How to Paint: Watercolor Houseplants | Pothos Plant | Audrey Moon | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

How to Paint: Watercolor Houseplants | Pothos Plant

teacher avatar Audrey Moon, Watercolorist and Modern Calligrapher

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

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.

      Welcome Video


    • 2.



    • 3.

      Inspiration and Sketching


    • 4.

      Color Mixing


    • 5.

      Putting it Together Part 1: Sketching Layout


    • 6.

      Putting it Together Part 2: Painting the First Vine


    • 7.

      Putting it Together Part 3: Second and Third Vines


    • 8.

      Conclusion and Final Thoughts


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Welcome to How to Paint: Houseplants edition!

This is the third of the houseplants series: the Pothos Plant! Check out the other plants in this series:

  1. Fiddleleaf Fig Plant
  2. Boston Fern
  3. Pothos Plant
  4. Monstera

The Pothos Plant is so interesting to paint because of its variegated colors in its leaves. Using your observation, sketching, color mixing, and basic watercolor skills, you'll be able to paint this plant with your eyes closed.

Try painting this and then digitizing it (in my other Skillshare class!) to print it on cards, mugs, decals, and more.

Don't forget to make a project for this class so I can see all your wonderful works. If you're on Instagram, please tag me (@ThingsUnseenDesigns), and use #WatercolorWithTUD! I love to feature my students and their work!

See you in class!

Free background music from

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Audrey Moon

Watercolorist and Modern Calligrapher

Top Teacher

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

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

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

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


Website ][ Instagram ... See full profile

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Welcome Video: Hi there, my name is Audrey and I'm the creative behind things unseen designs. I'm a water colorist, calligrapher and educator. This is the third plant to be featured in my How to paint house plant series right here at Skill Share. This series came about because as a gardener myself, I love everything that has to do with plants. Growing up, I remember my mom, growing the pothos plant house inside our house. So I was very inspired to do this plant and I hope you will paint it with me. In this class, we'll paint the pothos plant together and we'll use basic watercolor techniques, such as wet on dry. Wet on wet, and glazing. In order to capture the multiple colors that we see in the leaves of the pothos plants. Additionally, I'll take you through my steps of gathering supplies, sketching, testing out colors, and finally pacing the whole thing together step-by-step. All of the videos are going to be in real time, so you won't miss a beat. Well, I hope you're excited to get started. Let's take out our paints and dive right in. I'll see you in class. 2. Supplies: Hey everyone. In this video, I'm going to show you some of the supplies that I'll be working with in this class. To paint the pothos plant, we're going to use the following supplies, watercolor paper. The type that I'm using is a Canson brand and it's cold pressed at 140 pounds. We'll use a variety of watercolor brushes. I have right here a size six, size four, and a size two. It's okay if you don't have all of these sizes, I would still recommend at least a size six and a size two, and that way you'll get some nice broad strokes, but also some fine details. Obviously we'll be using watercolor paints. I created this palette myself by using two paints, mostly from the Grumbacher, Windsor and Newton brands. If you're curious to see which colors I have in my palate, download my list of supplies in the attached files in the project section. I also have a blog post about how I created this custom palette. Next, I have a cup of clean water and a small spray bottle filled with water as well so that I can keep my Pete's fresh as I work. I also use a paper towel to take away excess moisture on my brushes. You'll also need a pencil and an eraser. I'm not too picky about the type of pencil and eraser, just as long as you like it. I'm also going to use a kneaded eraser in this class because unlike the other two videos, we're going to sketch the pothos plant very lightly, but also use a kneaded eraser to get rid of any other extra pencil lines. If you don't have this, it's not a big deal. It's just nice to have. You can find it at your local stores or online too. Go ahead and gather all your supplies. I'll see you in the next video. 3. Inspiration and Sketching: The pothos plant is really fun to paint because of its vines and variegated color in its leaves. A simple Google search will show lots of great photos of pothos in pods hanging from the ceiling, scaling the wall, etc. Like in the other house plant videos. I'm not going to use just one of these photos, but use them as inspiration and paint my own unique plant. I encourage you to do the same as you search for inspiration. Maybe it's a plant's structure that catches your eye, maybe you just like how the pot looks, or a particular leaf pattern that you've never seen before. Whatever catches your eye, save it and use that as inspiration. So take some time now to browse through Google or Pinterest or your local library even to find your inspiration, then we'll practice sketching some leaves together. Now let's start sketching together. As you can see in the pothos plant, a lot of the leaves are heart-shaped. In my sketch over here, you can see that I have mostly the heart-shape, some of the leaves are bending to show some dimension. Some of them are wider or skinnier. So we'll go ahead and practice sketching this heart-shaped plant and we'll vary the angles and the twisting, etc. So let's get started. Let's start by sketching a basic heart shape. Draw one half of the heart shape and then draw the other. Have the stem coming out of the center right there. That's a pretty basic one. If you want to draw that main vein that goes down, draw it like that. Let's draw another one where one half of the leaf is a little bit larger than the other, so that it looks like the leaf is a little bit folded up. I'm going to make this left side, I'm going to do the upside down version of this. I'm going to make this left one pretty large and then I'm going to make the right side a little bit narrower. So that means this first hump that I go up here is going to be shorter and narrower like this. Then I'm going to come sharply down like this. Then when you draw the vein down the center and then the stem up here, it looks like this half of the leaf is folding away from you, so that you're looking at this side a little bit more. So it just gives you a nice dimension. Then later on when you paint it, there's going to be a lot of dark shadows here, so you can indicate that would have to be dark. This broad part is going to be pretty light, and this is just to help you later on when you're about to paint. Let's do another one, but just the opposite of this one. So instead of the left side going to be broad, we're going to make this right side very broad. So it doesn't matter which side you start with, I'm just right handed so I'm going to do my left side first. Again, just go up pretty sharply and then come down pretty quickly and then make this right side very wide and broad. There we go. Then the vein should follow this arc here. Follow this arc and just come on down. That way you're keeping with the shape of the leaf. Then a stem. The stem can really go either way, it can go left, it can go right, it can go straight up, I don't think that really matters as much as the way in which you draw that vein. We're going to do another one. This time, both of these leaves are facing downward. We're going to do one that faces horizontally. Basically it's going to look like this, but just on its side. This time we're going to look instead of the underside of the leaf we're going to look at the top side of the leaf, if that makes sense. Let's draw one half of the leaf and make it a little bit broad again. So now pretend that this is the inside of the leaf and it's folded up so that if it's sideways, the other half of the leave is going to be very short and narrow. When you draw the other side, don't make it as high as this one so that don't match this one, but you're going to make it a little bit shorter. Maybe even shorter than that. Then keep it as low as possible. In this one since we're not looking at the underside of the leaf, I made the vein just come straight down and then just curve a little bit as if it were about to meet this point here. But I'm not going to connect them so that it indicates to me that we're looking at the top side of the leaf. You could even indicate like top view and this could be the under leaf view. Now that we've sketched a couple different ones, let's do some color mixing and then get started painting. I'll see you in the next video. 4. Color Mixing: Hey everyone. In this video, I'm going to show you all the different kinds of colors that we're going to be using. When I paint, I always like to create a little color inspiration or a color chart however you want to call it before I start painting, just so I can visualize the different colors and see also if these colors even go well together. You'll also notice that I dried the color out because as watercolor dries, it dries lighter than what you actually paint. It's good to see that gradation happening so that you can see how much pigment you need versus how much water you need. In this class, we're going to use mostly bright yellow, sap green, this is sap green and Payne's gray and Hooker's green dark all mixed together. Then this is probably one of my favorite combinations that I always use, which is Payne's gray. I think a little bit of Hooker's green dark. I don't know why I put this other P.G there, but I think it's just Payne's gray and Hooker's green dark. Feel free to experiment. The pothos plants that you might be looking at may have more of a yellowy green hue or maybe it has more of a bluish cool tones to it. Yours is definitely going to look different than mine, but we're going to use all of the same techniques such as wet-on-wet, dry brush and glazing. Go ahead and practice color mixing. You can do it with me in the next couple of minutes or you can do it on your own too. Let's create this together. When you're painting, you always want some bright color. For me, that's going to be the bright yellow. This bright yellow is also going to act as my undertone. I'm taking it straight from my palette over here, just dipping my brush in there. Then going to have most of the pigment concentrated here at first. Then I'm going to wash my brush out a little bit, blot it and then drag that color out. You can see it's a little bit lighter. I'm going to wash it out a little bit more. Then drag it out even more. I think I can go one more step. Now, my brush is almost completely clean and I'm just going to draw the rest of that out. I'm going to label this as bright yellow. The next color is sap green and sap green's another color that I just already have in my palette here. I'm going to go ahead and wet my brush and then just grab the color directly from my palate. There's that, and I do the same thing, just concentrating the pigment here. Going to wash my brush out a little bit and then blot. Then draw that color out. See how the pig moves. Wash it a little bit more, blot it, draw it out some more. Now, this last time my brush is pretty much clean and I'm going to draw the rest of that paint out. A lot of the paint was drawn out. I'm actually going to go back in there, it's still a little wet, and then add some fresh pigment to it just so I can see that dark color again. Just so I can compare. Later on when it's dried out, I can see what that original sap color really looked like. If you already have a color chart of all your paints, that's totally fine. You can refer to that. I just like to do this so that it's more immediate and that it's right next to my painting. Plus it just gives me a refresher on what the colors really look like. I'll go ahead and label this as well. The next color combination is one that I do pretty often and I'm going to combine my sap green, my Hooker's green dark, and then my Payne's gray I have all the way over here. I'm going to combine all three of those and then mix it in this general area here. Then my last combination is Hooker's green dark and Payne's gray. These are just some of the colors that we're going to be working with. Feel free to experiment with the types of greens that you have. Some other color combinations that I really like to do, are greens mixed with yellow ocher or burnt sienna or raw amber. It just creates a very warm and rich green tones. You can also try mixing greens with these red tones or these pink and purple ones, just to see what you get. Mixing greens and blues is always really popular. I just really like green because of that. It just gives you such a wide range of colors. Feel free to experiment, and then in the next video, we'll start putting it all together. 5. Putting it Together Part 1: Sketching Layout: Hey everyone. In this video, we're going to start painting. But before we do that, I just want to show you what my original paintings look like but in between this and then recording for this class, I got really inspired by the ones that are just hanging straight down. That's actually what I'm going to paint but I just wanted to show you this. This is done free hand, but we're going to sketch just a little bit because the one that I'm going to paint is a little bit more complicated. The more complicated it is, it does require a little bit of sketching. Again, I just wanted to show you this, but the one that I'm going to paint now is going to look a little bit different but we're still going to use the same basic concepts to get these kinds of effects. Like I said, I was really inspired by the pothos plants that were just hanging straight down. I'm going to pretend that this is like my ceiling here. I'm just going to draw just a wavy line right there. There are going to be a lot of leaves just appear all bunched up together and I'm not going to really sketch those. But I do want to sketch just the ones that are hanging freely down like this. I'm not going to draw too many because I do want my leaves to be fairly large so that you can see what I'm doing. I'm just drawing just random vines. I have this ones going out like this. Then now, I'm going to start drawing some of the leaves here. Now that I'm pretty satisfied with my sketch, I'm going to go ahead and use my kneaded eraser to get rid of most of these darker lines. Well, I'm pretty happy with that, so let's get started painting in the next video. I'll see you there. 6. Putting it Together Part 2: Painting the First Vine: Hey everyone. In this video, we're going to start painting the pathos leaves together. What I'm going to do, I'm going to just show you leaf by leaf and just practice some different techniques. Then we'll just see how it turns out. We'll start by painting just a basic leaf. I will do that maybe in one of these larger ones. I'm just going to choose a basic, maybe a little bit a sap green and hookers green dark mixed together. Right now, I'm using a size two round brush. For this basic one, you're just going to drop the paint or paint just on dry paper. I'm not going to color it completely. I'm going to leave just a small sliver right in the middle and let the white of the paper show through. There's one-half. Now, while this paint is still relatively wet, you can go in there with a darker color to give it some dimensions. I'm going to drop in some Payne's Grey right here at the edge. I'm also going to drop some right here along this center. Again, it just gives the leaf a nice effect. On second thought, I don't like how this dark outline makes it seem. It looks too graphic for my taste. So I am going to darken up this lighter green a little bit more but then leave some slivers of color of the original for the veins. Yeah. I like this leaf a lot better. It looks a little bit more natural. Now for this leaf over here, I'm going to paint in two different tones, because of the way that I sketched it, this part is going to be lighter and that part is going to be a little bit darker because it's facing away from me. Let's paint the lighter side first. I'm going to paint it in that same greenish, yellowish color. Then I paint the other side and mix a little bit of hookers green dark into it just so it's a little bit darker, but not too much darker. Then I paint the other side butt as you do that other side, make sure to leave that sliver of white space again. At this time, if you want to draw it in this stem that connects it, feel free. Okay. For this leaf over here, we're going to try a different technique. So kind of similar to what I did here, which was unintentional but we're going to do glazing. We're going to put the bright yellow color down first. We're going to wait for it to completely dry. We'll paint some other leaves while we're waiting for it to dry and then we'll come back to it. Go ahead and grab some of that bright yellow, you don't need a lot of it, we just want a nice light undertone to it. Just cover up the whole thing in this yellowy color. Once you do that, just let that dry and then we'll come back to it after we paint a couple more leaves. Okay. For this leaf here, we're going to do some wet on wet. What I'm first going to do, I'm going to take a clean brush, makes sure it's semi wet, not dripping wet, and then I'm going to just color that in with just water. You might need to grab a little bit more water just depending. You just don't want too much water pooled up. Just enough so that you've moistened the paper. If you're not sure if it's wet enough or if it's too wet, you can just hold it up at an angle and then angle it towards the light and see if you see a nice shine to it. If you do, then that's the right amount of water. If you don't see a shine then you might need to add a little bit more. Just go ahead and just add water as you see fit and just a angle at every now and then. What we're going to do, we're going to drop some light color in the middle and dark color on the outside. Just go ahead and just drop some of that just randomly, and then pick up some of that dark color and then put it along the outside. Right now I'm just blending the colors together so that it looks a little bit more natural. Then I want that bright pop of color so I'm going to drop some bright yellow just right there in the middle and fill in the white spaces with the yellow. If your paper is still wet, you can still go in there and add some more colors as you want. Darken it up because remember, watercolor dries lighter. My paint is still traveling really well, so I'm just going to keep on adding a little bit more paint. Remember every time you add paint to wet on wet, you want less water so try to pick up mostly pigment as you're adding. Yeah, I really like that variegated look. I'm going to let that dry a little bit more and then maybe add just a touch of paint just in some of these lighter areas. I'm really liking how that looks. Let's do this next one over here and again, we're just going to do that basic green basic painting where you're just putting wet paint on dry paper and remember to leave that sliver of white in the middle. I missed the leaf up here. I'm just going to do the same to that guy up there. Okay. Now that we did a couple of leaves, this yellow one is a little bit dry now. If you're not completely sure, that's okay, you can just wait a little bit longer. But again, you can hold it up at an angle to see if you can see that shine, and if you can then it still wet and if you can't, then it's most likely very dry. I think mine is pretty dry. You can also touch it lightly. Mine's pretty dry so I'm going to go over it with a darker green color. I think maybe just sap green is fine because sap green has the yellow undertone, which will be nice to draw out here. I'm going to paint over it, but I'm going to leave some of this yellow parts showing. I'm just going to be random and just let the veins show like that. What we did just there was glazing, which is when you put one color down, wait for it to dry and put another layer of color on top of it. It really helps to show because watercolor is transparent, you can still see that yellow underneath that green color. I'm going to go ahead and paint the rest of the leaves that are on this vine and then touch up any of these single colored leaves just as I feel like it. 7. Putting it Together Part 3: Second and Third Vines: I really like how this is looking. As you saw, I added a little bit more color just to some of these leaves. I glazed over them or layered, is another term for it, just to give it a little bit more dimension and depth. You can also see, I'll hold this up to the lens. For the stems, I painted it one color, but then I added a shadow right next to it. Again, just giving the plant a little bit more depth. I'm just going to go ahead and paint the rest of the leaves here. While you're painting, again, try to vary the different types of techniques, you can just do it just straight on like this, one on dry paper or you can try the wet on what method, which we'll look like this. You can do some glazing so that you can see the undertone, the colors underneath. Yes, go ahead and try experiment different techniques as you continue to paint the rest of these. It doesn't have to look perfect. I think that's always a fear of some people. Really, it doesn't have to look perfect. I think just as long as you're learning with every paint stroke and that you're growing as an artist each day, that's the most important thing. Let's continue to paint the potters plants. Thanks for joining me in this video, as we learned how to paint a wet on wet, wet on dry, and glazing. I can't wait to see your creations. I'll see you in the conclusion video. 8. Conclusion and Final Thoughts: For making it to the end of this class, where you learn how to paint the Pothos plant. I hope you've benefited from watching me; gather supplies, sketch out the plant, testing out colors, and then finally painting it using basic water color techniques, just wet on dry, wet on wet, and glazing. Now it's time for you to paint the Pothos plant. Remember to sketch first, if it helps. Sketch those heart-shaped leaves, and show them from different angles, and bending different ways. Then use those basic watercolor techniques, to show the various green hues, and depth in your leaves. Remember to create a project and share your work. If you're on Instagram, you can also tag me @thingsunseendesigns, and use a hashtag, watercolorwithTUD. I love featuring my students in my Instagram stories. I'd love to feature you. I can't wait to see what you create. Start a project, and start painting. Stay tuned for the last plan of my how to paint houseplants series [inaudible] share. I'll see you next time. Bye.