Easiest Way to Paint TEN Loose Watercolor Flowers | Olga Koelsch | Skillshare

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Easiest Way to Paint TEN Loose Watercolor Flowers

teacher avatar Olga Koelsch, Watercolor artist and Pattern Designer

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

    • 1.

      About the class


    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Cherry Blossom


    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.



    • 9.



    • 10.



    • 11.



    • 12.



    • 13.



    • 14.

      Final thoughts


    • 15.

      Join my Membership!


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About This Class

Hello friends!

In this class I am teaching you how to paint ten simple loose watercolor flowers.

I am breaking these down into some really really basic shapes and strokes, so that everyone can paint them!

Even if this is your first time with watercolour, you will manage! And if you are experienced - I am pretty sure you will find some nice tips and ideas as well!

I hope you gonna love these lessons as they are quite relaxing and easy. The only thing you need to do - is to put the theory into practice and train your hand in order to have a progress with your painting skills.

As a result of the course you will be able to paint ten different flowers on loose style and apply all the techniques to painting your favourite flowers.

You could use your favourite suppliers for the course or  follow my list as a guideline.

I am encourage you to share your projects with the others, here on Skillshare, on Instagram to support each other, being more and more confident with bringing your artworks to public!

Let’s connect!

  • Follow me on Instagram - to get more inspiration and a sneak peek on how I turn my paintings into commercial designs and patterns.
  • Follow me on Skillshare - to be notified each time I release a new class. Just click the “follow” button ❤️

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Olga Koelsch

Watercolor artist and Pattern Designer



Hello friends! I am Olga Koelsch,  watercolour artist and pattern designer living in Norway.

I started my art career in traditional botanical illustration but later on I focused on modern watercolour techniques and loose painting as it has more flexibility and have a high commercial demand.

I love intuitive painting, free-hand painting that comes organically but nevertheless based on knowledge of colors, techniques and composition rules.

I create whimsical watercolours in delicate painting style combined with bohemian touch and expressiveness. I am also known for transparent flowers illustrations (or X-ray flowers) which are becoming my personal signature.

Being a full-time artist I run profitable shops on E... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. About the class: Hi friends. I'm a watercolor artist and the pattern designer based in Norway. In this class, I'm going to teach you how to paint ten very simple, loose vertical flowers. I'm breaking this down into some really, really simple steps. So everyone, literally, everyone can manage it, even this is your first time you ever opened a vertical box. You will manage. If you are a pro, I hope you will find a few lovely tips as well. The only thing you need to do is to put theory into practice. And this is crucial. That's how you train your hand, and that's how you improve in your watercolor skills. As we go through this course, we are going to feigned lavender for P, sunflower Oster, peony, flower, iris. A lot prettier load. So let's just start. 2. Materials: For the painting, I would recommend you to use one of your favorite watercolor papers, or you could use one from the list. It should be called breast and 200-300 g. With soft, nice texture. It helps colors to bleed nicely. It's very pleasant to paint on this type of paper. Another cool idea, I found recently, these paper, watercolor paper postcards. You could paint one flower on the front and then send it just to postcard. I think that's very cool idea for a gift. We will be painting all the project with one brush. It's synthetic round brush, relatively big one. With the intent or 12th number. Mine is sustain a grainy I'm not sure if this is applicable worldwide. I could also recommend you to use Princeton brushes and I will give you the links to everything. And the last important thing is a nice roll of paper towel, which we will use to dry our brush. 3. Colours: For this project, I decided to go with British standard watercolor paints, which could be found in each and every watercolor set within each and every brand that very super accessible. So the first one is cadmium yellow. Then for red, cadmium red, slightly purple, Alizarin crimson. That's for pink colors for pink flowers. And now comes blue with trauma in blue. And it's Fred, Prussian blue. Now we have flowers and we need some greenery. It will be the radian. And to soften everything and bring more static is burnt sienna and sepia for dark accents. All these colors are pretty standard, very easy to find. But if for some reason you have troubles to find the exact colors, your boundary to which colors it could be substituted. Chest, drop a question in the comments, and I will help you to find a nice substitution for it. 4. Lavender: I prepare a mix of marine blue and Alizarin crimson. And I mix them in slightly different proportions so I could add some variety to them. To lavender. I mentioned that my lavender will, will grow like this. That's my imaging or imagined stem. I start verbs, been shade of purple. I will be painting just with very top of my brush, like last 5 mm of the brush. I put my brush with the tip on the paper and press a little bit and let it go. I paint these small little strokes and I bring them all to the imaginary stem. If that makes easier for you, you could paint the stem way with your pencil, e.g. I. Just slightly my pet out with the tip of the brush. And I take another shade of the mix. Just for the variety. You could paint all the lavender with the same color. But I encourage you to try different shades of this mix. It will bring a lot of beauty. Another cluster of lavender flowers. And I've washed my brush. I dry it with a paper towel, and I soften a little bit. Add some wash around. Again. I paint a bit of a stem because usually lavender flowers, they grow in clusters. We have some gaps in the stem. And another group of flowers. Very soft. I put my brush on it on the top. I'm very, very tip of the brush. And I create these brush strokes, which comes to one point. They all have to come back to the stem, to our imaginary stem, or a stem which you paint it with your pencil. I map out a little bit more and I changed to more pinky shade. Again, small little brush strokes. And I bring them all to the stem. I wash my brush. I dry it with paper towel and a little bit soft turn around. I will paint the last cluster of flowers. Same, same step, tip of the brush. Small, curvy, see stroke, or just the stroke. Try move your wrist and your brush to get some variety. And it's nice and it's beautiful when your brush strokes, they have different thickness. They have slightly different direction and different structure. And now I switch to the green. For the green, I mix viridian with Burnt Sienna. I want to create these a little bit dry feeling of the grass. And I move my wrist alone, this term to better understand the move, how I paint the rest of the stem. Now let's paint a few leaves. I put my brush on a tip on some point, e.g. around here on the stamp. Press a little bit. Again, just I'm tool the tip of the brush. Not too the whole brush. And I move my hand with some career move. And I leave the pressure. Just like this. Let paint another one. I put my brush on a stem, move a little bit just with the tip of the brush. Then I have some pressure. At some pressure, I am my hand. And then I release the pressure. And this is our beautiful lavender. 5. Cherry Blossom: For painting cherry blossom, I use Alizarin crimson, but very, very diluted, very diluted. And I create a nice puddle. I have enough of material for me. Just to drop off burnt sienna, which I will use for the middle parts. I mix it with Alizarin crimson. And I start to paint from the middle of the flower. I just paid some dots. In the middle. I've washed my brush. And I grab with the whole body of the brush, I grab these diluted pink mix. I set my brush with around 30 degrees. I set it to the middle. And I press on the belly of the brush and make some curve. I dry my brush a little bit with the paper towel. Grab a little bit of pink color, go back to the same point and paint the second half of the petal. Now, I could remove, I could try a little bit with the brush and distribute a little with the tip of the brush. I could distribute the darker shades along the petal. I could softer and beat to shape the platform. Second petal, I wash my brush. I grab a lot of pink mixture on my brush. I put my hand, my race, or the middle of the flower, with the belly of the brush. Hi, paint another half of the petal. I grab more of pink mix, go back to the same point, and paint the second half of the petal. I tried to bring my brush to the same point on the top, but it should be about the same, about the same moment. I dry my brush a bit. I remove some unnecessary amount of watercolor. Because sometimes the dry brush, it works like a sponge. So you could remove where these puddles. And we'll just with the tip of the brush, you could slightly distribute the dark shades from the middle. Just a little bit. Off my brush. I've washed my brush every, each and every petal to keep it very vibrant and very clean. The front petal, I start from the middle. I press on the belly of the brush, make some curve. And I grab a little bit more of pink. I go back here. I create some second half of the petal. I dry my brush with paper towel and distribute a little bit. This watery places like this. While pipe is still wet, you have a lot of room to distribute color to work with the color. We have two more petals left. I've washed my brush, I grab pink mix. I set my brush to the middle point. Sometimes it's very tempting to turn the paper. Try not to do that. It's better if you move your wrist. And this battle will be a little bit shorter. As the flower, as we look on the flower a little bit from the side. And I paint the second half of the petal. Just like this. I dry my brush and I soften the edges. I remove too much water from this petal. And I even could distribute a bit of burnt sienna from the middle tool that battle. The last petal. From the middle. I press on the belly of the brush and I make some curve. I leave some white gaps. To avoid this painting just a blop. It's important that when you leave some white gaps between the petals, I dry my brush and I go along this method, remove the material. I want to emphasize the middle. I take hint of burnt sienna on the tip of the brush. And I go very gentle in the middle just a bit. And of course it's very tempting to put our beautiful flower on a branch, just the burnt sienna. With the tip of the brush. I paint a branch. And to make it curvy, more realistic, more artistic, I add some variety. So I press a little bit on the brush, I release the pressure. I press again. I go in some curve, never paint branches, just trait. And a small tiny little detail. Just with a pink with a pink mix. I paint small little board. It's to see strokes with some white gap in-between. Small, little tiny dots around. 6. Poppy: My basic color for a puppy would be cadmium red. I have bold mix and a slightly diluted part. I will use them both. I start with diluted, but I based my brush in this mix. All the belly of the brush. I'm trying to grab as much as I can on my brush. And I will paint from the top to bottom. I put my brush almost, almost horizontally on the paper. And I will make this move down like this. And a little bit more. It depends on how nice your brush touches the paper. So that's our first petal. I would like to add a little bit more of boldness. The side petal. Same principle. You keep your brush almost horizontally and slide down the whole body of the brush to the same point and release the pressure. And with the tip of the brush you could add some corrections. You could wash your brush, dry brush, and distribute some colors around. Now I'm getting a taking more and more bold or mix of the red color. I paint this petal and I leave small wide gap between two petals. But principle is the same. I paint, I lie my brush almost horizontally on the paper and slide it down. And I'll leave some white gaps in-between. And with the tip of the brush. Now, I could add some strokes to them to this petal. Just a bit to emulate these soft little winds in the poppy. Now, I add just a drop of Alizarin crimson to our mix to make it even more bold because we are painting now. This side, petals. Now is petals are getting more narrow. I paint with the tip of the brush. So I start with the tip of the brush. I press the belly of the brush and bring everything back to the center of the flower. And with the tip of the brush, I add some strokes. For the variety. I want to add some bold mix in the middle of the flower. And with clean and dry brush. I drag out some colors from the middle to the top. That's how I create minds. In the puppy. For the stem, I will take the region and I mix it with a drop of red. Little bit too much. We need still red. So we get this nice, bold, bold, green color. And I carefully start with the tip of the brush with small strokes, I create this bottom part of the board. I try to avoid mixing colors, in this case to match. And if something bleeds, that's okay. And I paint the stem just with the tip of the brush. And you see, I'm not trying to paint the stem. And one goal, if of course, if you could manage, that's fine. But I prefer to go in small strokes. That's how I have more control. And one leaf would be also nice. Just middle wide. And press on the belly of the brush and create some, some shape. 7. Aster: To paint a purple A-star, I prepared a purple mix of ultramarine blue and Alizarin crimson. And I start to paint our roster from the top part. Just with the tip moves, I create the middle part of the flower. I live a lot of white gaps between the strokes to make it look fluffy ARE it's relatively wet here and that's important. Now I wash my brush. I grab the whole brush with this purple mix. And now I will make a quick brave move from the yellow area down with applying a little bit of pressure. Just like this. We have a lot of petals to practice here. Let's start again. Set your brush, it's about 30 degrees angle to the yellow part. And then brave, move here, down. And again and again. When you move your wrist, that creates the variety to the petals, to their directions. I really like how the yellow color bleeds into the purple very organically. So I always try to put my, the tip of the brush into one of these yellow puddles. And after that, I do not touch, I do not help. I do not interfere in the process at all. Um, I add one more petal here with the tip of the brush of purple color. I would like to add just some strokes because I like this single brush strokes. They create the volume and the move of the flower. But again, not overdo it. Let's paint the stem. My favorite mixes, viridian with burnt sienna. First, my hand. I imagine how this terrible goal and I start to move my hand. According to this. Then I touch the paper and I just paint the stem. And it's completely fine if you can't paint it in one goal. Because better you paint it in small steps. And be happy with this. Let's paint one small leaf. In the same principle as the painted petals. 8. Tulip: For a tulip, I prepared a mix of Alizarin crimson just with a hint of burnt sienna to make it a little bit four months. So I take relatively diluted mix and I shape the front petal. I move my brush on always from top to bottom. Don't move it like this from top to bottom. And add some random brushstrokes with the tip of the brush on the very bottom. Now, I want to get a little bit bold mix and tulip flower. Petals. They're round and thick on the top and they get in the bottom. And that's what we're trying to show up now. Try to avoid symmetry. Start painting petals on different levels. And I leave a gap between, between petals to divide them. I would like to add a little bit of dark color, bold color in the bottom. I want to add one petal aside to make our tulip open. So started to open one small petal. We could see the background petal we could see. So I just paint this detail. And I want to add one more side petal around here. On the left side. I like to mix bold brush strokes with very tiny brush strokes. They create these volume and artistic to our flower. That's how we shaped them. Too bad. Let's paint the stem with a mix of iridium and he burnt sienna. I always recommend you to paint in curves. Ovum tulip flower usually has a straight stem, but that look a bit childish. I would say. Let's paint a stem. Maybe add some boldness to this term. No need to try to paint a stem and one goal, it's absolutely fine if you paint with small strokes and lead paint. Greenery, Greenleaf, just barely, barely, barely, barely alone, brushstroke with some nice curve at the very end. 9. Bellflower: For painting company cauliflower or bulk flow, I will use ultramarine blue and mix of viridian and burnt sienna for a stem. And this time I will try. I start to paint with a stem, with my arm. I imagine how this term will grow about this recovery. And right now I add some green surroundings for, for them, bold flower. I've washed my brush. I bathe it in the mix of ultramarine blue and some pressure and releasing pressure. I shape these petals. I could correct at this stage a little bit, all these thickness the petals with a tip of the brush. I could add more details. And some depth to the flower. I take just a hint of ultramarine blue right from the palette. And I set this drop balls and dry ultramarine in this middle, in this point where the flower connects with the stem. I also like to add just a few spots and dots at the very ends of the flower. Small bold details for the contrast. As a final touch, I would like to add a leaf. I just have a very, very, very low on brushstroke with some curve. And I let it go. 10. Sunflower: For some flour, I take burnt sienna for the middle part and cadmium yellow for the leafs. Maybe I will add something in the process. Let's see. So I prepared this nice mixes. And I start with the middle, with the tip of the brush. I do very fun moves. I create a lot of dots. They could bleed with each other. They could be off a little bit of different hues. What's important that you leave a lot of space in-between. It should be very eerie. Don't make it as a big blob. Don't do like this. It should be a nice, very recognizable sunflower texture. It's enough. I wash my brush. I take my mix of law. It's not a mixed actually, just cadmium yellow. And I press on my brush and release the pressure. And that's how I'm going to paint a lot of battles. I keep my brush, it's about 30 degrees to the paper. I start from the middle. I press on the belly of the brush and I release the pressure. And I do it in different directions. Press on the belly of the brush and release the pressure. I press on the belly of the brush and I release the pressure. You could use slightly bigger brush, e.g. and then you get more thick petals. But in principle, you could played all these watercolor or sunflower just with one brush. You could add the second part of the petal like this. You press on the belly of the brush, release the pressure, start from the same point. Belly of the brush releases the pressure. That's how we make the petals a little bit thicker. Brush, release the pressure back to the same point, belly of the brush and then release the pressure. Let's now, now we are going to fill in the gaps. I add a little bit more of cadmium yellow to the mix. And I slightly overlapping here and there. E.g. here is a big gap between the petals. So I just I chose the same. More pressure, less pressure and let everything mix with each other. Again. More pressure, less pressure on the brush, more pressure, less pressure on the brush. You just checking out where aware, some room for more petals. E.g. here you could paint just one in one stroke petal. Same here, one stroke battle. But what is important is to keep some white area in between the petals so it would not mix in just one big loop. Let's add maybe few more petals. More pressure, less pressure. Same here. More pressure, less pressure. We are almost there. I would like to add a little bit of contrast in the middle part. That's why I take sepia color, the darkest brown I have here. And I just go on the very outside area of watercolor flower again with these tipping moves, sometimes I get into white space, sometimes I step in the watery places. It's just to create the contrast. 11. Iris: For the iris flower, I prepared a mix of ultramarine blue and Prussian blue, which hasn't, we'll be mixing it in the process. So I have a very diluted with ultramarine blue color here. I mentioned that the central part of my iris will be about this area. And I start to paint with the top petals. I just paint some curve. I wash my brush. I dry my brush with a paper towel a little bit. And I just go along these lines, soften the edges and I lead the color, distribute by itself. And with the tip of the brush, I add some some details. That's one petal. I grab another mix of ultramarine blue. Try to avoid being too symmetrical. Don't recreate, don't mirroring the petals. Some more interesting shape, a variety of shapes like this, e.g. wash your brush, dry the brush and soften the edges. The edges should be softened from outside of the flower because here is the thickest part of the petal. Sometimes it's some curves here and it's relatively thick, but outside it should be very soft and melting enthalpy. I take Prussian blue, the middle, and I just press on the belly of the brush and bring everything to the middle. With the tip of the brush, I shape a little bit, add some texture on my brush and soften these edges. I see that here a here is a little bit of a puddle. So I dry my brush and I use my brush like a sponge to remove all the unnecessary water. So it will try in the more beautiful way. So let's paint the bottom, the front petal with ultramarine blue. My grip a lot of diluted ultramarine blue. I paint one curve. I paint another curve. I've washed my brush, dry it a little bit, and I soften the H's. I tried to keep the middle of the petal or very light. Sometimes I leave white paper in it. And I move just with the tip of the brush with random moves but along the shape of the petal. To emulate these winds of violet is still wet. I grabbed a hint of ultramarine blue. And I set it in the very top of this petal. Carefully, carefully, carefully add some dark shades into the middle. I could also get this shade to the upper plot. Let's paid side. These two side petals with Prussian blue tip of the brush, belly of the brush. Lettered go. To post the brush, belly of the brush. Let it go. I painted in different directions as you notice, it's starting to turn the paper. Try not to do this. Much nicer if you try to move your wrist. And the final touch, let's put our iris on the stem. I mixed viridian, we will trauma in blue and with a hint of burnt sienna. To get this nice bold green. First, I go with my hand to see where the stem loop hole. And just add some more extra strokes. Don't be afraid not to make it in one goal, that's completely fine. You could add more and more strokes around. Last final touch to make the middle part slightly Depot. I take a bold mix of ultramarine blue and add few petals right on the top of the column. This is it. 12. Rose: For the roles, I take cadmium red and we the hint of alizarin crimson. I start with the tip of my brush. I hold my brush and about 30 degrees between my brush and the surface of the table. And I start with painting small c strokes. They are very small and tiny. And they are a little bit overlap one with another. And I paint like this, about maybe 1 cm. Then I brush my graph. I draw it a little bit with a paper towel. I do not take any color on it. And I go alone. Alone. These C strokes and just soften the edges. You could hear in there. You could release, remove the material from your brush on the paper towel. And then again, you move with C strokes, but you apply a little bit more pressure on your brush. Because the fall, we go from the middle of the roles. The bigger the petals are, the more open they are. That's why they need to be a little bit wider. You could come back to your mix and take a little bit on the tip of your brush and add some shades. If you add the shades in the areas which are still wet, that creates nice mixes. But you could also add this C strokes. We always played with C strokes just around the rows. And when you push your brush and go alone, this says strokes and soften the edges. You could leave some of the strokes untouched. Now, I dilute a little bit the mix, mix. I paint with this mix. More and more bigger brush strokes. So now they cover like one fifth of the BOD, e.g. but I still keep them overlapping. One on the, on the other. And I always add some variety some brushstrokes would build on. Some could be thicker or more narrow. Overlap each other. Then I come back to my bold color. And just with the tip of the brush, I add some tiny strokes to create them. Shades. Because with bolder color, we paint the shades and the shades they usually they are inside the petal. So don't make outlines. Here. You add your darker color in the inner part of the petal. And in the middle, you could add a little bit more of texture just with the tip of the brush and with spontaneous brushstrokes. Just like this. And of course it's nice to add some greenery. I will mix or the region with burnt sienna. It's my favorite mix. One of my favorite mix to create nice, natural green, warm green. And let's paint a few leaves. I start with the tip of the brush. I add some pressure. I move my brush a bit down and release it. As roses or leaves. They have these nice texture, nice sharp edges. I wiggle my brush a little bit just with the tip of the brush to add this texture. I wash my brush, I dry my brush. I remove a little bit of, you will. Let's paint another one. Now I start from the roles spot. So tip of the brush, belly of the brush. Some curve that would go to possibly brush, brush, some curve. Let it go. And texture with the tip of the brush. Dry your brush, softer and some edges remove unnecessary material. Here we are. 13. Peony: For Pilani, I prepared Alizarin crimson with a hint of ultramarine, just with a little bit. I like this deep purple color. I found the point where the bot will be attached to a stem about this. And I will paint with gouache and round shapes. Purely flower has a lot, a lot of petals. Not to get mad with painting always. We paint just brush strokes. And we paint them long. And we paid them short. And you probably notice, I avoid paint the middle because it's the front petal. And that's the lightest battle. And I want to paint a really light. So I've washed my brush. I take very diluted color. Even more. It could be even more diluted. And I paint the middle part very diluted. But the same brush strokes. It's just the same brush strokes. You just fill in all white areas. You could add these lighter mix around. Some bold mix. Very carefully. Carefully. On this light white area. Add some small brush strokes, tiny brush strokes for the contrast. Try to avoid symmetry. Try to add some variety in your brush strokes. And let's add a few leaves, open petals to our pure puny, puny. Same moves. Just very brave move with some curve in it. I like to combine more thicker brush strokes with just very tiny little ones. Remember that the point where everything meets is the darkest point. Let's paint the stem on the region. Loss. Don't see. First, I tried to imagine how the stem will go and I start the move. And I've cleaned my brush to paper and finish them off. Usually peony. They have these greenery ride from this growing right from underneath the butt. That's what we're emulating. We're not going too much into the details. That's enough to bring the impression. 14. Final thoughts: Thank you so much for watching this class. I hope you really enjoyed it. I hope you feel encouraged to start painting watercolor flowers. And I encourage you to share your projects with others, to support each other, to become more and more confident with breathing your artwork to public. I can't wait to see what you have painted and what we could achieve together. Have a great day and see you on the next course. Bye bye. 15. Join my Membership!: Hi friends, I'm going to be killed. And I welcome you to joy, to my membership. I know that we all somehow at different stages of our painting skills and that's fine because I split my membership classes, my membership offers into sudden bundles. And you could start either from the very, very basic steps and then short-time get to another step and then to another step. And as my favorite thing, we could paint together complex botanical illustrations or loose floral compositions. It, somehow, it takes time to realize what you're more into, either into loose painting or some more precise painting, it's okay to give yourself a try. And another thing I would like to stress out that most of my classes, you could stop at any moment, e.g. when a baby cries or dog needs to go out. So really at any moment and heavy, just 15 min daily practice. Good. Bring you into really nice progress with watercolor painting, withdrawal away, anything basically. So I invite you to try out free classes, to try out churn membership, e.g. for a month and feel how how does it feel here. So I hope you will like it and we could make, we could create a really nice together. I hope I see you there. Bye bye.