Flower Painting & Pattern + Abstract Art & Japanese Inspiration | Karina E. | Skillshare

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Flower Painting & Pattern + Abstract Art & Japanese Inspiration

teacher avatar Karina E., Use a pencil as a magic wand

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Watercolor Obsession


    • 2.

      Japanese Materials


    • 3.

      Flower Power


    • 4.

      Flower Pattern Power


    • 5.

      Fast and Easy - Dry on Wet Technique


    • 6.

      Circle of Stones


    • 7.

      Follow the Flow


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About This Class

Want to learn traditional techniques and try out something new?

This class is packed with inspiration, enroll and see it yourself.

Watercolor is an obsession, Japanese technique Nihonga is an ancient treasure and flower patterns are endlessly beautiful! 

Discover how to:

Create gorgeous detailed flora paintings and learn how to transform them into patterns in Photoshop.

Paint a detailed organic objects, using normal watercolor and Japanese ones, which are made from minerals and shells.

Follow the flow and create abstract paintings, let loose, and move forward in your own artistic expression. The best outcome were a joy to create, relax and be brave!

What you can expect from this class: 

  • A lot of inspiration and different styles of painting.
  • Several demos of paintings from start to finish.
  • Introduction to Japanese materials and techniques.
  • Traditional and modern approach with Photoshop postproduction.
  • A look into three different styles: painting of the flowers & stones, pattern design and abstract  paintings.
  • Suggestions and tips.

Get inspired and experiment until you find your unique style.

No prior painting experience is needed - all levels are welcome.

Pictures of the Pigments are taken from the art supply store in Tokyo - PIGMENT

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Karina E.

Use a pencil as a magic wand


I am Karina Eibatova, illustrator & artist born in St.Petersburg, Russia.

I have been fortunate enough to make a living solely from my artworks.

& I am grateful to share the creative process and reveal some of my favourite tips on Skillshare.





I specialise in:

drawing painting illustration murals video typography

My portfolio reveals colourful surrealist explorations as well as more traditional approaches. 

You are welcome to follow me on instagram & Facebook.




See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Watercolor Obsession : Hi, I'm Karina Eibatova and you are very welcome to join my class dedicated to watercolor techniques and materials. This class is created to inspire you with flower passions, detailed paintings, dedicated lines, colors, and some Japanese influence. We will take a close look on the organic objects and still lives. I will demonstrate two beneath materials and traditional technique called the Hunger. I will share the process of detailed ways of painting the stones and flowers with watercolors which are made from minerals, so you will see the qualities of those watercolors in its texture and shades. [MUSIC] I think it is really important to experiment with new ways of paintings in different materials, and this class should help. You're very welcome to enroll to my class and get inspired. I will also show you the basic bus production process in Photoshop, you will see how easy it is to change the background color and to create an endless style pattern. It can be used as a wallpaper print, for example. Then I will encourage you to relax and do some abstract paintings. Just follow the flow, explore the color combinations and movements of the lines. See you. 2. Japanese Materials: Nihonga is a Japanese style painting that have been created using traditional Japanese artistic techniques and materials. Those pigments are taken from natural ingredients, minerals, shells, corals, semi-precious stones like malachite and azurite, plants and even insects. For mixing the pigments with a glue, which is produced from animal, artists are using those little cute blades. Nihonga are usually executed on silk, eginu, all these kind of paper called washi. After stretching the paper, I applied fine top white color called gofun. It is a white-color powdered calcium carbonate. It is made from oyster clam or scallops shells. Only one color can be used on a single pellet dish. The brushes are made from mixed hair, including weasel, goat, and wolf. This is my first painting I created using the Nihonga techniques. I always loved waterfalls and here in Japan, it is very popular subject in Nihonga. I also have seen a few wonderful waterfalls while traveling around Japan. It's really great to find your inspiration in the real life. Nihonga paint has a richer texture, it is organic. I also tried to buy golden and silver leaves. Metals in the form of leaf and [inaudible] , which is powder manufactured from leaves, have also been used as Japanese painting materials. Japanese painting is full of diverse methods of expression, which makes it very interesting and exotic. In ancient times, humanity used plants, soil, mineral, animals blood to produce coloring materials. Here is the same, pigments used in Nihonga doesn't fade, and paintings don't need to be put under glass. They are archival for thousands of years, imagine that. In this class, my aim is to inspire you, to introduce some new materials and techniques. I try to encourage you to experiment with different brushes, paints, and colors, markers, skill of the paintings, different papers and surfaces. It can be even wood. Painting in a wooden panel is such a different and interesting experience. Trying something new is very important in the artistic search. It keeps you inspired and motivated to learn new skills. 3. Flower Power: Since I'm currently based in Japan, I try my best to get as much inspiration as possible. Here are some of the traditional Japanese watercolor paintings. It's called Nihonga. In this class, we are going to paint pioneers. I think these pictures can inspire you to create something similar. The lank compositions are very common in Japan. Pioneers, I like those gentle flowers and the color of those particular ones. It has a lot of petals, so it's quite a complicated to paint them. Those ones they are different, those are Western botanical old graphics. I would like to make something in between Western and Japanese. Let's start. It is necessary that the color combination looks interesting. Even if it's different from the color of an object. Try to create an outstanding pellet, filling which color suits you most and find your favorite combinations. First, I'm going to paint a background, something like here. But I have learned, looking on the Nihonga paintings, that It is great to have a gradient on the background. We will start with gradient wash. This paper is a block of 100 percent cotton paper of the highest quality and it's glued on all four sides. The convenience of working on a block eliminates the need for stretching. For the background, we need a clean, wet brush. The biggest one you have. Move the brush filled with clean water side-to-side and drag the water down the paper until the bottom. Makes sure that the whole surface has a thin even layer from top to bottom. Choose the colors you would like to make a gradient wash and apply some of it on the bottom, the top and the middle. We are walking wet into wet, meaning a wet brush, walking, paint onto a wet surface. Load your brush with the first color and drag it across the bottom of your paper. Move the brush back and forth gently until you've covered a part of the paper evenly, See how the water pulls the paint right off your brush. We need to work quickly so the paper doesn't get dry. It should be light color, so try not to over paint it. It is the background. It is hard to see the color of my background in this video, but believe me there is a gradient. In the end of the class, I will show you the scan of the painting and you will see it. Let the background layer dry completely before you start painting an object. You can use the pencil, but after you apply the color, it's not possible to erase it. You either use a watercolor pencil with a light color or you can try using white color as I'm doing now. Prepare your nature mark next to your set of materials so you can always see the details. This painting will be the third one. I'm doing a trip tee. The other two paintings are more abstract and this one will be rarely [inaudible]. But the color palette of all of them is the same. It's important so they look well as series. Look on your model once again and start making the first lines. Many petals, a lot of delicate work. First, I'm almost always applying the layer of water after I apply the color, so it bleeds into another color. It's called blooming watercolor technique. To bleed colors, add good amount of water to the pigment in your brush and apply it to the wet paper while the stroke is wet. Add in another color. I use synthetic brushes and Japanese once made from mixed hair, including weasel, goat and Wolf. Ideal for anyone wishing to learn the art of oriental colored Griffey and Sumi style painting. These brushes are also used widely by watercolor artists for some unusual marks and techniques. It is always better to start with a light or medium tons. I paint petals in different locations so the colors don't mix with other colors, of the petal. When is dry, I pend the petal which is next to the dried area, adding darker details on it. Nature mart. Borrowing from French, not too morphed, literally means that nature, basically it is a still-life image of inanimate object. 4. Flower Pattern Power: In this part, I will show you how I created the part like this in Photoshop in a few minutes. First, you have to scan the painting in the highest resolution, just in case you will need to use it as a wallpaper. Then use the Pen tool for cutting out the objects from the background. Now we have it on different layer and it needs a color correction. You go to Image, Adjustments, Selective Color and then fix the neutrals. I usually add blue and magenta, same I do in blacks and in whites I make it more yellowish. Then you can press Comment or Contract L and fix the levels making the image more or less contrast, more or less bright. Now I will try to put it on the colored background. You have to create a new layer, choose the Bucket tool, choose any color and apply Bucket tool on this layer. If you want to see it on different colors, the best way would be to press Common or Control U and change the hue of the layer. This way you can choose the best color without painting the layer again and again, trying different colors. You can also make it less saturated bright here or darker here. After choosing the color press Okay, I did it just for fun, actually I want to place it on more complicated pattern made out from the other painting from the same series of flowers. How did they created this mirrored pattern manually? Actually, it is very easy. I made the working area four times bigger. It should be very precise. I check the center of the following area. The bottom edge of the work touches the center. Pick the image and copy it holding Alt and dragging the copied image to the side. Press Command or Control T, after press right button of the mouse and choose flip horizontal. Then pick two layers holding Shift and again holding Alt, copy, drag them to the button press Common T, then the right button with the mouse and choose flip vertical. Check the center and make sure all layers stick to each other. This is option number one. Then you can check how the pattern will look like if you replace the pairs of images by placing two top layers in the bottom and bottom layers to the top. Well, I like this result more. Then I do the same thing with the flowers, placing them diagonally, then reflecting and copying them. Here it is. Now I will create an endless button from this segment. You need to see the dimensions of the whole image thus figure out how much will be the half of width and height, write it down. After you go to Filter, Other, Offset and insert those calculations here. Then easily press this button and click Pattern. Change the scale of the pattern as you wish, there are some other patterns I made in my first class on skill sharing. Where the whole class was dedicated to the patterns and how to make them work in real life, this can be used as a wallpaper print or other home accessories. It's important that the resolution is quite high. Keep on experimenting, creating new document then create any shape and feel it the same way with the pattern. You can experiment with that endlessly changing the scale of the pattern, placing same pattern in different scale or applying the new pattern on the other one. As you can see, the quality of the image is quite good. Then you can rasterize the layer and change the color of the pattern. For example, using a gradient map. Just change the colors in the gradient through the ones that feed the other pattern. I think the most important part is to keep on experimenting and trying to create unusual pictures using the mix of modern and traditional techniques. Here it is. 5. Fast and Easy - Dry on Wet Technique : First painting, I will be working in a sketchbook. First, I'm going to make paper wet with a sponge. You can also use just a wet brush or a normal sponge. Then I'm taking the brush and applying gradient for a background. It is important to make it not very vibrant, but rather gentle. Choose the colors that fit each other well, and spread the paint from up to down and back until it's smooth. Use the wet brush for smoothening. Then before the background gets wet, I'm painting the flowers. Loving the color. To be honest, I don't really know what those flowers are, just improvising. This is a special sketchbook with 300 grams water color paper. It doesn't really curve when you apply water in it because it's really thick. This sketchbook is actually Korean. Adding some dark elements here. The brush I'm using is very cheap Asian brush with gold hair or horse hair, but it does its job. Adding a little bit of different shades into the flower. The background is dry already, so the applied paint will not spread around anymore. Now I'm painting the greens and leaves. I'm using some olive green and greenish yellow colors for that. This painting is simple, fast, and I don't want to add a lot of details. I want it to breath. Try doing something like that. Now, I'm making some dust or dots with a dry brush, with some paint on it. Here's the result. I think they remind me of irises, very popular flower in Japan. 6. Circle of Stones: Now I would like to share with you the process of painting stones. First, we need to arrange the still life, it takes some time. Make sure there is enough light and it will not change dramatically while you paint. I will use my set of watercolors called Gansai. It is a Japanese watercolor set in rectangular plates based on their organic pigments. I would like you to see the difference between normal watercolors and Japanese ones. Those paintings were created with Japanese watercolors and I'll also use the Japanese marker that looks like a brush. I'll use a heavy cotton paper stretched from all four sides. First, I'm making a drawing with light pencil. If the objects are not light colored then pencil will disappear behind the darker color. Anyway, after making a drawing I'm erasing it partly so it becomes very light. I'm starting with the light color, wet into wet, and erasing some parts with a napkin. While the first stone is getting dry, I start making the others. Then I'm working on half wet surface and after its completely dry, I apply darker details. The concept of this painting is in the fact that those watercolors I'm using are made from the minerals. So I went outside, found some stones, and painted them creating a circle. I wanted to make it very simple, like most of the things in Japan, simple, although detailed, clean, and natural. Here is the scan of the painting and a photo college I made in Photoshop like if it will be in the frame. As I think it is best if artworks come in a series, I will make another one, but with more abstract shapes. I will be using the same colors, same synthetic brushes, and I will introduce a marker. Now the stones will be bigger and have more interesting shapes. I'm making the background colorful, so I'm implying water, trying not to touch the stones area. Then I am applying the colors I prepared for the series of works and creating a flow of colors blending into each other on the wet surface. As you can see, these Japanese watercolors are not so bright and the colors are already interesting. In the Japanese store, there is an option to choose the palette of different pigments or ready-made color palette. After the first background layer became dry, I'm applying the light colors of the stone, starting from the light shades, ending with the darker tones as usual. There are many types of the hunger paints, and they each have different qualities. The thing is that those watercolors have bigger grains, so it doesn't go into the paper as deep as usual water colors. It remains on the surface of the paper and somewhere it is met, but somewhere it is glossy and can shine a bit because it is made out of shiny stones or corals. It's quite intuitive process. The most important things are to look closely on the object you are painting, to choose the right colors, to wait when the layer becomes dry, and to apply next layer, dry to dry, detailed, and dark. Be brave and follow the flow, it is like a transformation from stones to abstract shapes. Now when the painting is finished, I take my markers, which are as the brushes, I have four colors, blue, gray, badge, and black one. It is better to use gray or brown markers so the lines are blending in the painting and not popping up like it can happen with a black marker. Also, I make dots with a very thin black pen. Makes sure that those lines made with markers and pens are not so much different from the paint itself. Here is the result of painting created with Japanese mineral-based colors and since I like making three paintings in a series, I did this abstract one. Here's the whole series. It is a circle movement of the stone as material going through the transformation stages. After, I think it's important to make a good detailed documentation of the works. I'm using Canon and macro lenses. I think fragments can be even more interesting than the whole painting. I made this close-ups so you can see the texture of the painted areas, it is more rough and it has more grains than usual water colors. It is more math, it doesn't fade, and if you touch it, it feels different so you can actually feel the roughness. If you want to know how to present your works well, I have a class dedicated to showcasing the artworks online. This is it. 7. Follow the Flow: Since I really want you to experiment, I will show you the quick abstract way of painting, something like that. I will be using my favorite synthetic brushes, cotton, paper stretched in a lock-up as usual, and just a usual traveling set of watercolor color paints. First, I'm making the paper wet with the light color, and then bravely apply different colors. The trick is to find good spots where the new color will fit in, and it will look good in the movements of lines. It is important to combine colors, well, to fill the color. Somewhere I paint wet on wet, somewhere wet and dry. You should make it fast because it's water coloring. There is no time for thinking. Just follow the flow. Then here is the result. It became a part of my big art work consisting of 20 different works matching to each other, like puzzle. Some sheets of paper are left almost blank. Others are filled with abstract lines. The title of the collage is movements in moments. Let's see some more color in movements. Here are paintings I did with mineral-based water color. You can see the roughness in here, it has a texture of the stone and shells. The curls are not very bright, but I like it's nature of appearance. Let's take a look on my favorite colors. Those are not mineral-based colors, but they are Japanese, anyway. Different brands have different colonies. The skin color is called John Brilliant. Then I really love this dark color called paynes gray. The brushes are traditional Japanese brushes made from animal fur. This is the biggest. With this one, you can make very wide lines which are ending very fit thin. Here is the thinnest brush for details. Very good for drawing hair and trees. Let's make a pallet with John Brilliant number 2, gray of gray, greenish yellow, horizon blue, white, John Brilliant number 1, lavender, Davis gray, paynes gray, shopping and natural tint. Mixing the colors is so fun. It's good to practice the placing of the color so they look great next to each other. You have to experiment with it. Now I am making a first wet layer and then add some gradient on the background. Then I start wet on wet very slowly, without thinking. Those colors are different from Western watercolors because they are definitely mixed with white pigment. That's why they're so like this pastel touch. I like using Japanese brush because they add a certain agents feeling to the line. The most important in this kind of practice for me is to find the movement of the lines, to choose the right colors. The idea is to create something, live, abstract and constantly moving. After the painting gets dry, I take the markers and pens. I have the ones that look like brushes and also very thin for making dots. I like using skin color, it is very delicate. Also, yellow makes very nice x's. Some bright pink is sometimes good. Then I add some more Asian feeling to the movement of the lines with a black marker I bought in Muji store. Then I decided to add a Japanese writing called Kanji on the top of the painting to make it look more Japanese. It is very common thing to see Kanji on the paintings. When I write here means color movement. Here is the result, I like the fragments especially. I hope you get inspired and ready to try something new. Have great creative process. Thank you for being with me and bye.