Hortensien in Aquarell: Ein Schritt-für-Schritt-Ansatz für Anfänger | Kanchan Kaul | Skillshare

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Hydrangeas in Watercolors: A Step-by-Step Approach for Beginners

teacher avatar Kanchan Kaul, Artist and Illustrator

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.



    • 2.

      Class Orientation


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Practice Drawing


    • 5.

      Practice: First Layer


    • 6.

      Practice Detailing


    • 7.

      Class Project Part 1


    • 8.

      Class Project Part 2


    • 9.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

In this class we will learn how to paint a Hydrangea without using any reference images.

This class is suitable for all levels from beginners to advanced watercolor artists. We will break down the hydrangea into easy steps. 

  1. We will first practice how to draw each individual petal, by simplifying it into basic shapes.
  2. Then we will learn to paint the first layer and add details to it.

For the final class project we will put all our learnings from the practice lessons to make the entire hydrangea. This method of painting hydrangeas is not only fun but also relaxing.

By the end of the class you will have the confidence to paint beautiful hydrangeas with depth and details.So let’s get started!

Materials / Resources

The supplies that you will need for this class are :

* The supplies that you will need for this class are :

* 100% cotton cold pressed watercolor paper in 300gsm.

* A round brush in size 4 or 6.

* Highly recommend: Short liner brush size 10/0

* Your favourite watercolor paints.

* A jar of clean water 

* A palette.

* Paper towels.

Visit my website for more inspiration and artwork!

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Meet Your Teacher

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Kanchan Kaul

Artist and Illustrator

Top Teacher

Hi, I'm Kanchan!

You probably know me as Petite Procrastinator from Instagram! I am an artist, illustrator and art educator. I love painting and drawing graceful botanical compositions in watercolour, gouache, ink and digital.

From always procrastinating (hence the Instagram handle...ahem!) to can't stop creating--I have come a long way. And here I will share with you all the cool stuff that I have mastered over the years. Watercolours, digital illustrations, sketching - EVERYTHING! I am delighted to have you... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Welcome!: What would your reaction be if I told you, you can paint this entire hydrangea without even using a reference image. I know it seems difficult and I've been there, but now I have a tried and tested method to paint hydrangeas that works always. Hi, I'm Kanchan, I'm an artist, illustrator, and an art educator. My art has been used for books, wall art products and even tattoos. I truly believe that sharing is caring, and that's how my Instagram account @PetiteProcrastinator started, where I share all my tips and tricks, as well as my experiments with watercolor and digital art. Soon I started making more in-depth classes on Skillshare. Now I have a strong community of hundred thousand on Instagram, and this is my fifth Skillshare class. In this class, we will break down the hydrangea into easy steps. We will first practice how to draw each flower, then we will learn how to paint the first layer, and finally go on to add more details. For the class project, we will put all our learnings from the practice lessons to make the entire hydrangea. This class is more than just painting. It is also a fun way to work on your patience, which gets better with practice, and stronger when you see a beautiful end result. My method of painting hydrangeas is not only fun, but also very relaxing, so grab your paints and brushes, and let's get started. 2. Class Orientation: Now, let me walk you through the class. We will learn the hydrangeas in a step-by-step approach. First, we will see how to easily draw each flower, then we will go on to add the first layer, and finally the beautiful details and petal tones. Using these learnings, we will paint our final class project, where we will build the entire hydrangea gradually. The process of painting hydrangeas can be long, but I will encourage you to take breaks and finish the entire piece. However, I totally understand if you paint only a part of it, whatever it is, don't forget to share your class projects in the projects gallery. Seeing your project can be a great motivators for others too. Let's get started. 3. Materials: In this lesson, let's go over the materials that we will be using throughout the class. For the materials we will be using this 100 percent cotton coal press paper. I like this brand for Canson watercolor paper for this. It's quite affordable for practices and it is not too grainy. As you can see there's very little texture and it's good for adding details and it holds the water well. It's a very good quality paper to get started and practice your florals. Apart from that you will need paints. Of course I use this student grade paints by ShinHan which are called ShinHan Professional. They're quite affordable and good for practice. If you're using tubes you can use ceramic palette as well. You don't need to use tubes if you have pans, you can definitely do this class with the pans as well. For the brushes, I will be using these two brushes. One is the silver black velvet size 6 and it has a nice round tip and I like this brush a lot. Don't get a brush which is too big. Size 4 or 6 is good. If you like adding details then you will also need a small brush. For me this short liner brush is my favorite for detailing, it's called the Princeton heritage short line is size 10-0. This is good for detailing. Apart from all this you will require a jar of water, a towel to dab your brush, a pencil, and an eraser, and you can get started. I hope you are ready with your materials. In the next lesson we will start the drawing. 4. Practice Drawing: In this lesson, we will learn how to draw each flower individually. Before we get into the painting, I just wanted to show you how I draw the flower and outline for this to get started. Let's break this entire hydrangea down into smaller flowers. It's basically a bunch of small flowers. We'll just learn how to draw these small flowers. What I do usually is mark the center, something like this. I'm drawing it pretty dark for practice even you can draw a dark center. But when you are drawing it on the final paper try to make it light. This is how I mark the center. From here I'll have four petals coming out. I'm just marking these four petals how I want them to come out. The general shape of the petals are similar. You have these two small lines coming out. If you want, you can break it down further into a simple shape. Here I'll have a circle drawn, and what you do is join this line with the circle outline like this and then let it meet in top. It doesn't have to be too pointy. Something like this. This is the shape of each petal. You make four of these petals to make one entire flower. Try to change the shape a little bit, to not make it too symmetric. I feel this petal is too narrow so I can even make it bigger. This one I'll try to make bigger. Make a circle here if you feel you need some guidelines and join this towards the end of this circle, something like this and meeting here. Same way, this is how the petal here would be. Sometimes this petal will be overlapping. For example, this petal, I will make something which is going behind this narrow petal. Something like this. It doesn't have to be very symmetrical. I again make a circle where I want this petal to go, something like this. This is the basic shape of a flower. You can even try to bring some variations in this and some folds. For example I anyways found this petal a little bit narrow, so I want to make this into a fold. Something like this. You can use a maximum curved petal to add some folds. For example if it is this, and then I'm just going to add a small petal turn like this. It looks like the tip is turning inside. It gives some different variations to your flower. Just practice this until you are satisfied with the shape of the flower, the basic shape. What we'll do is put it all together to make the hydrangea. It's good to practice this basic shape. I hope you enjoyed this lesson where we broke down the drawing of hydrangea flowers into small, easy steps. I will see you in the next lesson where we will start painting this hydrangea flower. 5. Practice: First Layer: In this lesson, we will paint the first layer of the hydrangea. In this lesson, I'm going to start painting. We will paint just one flower first and practice it. I have drawn a few more of these flowers on my paper. You can do the same. I'll try to fill up the entire page. It's a good practice and it's also fun and it looks beautiful in the end. Let's get started with this. What you need is your brushes now, so I have this small brush which is size 6, and I have my liner brush as well with me. I'll keep this with me. For this hydrangea, I want to make it a blue hydrangea. I have taken Prussian blue on my palette. You can take any color, it has pinks, some hydrangeas, I haven't green, so you can just pick and choose whatever color you want. I'm just activating the color a bit on my palette. When I start painting, just take a little bit on the tip of your brush. The brush is not very wet. These flowers are not very big, so I don't want a brush, which is extremely wet. What I'm going to do is just wash it, make sure it's fully wet. I'm just making it wet and I'll dab any extra water. The color is already activated so it's already quite watery, so I'll pick the color just at the tip of my brush, there's not too much color. I've just picked it a little bit on the tip of my brush. Then what I do is I first mark the center. I just draw a circle with my dark pigment. Then again, I'll wash my brush and dab it not too wet. Just dab it once and then pull this paint to the rest of the petal with the wet brush. If you feel it's too light, this is the time to just put some more pigment near the center. Then wipe your brush and you can pull it to the rest of the petal. I don't want it to be too dark. In watercolors it's always good to have a light for a slit and you can keep adding details. If you use a very dark pigment in the first layer, you will lose the beautiful transparency of watercolor. Try to keep it light, so let's repeat. In case your center has dried up and you're not able to pull the paint, you can always add some more paint like this. Then I'm going to wash my brush not too wet, and then just pull it to the rest of my petal. Great, so let's repeat that for the other petals as well, again just add some more pigment and pull it. Remember, the brush was not wet enough so I'm just making sure it's slightly more wet and I'm pulling the petal. Now I feel this center has become too light, so I'm just dropping some more pigment to make it darker. Great, let's do that, the last petal here. This is the first layer, let it dry and while it's drying, it's always a good thing to practice more so paint the rest of the petals in the same way. Let's go ahead. I hope you enjoyed this lesson where we painted the first layer of the flower. In the next lesson, we will add more details to this. 6. Practice Detailing: In this lesson, we will add more details to the hydrangea we painted earlier. While I was waiting for the flowers to dry, I painted two more flowers, and for practicing the more you paint the better it is. I will suggest you do the same, pre-paint as many flowers as you can. As you can see in the first flower I've added a few details, so I'll show you how to do this detailing. Let's take this flower for instance. I know the pencil marks are dark that's because I created really dark flowers for you to be able to see it on the video. Your pencil marks should be lighter, and this is the right time to actually erase out any of the pencil marks. Let's do that. Let's start adding the details for this flower. I need a short liner brush for detailing. You can use the tip of any small brush that you have, but I highly suggest you use your short-liner brush. It's much simpler to do this part with the detailing or short-liner brush. First things first, you wet your paint and get it into a watery consistency. You don't need too much paint for the step, I'm just taking some paint on my brush and adding it to the center. For example, I'll just add it here. Then wash your brush, take out any pigment that you might have on your brush, and use this wet paint to pull it to make your veins. I'm just pulling it to make it really light beautiful veins. Let's do that for the rest of the petals as well. Let's put some paint. This is getting too dark, I don't like this. You can always correct it. You'll just take your brush and make it wet again without any paints. I'm just lightening the pigment so that it's not so dark. Let this petal be because it's wet right now I can add details later. Let's see how we can undo the same here. Again, I'm adding some pigment. Wash your brush nicely, so that the veins are not too dark. In this case, the veins are dark because my brush was not washed. Now, I'm just pulling the paint again. Make the center vein with a wet brush and pull this to make more veins on this petal. Something like this. It gives a nice beautiful texture and it is very subtle and delicate, so let's do this as well on the top petal. You get this beautiful textures to your petal and the veins. You can make more veins if you want, I can show you another way of doing that. For example, the first petal has dried up, so I'm just darkening this vein, the central vein. Again, I'm washing my brush and pulling this paint to lighten the central vein at the same time making more vein on this petal more texture. I'm just doing this to add more textures to this. You can do the same for a sideways as well. Something like this. I'm just adding more pigment. Again, pull it with a wet brush. You can see it's the more you do, the more textures are there that this petal is looking really nice and beautiful texture. At this point, the flowers may seem a bit rough, but when you put them together in a Hydrangea you will be adding more detailing or darker shades on these gaps and that's when these petals will pop out. For now, just practice this adding veins. One more thing you can do is practice the petal folds. In this case I created a petal fold, so what I do usually is darken the edge of the petal fold like this which looks like the shadow, and then take a wet brush. It's just damp, it doesn't have any water in it or very little water and just making this blend with the rest of the petals so that it doesn't stand out but it gives the effect of a shadow of a toned petal. Something like this. Let's do that with another petal here this here as well as a ton. I'll just add the pigment to make it dark on the edge and then I'll blend it. That's it. Practice, create as many petals and flowers as you can and fill up this whole page. I'll make them individually for now because you want to practice this petal folds in details. If you're not yet in the mood to create the entire Hydrangea, you can create as many of these flowers on one page to practice and post that as your class project as well. I hope you enjoyed this lesson, where we added these beautiful petal veins in details. I'll see you in the next lesson where we will start painting our class project. 7. Class Project Part 1: Welcome back. Now is the time to paint your class project. For the class project, like I explained earlier, we will be painting step-by-step. Let's get started. In this lesson, we're going to see how we can create this entire hydrangea, and what is the process that I use to create the hydrangea? To draw the entire hydrangea before you paint can be very complex, so what I suggest is you take it one step at a time. First step, hydrangea is a complex flower. If you painted on a small paper, it's going to get even more complicated because there's such small details. I will suggest you use an A4 size paper. Now I'm using a bigger paper. In the A4 size paper, what I'll do first is create a rough circle of the shape or the size of the hydrangea that I want. I'm just creating a rough circle. It has to be really rough just for reference, and maybe you can start from the center. The trick in hydrangea is you don't have to create each and every flower in a very detailed way, you just have to create the petals. There will be only few flowers which will be seen very clearly and full, the rest of the flowers around it will be just a part of the flower seen. What we do is start with one flower, which is very clearly seen. I'll just mark the first flower here. It's the same process for drawing, so let's draw this flower out. Now that we've drawn the first flower, I'll use the same process of painting. The first step is to add a light wash, and then the second step we add the details. You can either add the details right in the end, or you can add details as you go for each flower, that's your choice. Let's start with the first layer of this flower. As I said, it's going to be step-by-step. You don't have to draw the entire hydrangea in one go, we will go one flower at a time. It is much easier to handle it this way. What I usually do is add the detailing right in the end after the entire hydrangea's first layer is painted. While this is drying, I'll start adding another flower. Now what I do usually is not create the entire flower, I'll just create just a part of it. I will still mark a circle to mark the center, for example, like this, and I'll add these petals around it. Again, something like this here. The center helps you to determine where the petals are going. For example, in this the petal is going to be behind the one that we painted earlier, so I'm just going to paint a part of this petal. I'll just draw a part of this petal, something like this. Again, this petal is going to go behind this petal, so I'll just draw a part of it. Something like this. Let me erase this, I think that is too big. Great. What I'll do now is paint this flower and with the same technique. Let's go ahead. This is a second flower that I've painted which is overlapping, we can continue this. You don't have to make centers for everything. You can make an imaginary center as well that you want it hidden. For example, in this case, I am imagining there's a center which is hidden somewhere behind this petal like this. Very lightly just draw it so that you have a reference, and use this reference to draw the petals coming out of it. This is my center. I have a petal coming out from here, something like this. Maybe I want to make a nice beautiful tone for this petal. Again, this is the center. I have one petal coming from here, and maybe a part of this petal is shown something like this. Now in this case, most of the flower is hidden, there is no center, so just use a wet brush to mark the petal without too much paint. This one has a tone as well, so we'll mark that after this petal has dried up. I'm going to mark this as well. Now for this petal, I had made a little bit of a petal turn, so I am going to add that detail as well and I'm going to blend it. You can either use a bigger brush, or you can use the same short liner brush to blend it. The wings I add right in the end. First, I'll just make all the petals, and I'll repeat this process by adding a lot of overlapping flowers all along this circle. Just keep in mind that the center, you either show a little bit of the center and just draw a flower around it. Sometimes, like in this case, we tried to hide the center here, so you can have that hidden flowers as well. Try to make petal folds as well to give it a nice look and enjoy this process. It has a lot of patience involved in this, because you're making really small petals. But the end result is really beautiful, so keep some patience. Take a break if you feel like, and just keep repeating this process for the entire circle. I'll see you after I filled up some of it, and then we'll do the edge together. As you can see, I've covered most of the circle by just making flowers in different angles. Some places I've just created petals which don't even have the center showing, so it's a good way to balance it out. Don't have too many of these centers showing. Some of these centers will be hidden behind different petals. Half of it is done. I will continue to make the other half, and then we'll come back and add details and some more shading to this. This may seem like a long process, but believe me, the end result is very rewarding. Keep going, and let's go to the second part of the class project where we add more details to this hydrangea. 8. Class Project Part 2: Hi. I'm glad you're still with me. Let's start adding more details to this hydrangea. As you can see, I have just made the flowers are close to each other, overlapping, and this is just the first layer. Now, I'm going to start adding details like we had learned earlier. Let me show you one flower again. For this flower, I'm just wetting it again with some darker color, I'm cleaning my brush, and I'm going to pull this paint to add some wings. Before you start adding details, it's a good idea to even erase any pencil marks if you can see, this is a good opportunity to do that. Towards the end, I almost started painting it freehand, so I didn't really draw the petals. But if you have drawn them, then go ahead and just erase those pencil lines. I'm also using this opportunity to create some slight edges to these petals to make it more defined. I'll do the same for this side as well. Then just pull it with a wet brush to get some texture. I guess you get the idea. I'm going to fill up this entire hydrangea, again, with some details and wings. I'll see you on the other side. We're done with the detailing. I have not added too many details on the edge, just in the center to bring the attention to the center of the flower. But if you want, you can add as much and as less detail as you want. It's your wish. Now, let's add the finishing touches to this hydrangea. One thing that I like to do is add the center lines. Like in this center, I will add two lines, those are just crossing each other. It looks like a beautiful bird detail. I'll add it to all the centers which are visible. This is one of the detailing that I like adding right in the end to give it that extra depth. The next detail that I like to add is filling up the gaps. Whenever there is a gap in white, just add a darker shade of blue and fill it up with a nice dark background. I'll just fill this up with my short-liner brush. Just use a small brush, it doesn't have to be a short liner, and fill all these little gaps. This can be very therapeutic because it's a very delicate work, so enjoy it and finish up the entire painting. I'll see you on the other side. As I said, this is a hydrangea. If you've noticed, we used only one color for the entire hydrangea. What you can do now is add a bit of another color to give it a different depth to it. A blue hydrangea, I like to add slight amount of Bordeaux or a pinkish tinge to it and it has to be very light, I don't want it to be too overwhelming, so I'm just using this to add some of the petals with one more layer on top to give it a different shade so that it doesn't look like there is only one color in the entire hydrangea. I want the hydrangea to look a bit more depth and not just a monochrome. What I do is, in the end, I just wet the petal and take a bit of the color that you want to add, and drop it at the edge to give it some slight more variations. You don't have to do it for each petal, just do it for a few petals to give it a beautiful depth and dimension to it. That's it. I guess I'm very happy with the way it's looking right now, it has a beautiful depth, it has textures, you can see the petals clearly. I made a bit of a mess here, so just ignore this part, but otherwise, it's pretty nice. The hydrangea leaf is very big usually and I like it to be nice, loose, and big. I'll just make my leaf like this, I will just move my brush like this to make an edge which is serrated. This part can be completely your choice how you want to make the leaf, or you want to make more flowers, you want to make another jar here, maybe, you want it to look like a still life. It's your wish, how you want to fill this up. I like the petal to be big, loose. I'll add one more leaf. I keep calling it petal, it's leaf. I try to cover this patch up, which I messed up by adding a leaf here. I'll just wet it first and drop the color. Flower itself is pretty detailed, I would say. I want this leaf to have a nice watercolor, loose look to it to give a nice character to this piece. Again, I'm just using one color. Feel free to mix it with some more color, maybe a yellow to give it some more depth, I might make some brown here. I hope you enjoyed this class where we painted this beautiful hydrangea from scratch. I know it can be a very long process, but it is extremely therapeutic. Take breaks, take your time, and try to finish this entire hydrangea. In the end, the look of this painting will give you so much satisfaction that you would want to try it again. Wow, I can't believe you stayed with me for the entire process, I'm so proud of what you have created. I'm very eager to see what you have made, so please post your class project in the projects gallery. 9. Final Thoughts: Congratulations on finishing the class. I'm so happy to see that you stayed through then. I know it can be a very long process to finish an hydrangea. But the end result is so rewarding and this is a great way to relax and practice on your patience as well. It is completely all right if you couldn't finish the entire hydrangea, take some break and maybe come back to it later. A hydrangea is equally beautiful, even if you paint only a part of it. So post whatever you've painted in the projects gallery, I would love to see what you've created. If you like the class, then don't forget to leave a review. It really means a lot. Follow me on Instagram as well as on Skillshare for future class updates. I'll see you next time.