Loose Watercolor Florals | Kolbie Blume | Skillshare

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Loose Watercolor Florals

teacher avatar Kolbie Blume, Artist

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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

14 Lessons (2h 14m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Warming Up

    • 4. Techniques: Petals, Part 1

    • 5. Techniques: Petals, Part 2

    • 6. Techniques: Petals, Part3

    • 7. Techniques: Leaves

    • 8. Tutorial: Rose

    • 9. Tutorial: Poppy

    • 10. Tutorial: Cherry Blossom

    • 11. Final Project: Layer 1

    • 12. Final Project: Layer 2

    • 13. Final Project: Layer 3

    • 14. Recap

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About This Class

Paint with me as we break down some basic techniques for loose watercolor florals! It took me a long time to figure out how to make loose florals that I was proud of, and now I'm sharing some foundational principles with you! 

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Kolbie Blume


Top Teacher



If you're pretty sure you're terrible at art...

...you're in the right place, my friend. 



Hi there! My name is Kolbie, and I'm a full-time artist, writer, and online educator -- but up until a few years ago, I was working a 9-5 desk job and thought my artistic ability maxed out at poorly-drawn stick figures. 

In my early 20s, I stumbled on mesmerizing Instagram videos with luminous watercolor paintings and flourishing calligraphy pieces, and ... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, my name is Colby and I'm a self-taught watercolor artist here today to talk to you all about loose watercolor florals. If you've ever looked at a wreath or a bouquet painting like this one and thought to yourself, man, that is so beautiful. I wish that I could paint that, but just had no idea how, this class is for you. Now, I want to start with little disclaimer to say that this class is about loose watercolor florals, meaning we're going to learn how to paint loose, more abstract representations of florals as opposed to photograph-like very realistic florals. One of the reasons I like to use watercolor when I paint loose florals is because watercolor is by nature chaotic and you have to lean into the chaos in order to achieve really stunning beautiful results. The mixture of watercolor and these loose, more abstract florals, I think, is a great combination and a perfect place for beginners to learn how to paint beautiful springtime floral pieces. Also as a disclaimer, I want you to know that florals and I have not always had the tightest of relationships. If you've taken any of my other classes, you know that I lean a lot more toward wilderness landscape scenes when I paint with watercolor, and florals, for some reason, it took a long time for them to click with me. Even when I learned how to paint them, it took me a while to figure out how to analyze exactly what I was painting and how to break it down. But over the past few months, I have been working really hard to break down some of the beginner techniques of these loose watercolor florals. That helped me understand how to do them better. Now that I figured that out and cracked that code, I want to share those secrets with you. In this class today, we're going to be talking about a few different brushstrokes that I use in order to build florals, to create the florals as the building blocks of these flowers. We're going to learn how to paint a wreath just like this one by creating a rose, a poppy, and cherry blossoms. Those are the three main florals we're going be focusing on, but the strokes that we talk about, you can use to create lots of different florals. Then we're also going to be talking about how to paint leaves because leaves have been my nemesis for a long time, and I really want to break them down so that you don't have to have the love-hate relationship with them that I do. Before this intro video gets too long, if painting a wreath like this one sounds like something that you would like to do, and if learning my techniques for breaking down basic loose florals is something that sounds interesting, then I hope you enjoy this class and I cannot wait to see what you come up with. See you soon. 2. Materials: Before we get started diving into the techniques, let's go over all of the materials that we're going to use today. If you've taken any of my classes, a lot of these materials will probably look the same. But for those of you who haven't, I am going to take you through some of my very most favorite painting materials to use for any project, including loose watercolor florals, which we're doing today. First up, let's talk about paint brushes. When I'm painting loose watercolor florals, I like to have basically three different sizes on hand when I'm doing typically sized paintings. Typically size for me would be either a small painting or a painting that's maybe 9by12 inches. I like to have my large brush be a set around round in shape size 10. Then I like to have a medium brush round in shape size 6, and a detail brush size 0. You'll see all of these are different color handles. They're all Princeton brand, but they are different series. I just wanted to showcase all of them because I enjoy all of them. The first, my number 10 is the Princeton Velvetouch Series. All of these brushes are synthetic sable hair, which means that no animals were harmed in the process of making these. I actually prefer synthetic sable hair to real sable hair because I think it's a lot easier to control water, which is one of the most important thing with watercolors. I prefer synthetic. This is Princeton Velvetouch. You can recognize it by the dark red handle, it's also very soft to touch. The second is a series you've probably heard before. It's a favorite of a lot of artists I know, is the Princeton Heritage Series. It's more bright red handle. I really like this series, especially the smaller size, round size number 2 for watercolor lettering. Then the next is Princeton Neptune. This series, the bristles act a little bit more like real sable hair than the other two series brushes do. But it is synthetic. I like all these for different reasons. But I will use all of these brushes for floral, so I'm going to use those today. Again, that's round paintbrush, size 10, size 6, and size 0. [NOISE] Next step, let's talk about paint. I have some professional watercolor paint here. These are two of the top-notch brands, Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith. You can use whatever colors you want. The nice thing about florals is that they come in all beautiful colors all across the spectrum. Today I'm mostly going to be using this Winsor red deep from Winsor & Newton and a combination of sap green and hookers green from Winsor & Newton, as well as a little bit of Daniel Smith lamp black for some detail work. But as you can see, this is my palette. I have lots of different colors and I do lots of mixing on my palette. The way that I get the paint on here is by having these tubes and squeezing the paint and letting it dry for maybe a few days, maybe a week, and then it's good to use. I have a combination of Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith, and a couple of other different brands on this palette. But for today, the florals that we're going to be using are mostly going to be different shades of this Winsor red. I might add in some yellow, but we'll see. That's the paint. Next up, we have the palette for mixing, but I'd also like to have these, some separate mixing plate. This is a porcelain mixing plate. This is a plastic travel palette. The difference between porcelain and plastic really is how well you can clean it, how easily you can clean the palette. The plastic palettes tend to stain. Once they have dried paint on them, they don't clean up very easily. Whereas porcelain is this really smooth material that is great for mixing, but also is excellent for washing afterward. I like to have an extra mixing palette on hand just in case. Next up is paper. I always like to have both practice paper and professional paper for the final project. The practice paper that I'm going to be using today is the studio watercolor series from Fabriano. As you can see it's cold press. I always like cold press because of the texture. It's a 140 pounds. I always use at least 140 pound watercolor paper so that the paper can hold up water really well. It's student grade because it's made up of lots of different materials. It's only 25 percent cotton. As opposed to this is professional grade watercolor paper. This is a Blick Premier watercolor block. Professional grade watercolor paper is made of 100 percent cotton. That's the one main difference between the two different kinds of paper. Because my professional paper is also 140 pounds, but it's made of 100 percent cotton instead of just a smaller percentage. But this is more expensive. [LAUGHTER] That's why I love to have student grade paper on hand when I do practice and then I'll use professional for the final project, and today that is going to be a loose floral wreath. A few other things that I use for basically every watercolor project, I like to have a couple of Q-tips on hand to mop up any excess water. Here's my paper towel that I use in-between strokes and then a cup of clean water. I usually like to have two cups of clean water, one that can get dirty and one that will stay clean. I'd recommend you have all of those on hand and I think that about sums it up. Without further ado, gather all of the materials that you're going to use for this class. You don't have to use the ones I've laid out. You can use any painting materials to create something beautiful. I just thought it'd be helpful for you to know what I'm using today. Let's head on to the first module. 3. Warming Up: Before we get started learning specific techniques for brushstrokes for our petals and leaves, we're going to just do a warm-up and practice putting pressure and using water on our brush. The first thing I want you to notice is when I'm using my dried palette like this, I just dipped my paintbrush in water and I have a bit of a drip, so I'm going to put some of that water in here because I want this paint to be really liquidy. Some of these paints I have like little wells, and if I put water inside this little well that's surrounded by all of this dense pigment then I know that my paint is still going to be fairly pigmented. But the more water that I have, [NOISE] the easier it's going to glide on the paper. If I just put a tiny little bit of pressure, I can see that the paint is very pigmented, there's a lot of water on here as opposed to if I put a lot of pressure on here, the full pressure, then the paint doesn't go nearly as far. I have to go over it again in order to get that really pigmented, watery look. Now with loose watercolor florals, we really want the paint to be wet, and we want it to be wet enough to blend with its surroundings. Knowing the difference between the pressures, if you only put a little bit of pressure versus when you put a lot of pressure, is really important. One thing I would do to warm up is, test how much water you're going to put in your paint. First of all, and what that does to the paint, is the more water that you put on your paintbrush and in the little well of paint that you're pouring from your palette, the easier you're going to get a nice solid stroke with a lot of pressure. That's one thing I would practice. I would also practice what pressure does to the value of the color. The value of a color is the lightness or darkness of a color, and in watercolor, the way to make a color lighter or darker is by adding water. The more water you add, the lighter it's going to be, and the less water you have, the more pigmented it's going to be. That's something that I would test out so that you can get a handle on it before we actually start painting florals. The key consistency here is for us to get to a place where we can use a lot of pressure but still maintain some of this wetness here. Because the wetness is what's going to blend all the colors together and create some of those nice abstract blends that make loose watercolor florals really beautiful. Along with color and what pressure does with color, in general, we just want to see how we can move our paintbrush around. Let me explain what I mean. When we paint petals and where I'm going to show you how in the next video, we need to figure out how to maneuver our paintbrush to create some natural kinds of looking shapes. That means moving the paintbrush and also utilizing pressure in one stroke to make it look a little more natural. I'm going to go more in detail, what I mean, regarding petals in the next videos, but what I want you to do to practice now, is to go from using a little bit of pressure, to a lot of pressure, to a little bit of pressure, like this. As you can see that already looks like a long leaf. This is a technique that we're going to use as we talk about leaves in one of the upcoming videos. But just as a warm-up, this is what I want you to do. I want you to do in straight lines and going from, thin to thick, to thin again. If you find that as you do it, you run out of paint, then that means you need to add a little bit more water. Because if you run out of paint, that's okay but you probably will have to go back in and fill it in after, if you want it to be completely filled in. But I will say, as we go along and we form these flowers, sometimes it's okay to have some of these white spaces. White spaces are actually really important for loose watercolor florals, which we're going to talk about in future videos. It's straight like you're practicing a long leaf, and then also, I want you to practice moving your paintbrush around in a circle like this. It doesn't have to be a perfect circle but I want you to practice moving it in like a round shape in one stroke, so the way that I'm doing that. We're going to practice this, even more, when we practice petals because I'm going to show you how to form a petal this way. The reason I'm doing that is because to make a flower look natural, we want to try to do it in one stroke as much as possible, but then we can go in and add whatever we need after. That's another drill that is good to practice for loose watercolor florals, is to practice moving your brush in a circle. You start at the bottom and then you don't have very much pressure at the bottom, and then as you move upward, notice how I'm pushing on my paintbrush and flipping it around with more pressure, and then I bring it back down. We're going to go over that technique, even more, when we learn different petal shapes. But these are just some drills that I want you to practice. You can do all kinds of shapes with these pressure drills. The point is to get comfortable using different amounts of pressure on the same stroke. You can go on squiggly lines like I'm doing now, and go to thin at some point, or I keep doing straight lines. I just want you to practice going from thick to thin, to thick to thin, all in one stroke, so that when we paint the petals, it will come a little bit easier for you. That about sums it up for Loose Watercolor Florals Part 1 for Warm Ups for painting these flowers. Without further ado, keep practicing these warm-ups if you're painting along with me, if you're not, that's okay too. The next video we're going to delve right into petals, brushstrokes to make petals. The next three videos are all about petals and then there's going to be one about leaves, and then we're going to move on to actually shaping some flowers. Let's full steam ahead. 4. Techniques: Petals, Part 1: Now that you have warmed up and are ready for the next challenge, let's talk about the first brushstroke that I use to create petals. First I'm just going to quickly explain the reason [LAUGHTER] I'm breaking these down by strokes and by petals is because flowers, I know this might seem self-explanatory or really obvious, but it wasn't for me [LAUGHTER]. I had to break this down into really bite-size chunks in order to make sense of [LAUGHTER] loose watercolor florals. That's what I'm doing for you. All flowers, every intricate flower is made up of smaller little petals. Especially when you paint flowers, they come in all different shapes and sizes. In order to make them look really natural, even though we're doing loose, loose meaning abstract, like a loose representation of a flower, not like the most realistic in terms of shading and what not. Even though we're doing loose, we're still making shapes basically. We're using basic shapes, sometimes even blobs [LAUGHTER], shapes that look like blobs, and putting them together in strategic ways so that they look like a loose representation of a flower. The first stroke that I use very often is the tear drop stroke. The tear drop stroke riffs off of the pressure exercises that I had you do in the last video. As you can see, I've drawn a little diagram here, where I start the stroke off. This petal is made up of two strokes, I lift my paintbrush up two times. The first I lift it up and then I start here, small and thin, and I wrap around my paintbrush and using a lot of pressure to create a nice thick wash up here, and then I go thin and again and come to a point. Then at the end, there's a little bit of white space in here, so I use a very little amount of pressure here again to start in the middle and fill in that space. I'm going to show you exactly what I mean right now. You can paint along with me or just watch, either is good for me. I am starting very small, very little pressure right here. I'm moving my paintbrush up and around using a lot of pressure to make an upside down tear drop or rain drop and then ending in the middle like that. But you see how there's still this white space. I don't want to fill it up all the way and make it look exactly like a tear drop because that's not how flowers actually look. They look ragged in the center, because this is going to be the center of the flower. I'm going to start with a small amount of pressure again, I'm just move my paintbrush around either in that same stroke or in a bigger wash to fill in that space. Now, if the previous stroke that I did dried, which it looks like mine has, then I can either leave it and have these paint lines right here or I can just go in with my paintbrush and fill in these lines and maybe add a little bit of imperfection along the way. Now I have this petal using the tear drop stroke. One important thing to note about the tear drop stroke is that it's really going to be tempting when you form your flowers using this stroke to make very perfect tear drops that look like that every time. Wild flowers like that look nice [LAUGHTER]. They're not the most realistic because flowers and nature are actually a little jagged. Some of the petals are ripped, sometimes they're not shaped perfectly, just like everything in nature, they have a little bit of wildness to them, a little bit of chaos to them. That's not perfect and that's beautiful in that imperfection. I really love watercolor in general and painting nature because imperfection is just par for the course. I would not stress too much about making a perfect tear drop. In fact, I think it looks even better when it's not perfect. Sometimes if I make something that's a little too perfect, then I'll go in after and add just a little bit of character to it like that. That is the tear drop stroke. Now, I want you to practice. I want you to [LAUGHTER] practice it in lots of different, not lots of different ways, but just keep practicing. See there's a half formed tear drop stroke which where it stops further up than where it starts. That's totally okay too, that's definitely something that you've seen in nature. One thing that you might notice as you're doing this is if you are trying to do the tear drop stroke, I was trying to demonstrate something you didn't work that time, you're trying to do the tear drop stroke , I don't have enough paint. You find that you are getting streaky at the top, that's because you don't have enough paint or you don't really see because your paint doesn't have enough water in it. In order to make it work, you don't get those streaks at the top. You really want to make sure that your paint has a lot of water in it so that you can put pressure on and still have the paint move around on the paper. That said, sometimes having those streaks, some of those streaks just adds some character to it, just looks like there might be some tears or holes in the petal, so it's up to you if that is something that you want to stick with, and if you do, I am all for it. But, that's the tear drop stroke. Go ahead and practice that stroke, and when you're ready we will move on to the second stroke of the three petals strokes I'm going to talk about in this course. Get practicing and I will see you in just a few minutes. 5. Techniques: Petals, Part 2: You've had some time to practice the teardrop stroke, and now we're going to move on to the second stroke that I use very often when I paint watercolor florals, and I have called it the crescent stroke. I didn't do a diagram for this one because it's exactly what it sounds like. Basically, you could start from the top or from the bottom, but you start with very little pressure, and then you move, and once you get to the middle, you have more pressure, and then once you get to the top, you leave off pressure. Basically, you're forming a little misshapen crescent like that. I'm going to demonstrate that for you one more time, this time from the top in case you decide you want to start from the top. You start with a little bit of pressure, and then you put a lot of pressure as you move to the middle, and then towards the bottom, you have just a little bit of pressure again. With the crescent stroke, usually you put together a lot of these strokes to form bunches of petals. This is a stroke that I use to create lots of different petals for lots of different flowers. I use it all the time. This is actually one of my favorite ways to warm-up too. I just didn't include it specifically in the [LAUGHTER] warm-up video because I gave its own video. Again, you can do that from the bottom, or you can do it from the top. The key here is we don't want it to look exactly like a moon. Even when I try, it's a little uneven, which is perfect because we want it to have character. We want all of the petals that we paint to not be perfect, to have a little jagged places. You can try it from the other way too, because I use crescent strokes in multiple different ways. When you're practicing this, maybe practice having the petal jut out on both sides. There's that side, and then the other side, and maybe from the top like that, or from the bottom like that. I want you to practice all different angles, so that you can get a feel for how best to do it. Now, you'll notice that when I'm painting strokes like this, when I'm trying specifically to put different amounts of pressure on my strokes, I want to have a lot of control over my paintbrush. I'm not painting it very close like super close to the brush like this, but I'm not holding it at the very far end of the handle. I'm holding it more towards the middle where the middle of the handle lands on my hand, and then depending on how you hold pencils, [LAUGHTER] I usually, have the most control when I rest the handle on my ring finger and use both my pointer and my middle fingers to hold the brush. In case, you're wondering about grip, that's how I usually do it. That is the crescent stroke. Not too much to it, but it's important to practice so that your hand can gain muscle memory, so when you're putting all of these things together, you don't even have to think much about it. This can also be a fun abstract warm-up to paint these petals on top of each other. I just think it's fun to paint petals. [LAUGHTER] That's the crescent stroke. Your task is to practice the crescent stroke with whatever paintbrush you have, and then when you're ready, we'll move on to the final stroke that we're going to learn in this class. Definitely not the final stroke that all flowers are made of, [LAUGHTER] but we're just focusing on these three strokes in this beginner's florals class. The next one is the final petal stroke, and then we're going to move on to leaves, and then we're going to get into the real juicy stuff. See you soon. 6. Techniques: Petals, Part3: You've practiced the crescent stroke, you've practiced the teardrop stroke, and now we're going to practice what I like to call the fan stroke. I'm going to show you exactly what that looks like right now. The fan stroke is a stroke that I like to use when I'm creating more thinner crankly petals, I guess, that look like they're fanning out like that. The flower that most comes to mind for me right now is a poppy and actually poppies are flowers that we're going to learn how to paint in this class, one of the three flowers we're going to learn how to paint in this class. We want to use this stroke anytime a flower, it looks like it has petals, but the petals are folded in on each other, and when you look at them, they're very, I don't know if foldy [LAUGHTER] is the right word, but that they fan out and it's all one thing as opposed to lots of little petals put together. You watched me do it and I'm going to talk about what I'm doing. First, I call it the fan stroke because I started in the middle, I use a lot of pressure basically the whole time. I start on one side and then I fan my paintbrush out, moving the handle a little bit, but mostly keeping the brush towards the middle because we don't want it to look like I'm just painting a swatch like that. We want it to still have some petal shape, even if that means adding more shapes to it after. In order to maintain its petal shape, the petals have to be pointing toward the middle. All petals on all flower stem from the middle. The middle of a flower technically is called the ovary of the flower, so all of the petals are going to be pointed toward the middle in some way. That's the key difference between like if I just painted a stroke like that with my paintbrush versus this fan stroke where I have my paintbrush pointed so that the tip of the brush starts toward the middle with the outward end pointing outward. Then you can either leave your brush on the paper and fan it out like that. It's trickier to get the paint to move exactly the way that you want it to even when it's really wet. I like a combination of both, where you're moving the paintbrush or a little bit but mostly leaving it toward the center. Then like this one, it looks like it might need a little bit more shape. I can go in after and make sure there's still some spaces. Just add some loose imperfect lines that meet in the middle so it looks obvious that this is a petal that's meeting in the middle. Does that make sense? [LAUGHTER] This is the fan stroke. You can use the fans stroke for flowers like poppies, like I just said, or you can even use it for just little smaller petals, similar to the teardrop petal, but maybe that don't have as round of a shape on the outside as the teardrop pedal does. Let me show you what I mean. If I had a petal like that, if my petal is more not quite as rounded on the edge and maybe a little bit more flat or had some more texture like, I could use my fans stroke to imitate that. But for a petal like that, you can also just move your brush and create that texture, but we'll talk about that as we continue on in the course. The fan stroke is mostly to create these broad shapes. We're going to use all three of the strokes that we use for the petals, we're going to use all three of them in at least some of the flowers that we are going to be painting today. I have the fans stroke right here then I have the teardrop stroke and the crescent stroke over here. We're going to learn how to paint a rose and we're going to learn how to paint a poppy, and we're going to learn how to paint a cherry blossom. We're going to use all of those strokes, let me do it. Especially for the cherry blossom and the poppy, we're not only going to learn how to paint from an outward facing perspective, but also from a side perspective to add some diversity in our wreath, and then we're going to put them altogether. Practice the fan stroke. I'm going to demonstrate one more time just because I know it's really helpful to see. I'm starting in the middle with my paintbrush pointing outward and I'm just moving it. I don't want a perfect fan shape, but then I'm bringing it back towards the middle. Like that. Then I'll show you how we put all of those things together in order to create flowers with different perspectives. Practice these strokes, practice the fan stroke. In the next video, we're going to go over the strokes that we're going to use for leaves and then we're going to put it all together and learn how to paint these three flowers. I absolutely cannot wait to continue doing this with you. Painting florals is one of my favorite things. Let's move on ahead. 7. Techniques: Leaves: Before we move forward and forming the three different flowers that we're going to paint today, let's spend just a couple of minutes talking about leaves. Lead the strokes that we need to create leaves are very similar to the strokes that we use to create floral. I'm going to pick up some green, I'm going to show you. Basically, we're putting together two crisis strokes in order to make a basic leaf. Now, I am going to say there are lots of different leaves that you can paint and using lots of different kinds of pressure. But for this basic leaf that you'll find in just about any bouquet or any wreath, these are the steps you need to do it. First, I'm going to paint a little stem using very little pressure, and then I'm going to paint a crescent stroke on one side and remember a crescent stroke starts very thin and then it goes very thick towards the middle, and then it gets very thin again. Now the thin when it comes to painting leaves, maintaining the points, especially at the top of the leaf is very important, and maintaining the white space between the stem and the two crescent strokes is also very important so that we can keep the shape of and leave a space for where the stem is supposed to be. First, I painted the stem and then I painted one side of the leaf and now I'm going to do another crescent stroke on the other side, but I'm going to start and use the tip of my paintbrush to get a very light point. I'm going to leave that space white and then I'm going to do my stroke again on the other side. This one didn't have quite as much shape to it on the other side, but that's okay because it just means this leaf is pointing a little bit that way. Like I've mentioned with everything else that we've painted, we don't necessarily want to have the leaf that's perfectly even on both sides, but that can look cool sometimes. But from the most part, we want leaves that have a little bit of imperfection. Those are the basic steps. When I just painted that one, I painted both sides before I painted this stem and that's okay. But the most important thing, and I say this, and you should know, leaves have been like my nemesis. [LAUGHTER] When I learned how to paint loose watercolor florals mostly because I would either try to paint them only like this, do you remember the warm-up stroke that we used where you start thin and then you go thick and then you go thin again? I will try to paint all of my leaves only like that and they ended up looking flat or I would paint my leaves just like that and leave huge amounts of space in-between. I'm just showing you all the ways that I felt like I was unhappy with my leaves or I would start at the top and then go to the bottom and that didn't always work out for me the way that I wanted to either. Usually, it's because I would be leaving too much space or I would leave a stem like this in the middle. Those look cool, I know a lot of artists who form leaves like this. You do you, but these aren't the leaves that I was really going for. Notice how this one is pretty symmetrical. I found that I didn't want my leaves to look flattened, symmetrical like that. I really wanted them to have a shape. When you paint the leaves and you paint the crescent strokes, you just want to make sure that you are giving your leaves, your strokes, a little bit of movement when you're painting them so that when you're done, it looks like they're bending in the wind or it looks like they're imperfect, which is how leaves normally look. When we put our leaves altogether on the wreath that we're going to create where I'm going to talk more about shape and how to maintain movement in the same direction so that it looks realistic, but it also just looks really beautiful and wild with how the leaves are falling into each other. I'm going to paint a few more while I'm talking. Painting leaves is a great warm-up if you're ever looking just in general, even if you're not painting florals, sometimes I like to get out my Paint Brush and just paint a whole bunch of leaves. Notice how I always start when I paint these leaves from the stem and go up for me, that's just the best way that I know how to get the right point at the top that I want and to get the right shape that I want. I'll show you when we paint our wreath, sometimes that means moving the paper around so that I can start at the stem instead of having to start at the tip of the leaf. You'll also notice for a lot of these leaves, I'm painting a bigger crescent stroke on one side and then the smaller one is just filling in at the bottom. Not all of your leaves [LAUGHTER] have to be like that. You can make full ones and still have them look natural. See if I can show you, I'm using my size six brush right now so that's why I'm not getting as much paint but this is probably the brush I would use when we paint leaves for the wreath. I can have leaves that are a little more full on both sides, that is totally fine and it works out. But sometimes I have to get do a little more strokes in order to get what I want and then other times when I do, it has these awkward shapes jagged at the end and that might look real enough, but I like to have the point be a little smaller and less and more settle. Those are the basic leaves. One note I am going to say, sometimes it's okay if you want your leaves to not have so much a point at the end or not just like one point if you want your leaves to be a little more jagged like that. Sometimes leaves are jagged at the ends too, and sometimes they're jagged all the way around like mint leaves have little jagged edges. There are thousands of different types of leaves, as I'm sure you know and in future classes I intend to do studies on all different kinds of leaves. But for this basic intro to loose florals class, this pretty basic structure of a leaf is what I'm going to be focusing on. Those are leaves, that's how you paint them, and once again, just super quick recap. I painted the stem and then I did two crescent strokes on either side of the stem, making sure to leave this thin line of white space just to maintain the illusion that there is a little bit of a vein there. I would practice this, I love practice now, I used to hate practicing leaves because they didn't come naturally to me at all. But the more I practice, the more naturally they came, and knowing this style really helped me where I always start from the stem and go upward to a point. Practice your leaves, practice your pedal strokes, and then when we come back, we're going to learn how to paint a rose. Hope you're excited because I am. See you soon. 8. Tutorial: Rose : Welcome to our first floral tutorial. In this tutorial, we're going to practice how to paint loose watercolor roses. Now, you have practiced all of the brushstrokes that I talked about at the beginning of the course, which are the crescent stroke, leaves, teardrops stroke, and the fan stroke. You should have practiced all of these. For the rose, we're going to use only the crescent stroke mostly in order to form our loose watercolor rose. Now, remember that the basic concept behind loose watercolor florals is that instead of using shading or fine detail work to create the shape of our flower. We are going to creatively navigate white space and use our brushstrokes to leave white space in the place where normally in a more detailed fine art painting, you would see [NOISE] overlapping petals. Without further ado, the basic structure of a rose using the crescent stroke, we're going to do a rose that's blooming outward like we have a bird's-eye view of it, is using the crescent stroke in multiple different sizes, starting very small, and getting bigger. I'm going to show you exactly how that works. Keep in mind there are so many different ways to paint a loose watercolor rose. This is just the main way that I paint them. [LAUGHTER] If you see other people painting them different ways, awesome, you should totally try, but this is my technique, my version. First, we're going to paint in the middle just a tiny little crescent and I'm just going to put a little line to have the very center of that crescent have a little bit of white space. That's my first layer, if you will. Now, using my paintbrush, I'm going to continue using the crescent stroke to add layers to my rose. I'm just moving around the flower knowing that this is the center. I'm leaving some white space because I want there to be some overlap. We can either have the rose be facing this way. I'll just show it to you this way. If you want to face slightly this way, then I want this to be open and I'm just going to keep painting around the edges like that. That's a rose that's facing this way where we get a side perspective. Now if we want to paint a rose head on, instead of having the petals be facing a certain direction we would have more petals surrounding the middle area. I'll paint one of those now. Again, I'm painting a little crescent. Then using the crescent stroke, I'm going to paint around the center, and I'm going to leave some white space in between these strokes here. I'm just eyeballing it where I want the strokes to go, making sure to leave some space so it's not all red, and knowing that some of my strokes are going to overlap and dry on top of each other. I'm just eyeballing this using the crescent stroke all the way around the middle here in order to form the petals around the rows. I always get asked this question, when do I stop? The answer is, whenever you feel like you should stop. I feel like that's a good stopping point. Let's look at these two flowers and assess. First, I've noticed that some of my petals have dried, while some of them are wet, and I might be left with some awkward dry spots that I don't really want that don't look super natural, so I'm going to go over them with my paintbrush again just to eliminate those dry spots. Now I'm going to evaluate these two roses [NOISE]. Some key points on these roses are first, I always make sure that some of the petals have this point at the end, that I can always see this point at the end so it looks like I'm looking at the top ridge of a petal or like I can see an edge of the petal basically, if I have this pointed out, especially when you see roses that are unfolded like that. You can see the ridges of some and so leaving at least a couple that have a point at the end like that as opposed to these ones mostly the point of my crescent blended in with other petals is pretty key. Another really key thing is leaving some white space in between some of the petals. I think one of the biggest issues that I see with loose florals in general is people starting to paint this and going like this and then ending up with something that looks more like this. That's just a big blob. That's totally cool. This is exactly how my watercolor roses came out when I first started painting them and honestly, if you painted something like that and painted some leaves around it, here I'll show you, if you left something like that and still painted some leaves around it, people would be able to tell that it's a flower. I want you to take off a lot of the pressure that you've been telling yourself because one of the biggest complaints or struggles that I hear from people when they paint roses is well, I just can't figure out how to make them not look like blobs. I'm here to tell you mostly they're going to look like blobs [LAUGHTER] and that's okay, but the way to make it look a little bit less like a blob and a little bit more like you were being more intentional about the white space that you're using, is to make sure to leave little bits of white space around the petals of these crescent strokes so that you can still see the formation of some of the petals. When it comes to loose florals in general, regardless of what flower you paint, where you leave white space in between the petals is probably the most important thing that will differentiate between flowers, and that will help your flowers feel a little bit less like big blobs and a little bit more like flowers. Some takeaways from how to paint a rose before I move on, it's a whole bunch of crescent strokes put together, just going around in a circle. If you want the shape of the flower to maintain its structure, if you want to maintain the structure of the flower without coming up with some blob, then that means you need to leave more white space. You need to leave thin layers of white space so that you can see the general structure of the petals, but another takeaway is that if it looks like a blob, that's okay [LAUGHTER] because loose watercolor florals are supposed to be abstract and people are really going to understand what you're trying to do as long as you have the basic structure of the shape that you're going for. All people need to know when they look at watercolor florals is that they're bright and colorful and have some nature-like irregular shape and then once you add leaves, they're definitely going to be able to tell exactly what it is [NOISE]. Last thing before I move on really quick is when you are painting roses, a technique that I like to do sometimes is not to use pigment for all of my strokes. Maybe I'll have some pretty dense pigment for those first couple of strokes, but then while it's still wet, I'm going to wash off my brush, and just use water to blend in the color together. You have to do it while the pigment is still wet. Some of mine is not working as well as I wanted it to. That's okay. The basic idea is that if you paint and use water while the pigment is still wet, then you can create a natural gradient in the flower. That can look really beautiful and really cool. Keep that in mind [NOISE] because it's going to come in very helpful when we practice our last flower, the cherry blossom of this class, [NOISE] but I wanted to show you what it looked like with the rose also. As you can see, this rose is a little bit more abstract than any of these two. It's a little bit more blobby like this one, but I still think it's beautiful, and I really love how it turned out. [NOISE] Let yourself off the hook with if you just are so annoyed at painting blobs. If you really don't want them to look like this anymore, then take some time to intentionally practice leaving in the white space, and the more you practice it, the more your hands will remember to leave in that space. That is the tutorial on roses. Practice all you want and let's move on to the next video, which is about poppies. I'm so excited. Can't wait to see you there. 9. Tutorial: Poppy: We have practiced our strokes and our leaves. We learned how to paint roses. Now, we are going to learn how to paint poppies from two different perspectives. The very first thing you need to know about painting poppies is the main stroke we're going to use is the fan stroke for poppies. We're going to use the fan stroke. Then, we're going to use a hybrid of the crescent stroke and the fan stroke to create our poppy effect. First, I'm going to show you what a poppy would look like from the side, as if you are looking at it as if it were standing on a stem and you are looking at it from its side as opposed to straight on. I'm taking my number 10 brush, you can use number 6. I'm using number 10, and I'm going to paint a fan stroke. I'm starting from the middle and I want an uneven edge right here and I want it to come back towards the middle, like this. But, I'm still going to leave some white space right here. I did that fan stroke. That's how I built that poppy. Now, this is almost like the inside of the flower, like we're looking at a poppy as its popping out of the field and this is the inside of the flower. The ovary is right here. This is the inside of the petal. Now, we're going to form the outside edge of the opposite petal using a hybrid crescent and fan stroke. What I'm going to do is, underneath here, I'm going to start underneath this petal right here, and I'm going to just close this gap in between. I don't want this to stay exactly like an edge. I want it to come to a little bit of a point, so I'm just going to manually paint in right here because this is where the stem is going to be. But the most important thing is that I am basically putting an edge to cover up part of the middle white space here. But I'm leaving some white space because this is where the center of the poppy is going to be. Because the poppy, we are looking at it from a side point of view, instead of how poppies have little black tendrils popping out, technically, those are called the stamen of the flower. The center of the flowers, the ovary, the little wispy tendrils popping out are called the stamen. Since we're looking at it from the side, we're not going to see a big center. The tendrils going out in a fan or in a circle around. We're going to see them popping out from behind this flower. I'm going to wait for that to dry a little bit before I paint in those details. But, just know, that the final step to painting the side perspective poppy is to draw in the black stamen popping out from the center. This is the side view of a poppy, and this is the side view of lots of different flowers too. Poppies aren't the only ones that have those really thin, flaky, I don't know what flaky is. I keep trying to come up with adjectives that describe these petals, but it's tricky. Thin and folded petals that go in a circle around each other, poppies aren't the only ones and [inaudible] are another one that come to mind for me. But, in my mind they're the easiest to demonstrate for this beginner's class. That's this side view of the poppy. Now, the center view of the poppy, or like the bird's eye view I guess, is a combination of the fan stroke and the teardrop stroke, in that, we're going to paint multiple versions of the fan stroke just basically around in a circle. I'll show you what I mean by that. I'm going to start with the top petal. I'm painting a fan stroke. I want to go out a little bit more like this. Then, I'm going back to the center, similar to how we do in the teardrop stroke and I'm filling in parts of the center. Because this is a view of the flower from head-on, we are going to paint in the center after. Now, I am going to turn my paper and paint another fan stroke and do the same thing. I've used my paintbrush to fill in some lines. I'm going to turn my paper and do another fan stroke. I'm making all of these uneven, I don't want them to be the same. But, I'm using my paintbrush after to fill in the lines. This one I'm going to bring out a little bit more. Then, my last one like this, using my paintbrush to fill in the lines. The key here is, we want the petals to be very wavy. We don't want them to be in a perfect circle. We want them to have texture and so it's okay that it looks like some of the petal behind this dried before I had a chance to paint the one on top of it and it's just staying there. But I'm digging that layered look, so I'm going to keep it there. We want the watercolor to have texture, so it looks like the petal is moving. Then, we're going to paint in the stamen in black, in just a second. These are the two views of the poppies. If you don't want to turn your paper around, then instead of doing a fan stroke all the way around, you can do a combination of the fan stroke and a teardrop stroke. Let me show you what I mean. First, I'm going to start off with this fan stroke that I did, and bringing this towards the center Now, instead of turning the paper, I'm going to start in the middle and do a teardrop stroke, but make it way less teardrop shaped, make it more fan-shaped, and just fill in the spaces where I see they need to be filled. I don't have quite enough paint. That's okay. I'm starting in the center, and filling in the spaces as I go along. But I'm moving my brush in the same way that I would a teardrop stroke just with more movement, more texture. It's a lot more shaped like the fan stroke unless shaped a lot less like the teardrop stroke, but it's the same basic movement of my paintbrush. Maybe fill in just a little bit of that. I can achieve this open faced poppy with both of those methods, either using the fan stroke all the way around, or using a modified version of the teardrop stroke and not moving my paper at all. Now that we have painted an open faced poppy and a sideways poppy, now bear in mind, this sideways poppy you can have it be facing up or you can have it be facing this to the side. I'm going to show you just really quickly how it would look to the side. You can either for this, if it's easier to turn your paper and pretend to be painting it like it's facing up. Or you can keep it for an extra challenge and see if you can mimic this fan stroke at a different angle like that. That's the bigger petal from the inside. Then the smaller petal is just going to come and meet it like that. When you paint poppies from the side like this, you can honestly, you can either have the inside pedal be the big one and the outside one to be the small one. See see how this inside petal, that's going to be the inside where this is the center. The ratio should be about 1/3-2/3. You can have this be the bigger one, and this be the smaller one. Or alternatively, you can have the inside petal be the smaller one and the bottom petal be the bigger one. Either way, it's going to be a poppy. With poppies, especially I think of all the flowers that I paint, they look the most like blobs when I do them the way that I do them. If you need it in another pep talk as to how it's okay if you just feel like you're painting blobs when you're painting florals, Here you go. The thing that makes them look less like blobs and more like florals when it comes to poppies like this, is when you add in the details. Now, I'm going to show you how to do that with my black paint over here. I'm picking up my detail brush, that's my Size 0 brush. It looks like this poppy is mostly dry, this little area over here, and that's okay. I'm first going to paint a lot of dots. The number 1 thing to remember about painting these details on the side poppies is that these dots do not go below this ridge because this petal is the petal that's like you're looking at the outside of it, it's shielding you from the ovary of the flower. We try as much as possible not to get the dots outside or onto that petal right there. That's the ovary of the flower. Now, we're going to paint some of the stamen. The way that I like to do that is by painting some dots on top around it, and then painting the the little stems; very thin, very wispy. There you go. That is a poppy. That's how you paint in the details of the poppy. Now, if you wanted to add in more details to show shading on the actual petals, one thing you could also do with the zero brushes, pick up the same red pigment but on your zero brush, and just add in some veins, some lines. You don't want to make them super parallel or the same. They should all be going toward the ovary, towards the center of the flower as you paint these veins on here. Just like this. With loose florals, it's not super necessary because people are going to know know you are trying to paint. It's just going to add in a little bit of detail if you really want. Then I would do it again on top, making sure that they all are pointing towards the center. Just sometimes you can see little veins on poppies in some flowers, so adding them just adds a little bit more detail than not. It's not too tricky. But again, not necessary with these loose watercolor florals. When you paint something like this, people are going to know what it looks like mostly because of the center that you've added. So that is how you add in the details for the side view of the poppy. You would do the exact same thing on these ones with the stamen going up this way or the stamen pointing out this way. Now, I'm going to show you how to paint the details for this open faced poppy. I'm going to paint, instead of painting lots of little dots, I don't want a perfect circle. I'm going to do a little a blobby misshapen circle for the center. But I do want it to be like a circle of black. Then I'm still leaving some of that whitespace in there. Now I'm going to go around, and I'm going to just dot really quickly in a circle around the center of the ovary in black that I just painted. I don't have any particular rhyme or reason, I'm just going in basically a circle. I like to do the dots first, and then I'm going to add in the lines, and they're all going to be pointing toward the center. As you can see, I'm not really worried about matching line per line and dot per dot. I just painted a lot of dots, and now I'm painting a lot of lines. That's how I like to make loose florals feel loose and feel the most abstract. That is how you do it. That is how you paint the center of a poppy. If you want, you can do the same thing. If you want to add in just that extra little bit of detail, you could do the same thing that we did up here where you add in just some extra lines to be like some veins of the flower, and to add in some detail. But not necessary again. You can even try to make these veins of the flower differentiate between the petals. That can be pretty fun looking, and it's not too hard of detailing to add in. I'm not worried about really about where the petals are going. I'm mostly worried that they're not straight. I don't want them to be straight. I want them to be a little curvy. I don't really have a particular rhyme or reason to them, but that's totally optional and up to you. So that is the poppy. Your task now is to practice both of these perspectives into practice adding in the black. Remember you can't add in the black until after the flower has dried. If you do, I'll show you what it looks like if you add it while it's still wet. It's just going to be like the wet-on-wet technique. It's going to blend in all over and you're not going to get that sharp detailed look. So you want to wait for them to dry first and then add in the detail. But that is how you paint a loose poppy. Now, we are going to learn how to paint a loose watercolor cherry blossom. So stay tuned, and get excited. 10. Tutorial: Cherry Blossom: Last but not least, we're going to practice the teardrop stroke. Notice in the other strokes on the other flowers we used the fan stroke and the crescent stroke. Now we're going to practice our teardrop stroke to paint cherry blossoms. The teardrop stroke is mostly going to be for open-faced cherry blossoms. Then we're also going to be using modified versions of the fan stroke to paint side versions. For cherry blossoms. The method that I do again, is just one way to paint cherry blossoms. Remember back to when we painted the rose and I talked about how it was for this flower, I only put paint when I did these initial strokes and then I did water right?. The water diluted the paint to make it lighter at the end, changing its color value. We're going to use the same technique to paint cherry blossom. So, step one, I'm using my size 6 brush here because also remember that cherry blossoms are usually smaller of a flower than poppies or roses, they're probably less than half the size. I would say maybe a third of the size. I would typically use a 6 brush unless you want to make a cherry blossom that's larger than it's supposed to be, but that's up to you. I'm picking up a lot of pigment. You'll see in my well, I have some spots where there's a lot of water, and then other spots where it's just pigment. Right now, I just want to pick up a lot of pigment, some very dense pigments, so I can get a very rich dark color value of this Winsor red. First, I'm taking that pigment and I'm painting a bunch of dots just in the middle, like this. Now, I'm washing off all the pigment from my brush. It's all washed off and using just water, while the pigment is still wet, you have to make sure the pigment is still wet. But I dip my brush in the water, but I also got off with some of the water on my paper towel. I don't want tons of water on my paintbrush, I want some nice in-between amount of water. While the pigment is still wet I'm starting in the middle. I'm doing my teardrops stroke so that the paint now I brought, I washed off my brush and I'm going to go back and add in more water. To finish off that stroke. I use water to form that stroke so that those still wet paint over here can make this really cool gradient on the petal. Cherry blossoms are very delicate and their coloring especially can be very delicate where sometimes they're more pink and sometimes they're more white and sometimes they're somewhere in the middle. I put it in a little bit too much pigment there, so I'm just going to mop it up a little witch with a Q-tip. Cherry blossoms are a little bit tricky. This is probably the trickiest flower we're going to paint today. The roses and the poppies are a little easier I think. Basically, cherry blossoms have five petals. So we're going to do that all the way around. We want to remember as much as possible, not to make it perfectly even. Because say it with me, Nature is wild, Nature is crazy. Not everything in Nature looks exactly even. We're going to keep that in mind. Some of the petals can be smaller than others. So basically I'm forming this teardrop stroke first and then I'm going back in and filling in the center. I'm doing this only with water because I want the stuff in the middle to fill out the petals. Now, some of this water has puddled a little bit. I don't want that. We don't like petals over here. I'm just going to mop up a little bit of this water to contain more of the paint. But I still want this to be a little bit wet and I'm going to show you why in just a second. I'm mopping up some of this water. It's still a little bit wet and that's what I want. Now I'm going to take my brush and pick up, again some very heavy pigment, not tons of water because we already have tons of water on here, but some very heavy pigment. I'm just going to dot this center of this flower like this. Because we want the very center of the cherry blossom to be very dark red, and then the outer edges of the cherry blossom, that's what we want to gradually be a little bit pinker. Because the petals should still be wet. The more paint we've added towards the center, it should gradually create a gradient. We moped up some of the water, so it's not moving quite as much as I expected, but here we go. Now it's moving. I'm going to paint another one that hopefully it doesn't take as much manual [LAUGHTER] going back and forth as this one. Essentially we want to create a gradient which is going from one color to the next, pretty seamlessly, from very dark red to very, very light pink. You'll notice that I didn't use any pink at all. I'm just using this Winsor red and then adding water to make it a very light wash to make the value very light on the outside. Okay? So we need to wait for that to dry. Because after it's dry is when we're going to add in all of the details to this cherry blossom. While we're waiting for that to dry, I'm going to show you the side perspective of the cherry blossom. Now, for the side perspective, it starts off pretty similarly. We're going to pick up some heavy pigment here. We're not going to make as big of a circle as we did last time. Just a few little dots right there, of that heavy, heavy pigment. Now I'm going to with just water. I washed off my brush and I just have water. Instead of starting in the middle, I'm going to start my fan stroke, a very small fan stroke, and then bring it down to the middle like this. The reason I'm not starting in the middle is because if I started where the pigment was it would probably all turn red. So an alternate way to do this is to start with a very light color value of red. The way that you do that, I'll show you on my mixing palette over here, is by picking up some of this red and putting it over here and then adding tons of water to it. We wanted the color value to be so light pink that it's almost see-through. I'll show you what it looks like if I did it that way. Here's my fan stroke. It works that way too. I definitely wanted to come towards the middle like that. If you did it that way where you started off with this very light value, then after is when you would pick up some of this red and just dot it. So it blends pretty seamlessly right here, like that. Notice how this paint isn't really blending in. It's just kind of sitting there and that's because I have too much water. So instead of blending onto the paper, the paint is just sitting on top of the water. So I'm going to mop up the excess. Then with my detail brush, just kind of move the existing water around because I know there's still a bunch on here and blend it in right here. Cherry blossoms again take a little bit more in detail work than the other flowers that we did. This is probably going to be one of the most challenging ones that we do. Not all of your cherry blossoms have to look perfect again. That's just the top part of the flower. The bottom part, we're going to form it very similarly to how we formed the poppies. That's just with a crescent stroke. We're going to come and we're going to meet these sides right here. Now, the biggest difference is, it's okay if some of this pigment spills on over here. But we want this petal mostly to be a pretty light color. You can add some more pink color around the edges. But for the most part we want this petal to stay pretty light, so we want most of the gradient pigment to go on this inside petal as opposed to this outside petal of the cherry blossom. That's how you finish up the basic structure of a sideways cherry blossom. Now I'm going to demonstrate it to you again as we finish up this one. I'm doing the crescent stroke to just form the base petal of this cherry blossom. It looks like some of this pigment escaped me. I'm going to put a little bit more over here on the top petal, not the bottom one. Important to note that as opposed to with the poppy, where sometimes poppies look like they have one big petal, we know that cherry blossoms have multiple petals. But the effect, the illusion when you're looking at it from the side is that it is one big petal that's just cradled around the center right here. That's how you do the sides. Now we're going to add in the details that will really make these blossoms look even more like cherry blossoms than they do now. If you're looking at these blobs and thinking, I just can't do it, I'm here to remind you once again, these are loose watercolors florals, they're not supposed to look perfect. Just because they don't look exactly like the pictures doesn't mean they aren't beautiful. I personally really love the loose watercolor style effect for florals, especially for cherry blossoms. Mostly this is dried, the middle is still a little bit wet and that's okay. But I'm taking my detailer brush and picking up very pigmented red, mostly the pigment, not tons of water. Then I'm just going to put in more little dots in the center. If it's completely dry, then these dots you should mostly be able to see. My center is still a little bit wet so it's hard to see. But if you're doing this while it's dry, you should be able to see them. Let's take a look at the poppy again. As opposed to the poppy where the stamen is like, there are tons and they're pointing everywhere all around, the stamen on cherry blossom really only has 2-5 stamen tops and they're pointed every which way. Knowing that instead of painting the tops first, the dots first, I'm going to paint the little tendrils first. I'm using very little pressure to create these wispy tendrils and I don't want them straight. I want them to have a little bit of a curve to them. I would only paint maybe seven max, probably even less than that normally. But some of them can go outside of the petals like that. Then once you've painted these light tendril-like stamen, then you can put the little dots on top. I forget what the little dots are called. They're part of the stamen. Finish off this cherry blossom with these little dots. There you go. That's how you paint a loose watercolor cherry blossom, the open phased kind. Now, the closed phase, these are still drying a little bit. But I think I can work with this one. You're just going to be very similar to the poppy again, the side view of the poppy except less stamen. I'm going to paint some dots right here. Careful not to get on this outside petal. Then I'm going to paint just a few little tendrils and my paper is still wet so they should normally be thinner like that. But once I've painted the tendrils, it's going to be the same where I add the dots on top. There you go. That's how you paint the details from the cherry blossom on the side view. Cherry blossoms, as you can tell from this tutorial, take a little bit more detail work, a little bit more practice with the wet-on-wet technique and creating color values. If you find them to be more frustrating than the rose or the poppy, totally understand and I am expecting that. It's okay if you decide you need a little bit more practice on these or if you paint your rock watercolor wreath, which is our final project, that you are not sure if you want to include the cherry blossoms just yet, that's totally okay. But I like to have something that challenges you. If you found this method to be just a little bit challenging, it's okay to skip the first step of the dots and similar to these ones, to start out with a really low color value. It's also okay if you don't have as much gradient, like if mostly they're just pink and you just are painting a bunch of teardrops like this. Another thing that's okay, if you can't fit in five petals, if you're painting and you painted your petals so big that you can only really do four, guess what? Nobody is going to care. Nobody is going to look at your flower and say to you, that is clearly not a cherry blossom because you only painted four petals. No one's going to notice. It's okay if things like that just don't work out exactly the way that you intended. Your next steps from here. Even though this one is slightly more pink than this one up here and it's all the same color, that's okay. While it's still wet, I'm going to still add in some of this contrast. The contrast is really what matters a whole lot more than making the outer rims super light. It's making sure that the center is darker than the outside edges. Then once that's dry, you'll be able to add in these tendrils and it will still look like a beautiful cherry blossom. Takeaways from the cherry blossom working backward. The most important distinguishing factor of the cherry blossom that will differentiate this blossom from other flowers or blossoms is that we want the middle to be very pigmented red and as long as the middle is more red than the outside, then we're good. We also need to wait for this to dry in order to paint these tendrils. There are less stamen on cherry blossoms than there are on poppies, say. For cherry blossoms depending on which perspective you use, we're using all three of the strokes that we used. The teardrop stroke, the crescent stroke, and the fan stroke in all of these different perspectives. Your task should you choose to accept it is to practice these cherry blossoms to see if you feel comfortable enough and want to use them in the wreath. Again, if you don't, that's totally fine. If as we get to the wreath, you decide you only want to do one flower, also totally fine. I'm going to be using all of them. If you paint along with me, you'll be painting all of the flowers that we just painted, but it is your project and I cannot wait to see what you come up with. Practice these cherry blossoms, practice the other flowers to your heart's content. I would definitely practice them a few times before starting on the wreath. But then let's move on to the next video and the next few videos as we wrap up this class are going to be the different layers as we create our loose watercolor wreaths. I cannot wait to see you there. See you soon. 11. Final Project: Layer 1: We have spent a lot of time practicing our florals and the brushstrokes, and how to paint cherry blossoms, and how to paint poppies, and how to paint roses. Now, we're going to put it all together along with the practice of our leaves, and we're going to create a loose watercolor wreath. One thing with loose watercolor wreaths is that the more you practice, the faster you'll get at them. That's important to note. Another thing is when you can do it more quickly, then sometimes magical things can happen where your flowers start to blend in together and can create some cool color combos. But if you can't do it very fast for now, that's okay. But basically, if you want to paint along with me, I'm going to paint a wreath using my professional watercolor block this time, and we're going to put it all together with this wreath. To start with, I usually take a bowl of some sort and with a very light pencil, I will just trace this bowl. I'm doing it very light because I don't want the pencil to show up and it doesn't even have to really be exactly a circle or even the full circle, because this is just some basic guidelines to keep my florals in the same general shapes. In this video, I'm going to paint the florals first. Then in the next video, I'm going to finish up by painting in the leaves. I have done a basic circle for my flowers, and now I'm just going to start painting. I know that I know how to paint poppies and I know how to paint roses, and I know how to paint the cherry blossom. With wreaths, one thing important to note is usually biggest flowers go first. Also important to note, you don't have to go exactly in a circle; you can start with some big flowers all over and then with the smaller flowers, just dot them in the middle. I know that roses and poppies can be all different shapes and sizes, but cherry blossoms are small, so I'm going to put in my cherry blossoms last and paint my roses in poppies first. I'm going to start up here with a little watercolor rose, and I am making sure to leave, some white spaces around here with this rose. You see I'm not exactly staying centered on the line that I drew, I'm mostly using it as a basic guideline here. With my roses, I kind of go so fast that I don't always pay attention to tons of the details. But as long as I've left some white spaces around for some of the petals, then that should be good. I might just add a little bit more red around the center to add a little bit texture there. While I'm on a rose role, I'm going to pick another side of the wreath and paint another rose. This way I'm going to have the center facing over here, and I'm just going to paint my rose using my crescent strokes, sometimes using water, sometimes not. This rose might be a little less open facing in a more side perspective as we can see over here. We're making sure to leave some of the petals pointed outward, because that is what helps us know that this is a side perspective and that we can see the edges of these petals. This rose is not perfect, no roses are. I'm going to leave that rose the way that it is. There's one rose. Now, I'm going to paint another rose. I'm going to paint this one really light, I'm not going to start with very dark pigment. I'm going to paint this one pretty light and I'm going to paint it over here. I took off most of the pigment. Now I'm just painting around with my crescent strokes, using the tip of my brush to make sure some of these points stay points because that's the way that we can tell the shape of these petals on the rose. Sounds a little bit light. Now, I'm going to take more pigment and just dot the center so that it blooms outward a little like that. Those are some roses, now I'm going to paint some poppies. I'm going to paint one up here. This one's like a side view. I'm going to paint some poppies like this, and paint the bottom like this. Perfect. Now, I'm going to paint another poppy, maybe facing this way, and just paint this bottom part over here. We're going to do the details a little bit later. I'm going to do an open-faced poppy right here. I'm breaking my own rules and making sure to leave this middle part jaggedy so I can paint in the details later. But, the most important is that the petals around it are loose. I'm going to paint another open puppy maybe over here, maybe this open poppy is going to overlap this rose a little bit. That's okay. It's dried a little so it probably won't blend that well, but I don't need it to. I'm just going to have it overlap just a little and paint in the center. Now, I'm going to paint some parts of some cherry blossoms. Now that I have some of these poppies, well, I have two, I like to do in threes, so I might paint another poppy later. As you can see, I don't always have a plan. When I paint these wreaths, I just go for it. I've painted these poppies, and now I'm going to paint some cherry blossoms. I'm changing brushes to my size 6 brush. Because I know the cherry blossoms are smaller and come in more clumps, I'm going to put a clump of cherry blossoms along this long edge right here. Sometimes if you do like smaller flowers along edges of wreaths, that can create diversity too so that's a bonus. I'm going to paint these one at a time. One thing that's tempting to do with cherry blossoms is to put all the dots down first and then try to paint five flowers at a time. That's not usually advisable because the dots will dry before you have a chance to paint and so the pigment doesn't move when you add in the water. I'm going to do these one at a time and I'm going to show you how I'm going to do some of them this traditional way that I taught you, and other ones I'm going to do where I skipped the dots and just try to paint using different color values. Again, notice how my petals here are vastly different sizes. This looks like an oddly shaped cherry blossom, but that's okay. There's tiny bit more water here than I want so I'm just going to mop up a little and then pick up some dense pigment and make sure that I have that contrast in the middle there. Now I'm going to paint a smaller cherry blossom right here. That one only has four, and another small cherry blossom right here. That one only has four, but no one cares because no one is watching or really paying attention. For this one, I'm going to do these two teardrop ones, but then instead of doing an outward facing one, I'm going to use a crescent stroke to make it look like it's a side facing one. Then for another one over here, I'm just going to do one teardrop stroke because that's going to be a bud. Instead of a full flower, it's just going to be a cherry blossom bud. Now I'm going to do another flower over here. When I add in the details, these are going to look really cool. Next, I'm going to go through all these cherry blossoms that I drew the fast way and just add in the red so that they still have that contrast that we were talking about. Add in the red. Some of these have a little bit more water than I was hoping for so I'm just going to mop up the places. Again, I can tell because the paint's not moving on the paper. It's just sitting on top of the water. Not what we want, but sometimes inevitable. Again, I'm going to just add in. It's very red in the center. That is one batch of cherry blossoms, and then in maybe these two spaces, I'm going to add in some more cherry blossoms. Probably the quick way again. Here's cherry blossom that has four petals. Another cherry blossom that is blending in with the other one. We're going to say that one's like a little bit of a bud. Sometimes painting florals really is just painting blobs, like here I am. I have some space to fill. I'm just going to put some blobs down, and it's going to look like a flower because it's next to a whole bunch of other flowers. Here are the cherry blossoms. Now I'm just going to put a couple of cherry blossoms elsewhere, right there, maybe a little bud up here, and maybe some right here. But I want to make sure to leave some space around here because we're going to add in the leaves at some point in the next video, so you want to leave some white space to make room for the leaves. Very important to note. There are some of my cherry blossoms. I'm going to make sure that I have added enough contrast and paint to some of these because not all of them have it. Just add in some paint on this, some here, some here. I am not even really caring where this is going. I just know the steps that I need. If you want to be a lot more deliberate with your wreaths, you should definitely do that and go for it. But with my wreaths, in order for them to be loose, I need to be loose. The way that I get loose is by taking off the big responsibility that I feel to make these things look perfect and just do the basic structure of things that I know. That is our very first layer. We've put down all of the basic florals, and in the next step we're going to add in leaves and details and that will be done. Finish up your wreath by putting down the florals where you want to. In the next video, if you're painting along with me, we're going to wrap up this wreath by adding the leaves where they're supposed to go, and by putting in all of the details of the flowers when they're dry. Without further ado, let's full steam ahead. 12. Final Project: Layer 2: Welcome back. So our wreath is dry, and now we are going to paint in the details and the leaves, and that's how we're going to finish. First things first, I pulled out my eraser before I started this and I just erased what was left of the line, the pencil line I could see of the wreath, because now we know the basic shape of the circle, we don't need the pencil anymore. If you can erase as much of the pencil before you start painting on it as possible, that's good because once you have paint on top of pencil marks, it can be tricky to erase if you have lots of paint on it. So I erased that, and now we're going to, first, before we paint in the details, we're going to paint in the leaves. For this wreath, I'm going to go pretty simple and mostly just do basic leaves all the way around. One, two things to keep in mind. One, I don't want all the leaves to look exactly the same, I want them to have different movement, I want them to be imperfect, but I do want them, at least in clumps, to basically be going in the same direction. Before I start painting on here, let me show you what I mean by that. I don't want a leaf that is going in this direction next to a leaf that is going in like. That can look okay sometimes, but in general, I want leaves that are going in the same direction. We want when you're creating wreaths, you want them to be not opposite directions, you want them to look like there's movement to it. Sometimes you can add in some to add in diversity once you have the basic structure of the movement of your leaves and you can add in a few more that are going [inaudible] everywhere. But for right now, I want to add in leaves that are mostly going in the same direction. Another thing to remember with leaves that was really hard with me that I struggled with is they do not have to be perfect. They don't have to be placed perfectly, you don't have to know exactly where you sourced them. That was one thing that always bothered me or that hindered me when I started painting leaves was. But there's no like they're just floating in mid air. That's okay. If you paint leaves next to each other on this wreath, as long as it's there next to these flowers, nobody is going to question why a leaf is where it is. I'm sure we'll keep talking about that as I start painting these. You just want to start wherever you see a need. I'm going to start painting over here, and I think I'm going to have my leaves basically going this way, and then once I'm done painting those leaves, then I'm going to paint the more like [inaudible]. There are some leaves, I'm just like painting them in bunches at this point and some of them are pointed, some of them aren't as pointed at the top, that's okay. I want some of them to go outward this way, but I also want some of them to go inward toward the center of the wreath. Notice how with a lot of these leaves, I'm not like, here's the stem of where the leaf is, I'm just painting them and they're floating in space. But because they're in this general direction of where my flowers are, it's okay. I'm also not being too cautious about placement just in general or about, I mean, the more you paint leaves, the better you're going to feel about the shape and doing them faster, so that's important to note too. Once we get to the cherry blossom, some of these leaves we want to be smaller, and I'm going to move my, you don't have to move your paper, but I'm going to move mine. I'm just looking to see where their are spaces and again, you can leave whitespace later and I'm going to show you how to fill in to it. You can continue adding in greenery without having them be specifically leaves. We're just adding leaves all the way around, starting in one spot and moving on. The bigger the flower you get to, the bigger the leaves, so these roses are probably going to have some pretty big leaves surrounding them. Again, notice how I'm starting from the stem and painting it outward from the stem. I try not to start at the top of the leaf just because I feel like it's easier to get the shape and the exact movement that you want by not doing it that way. I'm moving my paper around so that my leaves stay in the general direction that I want them to. All of them paint facing this way. They don't all have to be exactly like that, but we want them to like they're falling in the same basic direction, is the goal. I'm using sap green for reference. When using red, I like to use sap green because it has a little bit more yellow in it than Hooker's green does, just for reference. I do that because of color theory, because red and green are technically complimentary colors and so if you use a very true green with a very true red, they're going to watch each other out and not be as vibrant as you want them to be. If you use a very true red, but then use a more yellowish green with the red, then it's going to help these colors pop out a little bit more. I am planning to have a class on color theory coming out this summer. But for now that's just a little tidbit. I'm going to keep painting these leaves all the way around, starting from the stem, and filling in this white spaces that I know that I have. That's basically what our job is with these leaves, is filling in the white spaces. I wouldn't worry too much about if the leaves overlap or if the leaves overlap some flowers, that's okay or if there's still white spaces after you have the leaves, that's okay too. We're going to go in and a few minutes after we have these basic leaves around and add in a few more really easy greenery tricks that help I fill in those whitespaces, so don't worry about it. Notice how also my leaves are just all over the place in terms of shape. I've said this a lot but, they do not have to be perfect, these are loose. You're going for a loose watercolor here and so perfect is the opposite of what we're shooting for. The nice thing about practice is that if you find you'd actually did paint something that you wish you would've done a little differently, then you can note and analyze why you don't like it and try to do differently next time. I'm looking at some of these leaves and I think maybe next time I try this, I'm going to do the composition a little differently and that is exactly what you're supposed to do as an artist, so good job. A lot of these leaves are lots of different shapes, different sizes, and that's also exactly what you're supposed to be doing, because then it looks real. Real wreaths look wild and crazy I think, and also I am not perfect at this. I am self-taught and I just thought that showing you and talking through my process for this would be helpful knowing that I've taught myself these things too, and knowing that I'm not perfect and I still paint them, even though I'm not always completely satisfied with everything that I do. I'm just going to paint a few in here to go along with these blossoms. Now that we've painted some leaves like all the way around, I'm going to put some on top. I'm going to go through and add in a little bit more foliage, just like a second layer, and sometimes that can be another leaf, maybe I'll do another one right here on top of this one that's a little darker just to add in some layers. But other times it can just be like a line like that. If they're little tendrils poking out. Just to make them wispy with the top pointed, is my biggest advice for that, if you're trying to draw lines going every which way. I would make them a little angled sometimes and have them be pointed out like they're just little stems or stocks that are coming out of the wreath. I'm adding in some lines here. I'm still going in the basic direction that I was before, where it's all pointed this way. Some of these lines I'm turning into just darker leaves to add in some depth and layering, the more layers you have I think the cooler paintings like this look, if you have a few different layers of leaves that are on top of each other, I think it can look really cool, especially because a lot of wreaths actually look like that. I'm just about done. This video is getting a little long and so I think I'm going to wait for the next video. I'm going to do one more video where I add in the details and then we'll be done. That is how you add in leaves on wreaths. You go around and fill in the white spaces, and just add in green anywhere you think it's going to add some depth. I'm going to wrap this up and then I will see you on the next video as we finish this wreath by adding in the details of the flowers. I will see you soon. 13. Final Project: Layer 3: Our layer is dry, we have our layer of leaves here. Now the very last step is to add in the details where we need them to be. Roses don't need anymore detailing we're good on those, but we need to add black on the poppies and red on the cherry blossoms. First, I'm going to start with some of these open faced poppies here. Then I'm just going to add in the details around here in case you forgot. Open faced poppies. We paint the ovary first, the center first, and then we paint the dots for the stamen. Make sure the stamen are all pointing in this general direction toward the center. That's the first one. We have one more open faced poppy so I'm going to paint the center black and then I'm going to paint some dots around for the stamen. I'm using my zero detailer brush and I'm not caring much about matching lines exactly to dots because having it be loose and irregular makes it look cooler I think. Those are the open faced poppies. Now, for the side perspectives, we're going to add in the ovary here and then add in the stamen up top like that. One more the ovary in the center like this and the stamen. I'm going quickly, but you do not have to go as quickly as I'm going. I often go quickly and often regret it, so if you want to go at a slower pace, you should definitely go for it. It looks like those are all the poppies. [NOISE] Now we're going to do the same thing for the cherry blossoms this time with the red. I picked up very highly pigmented red. I'm just going to go clump by clump. It looks like this one has an open faced flower here and I'm going to add in some of the stamen because I did the dots in the middle and I'm doing the tendrils on top. Note how I'm not putting in the lines. Those very subtle lines that I talked about while we are learning how to paint these flowers that you can do, if you decide you want to add to that detailing. I'm not doing that with line so up to you, but it's not something I'm doing. I'm just loosely painting in these details. If you want to make them look very detailed, like very careful then go more slowly. But if you are looking for more of a loose abstract feel like a lot of my floral wreaths are, then you should go for it. This is what I say, and throw caution to the wind. [LAUGHTER] I'm not your typical artist when it comes [LAUGHTER] to watercolor painting, I think that there are a lot of benefits from taking your time. That's true. Sometimes I do take my time when I really want the painting to look just so. But for these loose watercolor florals, if I spend too much time on them, I end up honestly with the result that is not quite what I was hoping for. Knowing that I have to let myself go when I paint these and take all the burden of perfection away and just to lean in to the loose look that we're creating here. Not all of these have the same amount of stamen and that's exactly what we want. We want diversity, we want them to look different from each other, which is what diversity is. One thing that I would do differently looking at this is maybe slowdown on the lines. I like really thin wispy lines for the stamen. If you find that yours are very thick, it might be because you're going too fast and putting too much thickness on there. Just something to note. But we're just about done. Just a few more. [NOISE] These guys over here. Well, that does it for me. [NOISE] Here is my floral wreath. The final project of this beginner's watercolor floral class. I hope you had a great time. I hope you love your wreath, and I would love to see all of your final projects. We're going to talk about this more in the recap, in the final video of this class. But really quick, the way that I can see these and the other people can see them, the best is if you post them in the project gallery. Make sure to post your final project in the project gallery so that I can give you some love and other students can give you some love also. If you do post in the project gallery, it's more likely that other people will see this class so I would really love it if you did that. If you decide you just have to share it with the world, I encourage you to share this on Instagram and tag me. My handle is this writing desk. I would love to show you some love that way to the final and one of the most important ways is to leave a review. If you loved this class and you just want to tell everybody about it, then I would love it if you left a review. I'm going to go over all of these again in the recap video, but I just wanted to mention them and to thank you once more for joining me for this class. I'm in love with my wreath and I hope that you are too. I will see you in the recap and hopefully again soon. See you soon. 14. Recap: Congratulations. Hopefully, if you are watching this recap video, that means you have painted along with me throughout this whole course. You've learned all of the strokes that we practiced, the teardrop stroke, the fan stroke, the crescent stroke. You've practiced your leaves and you've learned how to paint these three flowers, the rose, the poppy, and cherry blossoms and have come up with a wreath that looks a little something like this that you can be really proud of to hang up in your house or give away, or design a card with or any other awesome thing that you can do with a floral design. If you really loved what you came up with and just want to share it, I encourage you to post your final projects to the projects gallery. That way, myself and all of the other students who take this class can cheer you on and give you some helpful tips and comments. You can also leave your final project with any questions, or post any questions on the discussion board. I will be checking those discussion boards and I'm so happy to answer any of those questions. I would love all of my classes in this class in particular to be an engaged community that you can come back to with any questions about the material specifically in this class that you may have. If you also want to share your piece outside of Skillshare on Instagram, please tag me. My handle is thiswritingdesk. I would love to share some love on Instagram for you if you tag me there, is a chance that you could be featured in my Instagram stories. About once every week or two, I pull a bunch of people's final projects that tagged me and I post them on my stories as a feature. I would love for one of those features to be you. Those are some of the ways that you can share and that I would love to see your project. Last thing, if you loved this class or if you feel like other people would really benefit from this class, the best thing that you can do in order to help more people see this class and to support this class is to leave a review. It only takes a minute. I know that sometimes other things get in the way, that's totally okay, but if you're looking for ways to support me as a teacher and as an artist, specifically on Skillshare, leaving a review is by far the best thing that you can do. If that sounds something that you want to do, please feel free to do that. If you have any other comments or questions, please feel free to again post them on the discussion board or post them in your project gallery. I will be checking and going through all of that. Thank you again for joining me for this class and I hope to see you next time.