Wildflowers in Watercolor and Ink: Introduction to Botanical Sketching | Julia Bausenhardt | Skillshare

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Wildflowers in Watercolor and Ink: Introduction to Botanical Sketching

teacher avatar Julia Bausenhardt, Nature Sketching & Illustration

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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

28 Lessons (2h 59m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Tools You'll Need

    • 3. Why Botanical Sketching + Examples

    • 4. How to Draw Flowers: Basic Shapes

    • 5. Flax 1: Sketching Round Flowers

    • 6. Flax 2: Adding Watercolor

    • 7. Cosmos 1: Drawing Cone Shapes

    • 8. Cosmos 2: Refining With Colored Pencil

    • 9. Cosmos 3: Adding Watercolor

    • 10. Using Negative Spaces to Find Angles

    • 11. Alyssum 1: Foreshortening Explained

    • 12. Alyssum 2: Adding Depth Through Color

    • 13. Snapdragon: Bilaterally Symmetrical Flowers

    • 14. Mixing Great Colors for Flowers

    • 15. Mixing Natural Greens and Neutrals

    • 16. Add Convincing Shadows

    • 17. Examples for Different Textures

    • 18. Leaves: Drawing Basics

    • 19. Leaves: Adding Realistic Color

    • 20. Wild Oregano: Loose but Precise

    • 21. Extra: Botanical Terms

    • 22. Field Sketching vs Photo References

    • 23. Field Sketching Trip pt1: Bellflower

    • 24. Field Sketching pt2: Clover

    • 25. Field Sketching pt3: Wild Strawberry

    • 26. Extra: Practical Tips for Field Sketching

    • 27. Extra: Sketching Cherry Blossoms

    • 28. Your Project + Final Thoughts

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About This Class

About this class

This class will show you how you can capture the beauty of wildflowers in your sketchbook. We will take a look at basic sketching techniques and how to use them for drawing all kinds of flowers quickly and easily. We will explore a variety of fun mixed media techniques, including watercolor, ink and colored pencils. We'll try out interesting ways to portray flowers in your sketchbook, learn about mixing specific colors and how to add convincing shadows and finishing touches to your flower sketches to make them stand out.

Why take this class

Flowers are a beautiful and easy subject that can be found all around you, and botanical sketching is a wonderful way to learn more about them. Sketching wildflowers is a wonderful activity that never gets boring.

What you'll learn

  • basic techniques for sketching flowers to create quick and realistic sketches
  • watercolor layering techniques
  • exploring a fun mixed media approach: combining watercolor, colored pencil and inks
  • different ways to portray wildflowers in your sketchbook
  • mixing accurate colors
  • how to add shadows, details and textures to flower sketches to make them stand out
  • how to keep your sketches loose but precise

I will share practical tips from my own botanical field sketching trips and show you what has worked best for me in the field and in the studio. You will create lots of wildflower sketches - from a basic pencil sketch to very detailed, colored flower portraits. You can choose if you prefer to do your sketches at home, or if you want to try out field sketching - which I can absolutely recommend!

Who this class is for

This is a class well suited for beginners who want to build up their drawing skills, as well as for more experienced artists who want to explore drawing flowers specifically.

What you'll need

You will need a basic sketching kit with drawing and painting tools - a small selection of pencils, pens, inks, a small watercolor palette and of course a sketchbook will work great.

Let's get started!

I hope you will join me for this class to explore the world of botanical sketching and learn how to draw wildflowers!


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Julia Bausenhardt

Nature Sketching & Illustration



Hey, I'm Julia! I’m an illustrator & field sketcher from Germany.

I’ve been passionate about the natural world all my life, and I’m dedicated to connect art and nature in my work. With my work I want to increase awareness for the natural world we live in and its fascinating fauna and flora. I share my sketching adventures regularly on my blog.

I work mostly in traditional techniques like watercolor, gouache or ink and I love field sketching and nature journaling.

Showing people how they can discover and connect to nature through making art is an important part of what I do - that's why I teach here on Skillshare. Drawing and painting are excellent ways to learn more about n... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello, I'm Julia and illustrator and field sketcher. In this class, I will show you how you can capture the beauty of wildflowers and your sketchbook. Flowers are beautiful and easy subject that can be found all around you. Botanical sketching is a wonderful way to be inspired by their amazing colors and forms. We will take a look at sketching basics and how to draw all kinds of unique wildflowers quickly and easily. We will explore a variety of fun drawing and painting techniques including watercolor and ink. Learn about mixing colors and how to add shadows and finishing touches to flower sketches. I will share practical tips from my own botanical field, sketching drips, and show you what has worked best for me in the field. I am to teach you how you can keep your sketches loose but precise. You can choose if you prefer to do your sketches at home, or if you want to try out field sketching, which I can absolutely recommend. This is a class well-suited for beginners who want to build up their drawing skills, as well as for more experienced artists who want to explore drawing flowers specifically, you will need a basic sketching kid was drawing and painting tools, a small selection of pencils, pens, inks, and a small watercolor palette. Of course, a sketchbook. I hope you will join me for this class to explore the world of botanical sketching and learn how to draw wildflowers. So let's get started. 2. Tools You'll Need: Let's take a look at the tools that I will use for this class and that you will need here. Of course, you will need something to draw n. I would bring a sketchbook or some kind of drawing pad. I like to use 100% cotton paper and my sketchbooks, and I prefer hot press paper. This has the advantage that you can do really good watercolor layering. And the hot press paper will allow you to make really fine pencil drawings and really add really fine details to you. Sketch with that said, any sketchbook that will work with watercolor and with inks and with layers, will be fine if you're used to a different kind of paper, maybe cold press paper, then absolutely use that. And if you have an empty sketch book lying around, then simply try out. If you can make it work for this kind of sketching. Then let's take a look into this pouch. So this is what I actually bring to my field sketching sessions. And I like it because it's very compact and I can see every tool that I have brought with me and so I can simply grab and use it and then store it again. Yeah, Let's start with the pencils. So I use mechanical pencils. These are great because they will come with an integrated eraser and you don't have to sharpen them. So you simply tap on the back a few times and you're ready to go and ready to draw. You can of course, use any kind of pencil that you like working with. Sometimes a pencil is everything that you will need. So sometimes if you're just doing a quick sketch, then using the pencil or using just one color pencil will be fine. And talking about colored pencils. So I have an assortment of different colored pencils with me. When I'm sketching. These are great for working on the go. You can sketch out ions with them at all. So add color or add a little bit of detail and texture. I like working with these different mediums, combining them with watercolor. You don't have to have a certain color selection for this class. Just bring what you have or what you might find interesting as colors. I would recommend having a few greens, then, maybe a few interesting blues and pinks and purples. This are probably the colors that you will need most for wildflower or general flower sketches. I also like to exchange these from time to time. Maybe when the seasons change. Then I will look into this pouch and say, what are the colors that I might need four for the next season. This is my watercolor palette. If you have taken any of my classes by now, you probably know this small palette. I keep an updated list about the exact colors that I use for this pellet on my blog. If you're interested in that, you can basically use any kind of basic palette that you can get in art supply store or any kind of well-balanced palette. So you should have a few yellows and reds and blues and earth tones and maybe some greens. So a well-rounded palette that lets you mix a huge variety of colors. And, um, yeah, as for size, I really prefer the smaller pellets, especially when I'm sketching in the field, but also in the studio. So I like to keep my palette small and portable. And this is basically all I need. Then some kind of painting REG, will also come in handy. Paper towel. Then let's talk about the brushes. These are probably way too many. You don't need that many brushes for this class. I would say at least two brushes, a larger one and a smaller one. So I like to paint a lot of details in my wildflower sketches. I have a lot of these very small, fine brushes that allow me to add these details. But yeah, you can definitely get away with a larger brush, maybe a size four or six. And then we have this, maybe this smaller one is high, it's one or two. This will make a good pair for most of the sketches that we're doing. But when I'm sketching in the field, I like to bring a variety of brushes, so maybe an even larger round brush and then also a flat brush for these different kinds of mark-making that you can have in your sketch book. And these are, this is a mixture of synthetic brushes and sable brushes. Again, bring to this class what you're used to using, what you like to use. You don't have to buy any new brushes for this class. Except maybe if you don't have this kind of details, small brush, then maybe bring a size one or a size zero brush to the class. Okay, Onto the next thing, I like to use different inks in fountain pens and my sketchbook. And this is purely for practical reasons. So I really like the look of inked outlines. See if we can get some here. And I, since I like to work with watercolor, I need the outlines to be waterproof. And since I really like the quality of the line, quality of fountain pens, I have found waterproof inks that can go into fountain pens. So if you don't want to invest into these inks and into fountain pens, you don't have to, you can just bring any fine liner that's waterproof. If you want to try out this technique, you don't have to use colored fine liners. If that's not your thing, you could also use just black pigment liner or fine liner that you have lying around. And usually if it has something with pigment than it should be waterproof and you can go over it with watercolor. You don't have to invest huge amounts of money into these kind of special things that go into fountain pens that are waterproof later. But yeah, it's something that I will show in this class and that I find really interesting to experiment with. If that's something you want to explore, that's great. If not, then you can totally use just a colored or black fine liner for this class. And this is basically all the tools that you will need. If you want to go field sketching, then of course you will some kind of water container and something to carry, something to sit on. But I will go into this in an extra lesson later if you're really interested in fields sketching, and if not, you can do all of these exercises in the studio at home, where it's nice and cozy. 3. Why Botanical Sketching + Examples: Let's talk for a minute about why actually draw flowers. Why did I do this class? What is interesting about botanical studies? So I find botanical sketching or wildflowers. Sketching or flower painting is a wonderful way to learn about the diversity of your local plant life. And flowers are beautiful and very easy subjects. They don't run away, they wait for you to be painted. And you can find an amazing variety and the smallest areas. So flowers are really accessible everywhere. They are very patient subjects and they are amazing and beautiful. And you don't even have to go into the field to sketch flowers because plants and flowers are everywhere. So this could be a local park. It could be your balcony, maybe the corner of your street. Plants and flowers really grow everywhere. Exploring wildflowers. I think it's interesting in itself, you can learn about the plant families or learn to identify flowers in the field. You can also come back to one area and track the growth of one species or study how its colors change over time and when the blooming period is over, you can still discover fascinating shapes of sea ports or wilted flower heads that also have an intricate beauty. And there's also this. If you look at weeds and grasses, they almost have this calligraphic quality to them. I think sketching wildflowers are generally sketching flowers is a wonderful activity that never gets boring. And I've learned so much about botany and plant life for my sketching activities over the years, I can really recommend it to everyone. You don't, as you can see here, you don't have to stop at sketching the flowers itself. You could also include wildlife, like butterflies are beetles, and everything else that you can see outside. You could also include landscapes, but yeah, this is really the topic of this class. I want to focus on flowers because as I said, really interesting, easy subjects. And you can always branch out from there and explore more aspects of nature that way. Let me show you a few examples. You've already seen these pages here. This is the way I like to work. I simply pick one subject and then add to it, including all kinds of other aspects in my sketch books. Let's see what else we have here. These can of course be in different techniques. So I like to combine techniques like these very light pencil lines with watercolor and then sometimes with colored pencil. That can give you a really interesting mixed media approach. Again, very light and fine pencil work that I find really fitting for these very delicate spring flowers. He has lots of watercolor. Here you can see an example of the technique that I mentioned in the tools section where I use colored inks for the outline and for some of the detail. And this will give you very defined, crisp line work. So this has almost this sort of graphical quality. And I really liked this in, in field sketches. This something that I have experimented with a lot and that I would also like you to try out a few want. Let's take another look here. So again, this is pencil and watercolor on top. For me, these botanical studies are often preliminary studies that I do before. I have to create a more detailed illustration for maybe for client work or for personal projects. And yeah, it helps for me. It's very helpful for me to understand the structure and the colors and the arrangement of the flowers, the characteristic way it grows and the leaves for. And sometimes it can help to include the flour and two small landscape or into its surrounding. And recently I've done a lot of these sketches where I'm including a little bit of the surrounding the habitat into the sketch. And I find that a very interesting and beautiful way to include a little bit of surrounding, a little bit of landscape and show where the flower actually grows. So that's another possibility. And of course, you could also draw these classic botanical studies where you show the entire flower first and then focus on different aspects of the flower and maybe enlarge it a little bit and then show, take it apart and show the inner workings of the flower. And if you continue to observe one specimen, one Wildflower, you can even get back to this at a later point and then added in different stages of its life cycles. So maybe when it's wilted, when it has seed pods, this is always very interesting and as you can see, I've added lots of notes that I have researched or that I have observed about the flower. This actually makes a difference for me. I have found that I can identify more flowers in the field and high has become a better gardener by doing this. And it's also really fun for me to really read up about these different kinds of flowers and learn more about nature this way. 4. How to Draw Flowers: Basic Shapes: I'd like to show you a basic drawing technique that will make your life much, much easier when you try to draw flowers. So it can be helpful to use this construction will approach and describe the flower through the nearest geometrical form. And this is the construction approach. Very often when you're sketching flowers, then you will have round shapes. So very often you can describe the flower through circle or an ellipse. Other times, you can make use of this cone. Well, this is the cone and this is the tube. So these basic geometrical shapes can be used to describe basically everything that you see. So you can break complex shapes like this down into easier to see geometrical shapes. And this can be helpful for all drawing topics. So let's take a look at how we can make use of it with flowers. So very often, flowers come in round shapes and they can be described with a circle or an ellipse. And I will show you a quick example for this. So this here is actually the same flowers, this from my garden. And you can see if you look at it from above, then you have this nice round shapes. And when you start to turn it, then you can describe the outer edge of the petals in an elliptical shape. I hope you can see this in front of the white background. Maybe I will just hold it up here. So again, you see, if you look at it from straight above, it will form more or less a circle. If you start to turn it off. If you look at it from the side, then these outer shapes will be more flattened. Flattened circle can be described through an ellipse. And you can see this reflected in this drawing. I even have some of the light lines here. I'm not sure if you can see them that show the ellipse. And then I have sort of made and measure these indentations and describe the petals. You can use this by drawing your ellipse or your circle, and then count the petals and separate your circle into segments. And if you draw these lines very lightly or in another color, then you will get a good framework for your drawing. The same thing applies to this flags here. So again, you have a round shape, you have five petals. So if you look at this slightly from the side, then you can draw your ellipse around it and then segment your ellipse into these five segments for the petals, find the center point, which is always an important point too, because all of the petals sort of grow out of the center. And then you can add the individual forms of the petals in your drawing. This is an approach that's really very helpful for a lot of flower shapes. And in fact, let's try it out right now. 5. Flax 1: Sketching Round Flowers: So I'd like to show you in this demonstration how I use the constructionist approach in a simple round flower. And I've chosen this flags not only because it is a very beautiful flower, but because it's also, it has a simple form and I think it's great to practice as a beginner plan, so to speak. So this Flags is red. It's a garden variety. You can also find it in the wild. Very often, wild flags comes in different blues. So it's a very varied flower. And what I'm doing here. So one thing first, I'm seeing this flower from a little bit of a different angle than you do from the camera straight above. So I'm seeing it from this angle. So this means that what I'm drawing will be a little bit more tilted. I will try to add a photograph that has been taken from my angle later. But just so that you're not confused, when my angle, the angle that I draw the flower from seems a little bit different than what you are seeing. Okay, so the first thing that I want to make sure of is that I actually have a nice view of this. So I have to decide which side I'm drawing the flats on. And obviously if I were in the field, if I were outside sketching it, I would look for a good place to sit. So yeah, this seems fine. I'm starting I'm starting with this very light ellipse. And don't be afraid. To make these initial lines. You can erase everything that you don't need later on. So I'm looking at this outer rim here, this outer edge. Maybe it's even a bit flatter from my perspective. And the center is somewhere here. So the first thing that I want to find as the center with these anthers here. Don't worry too much about any of the botanical terms I'm using here. I have prepared a later lesson that will introduce you to some of them, but you don't need them to draw any beautiful wildflower. So then I'm taking measure and roughly sketching in the heap segments of the petals here. So I want to make sure that I draw these in at the right angle. And another thing that I want to be mindful of is the stem. The stem attaches to the flower right from the middle. You can see this here. And even though I can't see every part of this stem here, because I'm looking at the flower from above. I still want to make sure it attaches at the right angle. So I want to include this right from the beginning. Okay. And if I don't like any of the lines that I've made and I can't erase them here and refund them. I'm starting to look at the individual shapes of the petals. Always being mindful about this ellipse that I have erased a little bit, but that's still sort of makes up the edge for the petals. And some of them will be, will go slightly outside of this edge and some of the petals will stay inside of this elliptical shape, and that's totally fine. So this is why I've drawn this. This is a great way to help me see what is in front of me. And any line that you don't need, you simply erase the petals that I'm looking at from the front or slightly foreshortened. So they appear shorter than those that are sort of going into the back. Okay. That doesn't look too bad, does it? I'm adding these lines here for these parts in the middle that seem a little bit darker. Then I can take care of these small leaves here and indicate the stem. And I'm going to refine my drawing a little bit. Make it clear what the actual shape of the flower looks like. And that's my finished drawing. With the help of the construction will approach. 6. Flax 2: Adding Watercolor: I'd like to show you how easy it can be to breathe life and color into your simple sketch like this. So let's finish this with a little bit of watercolor. So I've mixed this bright red here that matches the color of the flux. And I'm just going to apply the color carefully inside the lines for each petal. So there's a certain sheen on the leaves. And I can achieve this by using a brush that's dry that I have tapped onto my painting rag. And then I can lift out the paint and have these lighter sections. Don't do this too often if you're using wood pulp paper or inexpensive paper. Because this will not really work so well with this kind of PayPal. But usually if you do it, if your paint is still wet and if you do it immediately and only once or twice, then you will be fine. And for the darker petals that don't get as much light here, I'm using really a lot of colors. I'm dropping in all of this color here. Rather paint. And as long as my layer is still wet, I can easily just drop in and charge in more paint here. And it will work beautifully. Okay, I will wait for this to dry. And in the meantime, I will mix a little bit of green. Just to indicate the stem. I want to make sure that these wet parts of the paint in the different colors don't meet because then they will flow into each other. And I don't want this at this point. I will just try to show a little bit of the leaves. This doesn't have to be too complicated and detailed just to show how the plant is made up. So now my first layer of paint has dried and I want to add this inner circle that I suspect it is a sort of a lead in for insects to find the middle of the flower. A lot of flowers actually have these sort of lending stripes. And I have mixed slightly darker version of my red. And I'm, I actually think I'm going to switch to one of my tiny brushes here. So this is a size one brush. And I think that's going to be perfect for this. So I'm loading up the brush with not too much water, but more paint. And I'm painting in the sort of stripy areas and I'm making sure I try to keep this to go to the center. So every line that I paint in should point to the center. This is the sort of radial symmetry that I want to achieve. Careful to paint in beneath or below these anthers here. I'm adding a bit more of these small, delicate lines. And as always, it's a bit hard to talk and paint at the same time, but I'm doing it nonetheless. I'm also adding with this darker version of the paint. I'm adding a few shadows where the leaves are showing that run the sides. Okay, and that's basically what my finished sketch looks like. Without a lot of fast, without a lot of work, you can achieve beautiful results with this very easy technique. So we've seen that I can use this construction will approach to get a very quick likeness of this flower. And then just with two layers of watercolor, you can get beautiful quick botanical sketch. 7. Cosmos 1: Drawing Cone Shapes: Let's do another easy demonstration. And for this one, I would like to use this Cosmos flower again, it's a round shape, but it has sort of a specialty because in the middle you can see this structure here. And this is cone-shaped. And e.g. sometimes you will see this with these middle parts here that form a cone. With other flowers. You will see the cone. Whoops. Like with this Xenia, you will see the cone actually below the flower. So this is a little almost like half a sphere, but more lengthy and cone-shaped. And there are many more examples where you can see the sort of elongated, narrow shapes that are more like a tube. Another example for a cone shape flower would be a bell flower. This is very long and narrow. And then e.g. lilies are also a cone-shaped. So in this case, you will need to add another basic shape to the middle of your disk, and this will be a cone. So again, try to think of this shape in three dimensions and practice rotating your basic volumes. If you have a garden flower available like me here, then you can actually do this and rotated in your fingers and see and look at it from different sides. If your field sketching, I wouldn't recommend snipping off a flower. I would just change the direction i'm, I'm drawing it from because especially with protected flowers, you don't want to pick them. If you have garden flows available, then there's nothing wrong with taking it in your hands and then turning it and looking at it from different sides. So this, by rotating and by practicing this rotation of basic volumes, this will really help you immensely when you're sketching flowers. So I'm sketching from photographs that something entirely different. I will do an extra lesson on this. But if you have fresh flowers available, this is really the best way to practice these sort of three-dimensional aspects of it. So again, I'm starting with this elliptical shape here. This one is going to be a bit larger. I'm trying to keep these proportionate. So I want the size of this flower to be really a bit bigger than the one that I was drawing before. And you can also see it's a bit more complex. It has more petals, it has more moving parts. The petals are turning up. So this is a good practicing materials for something that's a bit more complex. So here's the middle of my flower head. I know that the stock will come out something like this. Then I want to show this cone-shaped element here. So it is sort of smaller and thinner at the base. And it grows larger and sort of round here at the top. And again, don't worry about any of these lines. You can always erase them later. This might look funny at first, but it will actually be very helpful. The next thing that I want to do, simply add in some of these lines that describe the petals that are coming out of this middle part. So this will help me in making sense of all of the petals here. And I know that nothing can really go wrong because I have my elliptical shape that's describing the outer edge of the petals. Now I can start to really flesh out the individual petals. What I do when sketching this is I'm thinking about them like a band. So let me just quickly show you. This will also be in the lessons about leaves later. So you can see the petals of this turning and twisting a little bit. And if you think about this as a flat band, then you can describe these turns. I simply overlapping the different lines. So you have one side and then there's a turn, and then you have the other side here. This is essentially what is happening here. So I can see this front petal. I can see both sides of it. And I want to make sense of it by drawing both of these sides. So it's coming up like this and continuing like this. And when I figured out the shape of the petal, I can start to add in these little indentations, these little lines that will help me do describe how the intricate individual form of the petal and don't tell anyone. But the other beautiful thing about drawing wildflowers is that you don't have to be 100% precise. So I'm all for producing very precise and correct drawings. But if you happen to not match the exact hanger of one of these petals, then no one will see this. You can get away with slight irregularities in your flower drawings. And I think that's another great thing for beginners who maybe just have started drawing because that will make your life much, much easier and produce less frustration. I'm taking my time observing each angle very closely. And I think I may have added another petal here inadvertently because the gap between those two has been too much. So I'm simply removing this line and now I have this sort of giant petal here, but that doesn't really matter. Now for the cone part here in the middle, I don't want to overdo this part here. So I will simply indicates some of these very busy paths and I will draw it in a little bit more detail on the front. And then gradually faded out in the back. So that way you don't overwhelm your sketch. 8. Cosmos 2: Refining With Colored Pencil: Another thing that I wanted to show you, if you don't want to use pencil only, you can definitely do a more refined drawing on top with colored pencil. And I'm just going to do this. And for this, I'm going to erase some of what I did. Try to keep some of the lines that I made. And now I can come back in with my colored pencil and make these really defined, nice lines. Because I already know what's going on, how the plant is constructed, how the petals, where the petals have to go. They look like. And now I can simply do this very nice line drawing with my colored pencil. And you will notice if you use colored pencils for this, they will produce a more interesting among pronounced line. You can, you can try this out. Have very soft lines. If your pencil, it's really sharp, you can get very fine lines. And you can also do these very thick and textural lines. So a color pencils are really great tools for drawing. Really interesting. So you definitely should give them a try if you haven't already. And I think especially for flowers, they add this interesting quality, this interesting texture. I tried to state my lines in one stroke and one fluids stroke. So I don't want too many broken lines. I've erased my ellipse by now, but I'm still thinking about it. When I look at the lines and look at the edges of the petals, I still try to have it in mind. I will switch to slightly lighter pencil here. And this really depends on your preferences, on your technique. You can use one pencil for this, you could use several different ones. So what I'm doing here is nothing that you have to follow. Absolutely or very precisely, you can adapt and mix these techniques as you like. All of these are just examples and ideas that you can change to your preferences. Then a nice green for the stem. So this is my finished line work and I still want to add some color to it. So let's get out the watercolors. 9. Cosmos 3: Adding Watercolor: So I've gone ahead and mix a nice intense orange. So in fact, I have simply taken up the orange paint for my palette here. And I've also added a little bit of this warm red to my palette because I can see there are these striated areas on the outer edge of the petals that are slightly darker and I'm not sure if I will add this with watercolor. This is also a great area. The great element to add with colored pencils. Maybe I will use this as a second step. For now. I just want to add this really intense orange. And, um, yeah, so let's go in with a watercolor, starting in the back here, keeping it slightly lighter. So you can actually get a slide three-dimensional effect if you render the back of the flower with more, with lighter colors. I'm taking my time to stay within the confines of these petals. I'm painting each petal bit by bit, and here I'm starting to drop in more paint. So I know the outer edges will be slightly darker. I'm dropping in a bit of the red paint to these edges. And this will help me define these darker areas of the flower. I have to be a bit careful with this particular petal because the underside a slightly lighter. I have to wait for this area to dry before I add the paint on the underside. And I believe might be nice to have the same color as this one here for the unknown side. And again, I'm charging in here a little bit with a darker paint, with a red paint. And I think this already makes it very nice effect you will see the paint flows a bit as long as it's wet. The petal has dried and I can add the lighter tone on the ulnar side. And now for this middle part, for this cone part, I have mixed yellow ocher with pure yellow, just a little bit of orange. And this is the color that I want to apply here in the middle. And I want to make this darker one side of the cone to indicate a little bit more of the three-dimensionality of this. I'm actually thinking about how the light might be falling onto this. So right now I have my studio lighting which is sort of flattening everything out. But if I were to do this as a scientific illustration with still very neutral lighting, but a little bit of three-dimensionality and shading. Then I would do it like this too. And now that the layers in the bag has already dried, I can simply go back with my colored pencil and add a little bit of the texture, add a little bit of the stripes here, just to give it a little bit more interest. So that's a very easy technique and a great reason to use color pencils and your drawing. You can of course, also do this with a fine paintbrush. But I often find that using color pencils for these type of areas is a bit quicker and a bit easier. And especially when you're sketching outside. He will learn to really like these techniques that will make your life easier. In the areas where I have applied a lot of pigment, the pencil doesn't really add a lot of texture because this paper is hot press, so it doesn't have these bumps in it. And that makes it a bit hard to add these details. And for these areas, I can simply return to my brush technique and add a few of these really fine lines with my brush. And don't overdo these details. It's really nice to do this and to get lost and adding details. But you don't want to add the stripes everywhere. So the base of this cone appears almost a bit green. So I will add this year. And in the same way, I will also add a little bit of green for the stem. If you find that you need a second layer somewhere, then don't be afraid to go over it. So I find the front and the back part of the flower doesn't hang together that well, so we'll add just a little bit more paint. Just a very thin layer of orange. And since I'm using regular color pencils here, so there are pencils like this one, which are watercolor pencils that they dissolve when you add water. But the one that I used here is not dissolvable. So the lines will simply stay in place when I add watercolor over them. This is another very nice aspect about them. Yeah, I think one central principle about these flower sketches is to not overdo them, not overwork them. You have to find the point at which you stop. And I think this is the perfect place to stop. We have a sketch of this beautiful Cosmos flower. I've shown you this again, this principle of geometrical construction with the cone in the middle than the elliptical shape around it. And how we can find the different petal shapes from there. 10. Using Negative Spaces to Find Angles: I'd like to show you another drawing technique that will work well for wildflowers that seem a bit more complicated. Like this very delicate flower with lots of smaller details. And this is the use of negative shapes. So we've talked about these geometric containers like elliptical shapes and cones that will help you to see the actual outer form of the flower. And you can use negative shapes to refine this form so you can find the correct angle of the aspect of the element you want to draw by placing a basic geometric shape onto your paper and then measuring the actual shape against that when placing your line. So if you have a very complex flower or paths that are overlapping, it can help to use an outer frame, like placing this inside a triangle and then looking at the shapes that form within the outer shape. So you can see these inner triangles and these inner angles forming inside this outer shape here. So this is also a helpful way to find the right angles to find a good composition. Let's try this out here. And this is just sort of this random garden weed that I picked. But yeah, you can make this work with any flower. You can also use this for these very detailed and delicate lines here. So negative shapes, if you start looking for them, they will appear everywhere. Since I'm feeling confident, I want also to show you another technique, and this is drawing with ink drawing with a fountain pen. In this case. You don't have to go directly from this very loose sketching stage to drawing with ink. If you're inexperienced, you can definitely first do your pencil stage like I did in these last drawings and then maybe go over it with the ink. If, if, if this helps you to make, to create better and more confident line work. But I think I can pull this off here. So I will try and start with this leaf shape here and then see where it takes me from there. And since I want to focus on negative shapes, I'm looking at the angle between the elements here and I'm trying to find a precise line from there. And I can always turn my specimen a little bit to see what I'm actually drawing caused the parts are so delicate and so small that it will help me to do this. And again, I'm focusing on the space between the actual elements of the flower. And this is why it's called negative shape. So I'm not focusing on the elements themselves, on these little flower buds, but on the spaces between them. And I'm trying to match the right angles here. Okay, continuing on from there, again, I'm looking at this space between here, this really big white-space, these negative shapes. I'm trying to find a good angle for the leaf. And doing these spontaneous ink sketches can be very relaxing actually. As I said, you don't have to, with these flowers sketches, you don't have to match every exact angle. So this is not a human face. It won't be that obvious if you mess up on one of these leaves. This can be a really quick and easy technique if you just want to do a line drawing. So again, what I was looking at here was this area between these two elements. So I wanted to get this angle right. And again, I'm looking at this negative shape here to get the angle of this little flower head here precisely in the right direction. This is already the last one. So as you can see, using a fine liner or a fountain pen with ink can be really a quick way to get a nice sketch down on the page. I really like the simplicity of these sketches so often do them when I don't want to bring out my entire watercolor kit. When maybe when I don't have that much time and I can always add some color later, but I'm going to leave it at this now. So I hope you have noticed how this use of negative shapes can simplify drawings that seem very complicated. So what's also great about this approach is that if you have a lot of overlapping parts, then this will make it easier to place the different elements. So if you were to draw the plant like this with these many overlapping parts, than negative shapes are a really great technique to find the correct angle by measuring these shapes between the actual elements. 11. Alyssum 1: Foreshortening Explained: We've already seen how the shape that you describe to draw a flower changes when you change the perspective from which you look at the flower. So this is basic perspective or basic foreshortening. This just means that the petal width and length changes when you see the flower from a different angle, it's basically a visual distortion. So when you look at the flower from the top, you will see a circle. And the more you turn it, the more this form will turn into an ellipse until if you see it strictly from the side, then you will have this very flat elliptical shape. So often you will see different stages of foreshortening when you have a cluster of flowers. I have this very small class. I hope that you can see all of these little flowers on this huge cluster on this flower heads are pointing into a different direction. And for some of these, you will look directly at them. And some of them are already in this elliptical shapes. So you're looking at them in this foreshortened stage. So each of those is, can be seen at a different angle. And the more flour is pointing to the side, the narrower the ellipse will be and the petal width and the length, length changes. If you observe this effect carefully and draw your shapes accordingly, your round shapes and circles turning into ellipses. This will help you to produce a more realistic drawing. So let's try this out now. When you approach a cluster of flowers like this one, I always find it helpful to start from the front and work your way to the bank. So what I will do is as a first step, I will just very loosely drop in the places where these single flowers are placed. And I'm already thinking about three-dimensionality. This to me looks like a sphere that's sort of copying the end here. And each of these little flowers, flowers in this cluster is sort of turned in a different plane. And I want to reflect this and my drawing. So drawing the small ellipsis, every one of these is turned outward. And I think this might be another great area where I can use my fountain pen. So I will just demonstrate this with a fountain pen. So now that I've placed the rough place where I have each individual flower, I can focus on adding in the individual flower head. And since they are so small, I don't have to spend too much time on the individual flowers. Just want the shape to be more or less precise. And of course, you could go in with magnifying glasses. That's always a good way to get to know the flower that you're drawing better. But in this case, I'm happy and content with this more schematic way of drawing. E.g. I. Have these two flowers here that are pointing to the back. And I will try to add them very lightly. And for the rest of this, I will just use my green fountain pen. And again, I'm making use of the negative shapes here. My drawing that will help me make out the different angles and the different spaces between the elements. 12. Alyssum 2: Adding Depth Through Color: So I finished my ink sketch, and right now it's still looks a bit flat and plain to me. And I want to add some watercolor. So I've tried to approximate the color of this flower, this purple here with cerulean blue and a little bit of quinacridone, pink. It's not an exact match, but yeah, I think it will do. There will be a lesson about color mixing for Wildflower and botanical sketching later in the class. So if you need some pointers on color mixing and getting vibrant colors, then check this one out. So remember what I said about these, about foreshortening, about showing that three-dimensionality. With within this dense cluster of flowers, I only want to show what I want to show the most details in the foreground. I want to show the darkest colors in the foreground. And then just merely suggesting the rest. That is sort of wrapping around the form. I want to apply. The most vivid color here in the foreground. And since the flowers are so small, even my size one brush is almost too big. So if you find you have too much paint on your brush than simply debit of your painting rag. So for these flowers and the front, I want the purple to be rather intense. And then as I'm coming to the back, to the top, I can simply use the paint that is still on my brush. And it will be slightly lighter. And I don't paint in the shapes as exact so that it looks a bit more sketchy. And I can even, this isn't really in the flower itself, but I can even add additional flowers and some places that are pointing to the back. And this will give it a nice rounded three-dimensional look. Can also intensify here the flowers in the foreground. I don't want to add too much to this very light and delicate flower. Maybe just a little bit of reinforcement for this light green lines. The stem here. Okay, I think this will do it. And if I look closely, I can see these yellow dots, this yellow inner part in the flower. I will have to wait until this dries. And then I have two very delicately add some yellow elements. And I will show you after this has dried, how I do this. While this part has been drying, I've been adding a few more leaves here to make the sketch a bit more interesting. Now for these tiny yellow elements here. So I've switched to the smallest brush that I have here in my sketching kid. What I want to do now is pick up a little bit of this yellow paint here. And this is a pigment that's actually slightly opaque. Watercolor is transparent, but some pigments have the slightly opaque qualities. That means that they will cover what is below. This is important because in this case, the yellow, which is lighter than the purple, needs to go on top off. What I've painted before, and I hope that it will work with this yellow paint here. What I'm doing is I'm picking up the yellow without a lot of water. I'm trying to get a really thick paint onto my brush. And of course it helps if your yellow is pure and not dirty as my pen here is. But I'm picking it up from this side here, which is well, not as green as the rest. So I want to have really pure thick color on my brush. And I only have one shot at adding these small yellow dots here. So I want to be as precise as I can. And again, as with many of these paintings and sketching techniques, I don't want to add this everywhere. Just in the areas where I can see the flower pointing towards me. And I think this is enough to IndieCade that there's a yellow center in the middle of the flower. And I want to tell you one last aspect about foreshortening and cone-shaped flowers. So if you have a cone shape flower like this, with this very long tubular aspect, then the center of the flower is lower, so it goes inside deep into this cone. And when you draw it in a foreshortened view, you will usually see more of the cone and see the underside of the petals and off this entire cone structure and less of the upper side of the flower. Don't try to make the mistake to show the entire center of the flower as can be seen here, as we're looking on it from above. If you're drawing it from the side, you will not be able to see inside the flower. If you're drawing a cone shape flower like this, from the side or from even from the underside. So be very aware of what parts of the flower can be seen from the perspective of your drawing it in. Okay. 13. Snapdragon: Bilaterally Symmetrical Flowers: So far, we've drawn flowers that can be drawn with the help of a circle. But there are also flowers that don't really fit into a circle or another basic shape, like e.g. fox gloves are sweet peas or like the Snapdragon here. And these flowers have an upper and a lower lip, as you can see, sort of these two halves that you can, could fold together. So for these flowers, I find it's helpful to keep track of the middle x's. And this is what I've tried to respect here in my sketch. As you can see from the side, they look totally different sorts of weird. There's no symmetry at all. So you just have to go with a different angles with maybe with measuring a little bit. So what I'm doing here is I'm doing quick pencil sketch and reinforcing my line work with colored pencil. I just want you to remember that when drawing these flowers, I find, it's helpful to imagine a line that goes through the center, through the vertical center of the flower. And then from that middle, both sides of the flower are symmetrical to each other. So you could also use light parallel lines across the front of the flower to help you keep the two halves symmetrical. I'm still at it with my color pencil, so I'm using corresponding colors here to help my sketch, to help the outlines be a little bit more defined. You could also do this with ink. That's also a great technique. Or you could just leave the pencil lines as they are. So that's really your preference. I'd like to, what I'd like to do in this class. I'll show you different techniques for sketching flowers that I really like. Okay, so let's continue to the watercolor part of this. So what I'm doing with this very delicate and soft colored flower is I'm wetting the paper before I apply any color, and this will help the paint to spread around mid and chief this very soft effect. And this is a technique that you will get the best results with if you use cotton paper. For cellulose paper and more inexpensive papers, this will often result in these harsh edges when the paint dries, but It's possible to achieve this effect to just be a little bit careful with the amount of water that you add. So I've mixed a nice purple here, or at least I've tried to sometimes it's hard to get the ride. Purple color. That's just a fact of life that you will have to accept a watercolor purples, and the real peripherals of nature will never quite match. But I've tried my best to mix cobalt blue and chronic VLAN pink here to get an approximation of that purple color. I'm dropping in the paint as it's still wet. And in the next step, I can reinforce my layers and add a second layer over the areas that I've already painted. I've waited until they dry and then I can add a second layer. I'm switching to a finer brush to add these interesting very soft yellow areas to the flower. Again with a lot of water to get this really soft diluted effect. Everything about this flower seems to be soft to me, delicate. And I'm taking my time figuring out where the color has to go. And as this is drying, I can take care of the stem of the green parts of the flower. I'm also taking my time for this. So often these parts, these uninteresting cards like leaves and stems, might be overlooked when you do botanicals sketches, but I find them equally important even if the leaves are only as small as on this flower bud. Um, you need to apply the same care and precision that you apply to the other parts of your painting. I can follow my colored pencil outlines here and that's very helpful for me because I already have some sort of a color guidance. It's barely visible, It's a very light green, but it's really helpful for me. And as always, letting the layers dry and then adding the next layer. This plant has quite the long spur. It's a part of the flower itself. And now I'm adding a little bit of texture. There are these veins that are pointing towards the center of the flower. I add these with watercolor. You could also add them with your colored pencil depending on what you like better and what gets you the best results. I've forgotten one aspect of the flower and that's this bright yellow, orange.in the middle, that is sort of the entrance point for the insects when they are in search of Poland. This is a very important part of the plant. Adding it very carefully with this really fine brush size, one round brush. And all that's left to do for me now as fixing a few areas that I have forgotten to paint before. And then again, reinforcing some of the line work with colored pencil. So this is a great last step. I find. There's no real rule. What kind of tool you need to use first and you need to use later, sometimes colored pencils or a bit hard to paint over. So this is something to consider. But the ones I use, I never had any real problems. Yeah, so this is basically my finished sketch. I hope this was helpful for you for sketching bilaterally symmetrical flowers. Just adding a few last aspects of the flower. And even going back in with a brush to spread around the yellow parts a bit more. Okay. But that's it. 14. Mixing Great Colors for Flowers: In this lesson, I want to talk a little bit more about colors when it comes to mixing colors with watercolor. What to pay attention to when you doing your botanical sketches and mixing colors that have to match the color of the flower. So watercolors are a great addition for any field sketching kid for botanical sketching. And I like to bring this small pellet which has around 20 colors. And this lets me mix most colors in nature easily. And when I have the time, as you've seen, I like to add my color directly from observation because this gives the best results. But if you don't have the time, It's also possible to make just a few colors swatches in the field or from the photo and then finish the sketch later. I tried to get as close as I can with those colors. But especially vivid purples and magentas are hard to get right with the usual pigments that you might have. This year. I was painting a lot of magenta and purple colored flowers in the field, so I added additional pigments to my palette. As you can see here. This is still my current, my summer set up so to speak. Some, some colors are really hard to get right. And I find that getting the look and overall feel of a wildflower is often more important than hitting the color exactly. So nature has such an abundance and at such vivid colors that it's often just a very crude approximation what we can get out of our pigments here. So I like to work with light fast pigments and often the, especially in the magenta and the purple range, you can get very vivid and bright pigments, but they will not be light fast and I don't like to use those. So this just as a word of caution. So I've talked about a balanced palette before, and I find it's beneficial to set up a watercolor palette worth cool and warm versions of the primary colors. And that would be yellow. So a warm and a cool yellow than the red or magenta. So warm and cool. Pink and red and the blue. So I have a warm and cooler blue in this. And then I also have few greens, but not too many because I like to mix my greens from scratch if possible. And if you earth tones are also very, very helpful. Blacks, I don't use much for botanical sketching. Because if you don't have an object like maybe a dark berry that's really black, then it's often more beneficial to mix it from the existing other colors that you have. Most basic palettes that you can buy follow this approach. I've also shared a lot of this on my blog and other classes too. So if you're interested in setting up your own custom palette, then you can find definitely a lot of information out there. So I want to get into color mixing for botanical sketch a bit more. What I usually find is that the last colors I'm combining, the better and brighter mixes I will get. So let's take a look at this. Since a lot of people struggle with purples, I want to start with that. And I usually start with one of my blues here. So e.g. this is cobalt blue. And when you want to get a very soft purple, and of course you could just use, buy and use a pigment that's very close to what you can get. But as I said, some pigments are not light fast and you probably don't want to lug around all of these pigments because they can paint can be pretty expensive. So I'm all for being able to mix most of the colors with just this basic palette. For a very soft purple, I always try to mix together and add a lot of water in the process. Middle or middle blue, with this pink. And this is actually quinacridone red. This is a pigment that will be called different things from different manufacturers. Sometimes it's called ruby red or permanent rose. E.g. there's certain Bell Flower of eyelid. Something that you can get by adding very little of this permanent rose or chronic round pink to the mix. Actually, quite a bit more of, of the cobalt blue. This is not really a bright purple or anything, but I think it matches the color of the bow flour quite well. And if I add more of the pink, then I get a warmer purple because there's more red in it. This way you can adjust and try out different mixes and see if they match your floss. So what I would do is take my flower and incidentally, I have just one little flower that has a matching purple color and then start mixing and like to do these different swatches and just hope the flower next to it, or halt the swatch next to the flower if you don't want to pick it or can't pick it, and then see what happens and just be aware that the more pigments you add. So I've just added a little bit of my cerulean blue. The murkier the pigments can get. And some mixes, especially when you're using blues, will have granulating pigment. I have to say that for botanical sketches, I don't really need or want the granulating effect because often it adds a lot of texture when there's not so much texture in the flowers themselves. So let's see what happens when I do the purple mix with this very dark blues. So this is ultramarine blue, and I will just add a tiny bit of quinacridone pink to it. So this gives much more vibrant blue. This way, you can test out your pallet and see what kind of different colors you can get out of them. 15. Mixing Natural Greens and Neutrals: I also like to mix my own greens of possible because I find that much more natural than if I were just to use a given sap green or a premixed green. So I do have a sap green on my palette. This is what it looks like. And often these premixed or convenience green as they're also called, will be quite harsh and just a little bit too garish. And one instant remedy that you can come up with is mixing a little bit of red or orange into the green. And then it will just take this, this vibrancy, this intensity away, just a little bit. Not too much, or you will get a brownish color or gray. But I find this is much more interesting to look at. Now let's try to mix our own green. So I have my pure yellow here. This is quite the intense yellow, so this is quite opaque. I don't need actually a lot of it. And then I have my cobalt blue here. Watch what happens when I mix those two. So this has a lot of blue now, this mix, so it's quite a cool green. But I can either apply it with a lot of pigment in it or I can apply it as a very soft wash and look what a nice soft natural greenness is. And if I mix in more yellow, then of course the green, we'll look more yellow. And depending on the color of your leaf, you can get all kinds of different greens from these mixing experiments. And of course, you can also mix greens with other blues. So if you use ultramarine blue, which has a darker blue, then you will get darker greens. Let's just add a little bit of ultramarine blue into this existing green mix. You can see instantly that the green is much darker and also much cooler because I added in blue. And if I add back yellow, then we will get another interests in green. So as I said, I like to do these, these mixing tests, the swatches, to decide which kind of green I want to use. In some areas you might want to add just a light shadow, and especially for white flowers, you don't want to be this too overpowering, so don't just use your black or pre-existing rate, or rather you should mix your own. And an easy way to do this is to use an earth read like this burnt sienna, and then add some blue to it. I like to use a middle blue, cobalt blue. And if you mix those two in the right combination and add a lot of water to it, then you get this nice soft gray that he can use as a shadow. So you just have to dilute it enough so that it's very light. And this won't overpower your some of the very soft and delicate flowers that you might want to paint. And other times you might want to mix a really dark color that's similar to a dark gray or black. And what I do then is another mix that's pretty classic one, I use ultramarine blue, which is this beautiful dark blue. And then I add burnt sienna. You can also use a burnt umber if you like, or different earth tones. And if I add enough the right combination, then I will get this beautiful dark gray that's almost a black if you apply it in a very concentrated way. And I find that these kind of dark neutrals are. Almost blacks will be more interesting to look at. They give a little bit of texture and they're not as dead as these single black pigments. If you want to make this even darker, I do have another pigment here that's called Perlin violet mix. This in, the mix will get even darker. So of course, also a bit redder because I just added a red pigment. Experiment with this and see what kind of results you can get. See what it looks like when it's diluted. These are some of the most natural and beautiful looking rays. They are much different than any kind of free makeGray. Let me just show you. I have this small pen of, I don't even know what this is. This might be Payne's gray. And if I put this next to my mixed gray, you can see, well, yeah, It's gray, but it's not very interesting. So I usually only use these colors in my sketchbook for nature sketches when I want to paint something that is really black, like black bird or a BlackBerry. As I said. Usually I try to turn to these more natural grades instead. So these are far more interesting. I think. There's another small trick that I want to show you for adding highlights to your mixes or to your layers rather. And that's adding white gouache. So I've already shown you this and one of the lessons. But I wanted to talk about it again because it's such an integral part of my sketching activities. So what you want to do is when you fill the pen with gouache with whitewash is re-wet it in a way that you get a really thick mixture onto your brush. So right now, this has a really thick consistency and that's just what I want because this is the way that you will get an opaque application on top of any of your mixes. So, yeah, let's just try this out. You can always blot away a little bit of the moisture when you put it onto your painting rag like this. So this way it will get even thicker. Yeah, and when you want to add highlights on one of your layers, simply try to debit on. With this very concentrated paint. If you want, you can do this even directly from the tube. So if you want to take a small tube of white gouache with you or have it lying around on your desk. Then the best way simply is to go into the tube with a brush directly, slightly wet brush, and pick up the pigment. And this way you will get really concentrated thick layers of paint. But also be aware that this, in this state, it's hard to spread around. So can of course make different effects with this. And another interesting technique, if you take much of the water out of this, you can achieve this sort of dry brush effect. So this takes a little bit of practice. I'm not very good at showing it right now. But if you have more dry pigment than, than water on your brush, you can do these interesting textures. But the ratio between paint and water on your brush has to be absolutely right for this. So sometimes it helps dabbing the brush a bit. And then you can get these very interesting looking textures that can describe sort of this wide woolly film on leaves that you sometimes can see or texture on flowers. I'd like to encourage you to try out different things with your palette. Mix different colors, try getting exact colors from nature. So mixed directly. What makes the exact color that you see in front of you and see how far you can get with your pellet. If you can't seem to match the color exactly, then maybe you have to make an addition to your palette. I hope this was helpful exploration for you. It's just a few of the ways that you can achieve different mixes and different colors from your watercolor palette. 16. Add Convincing Shadows: Let's talk about how to add shadows. In sketching. Very often you can see painters use shadow colors made from blue and earth pigments. And we talked about this in the mixing lesson. And these given interesting variety ranging from cool to warm and can produce very dark shadows. And for cast shadows from building or trees or four studies, they are perfect. You can see that the shadow below this lizard is another combination of this. It's kind of bluish or purplish. And I find it works very well to give the animal and convincing shadow. But for botanical sketches and shadows that are happening directly on the object instead of somewhere in the vicinity. I find I often prefer a less prominent shadow because you don't want to overpower your delicate wildflower sketch with a dark blue shadow or a purple shadow. And I often use what I would call a botanical shadow. This means simply a slightly darker, more intense version of the color of the plant itself. For a pink flower head, this might be a darker violet or red, as you can see here and here. And for yellow flower, this might mean a darker yellow or even slightly yellow ocher mixed in. Then if we're looking at greens, this can be a slightly darker and intense green. Here's a blue plant and you can see I have placed layers of slightly darker blues to intensify areas of the plant to give the appearance of different light and shadow situations happening. Here is another example of very delicate almost white apple blossom. And I've indeed used a slightly purple shadow to indicate the flowers that are in shadow here. But I've also mixed in just the slightest hint of this rosy pink to show that there's more going on than just this bluish shadow. And for these kind of delicate flowers, you really want to be careful. If you use a darker version of the same color, this will give a certain luminosity to your sketch. And instead of just flattening it and adding dark areas to it and the plant will get a more three-dimensional feel. Here's another example with a page of these really delicate spring flowers that are, have these really subtle shadows. And I tried to add not so harsh tones, so just slightly darker purple to it. And as it happens, I still have one sketch there is sort of unfinished. And I would like to show you how I approach adding shadows to these sketches now. So I've started by mixing a very subtle, slightly darker purple mix that matches the color of the flower. While I'm applying it, I'm thinking about these soft lines that you can see on the flower. And I want to respect that and reflect that in my sketch. As I'm applying paint, I'm not just adding darker areas. I want to build up these shadows. Also want them not to be too intense and dark. Because this is a very delicate spring flower, as I've said several times. And you can see on the left side there, I almost find the concentration of the pigment too dark and too harsh. And in fact, our blotted out later a little bit. For now, I'm applying the paint in these flicking motions to really get these the soft, delicate lines across. I'm working my way around the flower, adding more intensity to some of the layers and then taking, also taking away, I've plotted away the paint on the left a little bit. And all in all, I think this gives the flower a nice, lifelike look without overwhelming it with dark paint. Here's another example, and I've chosen this because adding shadows to yellow can be a bit tricky. So I'm mixing yellow ocher and a bit of a pure yellow. And I'm applying the paint with almost with a dry brush methods. So very, very carefully so that I don't overwhelm the already existing sketch. And I also try to match my I'm brush motions to the form of the plant. So I'm thinking of the roundness as I apply the paint when in doubt, don't add too much in the beginning. You can always intensify the color later. And this is what I'm doing to the green shadow here to match it to the more intense yellow shadow of the sketch. 17. Examples for Different Textures: I would also like to show you how you can achieve interesting textures in your sketches. So texture can help to refine your flower sketch and make it more interesting. Don't just add details everywhere, only in areas that you want to focus on or that you want to make more interesting and bring the eye of the viewer to look at. So textures can be achieved with drawing tools or with painting tools, and often follow this mixed media approach and use whatever gives me the best effect, whether that's white gouache or colored pencil, or maybe even just different layers of watercolor. Ink and pencil I'll use for very crisp line work and watercolor for building up color. And then I often have colored pencil or gel pen or a little bit of whitewash for highlights and textures. And you can see here in this sketch, I simply left out some areas to achieve this illusion of having a shiny leaf on the flower. So you could also use blue or white highlights. Like I did in this sketch. I added a little bit of white, I believe it was colored pencil. Show that this leaf is shiny and has highlights and the CRISPR, the highlights, the shinier the leaf comes across. Here's another example for a very easy way to show texture by doing a few simple pencil strokes to show the hairiness of the stem. You could also do this by adding a dry brush effect if you have very little paint on your brush and then do these little flicks with a brush. You can also show the dryness of an area or of a leaf or a stem. Another thing that you could show is the bumpiness of the leaf. So if you paint in the shadows that are caused by the bumps and pick out just a few highlights along the edge or across the leaf, then the leaf will appear bumpy and structured and be careful to not to apply this everywhere. It will look slightly mechanical if you do. This is really the case for all of these textures that you can add. Be very careful with the sort of special effects. Another thing that I often like to include is showing damaged or wilted or nibbled on leaves because they make the sketch more interesting. And they might give you also information about other species or about other animals that live in the vicinity, or maybe even about the season. I found there's much more interesting than just drawing a perfect flower. 18. Leaves: Drawing Basics: Let's talk about drawing leaves. So drawing a flat leaf like this is easy enough. You sort of start with a center line here with this mid vein. And then you simply try to add the parts around the left and the right side, often symmetrical. And from there you can add more veins that are coming out of the middle vein. And if you're drawing leaves, you don't always have to add each single vein, so It's alright to just sketch a few of them and let the brain take care of the rest, so to speak. And if, if you have this rough outline, then you can also add in the small indentations that you can see. Refine the outline a little bit, depending on what the leaf actually looks like. So this doesn't have too many bumps and serrations, but I'm sure you get the idea. So drawing and leave from above. Drawing a flat leaf is quite easy. But what about leaves in different angles like this arrangement here? This might actually be a bit more complicated. And what I find helpful is to look at the center line of the leaf. So this middle vein here. I try to think about this as a line moving through three-dimensional space. When drawing leaves, I actually like to start with this, with this middle vein, with a center vein, just like I did with the flat leaf. And then I add the simple shapes and curves around it to show the direction of the leaf. So let me show you what I mean. I start with a center line. In relation to that. I add both sides of the leaf. And then from there I can add the other leaves. So there's this big leaf behind it. And again, I will start with the center line. Then I can add on the left and the right side, and then maybe even some smaller veins. So after placing these main shapes, you can go on and add smaller indentations or bumps or serrated edges like I did for this leaf here. And also pay close attention to the center line of folded or foreshortened leaves like this one here. So I can see a bit of the ulna side of this leaf and I know that the center line, so it's coming toward me. And I need to figure out how to draw this. This center line is mid vein should be one continuous stroke, even if you can't see all of it. I find it helpful to imagine that you can see through the different planes of a leaf to see the ulna side and the rest of the leaf and then construct the leaf edge around it. You can always erase this later. So I know I can see the ulnar side, I can see the middle vein and I know it continues like this. Now I can draw it in the inner side that's matching up with the rest of the middle vein here. And then I can add in the rest of the leaf, just like this. It looks good to me. Now there's another smaller leaf down here that I will insert. That's pretty straightforward. And then I will have to figure out how to place this leaf. So this is also coming to what me a little bit. I wonder where to place. It may be like this. And again, I will start with the middle vein. And I will actually take a measurement of this because it's quite short, so it's coming toward me. I have to show this somehow in my drawing. So don't be fooled by the actual length of belief when it's foreshortened, it might be actually a very short line that you're drawing. It has a bit of a nibbled edge here. And then it goes on something like this. We can see a little bit of the stalk and then the rest of the leaf continuous. So let's draw the next pair of leaves. So I have my center line again. And from there I can see the upper side of the leaf. And from my perspective, just a little bit of the lower side. So I need to respect this. I know that my center line disappears somewhere here, will be overlapped. I know it has to continue like this. If I draw the other side of the leaf too. So let's do this one more. Not as part of this complex, leaf-shaped, but as a single leaf here. So you start with your mid vein and then you add one of the sides. And maybe add the part of the other side where it's overlapping. And remember, all of the lines have to come together at this point, at the end. This is where you live, has to sort of where everything has to come together at the end. And then when you're done with this main structure, you can reinforce it by adding texture, adding color. Usually leaves are a bit lighter on the underside. So this might help if you're adding color. So just be aware of this. When you're drawing folded or foreshortened leaves, that the mid vein always should be one continuous stroke, even if you can't always see it. 19. Leaves: Adding Realistic Color: As a next step, I want to show you how I add color to my leaves and I want to keep this nice and loose. So I really want to take advantage of the watercolor technique here. I've pre-mixed a few different green tones. One that's slightly warmer and has more yellow in it, but can be adjusted with a little bit of cobalt blue very easily. And then I have one mix that's slightly lighter and cooler and that's for the underside of the leaves. And often undersides of leaves have a lighter color to them. Of course, a lot of this depends on the light and shadow and how it falls onto your leaves. There you could see I've just added a little bit of cobalt blue so that I get a darker, cooler green tone. And in this way, I try to paint with a very, very wet wash. I tried to paint the inside of my leaf. I try to leave the midrib white so that it's a bit lighter than the surrounding leaf color. What I want to achieve in this first step is have a good first approximation, a nice, intense first wash that I can build upon. I don't plan to do too many layers for these leaves because I don't want to overwork them. I want to keep everything really loose. And for this, I'm using a lot of color in the first wash. So you can see me making strange lines with my brush. And these are the darker edges of the leaf and the middle bulges up and then you have a brighter section of the leaf. This kind of color change is important to show where the leaf has these bulges and these ripples. And I tried to include this from the first layer. Of course, the watercolor pigments will still do their thing and things will probably look a bit different when the paint layer is dry. But I still have this good base layer that I can work on later. So I'm trying to have a few darker areas and lighter areas. And if this is something that I can see when the paint has dried them, this is a great base to work on. I've added more yellow to my green mix. So I'm basically adjusting my green as I go. I don't I rarely use premixed greens and if I do, then I make sure to add yellow and blue in, and often just a slight bit of red or brown. And this has the effect that the green will look a bit more natural if you sort of break the intensity of the paint a bit. I'm using the opportunity, the paint is still wet so I can drop in more pigment, making certain areas a bit darker and also a bit cooler due to the blue. As I'm painting, I'm taking care that I don't paint two areas next to each other that are still wet because I don't want them to blend together. And so I let things dry before I apply the paint layer for the underside of the leaf or the smaller leaves in the middle and also for the stalk. This way, I can make sure that I have nice crisp edges and this is what I want for my leaves to be readable as single leaves. For these lighter areas. I'm using the light mix that I've prepared and I've added buff titanium to this, which is a slightly opaque light cream color. And this gives these areas this soft muted effect that I'm going for here. And again, I'm letting everything dry. And as the last step, I just want to reinforce some of the lines with colored pencil. I could go over this again with watercolor. But as I've mentioned before, the colored pencil and the fine tip, let me be very specific with where I add color, where I want to reinforce lines. I'm a big fan of this mixed media approach for sketching. I'm changing my colored pencil to slightly darker green to show the edges, the leaves edges in the foreground. And this also helps the three-dimensionality. I'm also adding the small spikes on the side of the leaf, giving the entire structure a bit more texture, a bit more visual interest. I'm going back and forth between colored pencil and additional watercolor layers here. And what I'd want to do in this step is emphasize the darker greens a bit more. And I'm doing this with a fairly concentrated mix of a cool dark green, which I've added a lot of blue to. And I'm going over the areas where I see shadows, where I see this darker green color. I'm being mindful of the small veins that I can see on the leaves. I know that I can bring out this effect a bit more with colored pencil later. But if I'm mindful of these areas now, then this spasming a little bit of additional work. And in some areas of the leaf there will be soft edges and the soft gradients. And I try to blend them with a clean brush that spreads the pigment around until there's only the soft edge and not a really harsh edge. I work my way around on all the leaves with this technique. I tried to keep my brush strokes fresh and spontaneous so that this doesn't look to overwork. This is always a danger when working on leaves because they have so many intricate lines and pumps and textures. But I don't want this to be too hard and worked on. So as a last step, again, everything has dried. I'm adding a little bit of yellow glaze. And with this, I just want to bring out the bright areas of the leaves a bit more. Again, I take time for each leaf and observe it very closely. And now as the true last step, I switch again to my colored pencil. And I just want to bring out some of the edges, some of the more defined areas to make sure that they're really crisp looking. Also want to add a little bit of texture, reinforce some of the veins that I can see. In this step, I'm adding detail and interest to my leaf painting here. I don't want to put emphasis everywhere. I just want to bring out a few areas that I think might be interesting or areas that are in the foreground that should catch the eye, so to speak. And so yeah, just some of the areas that need a little bit more work. This stage, it's important to find one point at which you should stop because it's really a lot of fun to add all of these textures. But you still need to make sure that you don't overwork your sketch. 20. Wild Oregano: Loose but Precise: In this demo, I want to show you another example of a flower that seems very complex, but can also be sketched very loosely. And this is wild oregano. This is a wildflower that has many dense clusters of really small flowers. And, um, yeah, instead of sketching every little detail and every little flower, I'm going for a more loose approach. I'm grouping the elements together. And yeah, as you can see, I've switched from pencil to colored pencil as I think. This will also speed up the process a little bit more. I'm drawing my outlines with different colors. And overall, I'm just trying to get the characteristic of this right. And this can be achieved in the best way by studying how the flowers work, how these clusters are arranged and how the single elements are built up. While I'm drawing this, I'm still thinking about the roundness of these flower clusters, about the foreground and the background. What I want to bring to the front, what should stay in the bag and maybe be more pale. So bit by bit, I'm building up my line work here. And I try to be precise but still lose. So I don't worry about each individual shape. I just try to get the likeness of the shapes. And to be honest, what helps here is that I've sketched this particular flower a few times before and also my reference is not really that good. I'm, I'm drawing this from the same reference that you can see in the upper corner there. And it is not really that much focused on the details. So this is not a macro photography and I can turn the flower in my hand as I'm drawing this and take a closer look at these really small, delicate single flower parts. So I have to be content with this approximation of the flower that I can give here in my sketch. As precise as it will get. I'm now mixing my paint colors and proceed with the first layer of watercolor. I tried to premix most of the colors that I will need. A cooler green, a warmer green, and then this muted red green made from perylene violet and the existing green that I have. So far, these tiny stocks, I'm using my very small brush. And this is another concept that I want to make you familiar with. For loose sketches, you don't always have to use very big brushes. I'm doing all of this with a size one brush here. This is of course, also due to the very delicate and fill the nature of the plan that I'm sketching. So in the reference image There's a lot of sunlight, a lot of harsh contrast. But I don't want this in my sketch. I want to unify the colors a bit more. So e.g. I'm using kind of the same green for almost every leaf that I will paint. This sort of pale green that is more on the blue side. And as it happens, this is the color that you will get for this plant in neutral lighting without a lot of sunlight. So this is what I'm going for here. And two or three leaves can look a bit different, maybe a little bit warmer. I'm painting this in right now. And this is okay, but I don't want these harsh edges that you can see in the reference. When you're mixing and applying Green's, I always find it useful to add a little bit of red or a little bit of Earth or orange to reduce the brightness and the garish ness of the green color. Particularly when you use premix greens. I'm painting in the darker parts of the flower cluster here. So these little sepals pretty much with diluted Perlin violet. As I said, this is a really useful color. And as I'm doing this, I'm trying to think about the shape that I know these elements have, but I'll also try to look for interesting shapes that I can see in my reference. I don't want this to look pasted on. I'm also adding a few areas with more contrast to have this sort of three-dimensional effect again. One layer and then let this dry and then adding another layer on top of it. I'm doing this for all of the elements. The stock, of course, which also has the same unknown tones of red. And I'm spending a bit more time on this and also on the leaves again. And then I'm ready to paint in the flowers. This is just a personal strategy of mine. I always try to leave the most fun part for last, so that I have something to look forward to with my sketch. I'm going in with a very diluted pink mix here and with, as with the other areas, I'm building up the darker parts in several layers bit by bit, and also try to leave as many whitespaces and lose areas as I can because I don't want to paint in single flowers. I want to show the entire cluster of flowers. And as I'm looking at my reference, I'm squeezing my eyes slightly. This makes it easier to see the light and dark areas and the contrasts. And as I'm adding layers on top, I'm using more concentrated paint so that the areas that are in the front and also slightly in the shadow appear darker. So this is what I want to achieve. I want generally more detail and more contrast. The front and then more diluted areas, less detailed areas in the back of the flower. And this makes for a pretty nice three-dimensional effect. So the sketch still looks quite loose. And I like this. I wanted to stay like this, but I want to add a few last details with colored pencils. I'm going in with this yellow pencil here and add just a tiny bit of line work to add a few more interesting contrasts and things to look at. So this is basically it, wild oregano in a very loose watercolor style. 21. Extra: Botanical Terms: In this lesson, I want to introduce you to a few botanical terms. And I've included this part as an extra lesson because it is not absolutely necessary to know any botanical terms to produce a good sketch. But it can be very helpful. And usually there is a section in front of most field guides which explains botanical terms and can help you identify wildflowers and also tell them apart from similar flowers. And as you can see that as a huge variety of different leaf and flower forms that you don't have to memorize. However, a bit of knowledge about the basic parts of a plant will come in handy. Plants come in an amazing diversity in shape, size, and color. So the majority of plants are flowering plants called angiosperms. Flowering plants usually have one part above ground, which is the chute consisting of a stem and leaves and buds and flowers, and a part below the ground, which is the root system. There are many variants of this basic structure, which you can see here. So the structure of a flower can be broken down like this. There are the sepals, which are a series of modified, often green leaves. And this is this part here, this part, and also this part. And these are for the protection of the inner part of the flower. Then there are the petals. These are also modified leaves and they are usually colored and make up the Corolla. And this is what we would classically identify as the flower itself. So this colorful part here, these are the petals. So many petals come in color and have prominent lines or dots to attract pollinators. These kind of landing strips that lead into the center of the flower. This is where the nectar producing organs are located at the bottom of the petals. Then we have the stamens. These are the male organs of the flower. And each statement has Poland at the tip, which form the anthers of fertile parts of the stamen. And then you have this stock, this is called the filament. Then we have the female organs of the flowers, and they are called the carpals. They are composed of one or several ovules in an ovary. Then we have a stock which is called style. And at the top there's receptive tube called stigma. And this is the part that collects the pollen from the anthers during pollination. Pollination is usually achieved by insects and even birds or bats. And this is what sets the production of seeds and motion. The entire function of the flower, if you want. Polynomials are often attracted by sight or smell and the flower nectar can be an important food source for them. During the feeding process, pollinators inadvertently carry pollen from one flower to the next, and this is what sets the pollination in motion. Now also, when pollinating plants, they don't need any beautiful flowers or nectar, and they have perfected their structure to disperse and collect Poland through the wind. The anthers, the male parts of those plants produce vast amounts of light pole and that can be transported by air. And the female part, the stigma is often rather feathery, which a huge, a huge surface to collect the pollen and grasses and many trees are an example for this. There is an amazing variety of leaf shapes that I won't even try to get into and explain. And you can refer to field guides if you want to learn more. All of the names are explained in there and you don't need to memorize each name to draw leaves. Well, but if you're interested in that, there's definitely the possibility that you can learn all of these different names. But still, leaves are definitely not to be overlooked as they can often give very important hints to identify a flat. Plus they are fun to draw. The green pigment chlorophyll absorbs sunlight and produces carbohydrates, which is sugar through photosynthesis. This is a fascinating process. On some leaves you can see the green pigment because it is masked by red or orange pigments, like in this plant here. And they are also white or cream colored plants that don't produce chlorophyll at all. Those plants rely on a parasitic relationship with other species of fungi are trees and leaves often flat, with a central midrib from which additional veins branch out forming a dense network that can distribute water and food. This way, instruction can be hard to render and often it's not necessary to show it in its entirety, but to simply indicate it. Many leaves have different looking upper and lower side and they can often curl to prevent water loss. And this way show both sides to the observer. The leaf is connected to the stem through the leaf stalk. And often there will be a small bud right at the connection point. But since leaves and plants are so different, there is really, it's really the best strategy to observe very closely each individual plant that you're dealing with. 22. Field Sketching vs Photo References: In this lesson, I want to talk a little bit about why I go fueled sketching. A lot of people asked me this because it might seem illogical to go out, sit in an uncomfortable place affected by wind and weather, and then try to sketch this tiny little plant in front of you while you're bitten by insects and burned by the sun. So still, a big part of my wildflower sketching happens in the field directly in front of the flower. And sketching on location, for me, is an exhilarating and very calming activity at the same time, if you can believe this. And I have lots of wonderful memories and lots of sketchbooks from my days of sketching outside. I remember each of these days when I look through my sketchbooks and the wind and the sounds around me, the feeling of being surrounded by nature. This is simply the best thing of all. Studying the flowers, getting closer to them through sketching, this is just priceless for me. So you don't have to go far to try this out to experience these little sketching adventures. If you want to try this, then just try out session in the park, bring your sketchbook, bring a pencil, and just go to a field outside your town. This will also do the trick. They are wildflowers to explore everywhere and often in the most unusual places. And I would also like to make a case for sketching directly from a plant and set of sketching from a photo. So if you're working solely from photos at home, which is totally fine, It's very cozy, very practical. I often do it when I'm illustrating a plan. It can have its disadvantages. So photos can bring distortions with them both and both in perspective and in colors. And you will not be able to rotate your subject to look at it from all sides like I did. And many of the demonstrations where I showed you how different flowers can look if you turn them around. How great it is to be able to do such a thing, like taking a closer look, turning a petal. This is really priceless. If you have the flower directly in front of you, he can do all of these things. You can't do this with a photograph. You will simply get the best understanding of a flower by sketching it from life. So I would like to encourage you definitely give it a try if you haven't already. It's a really fun activity. I will share a few more practical tips for field sketching and another lesson. But let me just add, I find nothing wrong about working from photos. If you, if you keep some aspects in mind. As I said, I work all the time from photographs when I have to finish illustrations for plants that maybe aren't in season or animals that I've never seen. This happens all the time. So you just need to be aware of the problems that photos can bring and how you can avoid copying them into your sketch. And even if you do that, it's not the end of the world. So enjoying the sketching process is really the most important thing, and this is really what matters, I think. So if you have started your sketch in the field and maybe have run out of time, then definitely take photos of the plant that you've been sketching or do these little color swatches like I did here. And then just finish the sketch at home in peace at your desk. What photos or greater are details and textures. These are often easier to see from reference photos. So if you have a close up or a macro photograph of the detail of a plant that in reality is only this small as often happens with these very detailed pockets like on this page here, then you will be happy that you might have a photo that you can blow up really big. And then you can see details you wouldn't have discovered without it. So just be aware of the possibilities and limitations that flower photography can bring with it. And just be aware of what you copy into your sketches. 23. Field Sketching Trip pt1: Bellflower: Supposed to be a lake here. Let's take a look. Yeah. That's actually quite beautiful here. Look at all that green stuff. I've decided to just sit down here on a log near the lake and sketch some of the local workflows around me. And I think they will fit nicely onto the rest of the page. And then I will have this nice spread with these two landscapes and then a few of the local flowers. So this has worked out without me even thinking about it. So I will fill this part of the page with some of these beautiful flowers here that abandoned around me. Okay, Just a tiny, tiny bit of color here. I'm just adding a very light layer that I'm going to let dry. And then I will go over the darker areas again. Bring out a bit more of the three-dimensionality of this thing. The buds. We will just get very tiny bit of color. And I suspect this will not be easy to see for you, so I apologize about the lighting. So I thought it would be nice to have a little bit more precision and definition in the line work. So I took out my, one of my fountain pens that I have with me. I can't reach it. And I added a few lines. I added a little bit of ink. 24. Field Sketching pt2: Clover: Onto the next flower. Not myself to pick this one to make things just a little bit easier. Now, I will have to find a nice perspective. How about this? If I put this one here, then I might fit third clamped down here. You know what? I might actually try. Since I have my yellow fountain pen with me, I thought it might be nice. Just use it for the outlines. And that way I won't need to erase anything. I want me to really find any lines. So this is a type of clover that I don't know the English name of, but it's very popular with butterflies. I don't think I will see any butterflies today because of the weather. Unfortunately, I also have green fountain pen. Very handy, I have to say. And of course, the big advantage to drawing directly if directly from life, is that if you have your subject in front of you, you don't have to pick the flower to do this. You can just slightly turn it and take a closer look at it and see how it's built. And your sketches will make so much more sense if you do this. I promise you it's really worth all the hassle. Okay, I'm going to shorten the stem tiny bit so that I can show the leaf. So that's the only bad thing about ink. That you can't really make any corrections. It forces you to be very precise with your line work from the get-go. And again here, I don't want to do too much. I just want to add very little amount of paint so that I don't overwork this. The nice thing about this sketch now is that I have really crisp and clear lines. Actually have to do too much. It's like, almost like painting by numbers. Now as these bottom parts of the clover that are slightly less intense. And then these really beautiful golden yellow tops. I'm slightly darkening the leaves you with a mix of ultra marine and pure yellow. 25. Field Sketching pt3: Wild Strawberry: And the last element I'm going to sketch is something very nice that I just encountered while I was sitting here. Wild strawberry here. And I don't have red fountain pen with me. So I'm just going to do this sketch with my pencil. There's one small element I'd like to change. I will put the berry on this side because I just think it will look nicer if the berry points in Ward instead of to the outside. So I will just turn this around, hold it like this, and then I can have you can get a very good view on what this would look like if it was jammed into the other direction. So don't be afraid to make little adjustments like this. If it makes your sketch better than that's totally okay. So of course, the most important thing here is the red. I don't really have a nice place to put any words. I have to clean one area. This really intense, isn't it? Yeah, let's make it a little bit darker. This is very nice. And as with the other sketches, I will keep this quite loose. I want to pull the pigment on the right side because this is what's pointing down. So this is subtle, subtle way to show a shadow and three-dimensionality. Now for this one, whoops, just going to do a light green wash. I don't have a really beautiful green here right now, so I'll have to make snap too. Yeah, I think this will do. I'm just going to add a very pale green wash. And when that's dry, I can add few red dots on top. Got to be careful because paint is bleeding a bit. Again, for these green parts, I could get out my green fountain pen. To be honest, I never too lazy to do that right now. I would have to shift and shuffle and high. Just don't I'm happy that the camera is where it is. Okay. I hope this is sufficiently dry for me to add a little bit of contrast here and there. Okay. I think this will do. Show you the entire page. I think I'm happy with it. Um, um, yeah, I'm going to eat this strawberry now. Delicious. So this is how the page turned out. I think I will add a little bit of texts and description and maybe some notes when I'm back at home. But for now, I'm going to leave it at this. 26. Extra: Practical Tips for Field Sketching: I probably have mentioned some tips for field sketching here and there before and the lessons, but I think it's a good thing to bring them all together in one lesson. And just as an aside, I had planned to do this lesson outside and directly in the field. But a less, the weather has been awful and it has been raining. Well, it finally has been raining, which I'm very happy about. But that means that I will have to record this lesson in the studio at home. I will show you my gear that I bring for each field sketching trip and also show you some of the tips and tricks that make my life easier when I'm sketching outside. These are all of the things that I bring forward. Typical sketching session in nature. And I will go over every little thing in a minute. I just want to make you aware that if you go to sketch in nature, this is not the same as sketching at home, in your studio or at your desk where you have all your tools nearby where it's really comfortable. So sit. So you need to prepare a little bit to make this a fun experience. If you prepare really well, this will leave you with more time and energy to create great sketches, and this is what we all want in the end. So sketching flowers is relatively easy, I would say because the flowers really just sit in one place. They don't run away. They wait patiently for you to be finished with your sketch. But nonetheless, you need a little bit of preparation to be successful as a field sketcher. So when you pick your sketching bag or backpack, the challenge is to include everything that might be practical but notch to pack too many things. Um, I will show you the backpack that I bring, and it's not a big backpack, It's a day pack, so it doesn't hold too many things. And I'm quite happy with that because this means I don't bring any unnecessary stuff. So it's best to bring materials that you like that you're comfortable with and you shouldn't add too many tools with the thought of, oh, I might need that. Because first you probably won't need it. And second, you can always try out new stuff at home. I've made the experience that I usually only need a very minimal equipment, or I've already shown you my tools and the tools section. This is pretty much all of my painting equipment. I fit this into the small backpack that I just showed you. And yeah, I mean, this is my painting stuff, a water container, and my palette. This pencil role holds all of my pencils, my brushes, and some additional pens. So I will just very quickly show you again that these are all of my tools that are used for painting and sketching outside. And the rest of the things I bring just to make my life a little bit easier. I just realized when I was editing this video that I had forgotten. The most important tool of all, that is my sketchbook. Just imagine that this is included with all of the other tools on the table. This is a Roger large sketchbook. It's almost a four. I think this is about the size of an iPad. And as you have seen in my sketching sessions, as lets me add pretty detailed sketches and I have a lot of place in it. I really liked this sketch book. It's self-made. This is just the addition that I wanted to make to luteal section because without a sketch book, the sketching kit wouldn't be complete. The rest of the things are just stuff to make my life a little bit easier. So what else do I bring a little bit to drink and to eat, because when you're outside, when you're moving around, then you absolutely need a little bit of water, especially when you're spending a few hours outside in the sun, then you need to have something to drink and a little bit of sustenance. Another thing that I use every time when I'm outside is this little mad. So basically it's just a piece of isolating sleeping mat that I used to sit on when I'm on a meadow or sometimes even when I'm on a bench when it's wet. This has really come in handy and I'm really glad that I take it with me. It's feather light. So I don't even have to think twice about bringing this. Another tool that has really come in handy is this umbrella. And whenever the sun is out and I'm sketching out to sign it, Then I typically open this umbrella and sit under it. And this is not so much for myself because I always have this head on when I'm out in the sun. And you should definitely also bring ahead with you when you're outside sketching. But this umbrella, it protects my paper from the sunlight. And this is so that my eyes don't have to adapt to the harsh sunlight. That is, when the, when the sun hits the paper, then things get really bright and this can be really irritating when you're sketching outside. So I like to shield my paper from the sun Whenever I can. Sometimes. It's also an option just to sit down in the shadow and then you won't have this problem. But of course, the umbrella can also help you to get protection from the rain. But as I said, I already have my trusty head for this. And another thing that I typically bring even in the summer is just a very lightweight rain jacket. Then I also have this little fanny pack and I typically carry my phone or my camera and my money in this. So this is for quick access for all of the things that I might suddenly need when I'm out, walking or sitting down to sketch. That's essentially it. These are all of the tools that I typically bring to a sketching session outsider, I've heard that the less you have to carry, the less decisions you have to make in the field, and the more you can concentrate on your subject, on the artwork. And you will also be less likely to lose anything. I never bring any expensive brushes and pencils on field trips for that reason because I have lost stuff in the field and it's, it's not a very pleasant experience. And another important factor for me is to make sure I'm comfortable. I bring weather protection, I bring some food and water, and I ring the setting med especially sometimes I even carry one of these little folding stools. Um, I find that in the summer, I don't meet them as often, but if you do have issues with your knees are joints and there aren't a lot of benches in the area where you want to sketch then one of these little folding stools as well-worth the weight that you need to carry. One interesting thing about sketching outside is that it will make you aware that you are surrounded by nature are very, very quickly. And there will be insects and wind and sun and rain and uncomfortable tree stumps and changing light. And you might have seen this in some of my field sketching lessons where I had to bet all these things and on top had to film some of that. And this is the real thing. But you can plan ahead and make the experience as comfortable as you can by preparing well. One additional tip I have about this whole field sketching adventure is that I always try to start and finish at least one sketch very early in the day or in the sketching session. And that way, I will then relax afterwards and can explore for the rest of the day and try out new things. And it doesn't matter as much because I have one sketch them, I've won one thing finished. That means I will more naturally gravitate towards sketching more, but it doesn't really matter because I've, one thing that I've done on that day, I often combined my sketching with a bit of walking or hiking. When I've finished sketch or an entire page, even then, I will often explore the area for more nice spots. For Russia yourself if the circumstances prevent you from completing your sketch. So we've talked about methods that can help you to finish sketches back at home, maybe taking photographs or making color swatches. And you can always finish your sketch at home. You don't have to do everything out in the field if the outside conditions don't allow for that. I'd also, I'd like to say that it's absolutely fine to only focus on one subject, one flower, or maybe just one aspect of it. It can be fun to return to the same spot a few weeks later and then add some information to it and find out how the flower has changed. That is absolutely fine and above all, try to make fields sketching as relaxing and fun as can be, because this is the time to connect with and be a part of nature. And this is what makes it really worthwhile. 27. Extra: Sketching Cherry Blossoms: In this video, I will show you how I sketch cherry blossoms in pencil and watercolor in a very loose style. And I'm starting here with the approximation of the leaf. So I'm putting down those loose strokes to get a better grasp of the outlines and the rough layout of the leaf structure. I'm taking my time to closely observe and I'm keeping my lines light. And at some point I jump in and commit to some bolder lines like for those hanging blossoms here. And I tried to think about those blossoms as discs that point in two directions. So I try to imagine how they work out spatially. So I draw these circles and different perspectives that in DKA, the round form of the blossom. And by visualizing how these volumes sit in space and can be translated onto the page. I can convey a better sense of perspective and of three-dimensionality of those blossoms. And it might seem insignificant because these are organic forms. These are not houses or streets where I need to, need to keep a certain perspective to make them work at all. But it definitely makes a difference. And it's a good practice to do this even for these kinds of subjects. So it really helps flushing out the leaves more. Adding the small serrations at the edges of the leaves, which also helps define them and show what actually what species this is. Bit by bit. I'm observing and exploring the entire cherry tweak here. And now I'm starting to observe a bit closer how these petals actually overlap. So my, my circle, my loose line circle helps me a bit with this to keep inside of the shape. And I can just do those very loose pencil lines here. Often with these overlapping elements, it can be helpful to work from the front to the back so that you draw in the elements in the front first and then gradually add those that are in the back. And this way you don't have to erase that much. You will simply forego those lines that in the bag and that you can't really see. But in the planning stage, it's really fine to do all these loose shapes and overlap them. This is usually no problem. Yeah. And here you can see I'm doing this round motion again, how I'm trying to complete the circle and fit the flower into the circle. And I'm doing this for all of the flowers that I want to add to this sketch. So this one is seen a bit more from the front, makes it easier for me to draw. I can also see more of the insights of the flower. So this also a lot of fun to draw and to add lots of details. Also try to be mindful about the line quality in this sketch. So bolder lines in the front, more delicate lines in the back. And where I can see the form is maybe influenced by light or is very, very delicate like in these blossoms here. This is also a good strategy to keep in mind for your sketches. With my pencil sketch finished, I can switch to watercolor and the first thing I'll do is mix some green for the leaves. I want to have a yellowish light green. I'm doing this by mixing sap green and my Winsor yellow to get this kind of nice spring green for the fresh cherry leaves that I have. And when I start to apply it with sort of a middle sized brush, maybe a size four brush. And I try to stay within my pencil lines so that it doesn't look too sloppy, loose, but not sloppy and still precise up to a point. And I'm already trying to see which leaves are in the back, which are maybe a bit darker and shadow. And as long as the paint is in a wet wash, the colors blend nicely into each other so I can lay down this thin layer, this first thin layer. And another thing I tried to do here is leave a few white areas in my wash so I don't just fill up the entire outline or the inside of the outline with paint, but I tried to leave areas white or lighter where I can see the sunlight is maybe hitting that leaf or where there needs to be a highlight. And then I go in here with this sort of muted orange, which has a bit of yellow ocher and add. And this is for these tips for. Just freshly unfolded leaves of the cherry. So very interesting color that you don't see so often and leaves, the stems are also of this light green and the middle of the blossom to, as I progress, I adjust my green mix a bit so these leaves are slightly darker, shadow. So I've added a little bit of cobalt blue to the mix. And just try to keep everything really loose, really playful. Don't want to overwork these. As the first layer has dried, I can go back in with slightly more intense color, so I've adjusted the dilution of the paint. I've added a bit more pigment and also darker pigment. So again, I use the sap green and maybe just a little bit less yellow. Then I can go in and sort of structure their leaves a little bit and show the veins and show interesting areas. Maybe where there's a shadow or where there's an edge that I want to pick out. I'm jumping back and forth between the different areas of my sketch, adjusting it as I compare it with the reference here. So again, I'm taking my time for this just because it's loose doesn't mean you have to be quick or sloppy in your application of paint. So it just means that you can be a bit more mindful about how you apply your pain and how you use the brush. I've switched to the dark red areas of the blossoms. And this is mixed from perylene violet on my palette and a tiny bit of red on rows. So I like the contrast of the cherry blossoms of this base that has this dark red tone and the light pink of the blossoms. And I want to make sure that this will really pop out in Sketch. Again, I'm adding this color everywhere in my sketch where I can see it. Almost sort of like a paint by numbers. But yeah, like sketching and painting is always observing and then readjusting what you've painted and observing again and this back and forth. It's an ongoing process and sometimes you go a little too far in one direction and then you have to adjust your painting again. This term here also has this perylene violet color. And after letting everything dry, I'm now ready to mix the pink color for the blossoms. So I'm just using from neck around roles with a lot of water to make it nice and soft. And again, I try to leave some areas white. I don't just fill out the entire blossom with paint, but I tried to leave highlights and lighter areas and also add darker areas like those unopened blossoms here that have this sort of darker pink color. So I add less diluted wash here with more intense pink pigment. Again, I'm working my way through the entire twig with a very loose diluted wash and plenty of whitespace. And in some of the areas that are a bit darker, I drop in paint that spreads around nice and loosely. And in other areas that are already dry. I add a second darker layer to show the edges and the overlap of the petals a bit better. And also the darker areas where I add more contrast by adding the darker paint. And I define the edges of the bats a bit more. And overall, the sketch is taking really nice shape. It's looking three-dimensional, looks like light and dark areas are well-defined and I wish I almost wish I had I had stopped at that point because now I'm going in to define a few more shadows. How you've just seen me mix a shadow color with cobalt blue and the middle red. And now I'm applying this to the areas where I have, where I can see your shadow. Somehow looking back on this and seeing the result later, I'm not entirely convinced this was the right thing to do. Maybe it was just the color of the shadow or maybe the entire decision to add a shadow. But I don't really like it as much as the contrasty, vibrant version that I had here in this, in this stage. I'm still showing this to you because I want to teach you that sometimes we make these mistakes and there's always the potential that you can learn from this and adapt for the next painting that you do. And so I don't think this is a fail sketch or anything. But I know now that I have to be a bit careful with these kinds of shadows for very delicate flowers. So another thing that I add with this almost opaque yellow here are the middle parts of the flowers stamen, which is bright yellow. I really find this in all parts of the flowers where I can see it. And also add a bit more opacity with this zone blue young. To redefine those inner parts, those very delicate parts of the flower. And after that has dried, I add a bit more contrast with more dark parts. So again, it's a constant juggle to adjust the contrast of a painting and the value structure by comparing it and observing again and again how these different values play together. Also for those dark red pods, I still add another layer and just a few areas. And of particular interests are these sort of shadowy creases in the flowers themselves where I can see into the creases of the petals. And the last step I take is I really find my pencil lines a bit more and restate some of those interesting dynamic lines that the lease and blossoms are taking. Yeah. And this is the finished sketch. 28. Your Project + Final Thoughts: I'd love to see your botanical sketches and wildflowers. Please create a project with one of the techniques or ideas that I've shown in the class and upload your work to the project gallery to share your results with the other students. And with me. I hope you've had lots of fun in this class and have gotten lots of inspiration for sketching wildflowers. Let me know what you like best and what kind of wildflowers are in bloom right now in your area. And as an idea, how cool would it be to build a kind of botanical library in the project section, everyone could share their sketch of their favorite local Wildflower. If you want to be notified about more classes like this, then follow me here on Skillshare. I'd also be happy if you left a positive review for the class because your feedback means really a lot to me. Thank you very much. I hope that this was a useful class for you and I'll see you very soon. Bye.