How to Paint: Master Watercolor Cacti & Succulents | Audrey Moon | Skillshare

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How to Paint: Master Watercolor Cacti & Succulents

teacher avatar Audrey Moon, Watercolorist and Modern Calligrapher

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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

18 Lessons (2h 21m)
    • 1. Welcome!

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Firestick: Intro, Color Mixing, Sketching

    • 4. Firestick: First Layers

    • 5. Firestick: Final Details

    • 6. Bunny Ear Cactus: Intro, Color Mixing, Sketching

    • 7. Bunny Ear Cactus: Painting in Layers

    • 8. Bunny Ear Cactus: Painting the Pot & Rocks

    • 9. Bunny Ear Cactus: Final Details

    • 10. Snake Plant: Intro, Color Mixing, Sketching

    • 11. Snake Plant: First Layers

    • 12. Snake Plant: Second Layers

    • 13. Snake Plant: Final Layers

    • 14. Bilberry Cactus: Intro, Color Mixing, Sketching

    • 15. Bilberry Cactus: Painting the Cactus

    • 16. Bilberry Cactus: Painting the Pot

    • 17. Bilberry Cactus: Adding Final Details

    • 18. Final Thoughts

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About This Class


Welcome to "How to Paint: Mater Watercolor Cacti & Succulents"! Last year, I published my first class on this same topic and focused generally on a lot of different techniques. In this class, I want to continue to apply those skills, but take it to the next level by mastering the wet-on-wet technique. This method can frustrate or delight the watercolorist. But whether you're more controlling or loose with watercolors, the wet-on-wet technique is an easy way to effortlessly layer and blend colors. And once you get the hang of it, you'll be using it all the time without even thinking about it!

In this class, you'll learn how to paint four cacti and succulents:

  • Firestick succulent
  • Bunny Ear cactus
  • Snake plant
  • Bilberry cactus

In my classes, I talk through my painting time so that you can get a sense of how I think and how I work through mistakes. I want to encourage you to be mindful as you paint to observe what's happening with the paints, what actions you're taking, and what the results are. The more you pay attention and practice, the more you will improve!

Grab your supplies and let's get started.

See you in class!

Meet Your Teacher

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Audrey Moon

Watercolorist and Modern Calligrapher

Top Teacher

I'm so glad you're here! Whether you're new or a long-time student, I hope there's something for you in my classes.

My creative journey started with the bullet journal. Since then, I picked up watercoloring and calligraphy. It's been a bit of a whirlwind, to say the least! I published my first class on loose florals in September 2017, and have been steadily adding new classes. 

I love meeting new students and making connections. I hope to see you in one of my classes soon.

Thank you, and let's make the world a more beautiful place!


Website ][ Instagram ... See full profile

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1. Welcome!: Hi there. My name is Audrey and I want to welcome you to my how to paint watercolor Cacti and succulents class. I'm a watercolors calligrapher and educator right here on skill share. This course is great for beginners and even the advanced artists if you like to paint fun plants. I'll walk you through my steps of observing the plant, testing out colors, sketching the basic plant anatomy, and painting. In general, I like to use the wet on wet technique to add layers and depth. However, this technique can be frustrating even for the experienced artists. If you've ever felt confused as to why watercolors behave one way, but also don't behave another way, hopefully this class is encouraging to you. I'll show you how to fix some common mistakes, and I'll also show you how to improvise and switch up gears when what you've painted produces a different result than what you intended. By the end, I hope that you will feel more confident with a wet on wet technique and be able to apply it to other subjects. In this class, we're going to paint four plants. First we have the fire sticks succulent, the bunny ear cactus, the snake plant, and the bill berry cactus. We'll also paint cute pots and containers to go with them. You can easily paint a house plant scene or added to your next greeting card. While I can't wait to paint with you, let's grab our supplies and die right in. I'll see you in class. 2. Supplies: Hey everyone, here are all of the supplies that I'll be using in this class. First, you'll need a variety of paint colors. I have my entire palette here, but we'll be concentrating a lot of our colors on the greens. For greens, I have Sap green, Hookers green dark, and Phthalo green. We'll also be mixing it with some blues and Payne's gray to get the cooler tones of greens. We'll also be using lemon yellow and yellow och-re, and a little bit of the dark brown, the raw and burnt umber for the warmer colors of greens. For one of the plants, we're going to be using some orange-ish colors as well. You will need most of the colors in your palette, but if you have at least green, yellow, and the orange, or at least red, that's really all you need, or just the primary colors: blue, yellow, and red. That's really all you need, and then you might have to mix a little bit to get some greens. You just really need the basic colors to start with. Next you'll need some water. So I have a cup of water. I usually use two, one to wash out dirty brushes, and then one to pick up clean water. Then this is just a spray bottle of water, so that I can keep my paints over here nice and wet while I paint. You'll also need some paper towel and this is to blot your brushes if they're too wet. The brushes that I'll be using, I have a variety of sizes but they're all the same shape and they're all the round shape. The largest I'm going to be using is a size 6, and then I have a four, I also have a two, a zero and a double zero. Now, you don't need all of these, I think if you have at least a four or a six and then maybe a smaller one like the zero or double zero, that's really all you need. I just have a variety because sometimes I use two brushes at the same time, so it's nice to have a variety just in case. But if you have just a couple of brushes, that's okay. We're going to be doing some light sketching, so I do have a pencil. You'll also need an eraser just in case you need to erase your sketches, and then lastly, you might want to use a kneaded eraser because if you want to keep your sketch, but you want to erase as much of it as possible, a kneaded eraser is great because it won't damage the quality of your paper and only pick up the pencil lines. To use it, all you have to do is just, you can either lightly rub on the paper or you can stamp it, like so, to pick up the graphite. Then to clean it, you just work it like putty and stretch it out, and it just evenly distributes the graphite, it's almost like it just absorbs it into itself or something. This is just fun to play with too, especially if you're stressed out. Obviously you'll need some watercolor paper, and the brand that I'm using is this Strathmore brand, but really any brand will be fine. I normally use to Canson brand, but Strathmore, I find is really great. There was a huge sale going on, so I bought a ton of these pads, and so I have a lot of these paper leftover, but I like it. You just want to make sure that it says watercolor paper, the cold press is more commonly found, hot press is another type of watercolor paper, it's just smoother. The cold press has a texture to it, but that's indicative of watercolor paper. I cut my sheets, these are nine by 12 inches, I cut them in half, and so these are six by nine inches. These are perfect for the paintings that we're going to do, because all of the practice paintings that I did were done on the six by nine inch paper. They fit perfectly and they're not too big and they're not too small. I like it because I don't have to feel overwhelmed that I have to fill this entire page. Sometimes when you see a large piece of paper, you feel like you have to fill the whole page, so when you cut it to smaller sizes, it feels less intimidating. So if that's you, and you feel like that, then go ahead and cut them maybe even into quarters if you want, just so that they seem more manageable. I also use Washi tape and I use this to tape down the paper to the surface board because sometimes I don't like the paper to move, and if it moves, then sometimes I accidentally smear it with my hand, or sometimes my cat interrupts me and steps in it, so the Washi tape helps at least keep it in place. Lastly, there is thumb details that we're going to paint in one of the cacti and we're going to need some opaque white. I have two options for that. First is Dr. Ph. Martin's bleed proof white, it's one of my favorites, very opaque. It is gloopy when you first open it, so I'll show you how to use it, but this is one of my favorites. I use it also as ink too. You just have to thin it out because it's very thick when it first comes out of the bottle. The second option is some kind of acrylic pen. This one is the Molotow, I never know how to pronounce that. This one is the super fine tip. It has a really small tip at the end. Yeah, this will be perfect for our purposes too. Even if you don't have either of these, that's okay, maybe you have white wash paint, and so that will work as long as it's pretty opaque. You don't want to use white watercolors, it will not be opaque enough, or even just acrylic paint, maybe it doesn't come in a pen form, maybe it's coming from a paint bottle or a paint can, that's totally fine, just as long as it's white and opaque. Here are all the supplies that you need, go ahead and grab them, and let's start painting. I'll see you in the next video. 3. Firestick: Intro, Color Mixing, Sketching: Hey everyone in this video we're going to paint the fire stick succulent. Now, this plant actually goes by a couple of different names, it's also called Pencil Tree or Sticks on Fire or Sticks of Fire. It's commonly mistaken as a cactus, but it is not a cactus, it's actually a succulent and during the warmer months, this whole plant is actually green. It only turns to these warmer yellow, orange, and red colors when it is in cooler temperatures. They're native to South Africa and India and they can grow to be really ginormous plants. They can grow up to 30 feet tall when they're outdoors if they're inside, they'll be a lot smaller, I think like five feet or so, I don't remember. Anyway if you were to break off like one of these stems, there's sap inside and the sap is actually like white and milky and they're very poisonous, even though this plant can be dangerous or toxic, actually, a lot of people still grow them, I personally don't, but because it's not where I live, it's not very conducive for this plant but I was really drawn to this plant because of its colors and in just the shape of it, I think it's just very, very interesting. Most succulents that we look at has that rosetta pattern or that circular pattern, but this one grows tall and lanky and slender. I just thought this would be really interesting to paint together. One of the first things that I'm going to do is tape my paper to this board, so it stays put, my paper is nice and taped down. The brush I'm going to be using is a size two, you can use a slightly larger one if you want or even smaller it doesn't really matter I'm using a size two because to get the pencil-thin stems, I just want skinnier brush. In my painting, I used a couple of different colors for the greens, it's mostly Sap green and the darker parts I used the Hooker's Green Dark. For the yellowy parts, I use mostly Lemon Yellow and you can see in some parts the green actually bled into the yellow and that's something that we're going to work on together. Then finally at the very top, we have some orange and even a little bit of red, you can see there it also bled into some of the yellow parts too. Those are just some of the natural effects that we're going to go for. Then for the succulent container, I use just a simple brown and Payne's gray for the rocks. You can paint your container however you'd like, you can search on Google and there's tons of inspiration, patterns and colors available. You can go simple like I did, or draw some flowers or stripes or circles, triangles, things like that. So let's make some colors. I'm going to do my color tests up here, you can see, then I'm going to do a small sketch here and then I'm going to use the majority of this paper here for the actual painting. I'm going to use my spray bottle to get my paints wet. First, let me show you what Sap Green looks like this is one of my favorite greens I use it all the time. It's a perfect, like warm green color. When you first plan your palate you can already tell it's just a really nice, warm green color. But, remember what you see on the palate is not always what's going to be translated onto the paper, it always dries a little lighter. When we first start painting, we're going to start with this Sap Green, but we're going to water it down even more and to do that, I just did my dirty or not dirty the paint-brush with the paint on it I just dip it in the water and then I take it back out now it has a ton of water on it and then I just paint on another area and you can tell that it's already lighter. If you want it even lighter, just dip it again, maybe wash it out and then add some more water to it and you can tell it's even lighter over here. Let me show you what the more concentrated Sap Green color looks like. Again, this is going to dry lighter than what you're currently seeing just keep that in mind. For some other parts of the fire stick, I'm also going to add a little bit of Hooker's, Green dark and this is another favorite green of mine too, it's a little bit cooler compared to the Sap Green and I use this as a basis for a lot of my green colors too. Now as we paint, I might mix some of these colors just to get some shadows or paint the details. For now, we're just going to leave them clean and then we'll mix later, for the yellow, I'm going to be using some of this yellow here, it's really bright. For the orangey color, this color right here is the Winsor & Newton Cadmium Red Hue and even though it says Red Hue it is actually orangey, I'm going to bring some of that here, you can tell it's not quite red, but then I'm going to use some of that yellow and put it in here to make some of the orangey color. Maybe bring some more of that Red Hue in there. This will be like our orange color and then this will be our, the very tip red color. This is the palette that we're going to be working with. Now, let's do some sketching. When you look at the fire stick plant, it comes up with its stems from the base and then, it branches off into "U" shapes like this and then from here there might be another small branch. This one's a little thick so you may erase some of that, but again, this is just practice, so it doesn't have to look perfect. Then right next to it there might be another stem coming up. Now some of this stems might be a little shorter and maybe just two little stems like that. Basically, you're going to have a lot of intersecting stems, like so and then usually when there is some branching off point, there is a little bit of segmentation going on, this will be important because that's where we're going to add some darker shadow colors, you don't have to add them at every single point but again, just indicating that there is some segmentation going on. I made these a little bit too pointed there are a little bit rounder at the ends. Keep that in mind, they're a little bit rounder. Again, this part is going to be green, and then this part is yellow and a little bit of orange. Then just the tips tend to be red and red-orange. The fire sticks succulent has mostly the stems and just a little bit of leaves, their leaves are actually really tiny and apparently they only stay on for just a little bit. The leaves come out usually at the ends, sometimes on the sides, but they're usually at the ends of the stems. I'm not going to draw a leaf on every single stem, but just maybe like half of them. When we paint it, it's just going to be a really thin line, you can practice again it's like the Y shape. This is a weirdest one, but anyway, you got the main idea. When you paint these, these are going to be much closer together, so the ones that are behind will have a little bit more like shadow details. 4. Firestick: First Layers: Okay, so now that we have some of our colors down, and understand the shape of the fire stick succulent. Let's go ahead, and start painting. I'm going to lightly sketch a pot, or the container down here just, so I know where to start, and how far I'm going to go. Now we're going to use mostly the wet on wet technique. That means we're going to use a wet brush, and wet the paper first, and then add your paint into that wet area. Now doesn't always have to be clean water. It can actually be a wet paint color that's on the paper. Just as long as the paper is wet, and then you're adding paint. That's why it's called wet on wet, so I'm going to do a really light wash, so start with my light sap green first, and I'm going to draw my first stems, and while it is still wet. I'm going to add some of that yellow, and some of that orange, and red so that it will create a natural bleed. I'm going to go in there with some of my. Now I'm going to bring some of that orange in there. Pretty cool, right?. And I have my first branching off there, maybe another little one, and then I'm going to switch to the red. Let that bleed in, and then finish it off. Okay, so hopefully you can start to see that natural bleed happening. Now we can go back in here, and add some more details, so don't feel like you have to get it right the first time. I know my green is really light, so it's dried up, and that's okay. I can just go back in there. Actually is still a little wet, so I can go back in there, and add some more green, like that's totally okay, and then add some more yellow in there, so that it's more defined, so this is the look that we're going for. I'm going to keep going, and then do the other side of the branch here, so again, start with my light green. I'm going to switch to my yellow, let that bleed in first like that. I'm not really using a reference photo, and that's on purpose. I do a lot of study, and a lot of research beforehand, and so if you want to use a reference photo, that's totally okay. Honestly, I couldn't find a lot of royalty-free images for the virus steak, and so it was hard to choose a reference photos. I just created my own based on my observation of the planned, and that's okay if you do that to. Maybe some of the yellow too. All right, so here is our first one, I'm going to paint maybe one more really large one like this, and then the rest are going to be a little bit smaller. Maybe I'll paint two more large ones. When you get to a crossing point like this, try to leave some white space between, and then we can always darken it up later. I'm liking this overall shape that we've got going on. I'm going to continue to paint these shapes, but on a smaller scale, and have them filling in some of these white spaces in here, so I'm going to add maybe one, two, maybe three more stems coming out of here. I think I'm at a good stopping point. I'm going to add the tiny little leaves that are at the ends. Remember how we sketch them, so I'm going to use that cadmium red hue color. Using just a tip, paint a small leaf like that. You can have two coming out of the same one, and again, you don't need to do them at every single one. Just a couple, and you can have them coming out of the side too. At this time, everything just looks really light, and it looks kind of washed out, so this is where I go in with some more saturated colors, and deepen some of these shadows in the back. I might also paint a couple of extra stems, and make it look like they're coming out, or make them really short, and up here, or I might paint them with a really hookers green dark, just so it'll look like, there are more stems. Because the fire sticks succulent can look really chaotic, so right now I'm just dipping some of my fellow green, or my hookers green dark into a little bit of my sap green, so it's going to get a little bit cross contaminated, and that's okay. This is the point where I just experiment with color and just let the paints just naturally mix on its own. Right now I'm trying to distinguish some of the stems that are in the back, and I'm just being very loose with my painting. I'm not painting the whole Stem. I'm just painting parts of it so that it looks more natural, so I have my green over here is mixing into my yellow, so I'm just going to use my paper towel, and block some of that area so it stops moving over there. That's the only bad thing about having a giant mixing area. I'm going to deep in some of the yellows, and oranges. I'm not coloring the whole stem in just parts of it. We'll let this layer dry, and then we'll go in there. If you recall, we sketch some of those segmented areas, and we'll add those details, and then paint the pot. 5. Firestick: Final Details: For the part I'm going to be using a burnt umber color. This is the Winsor Newton, burnt umber. I'm just going to make it a really light brown color. Actually, I'm going to use my kneaded eraser to get rid of most of those lines and then use a very watered-down color. I want the pots to have a lot of dimension, and so using a lot of water allows me to add in details. Using the what on what a fact or take out details just makes it a lot easier. I'm using a very wet brush. I like to add a lot of shadows. Again, making it look more 3D rather than just having a flat color. I'm going to leave this area empty for now so I can let the pot dry and then I'll add the rocks in a little bit. But for now I'm going to add those segmented areas. For that I'm just going to use a very saturated, either a cadmium red hue or hookers green dark. I'm still using my size two brush, but I try to blot as much water out as possible because I want my brush to be somehow dry. If it's too wet, it's going to reactivate the paint that's already on this paper and I don't want that to happen. I want this dark color to be a really clean line. Unless this paper is already wet, I don't want to be adding more water to it. I've got a almost dry brush and then using the really dark paint to add those segmented layers. Right now this paint is too wet. I'm going to wash out my brush blot it against a paper towel until it's basically dry. Then use just the tip of my brush and then do the segmented areas down here. I hope I didn't miss any, I feel like I have, there are more, but I think that's good enough for now. I'm going to add even more details just to some of these stems. The more layers you add, the darker it naturally is going to get. As long as you're adding light colors or light layers of paint, I wouldn't worry too much about it going too dark, too fast. I think sometimes in watercolors, we are wary to add too much paint and I can understand that fear, but at the same time, you need to, in order to achieve great depth and dimension in your painting. This looks a lot more like 3D. I'm going to add a little bit more of paint layers to the top as well, especially with these nice orangey colors. Let's go in there and add some rocks. For the rocks I'm going to start with a light Payne's gray. Just add a lot of water to that. Just dat your brush like so. Just a little bit. As my Payne's gray rocks are drying, I'm going to come in there with a more saturated color. Still using Payne's gray. Some of it might bleed into the lighter color and that's okay. But again, I'm still dotting it. It's always important to leave some white space. Don't neglect that. Then if you want your rocks to have a little bit more dimension, you can use that burnt umber that we used earlier and add just a little bit of that, and dispersed that among the rocks too. You don't want too much because then it might blend in too much with the container. So I want the Payne's gray rocks to really shine. All right everyone, great job painting the fire sticks succulent with me. We did some color mixing as we looked at different colors that we could potentially use. We also did some sketching over here so that we can understand the plants anatomy. Then we used a lot of what on what technique to have these colors blend effortlessly together. We also did a lot of layering's so that the plants or the stems that are in the back have some shadow to them. This looks like a really full plant, it looks like there's a ton of stems coming out of it and that's the look that you want. We also did some detailing as we painted the little leaves and adding the little segmentation details. Overall, I hope this is fun and I can't wait to paint with you in the next video. I'll see you there. 6. Bunny Ear Cactus: Intro, Color Mixing, Sketching: Hey everyone, this second plant that we're going to paint is the bunny ear cactus. It is named so because this cactus actually grows in pairs. These sections, I'll just call them sections or segments. They grow together at the same time. When these or when this one grows, another couple sections, it's going to grow to more at the same time. These tend to grow short and wide. They grow more like a shrub and they're native to Central and Northern Mexico. These segments are always going to be oval shaped. The top is a little bit flat but also rounded, they are definitely an oval shape. They actually start out when they first grow as like a reddish color and then when they mature, it becomes a green color. This is because it's all green, it's mostly a mature plant. Now, most cacta have really long spikes that come out. This one has what are called glochids, they are these tiny little white sections and they're not really spiky. They're more like really short, blisilly barbs. I don't really know how to describe it, but they are still harmful to your skin. So you'd have to be careful, but they're not like long spikes. We're not going to paint those tiny details. We're just going to represent the glochids with just a white dot. If you actually look very closely, I painted white dots and yellow dots right next to each other. So you can do that too if you want. I think just a white dots will suffice. For this bunny air cactus, I'm going to be using a size 4 brush, mostly because these ovals are quite large. They're like an inch and a half, maybe two inches tall. This part I painted way too large, I'm going to paint a smaller part. But I think a four will be sufficient enough. One thing to note is that, I painted this segment as if we're looking at it from the profile, from this side. So it's really important that you painted in a way so that you can see that it is on its size. So what I did basically was paint the oval shape, and then right down the middle, I painted a darker area. Then also the dots are a not smaller and they're more frequent, that helps that visual effect. The dots on the other side of the dark area are a little bit larger and more spaced out and they're more consistent with these guys, are facing you too. So just that visual perspective. Sometimes it's hard to achieve that in painting because this is a flat 2D surface. But little things like that will help you achieve a more 3D look, as well as using darker colors for shading, so we'll use all of those techniques in this cactus. Just like the fire sticks succulent, we're going to use a lot of wet on wet. We'll start with this light oval or a light wash. For most of these ovals will still do one at a time. We'll do one and then we'll go in there with the darker colors, do the next one, darker colors, next one dark colors, etc. Then, if we need to, we'll go in there with even more darker greens, etc. Then when is completely dry, then we'll go in there with the white. For the white details, we want that opaque color, I'll show you how to use both the blueproof white and the acrylic pen. If you don't have these on-hand, don't worry about it. I think even if you use yellow ocher, which is what I use for, the yellow dots here. Yellow ocher is somewhat opaque too, so you can get away with the yellow, but if you have white, it'll really make it stand out even more. Anyway, but I'll demonstrate how to use these and I'll probably use a smaller brush like a size 0 or double zero. Let's start out with some colors similar to the fire sticks succulent, I'm going to be using a lot of Sap Green. We already know what the sap green looks like, I'll just do it one more time for this particular painting. I'm also going to use the hookers green dark. But this time I'm going to mix it with a little bit of the Raw Umber. I don't want too many or too much of a cool green color. I really want to keep all of my greens very warm. I have my hookers green dark here, then I'm going to bring in some of that Raw Umber and mix it in there way too much. I'm going to drop some of that in there and then just mix it all together. Now this is like a dark, mossy green, maybe just a little bit more of the green. This is what I'm going to use for the darker green areas. He has a nice army green. I might also mix some of the Hookers Green Dark with the Sap Green to get a darker but still very warm green color. Those are the different shades of green that will be using. As I go sometimes these colors end up mixing themselves on this ballot. If that happens, I don't worry too much about it and I don't think you should either, but there are some people who really like to keep their colors all separate and that's okay, that's just how you work. This is just how I work, don't worry too much if these colors start mixing together. I don't think you shouldn't mix too many colors together, but when they start to, I don't tend to worry about it too much. Let's do a little bit of sketching, the bunny ear has a shorter base or narrower base and then a wide, but rounded top. It's like that, it might come out of one cactus. The one that's coming out of the ground, it might have one and then it might have another coming right out of it. It's called bunny ears because these two look like bunnies ears. Now let's say that out of this one, there's going to be that one cactus we're looking at it from the side profile. It's still a cylindrical, oval shaped, but it's just very narrow. So it's mostly one width then you want that detail like this, so that we know that we're looking at the side and you know what, the base should actually be narrower, I'm sorry about that should be narrower like that. This one would have another one growing out of it eventually, maybe it's a little late to the party. This one would have another smaller one, then you can do another one. You can narrower base. I'm going to have them sort of intersecting overlapping. This one will have two smaller ones coming out of it. This is a general shape that we're going to go for. I might not do this many segments. I might just do this one, maybe these two, or maybe I want do these three. I don't know, we'll see how the paint session goes. But anyway, but this is just a general shape. 7. Bunny Ear Cactus: Painting in Layers: Again to help me out, I'm going to sketch the pot down here first. I'm going to use a much wider base this time. Then so I'll have one cactus coming out here and then the next one right about there. I'm starting with my light sap green color. I might make mine just a little bit darker so you guys can see. But I'm going to start with this half circle one right about there. Make it just a little taller. I'm going to erase some of these lines here. They're a little too close. I'm going to paint my first section over here on the left. Just because I'm right-handed, I'm starting from the left to the right. If you're left-handed, you might want to start with the right cactus and then move to the left, but ultimately it's your decision so don't let me stop you. Again, I'm just free handing this. While this section is still wet you can go in there with some of your darker greens and emphasize some of the shadowy areas if you want. I'm going to do my next section right off of here. Make it just a little taller just to make it look a little bit different. Again, I'm varying the colors of my greens because I don't want my cactus to look flat. There's a lot of dimension. I want the different colors of greens to reflect that. Now this one is starting to dry and you can see that the colors are already lighter than when they were first applied and that's totally okay. Let's go on to the next one and this was the one that's going to have that side view. I'm going to paint that narrow oval. Then while it's still wet, I'm going to go in there with my darkest green and then paint just that spine. If it spreads too far, just go ahead and wash out your brush, blot it as much as you can, and then pick up some of that darker paint so that that darker line is skinnier. What you're doing right now is you're lifting the paint. Now that already looks so much better and we'll go in there and then we'll fix it. But for now I'm going to leave it as is. You know what? I'm actually going to add some yellow sections too. While it's wet, I might add some yellow to my leaves. Let's do another small one right here. I'm just going to leave this one as is. Then I'm going to do one large one here and then have two more coming out of here. I'm going to have it so that it overlaps. This one here is going to be large. I'm trying to work quickly with a lot of water. Maybe this was the one where I'll add some of that yellow details. Let's have two more of the bunny ears coming out. I liked how the yellow is seeping into there too. Again, don't be scared of paint moving where you didn't plan it to. I think the beauty of watercolor is that sometimes you just got to roll with it. Don't be scared that some of this is happening. There are sometimes ways that you can fix it. But for the most part try to just roll with it. At this time, I definitely want to add still some more dimension to these. I'm going to go in there with a lot of heavy water, but still with these darker colors. Again, like the fire stick cactus, just not really carrying where the paint is going, but just letting it just do its thing and then a little bit of blending as I go. But I want it to really be more natural-looking. It's okay if the colors have a hard edge to it as it dries. Because if it's too wet, it tends to do that. But for me in this case, I want that to happen because nature isn't perfect and we just need to let nature do its thing. I feel like the more carefree and natural we are with our painting, the more natural it actually looks. I'm going to pause right here because I want to really focus on this one where we're looking at the profile. I do want to emphasize that dark spine area, but I do also want to paint around it because I want that leaf to be more pronounced. I'm going to go in there with the sap green. Now I lost that dark center. That's okay. I'm going to go back in there. That's a little bit too dark and I'll wash it out a little bit. There we go. That's a little bit better. I'm going to continue adding a second layer over on this side. I really like the wet on wet look again, you can see these hard edges forming here. Again, I'm not going to let it bother me. Once we add the white details, you might not really be able to see these hard edges. Yeah, so again don't worry too much about it. Again, I'm just going in there just adding another layer. It's okay if the previous layer is still wet, I'm just letting it just blend all together. I'm trying to also show a difference between the main section here and then the little ears. If you want to, you can try to block it off by outlining it. I don't like this shape. I feel like this shape is rectangular. I don't know how it got like that. I'm actually going to make it a little bit wider down here so that this base will stay the same width, but I'm going to widen this a little bit. I don't know why it's so rectangular or how it got like that. It might look a little weird, but sometimes you got to fix your mistakes. I'm just adding a lot of water to reactivate the previous layers. Still looks a little weird, but it's okay. I'm sure there's a cactus out there that looks like this. Let's pause on this because we can't add the white until this is completely dry. I'm going to go on to the rocks and my pot down here. 8. Bunny Ear Cactus: Painting the Pot & Rocks: I'm just going to erase most of the lines down here as long as I have a general idea of where I'm going. I'm going to use a bright blue, an ultra marine type of color for the pot. Again, I'm still using my size for brush, but now I'm going to go in there with a lot of water to cover it up. My cactus is bleeding into my pot. That's okay. You know what? I started painting up here without realizing that that's where my rocks need to go, so I'm going to use a lifting technique by washing out my brush, blotting it almost dry, and then pick up that wet paint. Now it's almost gone. I got to go back in there and finish painting. Now, this one I might actually make into stripes or something, so I'm going to lift this green up as well. I mean, a little bit of bleed is okay but I felt like too much of that green was bleeding, so I lifted that up. Still bleeding because it's really wet, but it's much better than before. For this one, I'm going to do stripes. I'm going to see if I can use the lifting technique to create white lines. Again, blot out your brush so that it's almost dry. You might have to blot a lot, especially if your paper is really wet. So that's what that first stripe looks like. I'll do one more down here. Do you guys see the stripes happening? Pretty cool, right? It doesn't have to be perfect, I just want at least you can still definitely tell that there is a stripe happening, two lines. Then if you want to go in there and do a darker color here at the corners, that will really help the stripes stand out even more. Then obviously you can paint around it too and that will help it stand out even more too. For now, I feel that's pretty good. I'm going to leave it. I'm going to do some of the rocks because this green is still definitely wet. You know what? I keep forgetting the areas behind the cactus. All right. Let's go in there with some rocks. So I'm going to do mostly yellow ocher just as a base color, and I'll lighten that up. I'm just going to cover most of this area with this light yellow ocher. I don't want to touch too much of the cactus or the pot because it's very wet and I don't want too much of the paint to bleed into it. I'm going to let that dry. I'm going to add some, let's see, a little bit of burnt sienna. I'm just going to dot that in there and then I'll add some more later. Right now it's definitely too wet so I don't want it to get all muddied up. At this point, this green is definitely drying more but I'm seeing that some of the bunny ear sections are blending in too much. We do want to define some of those sections, so I'm going to use some slightly darker color and blend that in there so they look like separate pieces instead of one large one. At this point, I'm going to let everything dry and then go in there with my bleed through light or the acrylic marker. All right. Let it completely dry. 9. Bunny Ear Cactus: Final Details: We're looking at the bunny ear cactus. It's a little bit more close up. By me going to go in there with some raw umber and just add just a little bit more to my rocks here. I'm being careful to definitely leave some of that space for the yellow ocher to still show through. Going to leave that as it is. Now, let's go on to the white details on the cactus. Now, as I mentioned, there are two ways that I'm going to demonstrate, we'll do the bleed proof white and the acrylic pen. I'll start with the acrylic pen. Again, this acrylic pen is the Molotow brand or Molotow. This is the fine tip. Sometimes the tip can get clogged up and if it's hard to see here, they can get clogged up. When that happens, I just wipe it on a paper towel, because acrylic is basically plastic. You just want to get rid of that. It has a fine tip. It's really nice for drawing details. I use this for my other projects like signage and things like that. But I'm going to use it for the painting the glochids on this cactus. Let's start with this one down here. I'm going to paint in a diagonal way and then give maybe a quarter of an inch base in-between each. Just a small dot like so. Give some space. It's okay to also draw one on the edges because sometimes a glochids will be on the edge. You know what, I forgot to shake this up. I mean, it came out just fine, but it always helps give it a shake. Let's continue. Again, you want to do this when it's really dry, or completely dry because if it's too wet, this white is going to react with the paint and we don't want that. Then for this one, if you remember, we're going to do it so that that dark center, the ones to the left, are going to be a little bit larger or about the same size as these. Then the one to the right of this dark center are going to be smaller and closer together. For the other half of the bunny ear cactus, I'm going to use to bleed proof white. Like I said, when you first open it, it's going be to really thick inside and you might be wondering what that the heck is this. Don't worry, let's use a size two brush. I'm just going to scoop out a little bit of it. Looks like that. Then I'm going to use the lid here to take the paint from. Now because I need the circles to be really small. I'm going be careful to only use the tip of my brush even though it's completely covered. It's the same concept, going diagonally, by using just the tip of my paintbrush to do so. Now for this big one, I'm being a little bit more free with my placement. Because again, nature isn't always perfect and symmetrical. I'm adding a couple extra white dots in areas that might not necessarily make sense. Again, using the bright opaque white paint is really important because you want this to really stand out against a dark background. Just because I want the glochids to look a little bit more natural, I'm going to use that yellow ocher, like watered-down and paint, right around it. It might not really show up well. When you look really closely, there will be evidence of it. I'm just painting around the little white glochids. It creates a little bit of a shadow, but also it just makes the white a little bit more natural-looking because in reality the glochids aren't bright white. They're more like a little glob or not a glob. They're more like little clusters of brussels. If you just do a bright white dot, it doesn't look quite natural. Adding just a little bit of yellow ocher around it gives it a little bit of a shadow. Makes it a little bit more believable. You can paint a little bit of the yellow ocher above it or on top of the white. Again, making it look more of a natural color rather than just a bright white color. You can do it for all of them are just some of them. Again, it doesn't really make that difference or make that much of a difference close up. Now some of this paint might be a little bit wet and that's okay. Again, some of that white bleeding into it makes it a little bit more believable too. Great job in painting a bunny ear cactus with me. I hope it was a lot of fun just using the wet on wet method to get all of these green colors to just naturally blend and bleed into one another. Again, when you're painting, it seems chaotic. It seems really hectic, and you don't know what it's going to turn out like. But that's the beauty and the joy of watercolors. If you're not comfortable with that yet, just keep trying it. Just paint basic shapes and an experiment with adding color, taking away color, putting shapes right next to each other and seeing what happens to the paint when they touch. Just with more practice, it will feel more natural. We also practice lifting as we made these stripes in this pod. That was a lot of fun. Then lastly, we used the opaque white color using bleed proof white and the acrylic pen to paint the white glochids, added some more details with the yellow ocher mix. Great job, and let's paint the next one together. I'll see you there. 10. Snake Plant: Intro, Color Mixing, Sketching: Hey everyone. We're going to paint this snake plant next. This snake plant is really interesting, it's succulent and it's super hardy. It's known as one of the most tolerable indoor house plans. You basically can't kill it. It thrives on neglect. If you don't have a green thumb, maybe this snake plant is what you want in your house. This snake plant is great at the houseplant because it actually removes toxins in the air, she purifies it. It's great to have in your bedroom or even out in the living room. What's interesting about this plant is that there aren't any stems, it's only leaves. The snake plant actually has a couple of different varieties. There's the Bird's Nest Snake Plant, which is usually short and wide. Then you have the Cylinder Snake Plant and it has really long and thin leaves. It almost looks like the aloe vera plant, almost. There's the Variegated Snake Plant, which is similar to the one we're going to paint, except the one that we're going to paint, I think it's pronounced Laurentii, It has the dark details and then the yellow edged leaves. That's the one that we're going to paint today. The way that we're going to paint this is definitely in layers, just like the previous subjects like we've been painting. We're going to do a lot [inaudible]. We're going to paint one leaf at a time, starting with the front most leaf, do a light wash and then go in there with a darker colors and just define the center of the leaf and a little bit of the details. Then we'll outline the edges with that yellow and then continue painting each leaf individually. After the first layer dries, you might have to go in there with another layer of color and then also add shadows where some of the leaves overlap each other and then at the very end, you might want to define the small dark details even more. Of course we'll paint our pot or container with the rocks as well. That's the general outline of the steps we're going to take. Now this is the snake plant that I painted from my practice session, but we're going to paint one that has a little bit more waves in the leaves just to make it more interesting. Without further ado, let's start painting. For this snake plant, I'm going to start with a size six brush. In general, I'm going to use mostly warm colored green colors. As you know by now, I love the sap green. Let's have that here. My goodness you guys, I forgot to take my painting. Let me take my painting first. Now we can get started. Let's do some colors. Like I said, I love the sap green. Here it is again. For the darker details on the snake plant, I'm going to use a mixture of the hooker's green dark and the burnt umber. That's a little too brown, I'm going to add some more of the hooker's green dark. For the yellow edges, it's not a pure yellow color. It's almost like sap green mixed with a ton of yellow. I wonder, maybe I'll just add a little bit of sap green here, but then add a ton of yellow to it because it has a slightly green tint to it, just slightly. I want to add just touches of the green. Now if I need to darken some of my plant areas, I might just make more of this, but I might also use maybe a darker, cooler green. I'm going to mix some hooker's green dark and do it down here and just a touch of Payne's gray. Now this is a very cool colored green, so I don't want to use too much of this. Again, we're always going to be working in layers, so all of these colors that you see, it's almost in its lightest form and we're going to add on top of it. Don't feel these are too light. It's okay. We're just going to start with these and then build upon it. Then for the pot, maybe we'll do a grayish pot like I did for my practice one, or you can do whatever container that you'd like. Let's do some light sketching. This next plant that we're going to paint, It's going to look a little bit different from my practice one and that's okay. It's going to have a little bit more of twistiness to its leaves. The front most one, we're always looking at the backside of it, and then it curves up into a point. Then you have that thin yellow edge and so the spine of it comes down like this. Now another leaf that we can do is, again, just looking at the back of the leaf. They each have pointed edge and then the same width throughout coming down. Some of the bigger leaves are going to have the tip, come to a point, but then the width of the leaf is going to be really wide. We'll draw those in a little bit too. But again, you have this spine coming down like that and you have the yellow edge very thinly but barely there. Do this one over here on this side and we're going to have a curve. I'm going to draw the yellow edge first. I'm going to have the yellow edge curving like that. It's going to be really thin. Then from here I'm going to draw the leaf and I have it come here and where it bends right in the middle, I'm going to have that leave stop there and then come just before it and then have it continue up. It gives you the illusion that the leaf is bending. It also has that point coming up. Let's do a couple more leaves right in between here. Let's have another one here. I'm going to do another one that curves like this. Paint the yellow part first. Sorry, I'm running out of room up here. Then [inaudible] the bend about halfway up is where I'm going to have the leaf come up and then just before it is where I'm going to start the next side of the leaf. Let's have one more big leaf all the way in the back here. We're going to have it be really skinny and then be really wide, is going to come behind all of those leaves. We're looking at it almost from this side, but not quite. This yellow edge is going to be a little bit thicker and this spine coming down the middle like that. Hopefully this makes sense. Then you'll have the pot. Maybe I'll make it a little bit smaller. This is a overall shape that we're going for. Then again, you'll have those zigzaggy details all throughout here. I'm not going to draw every single one of them but just so that you know, especially where you have this spine happening, a lot of the shadows are also concentrated right along the side here and especially where it bends. Just make note of that as you paint. Then here you'll still have the zigzags going across too. Again, this is just to give you an idea. Let's start painting. 11. Snake Plant: First Layers: As I mentioned earlier, we're going to paint one leaf at a time. We're going to start with the front most leaf and then go to the next front most and then maybe these two angled ones, and then the large one in the back. Let's start with the sap green and start with a really light wash. You know what? I need to draw my pot so that I know where I'm going. It start here and I'm going to make it right about there. Again, just paint the general shape first. Again, we're going to do a lot of unwed, so as it is still wet, I'm going to pick up that dark green color. Then at least just define the spine area. Then if you want if your paint is not to what you can also try adding in some of those zigzags. But if your pain is too wet, it's okay to skip this step, you can always add it later when the paint is a little bit drier. This is fine for now. Before I move on to the next leaf, I'm going to paint that yellow edge, and I'm using my size six branch, but I'm using just a tip. I'm coming up right up against the leaf. It's okay if you touch it, and just a hint of it on the right side, just very lightly. This leaf is almost bending away from us, so we see this edge more prominently than the one on the right. Hey, let's paint the next leaf, that's the one that's over here. When I get up to this yellow part, I'm going to paint up right up to it, but not so close that I'm going to mix with it, so be careful not to mix with that color. Again, draw the general shape and then fill it in. You want your paper to be somewhat moist, not completely wet but you don't want to bone dry either. Then while it's still wet, go in there with the darker color and then try to define that tip and the spine. I just love how the pain just moves like that. Now since this first leaf is a little bit dryer, you can go back in there and paint the spine a little bit more. You don't have to, but I'm just doing that just so didn't look so weird. There's a little bit of yellow that's going to go on the sides of here as well, so again, be careful not to touch the green part too much because you don't want to have it. I'm having too much bullied a little bit of bleed like that is okay, but try not to have too much more than that. Now right now, again because all of these are just light washes, I know it looks a little funny, but don't worry. We will define the green's a little bit more. For the next leaf let's do this one. Just as we sketch the yellow part first, we're going to paint the yellow part first too. Starting down here, go ahead and paint the yellow part and have it curving over. Feel Like I painted at really large, but that's okay, and then go in there with your Sap Green and then paint the leaf part. Again I'm coming up right up against the yellow but not quite touching it. Then I do the other side. While it is still a little wet, go in there with the darker color. For the next curving leaf, we're going to have the yellow line out there first. Use just your tip of the brush to get a nice thin line, and then go in there with the sap green again. Now with the dark green. I'm going to give this leaf a chance to dry a little bit because when I go in there with that large leaf in the back, I don't want to reactivate any of these paints and then have them bleed. I'm just going to define some of these leaves upfront. What I want to do first is add a second layer because I want to deepen this color, I want to make it more of a sap green colors, so I'm going to bring some more of my sap green onto my palette here, and then add a much darker color. I'm just painting over the whole part, just deepening that color. Then we're going to add just a touch of burnt sienna. That was more than a touch. Because I want a nice darker color, it's still too brown. What I'm doing right now is glazing. What that means is I'm adding another layer of color just to alter the overall tone of the color underneath it. As you can see, it's already looking a lot deeper and the overall tone of this painting is now without that warm color. I might even go in there with just a light version of this color and just deepen some areas there too. The darker you make it, the more that the yellow is really going to stand out. Now you can really see the yellow parts a lot clearer. Let's work on that last leaf in the back. It's okay that I made that deeper color because I'll just start with that deep color. But yes, I'm going to have really skinny up here and make it really wide down here and have it coming behind all of those leaves down this way. Manages with a lot of water fill in that space. Then what the darker color back in there. Now in reality, this large leave is going to be a lot darker than the other leaves because it's way in the back. Now let's add that yellow edge. While this is drying, I'm going to work on the little pot at the bottom. I'm going to use some light payne's gray over here and I'm going to erase some of my lines. Now a snake plant is usually just planted in regular soil. I'm going to let that dry and then that whitespace in the middle, I'm going to paint with some burnt umber or something. But I want this payne's gray to be like really pronounce, I'm going to add just a lot of Payne's gray there and just have it really believed in there. A lot of visual interest. 12. Snake Plant: Second Layers: All right, at this point, I'm going to use a smaller brush. Let's use a size two. We're going to work on some of these darker details here. Now most of my leaves are mostly dry. Yeah, mostly dry. So while the pot is drying, I'm going to come in here with the darker colors. So we had our grains mixed over here. This was the Hooker's green, dark and a little bit of Payne's gray. I do like the way that it looks but I'm going to add just a little bit more Payne's gray in there. You do want a mostly dry brush again, not too wet. What I'm going to do, I'm going to start by defining the spines and then add in the little zigzaggy details. I didn't draw a completely straight line because again, it's not supernatural if you have just a straight line coming down. Then for the zigzags, I'm just lightly moving my brush up and down really quickly. But again, just very lightly. Sometimes I'm not even touching the paper. So that's why it's taken me a little while. Try to vary just how tall they are, how light they are and they're not completely straight. They come down at an angle and then they come up. So it gives you the illusion that this leaf is bent away from you. This is the initial layer of this leaf. Let's go ahead and do the same for all of the other leaves. All right, I like how these leaves are looking so far. I want to add a little bit more variation to the leaves. So for example, we're still missing shadowy colors here and here. I want this area to be just a touch darker and then this tip, I want to make it look like it's bending forward to us. So this area needs to be darker and so does this tip. So basically I'm just going to add a little bit more shadow details as well as this area where it starts bending. So for that, I'm just going to start with this base color. I know that it's mixing in with the other greens, but adding just another layer will darken the color. Remember, you want it to be not too wet because if you do it too wet then all the details that we just painted, they are going to be reactivated and it's going to look really messy. So try to have almost a dry brush and then pick up just the paint and then just lightly go over those areas with just one wash. You don't need multiple washes. The thing about watercolors is always about building on layers. You might not see too much happening and you can already tell that some of these layers are definitely darker. We will do one more layer of these details. The dark edges or the dark lines. So don't feel like, "Oh no, I smudged it." It's okay, we can always add to it. For this one, I'm going to add a little bit more of this because I want these down here to be a lot thicker or a lot darker. I'm just going to paint the soil in a little bit. Just make sure to leave some white space. But it's going to be mostly the brownish color. So at this point I'm starting to lose some of that yellow. It's not as vibrant as I want it to be. So I'm going to add some more of that yellow and just a touch of Sap Green. I'm going to go back in there and really highlight that. If you need to lift in some of the areas, go ahead and do that. But I think just emphasizing the yellow parts that you can see with just another layer of this yellow color is maybe all that's really needed. I'm going to let that completely dry and then go in there with our final layer of the dark lines. So I'll see you in a bit. 13. Snake Plant: Final Layers: All right, welcome back. I hope you are painting is 99.9 percent dry. It's okay if it's just a little wet, but you do want it to be as dry as possible. If you were waiting, you could add a little bit more detail in your soil. I think that's pretty good. So for the final details on the dark lines, I'm going to take some of that paint gray right here and maybe mix it in with this guy, that's not quite dark enough as I'd like it to be. So I'm going to add some of the hooker screen dark in there. Then some more other paints gray. This is a point where all of my greens just start to merge with one another, and I don't really mind it all that much, I just let it do it and I deal with the consequences later. So this is pretty dark. Again, you want a pretty dry brush so blooded as much as you can. Then pick up just a tip. You don't have to do it for this one, I'm just doing it just for the video purposes. Then do the same thing that we did earlier. You know what, I might actually use an even smaller brush. I'm going to use a size zeros, zeros. This is the smallest brush. I have a triple zero but I think double zero will do the trick. Blood it as much as you can and pick up using just a tip. The same technique as earlier. So like moving up and down really frantically, barely touching the paper. You can go over the same areas that you painted before or, go a little bit above or go a little bit below just to add some levels of darkness or saturation in your painting. So again, make sure to emphasize the ends of the leaf too, because that's where it's the darkest. Then go ahead and go in there with that. Actually I'm going to start on the left because I'm right-handed. All right, great job everyone, that is our snake plant. So I know the process of adding layers and adding darker colors is sometimes slow and again just kind of unpredictable. But as you can see, we started out with a really light wash and it didn't seem like it was really good to go anywhere, but the more details you added and the more darker colors you added, you just create a really nice 3D looking plant. So I hope you had fun just going through that process. Again, if that seems unusual to you, it just takes practice. So even though that first wash is weird, just keep pushing through it and then just keep adding darker layers or even the same color. When you just do another layer of it, it appears darker. So just be patient through that process and know that. You can always fix stuff, you can lift it away if you have to, but usually if you just keep rolling with it, you'll create something really beautiful. So I hope you're really proud of your snake plant and I can't wait to see yours. All right, so join me in the last video where we'll paint the bill berry cactus. See you there. 14. Bilberry Cactus: Intro, Color Mixing, Sketching: Hey, everyone. Welcome to the last plant that we're going to paint together. This is the bilberry cactus. It also goes by different names like whortleberry cactus or blue candle, and in reality this actually grows more like a shrub. So it's a much larger plant, but because we don't have a lot of room, and I also don't want to be painting for hours, and I don't think you do either, we're just going to paint just a little part of the plant. So we're just going to do one stem, and then another stem. At least I hope these are stems. I'm not really sure what they're called. Two bodies, I guess we can call them or two sections. This plant is really interesting because some cactuses, they're round or they're tall, and slender. This one actually has ridges. It's almost scalloped. It just has really interesting features and we can do a lot with light, and shadow. If you look really carefully, I have a lot of details here where there are some sections that are lighter, and some sections that are darker. Having these dark lines, and streaks really help pronounce those ridges. Then on the edges you can see the little pricklies that we have to add. Then lastly you definitely want to add some container, and feel free to use whatever color you want or any shape, and design that you'd like to. Since this plant is also called the blue candle, it does have overall a blue tone to it. We're going to concentrate our greens, and our colors on the cooler side. We will use sap green as our base, but we'd use mostly these hooker's dark green, and I might actually use my phthalo green, and mix in a little bit of the browns to warm up this phthalo green. You'll see how bright this is, and I want to tone it down just a bit. If you look carefully, there is a little bit of sap green especially here up at the top, and I think any plant, it's never just purely green. It's always some kind of variation. So we want to reflect that in our plant too. Of course we will use the wet on wet technique. So what we'll do first is paint this center shape, and then this middle line that you see this line is the ridge that is pointing towards us. Then this section here, the one with the scalloped edge, that one's sticking outwards as well, and then we'll paint the next section, and then we'll go in there, and add the darker layers. Then after we're done with this one, maybe the first, and second layers, then we'll go into this one. Just take it shape by shape, piece by piece, layer by layer. Hope you're excited. Let's do some color mixing. For the bilberry cactus, I'm going to use a size four brush, and let's start out by putting our sap green down. I feel like by now you guys should know exactly what sap green looks like, but just for the sake of this class, I just want to keep all of these graphics together. Like I said I want to concentrate on some of the cooler greens. So here's that hooker's green dark, and I'm going to add just a touch of the sap green just to warm it up a little bit, but not too much. There is a little bit of that, and for my darkest green I'm going to do this phthalo green. You can see how bright that is. It's almost like a neon color. So I want to tone that down a lot, and to do that I'm going to mix it with some burnt umber. You can already tell, yeah, it's warming up a lot. I'm adding some burnt umber to that. So it's a nice dark green color, and if you need to make more of it just add some more phthalo green, and then add some more burnt umber, and just keep going back, and forth until you get a good mix, and a good amount. It's always a good idea to prepare your paints ahead of time. Another one of my favorite combinations is sap green plus hooker's green dark, plus payne's gray. I'm going to use this one as also a dark green color as well. As I paint you've seen it before, once we do the wet-on-wet sometimes I just grab whatever green just grabs my eye, and then I apply it to the painting. Let's do a little bit of sketching before we go on. For our shape, for the bilberry cactus, we're going to paint some basic shapes. In the main body we have a pointed oval shape like so. I'll sketch it a little bit darker so you guys can see, and then you have that ridge that comes out towards you. Then the sides, you're going to have a couple of pointed ridges that come out like this, and the same thing on the other side. These two sides don't have to be symmetrical. Go ahead and add some of the little pricklies, and then they would also go here on this ridge too, and this cactus is 3D. So we're going to add just a little hump right there, and another small hump right there. Now let's paint the arm that comes out this way. Again you're going to have the same pointed oval shape in the middle, and I'll start it right about here. This one's going to be a lot smaller. It's just like that, and then same thing like we did on either side. Have the ridges coming out. The little pricklies, and then this is the spine here, and then this one will also have a little bit of a 3D look, and then this will also have some pricklies too. That's the basic shape, and then you can add your pot around this. You can make your pot really tight around your cactus or you can make it really wide. It's really your preference. So don't feel like you have to do exactly what I'm doing. Maybe I'll add some designs or something. I don't know. We'll see. 15. Bilberry Cactus: Painting the Cactus: Like before, I'm just going to sketch my little pot here, just a generic one. I know where to start. Now, this little part might actually get in the way, so I'm going to erase a little bit of it. Let's start painting our bill berry cactus. As I explained, we're going to start with a really light wash of sap-green. I might actually even use this one, which I mixed a little bit of Hooker's green-dark and sap-green. Either one is fine as long as it's a light wash. We're going to paint in the same order that we sketched. We're going to start with that pointed oval shape, and then go to the sides, et cetera. I'm going to start with a light wash first, and then I'll add the dark details later. I'm going to leave just a little bit of white space and then go on to this ridge on the left side or the section on the left side. Leave just a sliver of white space between the two sections because that's where that dark line is going to go. At this point, I'm going to add some of this dark line and define that center ridge. If your paint layer was still wet, you might get some wet on wet happening. But if you didn't, that's okay, and then I'm going to paint this other ridges here. This one might bleed a little bit more, which is okay. Then I'm also going to add just a little bit on the pointed edges. I'm going to pause on that and go back to my light wash and do the other side. Again, I'm leaving a very slight sliver of white space in between these shapes. How's your cactus looking so far?. Then at this point, I'm going to add just some darker colors. If your paint layer already dried, that's okay. Just go back in there with a wet brush and blend it in. You don't want to go too dark, too fast. Add just a light layer at a time. Watch how I'm just adding whatever green just captures my attention. Then I'm placing them like right along these ridges because that's exactly where the shadows are going to be. These ridges that I initially painted, I feel like they're a little too bold. What I want to do, I want to reactivate this paint layer with some water and then smear it out or blend it out. I'm going to grab some water and then just brush up against it with the water. You'll see that the paint is getting reactivated. It's getting blurry. Now, I'm going to drag that paint out. Now, if I change my mind about this and I feel l blended it too much, then I can always go back and add this bold line back in there. Especially while it's still wet. Just a little bit. Yeah, like that. But I'm liking how it looks now. That it's semi blended, but not completely. Then I was going to define some of these lines real quick. Let's paint the section above, and then the other section. I'm going to let this layer completely dry. We can still go back in there and darken up areas. Especially along the ridge and right where these points are, I definitely want to darken those areas. We'll come back to this, but for now, let it dry and let's go to the other offshoot arm. Again, starting with our light wash first, paint that pointed oval shape, and where your shape meets the main section, just leave a little bit of white space again. Then the same thing when you add these side ones. Just a little bit of white space in between each section. Now, my middle section may have already dried and that's okay. I'm going to go in there. Oh, it's still a little wet and that's okay. Now, if I felt like this is bleeding too fast, you can quickly wash out your brush, blot it as dry as you can, and then quickly pick it up. Blot, pick it up,blot. This is that lifting technique that we did on the bunny ear cactuses container. Again, if you had another clean brush on hand to do this, that's fine too. Sometimes I don't think about it and I just have this brush already handy. Just as I did with the other section, I'm just going to go in there with some of these other varied colors and just add some more details. While this one is drying, I want to come back to this main section, but I want to mix a couple of new green. I have this sap green here and I still love it. But I'm going to add just a touch of ultramarine blue. I'm going to use that to layer some more color in some areas. Here we go. Sometimes I don't like to waste paint and so sometimes I'll end up using both brushes. I'm using the four to apply color. Then I'm going to use the two to blended it. Size two brush is always going to be clean. My size four brush will have the paint on it. That way I don't have to wash out that same brush. Again, I'm concentrating this color on just certain areas. I'm skipping. I'm letting the paint dry with a hard edge. That's okay. Now my size two brush is like semi wet, it's half wet. I'm dipping it in the water every now and then just so I can wash out the paint from before. Because I don't want to keep adding paint. I want to wash it out. I want to blend it out. If I have too much paint on this blending brush, then that defeats the purpose of blending it. I would just be painting. I'm going to go in here and add some of that green too. I also really like this color that we made. This is the sap green and the payne's gray. I'm going to do a layer of this color as well. Again, I'm going to use my size four to pick up the paint and then my size two, to blend it. Notice how I'm keeping some of these brighter lighter areas. I'm going to keep them bright because that's what really makes water colors really amazing. It's transparency. If you make everything the same color, it's going to look super flat and super boring. If you have some lighter areas, try to preserve them by not layering on top of them. I'm liking how this is looking. The last thing I'm going to do is define those dark ridges again. I'm going to have almost dry brush, pick up the paint and just very lightly, I just go over those areas. Again, if you feel like you were too dark, then just use your smaller brush and just blend it out. This will all be based on your preference. You might think it's too dark, but I might think that it's not dark enough or vice versa. It's really your preference. Put the paint down and then if you change your mind, just quickly grab a clean brush and then wash it out. I want to get in there and just do light layers of this fallow green and burnt umber color, just a light ones. I'm grabbing it from the dark section and bringing it over here and just adding a lot of water. I think just one more layer of this color will give it that overall bluish tone that I'm going for. Just lightly layering this color just over certain areas to even up the tone, especially over the areas that seem a little too yellow-greenish. I'm just lightly layering over there. Again, you don't want this layer to be too wet because then you're going to muddy up the colors underneath this layer. Now, I'm going to add some darker colors here at the bottom, because it's going to be the darkest down there. I do want to blend it because I don't want it to have hard edges. But again, that's your preference. Don't feel like you have to do that. I'm also going to add some dark colors right here where the two shapes meet. Again, I'm using my size two for blending. I also want to differentiate these two shapes. Because I want to show that there are some shapes behind this main one. I just use that dark color to outline that. I'm going to continue adding this light layer of this cool green. Just again over some areas. I feel like it could still use a little bit more toning up. Well, I hope your cactus is coming along nicely. I'm going to let this layer completely dry. Then we'll add the little pricklies. Actually one more thing, I'm just going to add just a little bit of details right here at the edge, at the little pointed edges. That's where the pricklies are going to be coming from. Next, let's paint the container. 16. Bilberry Cactus: Painting the Pot: I want to paint our container, I'm going to erase some of these lines a little bit. I'm going to use that bright cadmium red hue color that we used. I have my pot really tightly around the cactus. But again, you can paint your pot however you want, you don't have to do exactly what I'm doing. This is a little too bright, I'm going to get a clean brush and just lift up in certain areas. Then, if you want to go back in there and add some more of that bag, go ahead and do that. I'm liking how that's looking, I'm going to let that dry as well and then I'll add just a little bit of brown in where that, or maybe yellow ocher anywhere there's whites paces, that will indicate the soil. Let this cactus completely dry and then we're going to paint the little peak leaves. 17. Bilberry Cactus: Adding Final Details: All right, hopefully you're cactus is drying well. I'm going to use the size 00 brush to add the little spikes and I'm going to use the yellow ocher color and mix just a little bit of the lemon yellow into it. I love yellow ocher because it's almost opaque. Not quite because again, watercolors is always transparent, but it's a good way to add some final details. Using my size 00 brush, you can really get some nice details. You use just a tip to create the spikes, and try to be random with it, you don't want them all to be the same length, you want some of them pointing inward and outward and don't forget the spikes that are here in the center too. These will be a little harder to see because again, it's not completely opaque, but as long as you didn't make this too dark, you should still be able to see it just a little bit. Don't forget these spikes that are up here as well. But make these a little smaller because they're supposed to be further away. I'm also going to add some of this yellow ocher in the pot here, and a little bit of the burnt umber as well. But make sure to leave some white space. The last thing I'm going to do is add some details to our container. It looks fine the way it is, but I also think that you can always spice it up a little bit. I'm going to use this acrylic pen again and I might do some stripes and some dots or something. First I'm going to define the rim of the pot. Just with a dark red. There we go. Then add just a little bit more under it so that it looks more like a rim rather than just a random line. Then from there, let me add some stripes, some dots, another stripe, maybe another stripe here at the bottom. Again, it's not perfect, but it's just something that you can add. I'm taking a final look at this cactus and I think there's still more that I could do but that's how I feel about all of my paintings. I still feel like I can touch up on some of this, overall bluish, greenish tone, I feel like I can add a little bit more here and there, and this is just part of what being an artist is like. You're never quite satisfied. But there is a point where you just have to call it and just stop. Even right now as I'm talking, I'm still painting. But you know what? I'm going to stop now. Otherwise, I'll be here for hours. I am though happy with this and so I hope you are too with your cactus. Please join me in the last video as we wrap things up. 18. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, you've finished this class on how to paint watercolor cacti and succulents using the wet-on-wet technique. We painted the fire stick succulent, the bunny ear cactus, the snake plant and the bilberry cactus together. This is a great time to take photos of your finished paintings or even your progress paintings and post them in your project. You can also upload them to social media like Facebook and Instagram, and tag me @ThingsUnseenDesigns and use the #WatercolorwithTUD. I love to share photos of my students work. As always, I have a few tips before you go. The first is to take time to observe your subject and break it down into simpler shapes. Take the fire stick succulent for example. It looks like a complicated mess of skinny stems. But when we painted, all it took for some of the stems to be distinguished from each other was a few extra layers of the green color. Taking it one by one, building on the shape helped the plant look more organic. Sometimes drawing complicated things, really take small steps to get there. Don't be intimidated and just start with that first basic step. My second tip is something that I emphasize throughout each video, and that is to layer your paint. The wet-on-wet technique that we use over and over again is perfect for this because you get to lay some light color down immediately and get a general sense of the shape. But it doesn't look like much. Sometimes they look like blobs because there isn't much difference between the light and the dark colors. Take your time and let layers dry before laying the next color on top. Remember that you can also layer the same color on top of each other and that will make it darker. You can also change the overall tone of the painting by adding a light layer of a different color like we did in the bilberry cactus. My last tip is to always practice. Your skills won't go anywhere unless you practice, and that is the truth. Even if you painted these four plants with me, try painting them again, maybe without the videos. Then try painting it again but this time with just your feel and your instinct. Over time, the more and more you do this, the easier it will get and soon you won't need any instruction. Well, that's it for me. I hope you've had fun painting these cacti and succulents together. I can't wait to see what you create. Remember to post the project and post on social media. Until next time, happy painting. Bye.