Modern Watercolor Botanicals for Everyone | Whitney Rain | Skillshare

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Modern Watercolor Botanicals for Everyone

teacher avatar Whitney Rain, 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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.

      Adding Details


    • 7.



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About This Class

Discover all the skills you need to create beautiful and vibrant botanical watercolor paintings!

I truly believe that every person is creative if they give themselves the chance to try. This creative exercise is the perfect way to ease into the loose and abstract style of watercolor that make it so unique and so rewarding for both beginners and experts alike.

You don’t need to be great at drawing and you don’t need several hours. This class will show you a simple way to take just a few minutes to loosen up your watercolor style and let the brush and the paint do the work. My goal is to make sitting down to paint with watercolor a low pressure, experimental, and enjoyable environment.

Join me today and expand your creative practice while discovering the beauty of watercolor!

SUPPLIES: Find an organized list of all my favorite supplies on my website

Need more inspiration? Check out my instagram!

Meet Your Teacher

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Whitney Rain



I am an artist trying to learn everything I can about creativity! Despite a busy life as a mom and engineer, I find pockets of time to paint every day. I want to share with you what I've learned so far in my creative journey. Thank you for joining me!

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome toe. Watercolor botanicals for everyone. My name is Whitney Ring Stone. And today I would love to share with you my technique for creating modern abstract watercolor botanicals and florals. I'm going to show you a simple method for creating beautiful, loose, modern plant shapes, using big brushes and beautiful colors and letting the magic of water color really do the work in your paintings. Join me today and I'll show you how creative you really can be. See in class. 2. Supplies: So within this frame are all the supplies that you're gonna need. I love watercolor because it has such a low barrier to entry. You don't have to go out and spend a lot of money on supplies for this course. The main thing that I want you to have, he's a big, flat brush. This is my go to brush and absolutely the tool I use the very most, as you'll see later in the course. I love to work with a larger brush to promote a looser style of painting. It forces you to be more free with your strokes. This flat brush that I just showed you is definitely my go to tool for creating really interesting botanical pieces. This is a size 12 and I would just say, Go out and buy the biggest flat brush that you can find. Otherwise, I just use basic large round brushes. Um, none of these air really essential. Just use whatever brushes you have, as long as you have one or two. They're really large than you'll be able to follow along with the course. As faras pains. Honestly, the biggest thing is just that you get started so any pain is totally fine to use. Um, here's a couple of examples of what I use. I use Windsor and Newton professional watercolors, and I also use, um, Daniel Smith Extra Find watercolors. You don't have to get that expensive watercolor starting out. You'll definitely be fine using anything that you can find at a basic craft store online. So these are things that you can work up to is an example of what I use. But there's really it's really not necessary. Okay, let's talk about pallets. I usually use thes tubes of paint. I will put it down into my palate, and then I will let it dry overnight, and that allows me to kind of extend the life of the paint. And I can just come back, spritz some water on it, and it's ready to go again the next day, which is really great. Um, and I just use this tiny basic palette with all my colors. You definitely don't need that many colors. I will listen my favorites below. Okay, papers. This is absolutely the best low cost paper that there is this blue pack of cancer. In paper, I typically use the nine by 12 size. Um, it's really inexpensive, and it's a great paper. Handel's water Well, it does good with color mixing. If you feel like you're not quite getting what you want from that Aziz you practice, then you can move up to more expensive paper like this arches. I also think the brown packs of Strathmore paper are really great. I o U's Cold press £140. I love the texture of a cool press paper. I think that that's really useful in adding to the abstract look of your painting. Um, but in the end, with supplies, use whatever you have, find a big brush, find some paints unless it started. 3. Leaves: in this section, I'm going to show you a couple of basic brush techniques that you can use to get your own beautiful abstract belief shapes. I'm starting with just a basic green color here, and I'm using my large flat brush. I'm gonna start by drawing a stem, used this very thin edge of my brush, very light pressure and just create a flowing stem of the page. Now I'm gonna load up my brush with paint and to create an abstract leaf. I'm going to put pressure on to the brush that I'm actually using this whole backside of the brush to create the shape. Let your brush glide across the paper and ease up on the pressure at times to create new shapes and let your brush do the work so you can see that that turned out to be a really pretty have tracks. Looking leave with a lot of interesting shapes. Now, if you want something a little less abstract, you can try just putting a little more pressure down than when you drew the stem. The shape of the brush creates the shape of the leaf. As we're heading up the stem, it will take some practice to be able to draw these thin lines for stems, and also to be able to learn how to control your brush and new and interesting ways to create new leaves. You can also use the corner as I'm doing right here to create a fatter, smaller leave. There are infinite number of things you can dio, so feel free to experiment. Keep on trying new ways of using your brush and gaining control of it, and I'll see in the next section talk about color. 4. Color: so color is an enormous subject and I'm only gonna lightly touch on it. But I'm gonna show you a few ways that I mix up my favorite colors to put into botanical pieces. So first of all, I like to always start with a green. I'll use some permanent sap green as a base. I always add in some blue to give it a bit of an evergreen type of color, and then often times I'll add in a little red. And that red gives a really earthy, organic sort of look versus oftentimes what happens when you green out of the tube is it looks really fake and manufactured. Okay, so I'm happy with that nice, deep green color. So I'm gonna put that down onto my paper, rinse out that color. I'm gonna grab a little bit of this green gold that I have at the top. This is a really vibrant, bright green. What makes it a little bit with what I already had. And then I'm going to do that technique of shape that we did in the last lessons, pulling some of the color out from missed em. An intern easily use I also like to vary the color a bit as I go upwards now, the most important thing I like to do is a little bit of this wet and wet technique where it takes some other deeper color that's related to the one amusing. I just ease it into some of these Web parts. That color is in a spread out mix into the leave and with some really beautiful color ingredients within your botanical Alright, let's try putting down another green stem. You know, they look I really like to do is a bit of red with some blue, a deep blue. This is Payne's gray I'm using, and that creates is really deep purple. Add in a little green to that as well to make a look more natural. I think that's a really pretty color to use and stems and also leaves as well can add a little more red as I go up the stand. It's a more purple in those leaves dropping in color as I go mixing within that color family guy, and that looks really pretty. I think now I'm gonna drop in a little more blue. I'm noticing that a lot of purple happened and not so much of that deeper blue. So I'll drop that into my leaves. And as it dries, it will spread in a really beautiful way. This is one of the amazing things about watercolor is you let the paint in the brush your work for you and you can create these beautiful abstract pieces. All right, I'll see you next lesson for a full demonstration. 5. Demonstration: Okay, So here, I'm gonna walk through and just demonstrate to you how I would paint a full botanical piece like this. It's like in the color lesson. I'm typically going to start with a darker green. I don't like to draw out where I go. I just kind of let it be organic and figure out where I want to paint next. I don't really have the end in mind when I start, and I think that that is a really great way to loosen up to use a big brush to start with as well. The bigger your strokes, the better. It makes it look less, uh uh, less effortful. Here we go. I'm just gonna gonna just start with the stem up the middle somewhere, okay? Like this To have a little bit deeper color to it at the bottom. Something. Add in some color and start with my first leave. I'm getting some more texture here. I'm on a cold press page, and this is a little bit more expensive papers who can handle the water better. I am not a little bit of a yellow color into my next leaf when I got some color there. All right, So I'm just letting it be really loose and informal, just enjoying the process with painting this dropping in additional color as I go, you can see where I think I might want a little deeper color versus, um, a little more emphasis. Okay. I think that looks really pretty. You start with No, I wanna move to another big set of leaves. I think I'm going to do kind of a big, um, most pink set of leaves, This kind of a muted pink color. See if I could get that on my palette, but I like these should be pretty large now. I'm in this case gonna show a little bit different technique of not actually adding in the stem until later on. It's okay. Some of your green gets into your pink leaves. That's actually a good thing. It's really pretty when you get that color mixing together in interesting ways. I kind of do a darker gray here, try for sort of a blue gray, gonna run that up the middle of this floral, letting that color touch into some of my leaves. I think that that creates a really pretty effect when they add a little more color to my pink, Then go ahead and drop a little that into my who use now while they're still wet so I can get a little bit more color into those as well. Okay, that looks really nice. I like to do something a little bit smaller. Sort of a yellowish color. Now I like to give it, I think a brownish stem still sort of a green there. I like to use colors that maybe you wouldn't quite see in nature with that are close and still look organic. I'm gonna go of this edge here with this. Now, this is when I would typically pull out my large size 12 round brush. I like to do this with my yellow sort of floral looking leaves. The same concept goes for around brushes I showed earlier with the flat brush, Some more pressure. You put down the fat of the brush will be you. That this thin Tet tip at the end it's going to allow you to get some nice and you tell working. I had a little water. Is I go up? I like it when that stem sort of add some interesting color into the leaves as well. I think that looks really pretty. Okay. All right. I think I'll balance that yellow with a little bit of yellow out the other side as well. Just in a little bit different shapes. So go use my round brush for the stand. This time you sort of this muted gray purple color. I just got the top here. Let's use a little of this yellow color. Maybe allowed a little brighter color in a swell. Similar, but not quite. Exactly the same. Even this. Well, at a little green in his well, could be interesting. So when you experiment like this, sometimes you don't love the results. Maybe I don't love the way that green looks, but it's okay. This pain didn't take me forever. I can try again and learn in the color combinations that I enjoy doing. And overall, it's just a really nice way to loosen up your painting. So and also a great way to get familiar with how watercolor works. Okay, Looks pretty. Think now we'll do a couple more bigger florals. I kind of do this purple theme here with that. I'm just gonna go this edge was sort of a larger flora. Look. God, I will actually pull out my bigger brush, Get a little more color on there. It's a little too purple, so I'm gonna have some green in trained. Meat it down a bit. That's looking nice here and just go for a really abstract large leaf. Think I might do a little this meeting yellow. Is this a added color in there? It's pretty balance of that. Purple is just a little bit coming up into the middle here. Actually, I'll do it out this side edge. He'll do that seem Technique. Go running my stem up the middle after I've painted the leaves. Okay, so I'm just gonna kind of be filling in places that I think look empty was kind of some grasses or some smaller flowers pulling in the colors that I feel like I haven't used more than one place we're here. And when I kind of do a little tiny pink thing that may be up over here is well done. Maybe one more. I've got some big spaces in the middle here. I think I would like to do is do another, uh, deep green color somewhere a little too much red as I started mixing this one. It's actually a nice great, though first m Okay, more blue yellow. A bunch more green. That's a nice deep green. Go do some green golds to brighten it a bit. Okay. All right, then, being quite a deep color, so might end up sort of putting that in somewhere else on the page. Just give us some contrast. Consistency, you know, go. Also put here kind of liking that this is giving a little more depth and color to the peace . Okay, we end up filling in a few places, I think look a little empty. Was that darker color just to kind of around the piece and really make it look forest like , No, I think there's not too much else that I really want to get in here. So I'm just going to kind of fill in the pieces as I go. Okay, So I'll see in the next section to add in some final details and really give this painting its final touches 6. Adding Details: Welcome back. I'm going to as a final step, add some detail to my painting. I'm gonna do that through the use of small, almost kala graphic looking lines. And this is just gonna add some more interest and flow and movement to my peace and emphasis to certain parts of the leaves. So I'm gonna start by mixing a dark color. Typically use just some type of dark neutral for this part in varying shades of grays and purples. I'm using a round brush. This is my size 12. So it's a little bit smaller than what I was using earlier. This was the Flatbush I was using earlier just for comparison. And this was the round brush I was using earlier. So similar Sized to that. The main thing that you want to make sure of is that you've got this small tip on the end that's going to allow you to get some really small detail work. So I'm gonna start with this big leave in the middle here. Um, just coming kind of dancing across the page, doing a light outline of the leaf and allowing my brush to create interesting shapes and thicknesses of lines just through the use of different pressures. This is where you can really add some shape to your leaf that it didn't get in there earlier. Uh, layer that we put down this can really add a lot of dimension to your painting. And if you felt like some of your leaves just kind of looked really shapeless. This is where you can guide the I to make sure that they recognize the shape as a leave. I'm just going to continue up this this branch. I want to get some variability. Um, in what I'm doing, I don't want every shape to look the same. I'm not thinking through it very much. I'm just kind of loosely following the shape I already have down to emphasize Thea outside of the leaf. Nothing I like to do is add in some nice color at the base of the leaf. I think this really gods the eye up the stem and helps emphasize the darker part of the leaf. Give it some dimension well, often add in some more color or some different shades as I go up. There are no rules here. It's really easy to overdo this as well and I often dio. But I think that it it adds a lot to the painting and it's fun way to experiment with, Ah, the ways that you can change your initial layer. Okay, so I'm just going to continue along and keep adding detail in this way. Give me some small dots when some of my little earpieces had sort of a purplish colors. But I can go over this purple purple section also, Sometimes that emphasis of the stem pain, as you can see that, added so much detail in dimension. So please share your project in the product section so that I could be inspired by your work. 7. Conclusion: Thank you so much for taking the time to join me for my course Today. I hope that you learned something that you can use in future paintings that you can continue to experiment with this technique to create some beautiful botanicals and florals . If you like this class, please leave a review and follow along. See future classes. Also, please upload a picture of your final painting. I would love to see the shapes and colors that you use to create a beautiful floral. I know that it will inspire me and others if we can see your work. Also, please feel free to leave questions and feedback in the comments section. Thank you.