breath, it's just bit sturdier and thicker. So I'm creating similar branch lines as I did with the baby's breath but using a little bit of a heavier hand, and then creating these dots also with a little bit about the heavier hand. So it's very similar and lacy, just like the baby's breath but just darker and stronger. Really, the combination of both of them turn out really nice. You can see these ones are a little bit less lacy, but it still turned out really great. Then lastly, we have lavender which is a very simple flower to create. I've just done the stems here and then creating that tapered effects on the edges of the stems. I'm just using the end of my brush and making tiny circles. These look great coming out of bouquets too. One of my favorite ones. Now we're moving on to the green. I have to move my things around so that I can make sure you can see it, but adding greens is a great way to add a little bit more interest to your bouquets. We're going to start out with ferns, which are really pretty nice and feathery natural looking. I'm going to use my brush and create sweeping strokes for the center of the fern, and then coming out on either side making that branch like effect all the way up, and going every other side of the stem. Then on each of these small lines, I'm going to just make little hash marks on either side and that creates the leaves of the fern. I'm going do that on all of these little mini stamps. This is a therapeutic one. I like to do ferns. Then next we have silver dollar eucalyptus, which is a unique looking plant. I'm going to go in with my brush and have it a little bit heavier than I did before, especially heavier than the baby's breath or the statice. I'm going go with little bit heavy of a brush and create my stems for the eucalyptus to be on. You can look up more reference photos too. This is one that can look really different depending on how full it is. I'm going to do a bit of a fuller one bending over and then I'm using my brush to create these very circular leaves. So I'm applying pretty decent pressure and then rounding it out at the end. If you find that you are getting too pointy of a shape, don't be afraid to go back in and move around that little incompatible to create the one that you want. I felt like this wasn't quite full enough, so I'm going to add another stem of the eucalyptus here. Again just creating the stem and then the branches off of it, and then creating circular leaves of each of those. Very good filler. Next we have the olive branch, which is another pretty unique filler. For this one, that it's very similar to the eucalyptus except for in this case, we're just going to do one stem and then creating these tapered leaves on either side, and then going back in with a light dotted hand in creating those little berries that will be olives when they grow up. Then finally, we have the ruscus leaf which is the generic looking leaf. I'm going to go ahead and create the stem and creating the branches off that. Then the ruscus leaves, they are a mix between the previous two that we've just done. So rather than having really oblong shapes or circular ones like the silver dollar eucalyptus, it's a heavy medium in between the two. So I'm using the tip of my brush and then just dragging it out a little bit to create those leaf shapes. It's complete. So we're now ready to move on to creating compositions. I'll upload my finished worksheet to the class tools so that you can then use as a reference if you'd like when you're creating your own worksheet. 4. composition: We've got a fresh sheet of paper and now we're going to work on composition. I've got my worksheet over to the side of my workspace so that I can use it as a reference. We are going to be using principles by Laurie Friedman. She created a sculpture class about making grocery store arrangements and we're going to use those same principles to create our rows bouquets. The first principle is line. Line is really about creating the height and the shape of your bouquet, and the delphiniums and ferns, all of those types of plants make really good line creators. I'm just going to do some stems and then create some ruscus leaves all around them. Again, you could also use ferns or you could use eucalyptus. Any of those tall and proud greens or flowers. You might notice I've switched brushes here. I am now using this pre-filled inky brush pen. It's really a matter of preference. I usually use just my brush and my ink, but if I am traveling or if I am feeling like I'm a little bit too messy, then I might switch over to the brush pen for the day. Great. Now we're going to move on to principle number 2, which is filler. We're going to take the baby's breath or any of the other filler flowers like the status, and just fill in to create more fullness around the bouquet. I'm even going over some of the pieces that we had from line because the floral arrangements aren't always perfect and they're not lined up exactly straight which is what makes them so beautiful. A little overlap never hurt. Again I'm just creating those lacey bits for the baby's breath. I usually like to add a little bit of filler all the way around the bouquet and then leaving the center bit, a little bit blank so that I can add roses there. But having a little bit of filler fallen down like I have on the left is always really nice. I like that effect. Then principle number 3 is the big event, the focus flower so in this case we're going to do roses. Just like we learned in the worksheet, I'm going to create the little stretchy bits on the insides and filling that space that I have left previously when I was creating the lines and the fillers, and creating some full roses and then some side view roses, and then here's a little rose bud. I'm adding leaves where I need to and these leaves turned out pretty terrible so I'm going to make that into a couple of side facing roses instead. Then, I felt like I needed a little bit more of a waterfall effects so I added some more there. You don't want to just add your roses to the center. I'm adding them behind and into the side and adding a little bit of rose all over the place. I'm tucking up similar spaces too because I felt like it was a little bit light and looked sparse in some of the areas. I'm just dabbing on a little bit of extra ink there, and a few more rosebuds. Then next, we have the accent flowers. This is an optional step but it doesn't add a little bit more interest. In this case, I'm going to add just a few sprigs of lavender. I'm creating the stems and then just like we did in the worksheet, I'm just creating those little buds up at the top. This is really subtle but it's something that you notice really brings your bouquet to life. I'm just adding a little bit more baby's breath here and there because I feel like there could be a little bit more fullness to the bouquet. Then there is one more principle which is the container. I generally don't paint any vase or anything when I'm doing these rose florals but I thought it'd be good to include anyway. Again, thank you, Laurie for teaching us these principles. I will make sure to link her class in the description. If you're struggling with the principles of composition, another good trick is to look at florists in their social media accounts. I follow quite a few florists on Instagram and around the Internet and those images are really great for inspiration. You can use them as a reference picture and cheat the composition part. 5. bouquets: So to start our work and actually forgo the rules of composition we just learned and use one that is a little bit more loose and a little bit more playful. We're just going to do big rose bouquet that can help you really nail down that muscle memory and get your roses down pat. So I'm starting out with some big full roses and that go to the side, just like how we learned earlier, using the very tip of my brush to get the little scrunchy bits and then flattening out as we go outside. I'm also adding here in there some leaves very similar to the ones we did in the last square of the worksheet. So I'm just flattening out my brush and then dragging it out and letting the tip of the brush create the tip of the leaf. So I'm not going to create an exact circle for this bouquet, but I'm going to create like an oblong shape, a little bit the wanky one. Creating this without any floor flowers really relieves you from having to create a composition or really just here getting one of those bouquets such as stock full of roses and would be really expensive if you bought it in real life. I'm adding some like rosebuds out on the side, a little bit more of a shape. Adding those leaves out there really help bring this piece to life. So I'm also adding a few on the sides that are pointed away, creates a little bit more faultless. So that's piece number one. Next we're going to do a bouquet a little bit more structure. So I'm actually starting out with some of the flare flowers. Then once you get a hang of the technique, you don't really need to start out with your line pieces for your bouquet. You can really just start from middle and build it out, which is what I'm doing here. So I'm just adding in some big thick roses and some filler flowers and creating a cascading greenery that goes over the sides. So this is something that I'd really recommend you use a reference picture for if you're trying to get into the swing of things, because that can be super helpful. So I'll link some of my favorite Instagram florist in the class description. So here we have piece number two. So now this final one, I'm going to go a little bit out of the comfort zone of our worksheet and create some different types of flowers. So here I'm creating a spiky flour that's like mom and just filling it in with babies reflect we've learned. So right back into the worksheet and then creating big fluffy roses that could also be PNAs and so this is just to show that this is a really good technique to use your imagination with, you can use reference pictures or you can just look at different flowers and abstract value to create these your own inky florals. I always like to add these kind of hanging down flowers into my bouquets, I think that looks really beautiful. But you can do whatever you would like for this guys. 6. outro: So that's the end of the class. The class project is to fill out the worksheet that I have uploaded to the Class Materials page. You can either ink right onto the page and use a light hand, or you can do what I've done and use the watercolor paper or Bristol board that you've been using throughout the class, and just cut out those pieces and glue them in, and scan them or photograph them to post to the page. For extra credit, you can create your own arrangement and I'd love to see what you make. If you post on the Internet, make sure you tag me @ekatearcher. If you'd like to see some of my work, you can follow me around the Internet @ekatearcher or visit my website at I'm planning to do a little bit of series out of this, so if there's any kind of bouquet you'd like to see next, just let me know. Thank you.