Learn to Paint a Bottlebrush Bloom in Watercolor | Daniela Mellen | Skillshare

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Learn to Paint a Bottlebrush Bloom in Watercolor

teacher avatar Daniela Mellen, Artist & Author

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.

      Watercolor Bottlebrush Class Intro


    • 2.

      Class Supplies


    • 3.

      Bottlebrush 101


    • 4.

      Making the Sketch


    • 5.

      Inking the Sketch


    • 6.

      First Layer of Watercolor


    • 7.

      Painting the Leaves


    • 8.

      Painting the Buds


    • 9.

      Painting the Base of the Buds


    • 10.

      Practicing the Filaments


    • 11.

      Painting the Filaments


    • 12.

      Second Layer of Filaments


    • 13.

      Adding Details


    • 14.

      Class Wrap Up


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About This Class

Watercolor Bottlebrush is a class on creating the delicate and uniquely shaped bloom. We will work on creating layers, starting with wet-on-wet techniques to create graduated colors and then build on wet--on dry for the detail work. Using the combination of watercolors and ink, we will create an original illustration.

This class is geared towards intermediate watercolor artists. We will mix colors, create highlights within the first layers, and add gentle and subtle layers of detail to the subsequent layers.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Daniela Mellen

Artist & Author


I'm an artist and author living in coastal Florida and surrounded by plants, animals, marine life, and the warm sun - all things that inspire me.

I am drawn to creating things and love to get lost in projects. Each day is an opportunity to learn something new, build on existing skills, and branch out to new ones. I was formally trained as an educator which is my passion and incorporating art into teaching makes my life complete.

As of March 2023 I have a catalog of classes on Skillshare. You'll see handmade books, memory keeping, watercolor, acrylic paint, unique art supplies, and photography composition. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to seeing your work.

Check out my Patreon Channel or my YouTube Channel for additional class info... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Watercolor Bottlebrush Class Intro: Hello. I'm Daniella Melon and author and artist here in skill share. Thank you for joining me for my painting class. Watercolor bottle Brush The bottle brush bloom is an unusual flower that grows on a tree or a shrub. Its official name is coolest Amman. The vital brush tree is an evergreen that likes warm and humid climates. In the spring and summer, the tree has elongated blooms that resemble a brush used to clean bottles. Hence the familiar name bottle brush. The blooms come in red, white, green or orange. Today will pay a brilliant red bloom. This class is designed for intermediate water colorists. I've included a reference photo, a page for my sketchbook and a class supply list for you to download for your class project . Select the color bottle brush you'd like to paint, create your image and then take a photo of your work. Please post it in the project section or social media. Be sure to follow me here on skill share to get notified of future classes, and please consider leaving a review. Thanks for watching 2. Class Supplies: the supplies will need for our watercolor bottle. Brush class includes standard watercolor paints, some watercolor brushes. I have four through size one. I have a pencil and eraser as well as a permanent marker here. This is archival ink. It's a micron five pen, and that will not bleed when wet. So that's why I use that version. Um, I have some water color paper cut into a six by nine inch piece of paper, a cup of water, and I'll use a bigger one as well. A little paper towel. And then I used particularly thes two colors for the filaments, but you can use any colors you'd like. This is a crimson lake and a car line, so it's a darker red and advisory, very vibrant red. I'll use my other colors as well. In the project section, you'll find a few handouts. One is a reference photo, and one is a page for my sketchbook, so you can download that, um, and refer to that either printed out or just refer to it on your screen to see the anatomy of the bottle brush 3. Bottlebrush 101: So here we have a living specimen of a bottle brush. I climbed a tree and clipped it because I wanted to make sure I captured the greenery, the leaves as well as a filament. Here. It's very airy. You can see right behind it, and it's full of stock with little flowers. And then each stock has these filaments. Here is one such filament. I'll put it right next to the specimen. And so the entire two top is consists of a little flower with a little green base and then a little spray of these little filaments. The leaves are very interesting on the bottle brush tree there, long and narrow. They come to a point at both ends, and the color is very from like a yellow base to the green with a yellow vein. And this is a bottle brush. How it got its its common name. Here, um, it resembles a bottle brush. They come in other colors besides red, there's yellow, orange and white, the actual specimen. This is just a prop to show you what it looks like, and now we'll get started with our sketch and then we'll start painting 4. Making the Sketch: so to create our sketch, just gonna lightly sketched in pencil. And after I have the shapes that I want done, we'll go over it with this marker, let it dry, and then erase it. So what could it kind of put it at an angle? It's very straight up and down, which you can do that way. I'm just gonna tilt my specimen here, my reference piece, and then I'm just gonna go with the basic shapes right now. So here's my bloom area, and I kind of want the filaments to come over here and then the stock, which is pretty Woody comes down to here. So then I have some sprigs of greenery coming out. We'll do three sprigs, and there are a few greens that intersect with the filaments here. So first will work on the leads. I have the stock down and I have in a straight line, but I'm gonna try and make it just a little uneven. And the stock continues all the way up, but it becomes more of like greenery, and then it has little buds on it. So right now I'm just gonna pencil in that line for where I want to go, and now we'll just work on adding my leaves. So I have a little stock here for each of these, and I don't want too much of a curve to that leaf. I want flat paddle leaf here, and then over here will make another one. Changes the point here when it make sure it comes to a point. And I'll practice over here the shape of the leaf, that I want to create a little stem at the end, and then I'll have one longer one here with a few more leaves. What makes this interesting is when the leaves cross over each other, go behind and whatnot. Then I can see up here. If I pull these leaves back the bottom stocks, I should say there are still some leaves that lead right up to the looms here. So I wanna have some leaves coming there as well, miss when I made a little too wide. So I go back and I'm gonna have this one come behind over here. So now for this part here, I'm not gonna draw in the filaments and just got to draw that line with paint. But I m to draw the little blossoms that the filaments come out from this little green area and then this little pedal. So the what it is is it's a vine or a little stock, and then 360 degrees around it are those little buds. So I'm gonna make some of those little buds, will start by just making a few of the little green part of it. And then I'm gonna put some of the pedals on there, and I'm only gonna draw side view of the pedals that we will see. And so, from here, I will paint the filament coming out of it like this for each one of them. So I'll raise my filaments right now and then I'm just gonna draw my pedals and then the base of it here and there are some that it could be head on facing us. So I'll just make the outline there. And I can also see there a few tiny little leaves up top. So put a few in here, and then I think over here I'll just draw a little piece little close up of this. So I have my little green. Then I have my pedals. I will have my filament coming out from it. 5. Inking the Sketch: So now I'll take my marker and I'll start at the top here. And I'm going to just in ink where I want when shapes to be where I'm gonna add paint to color them in my top leaf here. And then I will start with very far right, drawing my leaves. There's a little bit of a stock here, so I'm trying record that. And then here I want to be careful so that I'm drawing the correct leaf in the right position. Whether it be coming from the back behind the existing ones. Or on top of it, this one's gonna be behind start on this side, - and I'm gonna keep this stock going pretty far down. Year old. Just pencil in ink in my, um this part of the flower here and then I'm going toe sketch over it over those sketch marks with pencil. With the ink, I'll race my marks and the next stage we painting our flower 6. First Layer of Watercolor: Okay, I'm gonna start with the stem here, at least the woody part of it. So I'm gonna go in here with just some weather water on my brush tip, and I'm using my number one brush, and I'm gonna just take a little bit of brown. Um, sepia, That'll brings off my brush, and they'll just wet the area that I want to color it. And I'm gonna go up just about two here with the brown, and I'll have a much lighter color up here, so I'll drop in some color, add a little more darker color, and at the base, I'm just gonna put in some of the darker color and on one side, I think I'll do that on the right hand side and I'll let this dry for the next part of this stock. I'm gonna work on a green. So we take some of this dark green and take a little bit of that sepia that I'm just gonna go in there lately and add a little bit of a hint of the of the green here. I'll come back in with its sepia, the darker color. Just drop in a few spots and then with a wet brush, I'll come in to spread it out a little bit, the area where it was sepia and green. I'll go in there and blended a little more. No, for believes will start with the leaves using the two leads we have here on the side. It's gonna go over them with some clear water and then because of the color there primarily , as I see them, very yellowy with some hint of this green. I'll go in there and I'll drop in some yellow First. I mix some yellow here with a little bit of green, and I'll put that color down first. It's very light, but I want to make sure it gets to the base of the leaf as well. They will come in here with some of the darker green in a little bit of sepia. That kind of gives me a natural green and just on the edges. I'll add some of that, leaving the center, the yellow showing. I'll add a little bit of this brighter green to over here, little sepia and a little more dark green. Here we go. It'll add a little water to that and just drop in some of that. Okay? I think I like those colors for the leaves. So I'm gonna let this dry, and they will come back and pay the leaves. 7. Painting the Leaves: So now that we have believes the color that I want you to go and I'm gonna wet all the leads with just so clear water, actually, I'll start with the stock on the left hand side, just the leaves on that stock. And then I'm gonna go in there with my sepia first and do the stock dry my brush, take a little bit of that dark green, and just put that on the stock as well. And then I'll go in with my yellow mix that with a little green the first time, a little darker green and more yellow. And I'm gonna drop that color in in the center of the leaves. Okay, when that stock is done, I could go back in with some of that darker green that we mixed up before. And I'm gonna put that on the edges right at the tip and raided the, um not quite at the base, but the sides belief. And then for the base gonna go in there. We just with some yellow. Then I'll do the next stock on the right hand side. Same procedure. Um, first off color of the leaves with clear water up in some yellow pigment right at the base where it meets this stock. Then I'll take my sepia coloring some of that stock dry my brush go when there were the later green and color in the middle of each leaf. Then I'll go in there with my doctor screen and color the tip of the leaf, and I'll do the last same procedure on this last stock. Here. I'll go back to the yellow and add that at the base of each of the leaves, and I'll add a little more yellow to the leaves, where it's dried right at the base as well. I'll come in with my brighter green, have that again, and then I'll come in with my darkest screen and add that at the tips. We'll go back over here on this side and some more at the tips of the darker green into the 1st 1 that we did. And we'll let this dry 8. Painting the Buds: now to do the first layer here for our little buds. Where are filaments were gonna come out of practice on this one here again with my actually zero brush. I'm gonna go in and I'll just wet that little base here. And I'm gonna drop in some of this dark green right at the base. Then with my brush, I'll come back in with the later green and add that as well for the flowers. I want a very pale, almost in ivory color. So I'll take some of this yellow Oakar and I'm gonna mix it with some water and I'll just get a very pale color. Just gonna add a few touches of color on that. And when that's dry, we can add the filament. But I like the way that's looking. Think it will just barely color the paper here And I don't want to distract from the actual , uh, read of the bottle brush. So the first thing I'll do is I'll makes a little more of this, a little more water, and I'll go in. I'll just paint the areas on the top of where I want these flowers to be, and I'll use this water down yellow Oakar for that, Then we'll come back in and add our little green base. And while waiting for that to dry, I'm just gonna do so. These three leaves here as well. We'll take our darkest green and started the tip and pull it down, and then I'll go in with our light green and just add a little bit of color there as well. Well, let this layer dry. 9. Painting the Base of the Buds: So now we want to add a little bit of greenery to the base of these pedals, so I'll take some of the darker green that we have. Don't need very much of it. And I'm just going to put in some of the green kind of at the base of the base of these little, uh, buds here. I'm purposely leaving some of the area in colored. I like that variation. I don't want everything to look uniform. This is also a good time. Or if I realized I missed a spot here like I missed some of these pedals, I can put them back in. Or if there's somewhere, I want a little more variation of color, I'll put them Put that in a swell. I also want to work a little bit on this stem. Gonna take some of this, um, sepia and I'll take some black, get a nice dark color. And there was just enough on my brush to make a sharp point. Just gonna come here and make some of these little spots Trying not to make it to uniform is a little texture here where a leaf stem could grow from and I'm trying to capture that on the stem. Also on the right hand side could add a little darkness in some spots. Then that adds, a little visual interest is, well, well if this layer dry. 10. Practicing the Filaments: now to work on the filaments. I'm gonna use this section here and do my practice one. What I'm gonna do is take two colors off first, we'll start with this very deep red crimson lake. But add just a bit of dark green to that and that will make it even darker. And then I want to keep my brushes dry as possible. Um, so it's not wet or splattering, but I want a very sharp point and I'm gonna start here, and I'm going to have, like, a conical shape coming out. So if I have my pencil, I can illustrate that I wanted toe the end results shall look kind of like that. So those will be the boundaries. I'm not going to sketch them on my painting, but I will sketch them here for the practice sheet so that I'm going to start from the base and just barely touching my brush to the paper. Gonna pull it out, turn my paper around to make this a little easier for me and just pull it down and around when I had my first layer done, I'll go back and I want this to dry. But for the practice session. I'm gonna just try and be a little quick, but coming here with my bright red again make a very sharp point with my brush and I'm gonna pull some of that color. I'm gonna make some more filaments, but because of the were using multiple color, it adds a little more dimension. So that's a close up of what I want to create Over here. There's one of this part and again we'll wait for the different layers to dry when we're doing the main part. But for here, I want to add a little bit of, um, I think it's called a stigma at the end of each of these. So with my brush will make a very sharp point. And that's where the pollen will accumulate on the plant so it can be read the actual color of, um, stigma, Or it can be cut coated in pollen. So I'm gonna do it variation I'm gonna do, I would say, um, 80% either dark red or red, red, and then just 10% of golden yellow. And so that will be my my pollen. My problem. Count on these little filaments, but it will also create a little variation. So there I have my yellow I'm sorry. There I have my dark red and my bright red, and now we'll go in here with some of this yellow orange again, just enough of my brush to make a point. And I'll put that there, and that will capture the pollen that gets trapped on those as well. And when it's very sunny, you can really see that. So here we have the way. We're going to do these over here and now will translate that to here, working in layers, so we'll start with our darkest red first. 11. Painting the Filaments: So to start with our filament, I'm gonna start at the bottom here and again. We're trying to make this conical shape because that the, um, filaments spring out all the way around from here. So start with my darkest red. Not too much, um, water on the brush. Just enough to move around in a very sharp point. Turn my paper around and we'll start here. I'm just gonna pull out a few filaments. I'm gonna move to the next one. This one's kind of a side angle, and I'll continue up the entire length. So when I had my first layer done here, I'll just reevaluate. Make sure it's I've got that conical shape that I want, and then I'll just kind of put a light guideline on either side where I want my boundaries to be. So let this layer dry and we'll come back and add the next layer of red 12. Second Layer of Filaments: now that her first layer is dry Well, at our next layer of just the red not the dark red with the bright red I'm mixing just a little bit of that dark red with it to tone it down and make it blend. And I'm gonna start at the base Here we have our sketch marks where we drew our guide and I'm gonna try and make all my stamens go out to that mark. All the filaments I'm gonna go inside some of the pieces that we made to give the impression of a very full bottle brush. - Then I'll flip it over. See where I'm at here. I think I want to make just a little bit longer filaments at the base here. So I'll go in, make sure you have enough pigment here and I'll just pull them out a little. Just a few here and there. I'll do the same thing on the top. - So now that I have it looking very wispy, I like that Look, there's any spots in here. I want to go and just add a little color. I'll do that and then I'll take my paintbrush. And with my darkest color ago. Make sure I have a lot of pigment on there. I'll go make that little spot on the end here and again. I'll stick to the 80 20 rule, with 80% of it being different reds and 20% of it being the yellow for pollen. And they don't have to all be on the outer edge. That could be amongst as well. I'll go in there with some bright red and do the same thing that I'm going to take some of this darker red and mix it with some darker green. So we get a very dark shade and I'll put some dots inside as well. This will make it seem like it's very much 3 60 coming out. Put a few dark dots on the outside, and then I'll go in with this yellow orange to indicate pollen. Well, let this layer dry and we'll come back and add some detail work 13. Adding Details: for the first part of our detail work. I want to take some of this yellow. It makes it with just the teeniest bit of the screen that we've already used. And now, with a very sharp point, I'm gonna create a vein on along the leaves. Some of the veins won't be a straight line. It will be a kind of a staggered line. And that's okay. Barely touching the paper with the brush. Then I'm gonna go in some of this burnt sienna here, mix it with a little bit of sepia. I'm gonna put in some spots that well along the right hand side of our stock, and I'll put a little bit on the stock of going up where the leaves are located. Then I'm gonna makes a very light gray. So I have more water just a little bit of black, and I'm just gonna create a little shadow right behind to the right hand side of our stock again. With that color, I'm gonna just follow underneath on the right hand side, all our leaves for a little one here to do the same thing. Gonna add some more water, create more of a shadow. I'm just gonna go underneath it here and then with a damp brush. I'll pull that color out a little bit and I'll do the same thing with the leaves up here. Then again, with the damp brush will move some of that color around. I want to take a little bit more of that yellow and just go with the base of the leaves and a little vibrancy there and there we have our watercolor bottle brush. 14. Class Wrap Up: So here we have our finished water color bottle brush painting, I hope youll try your hand at one and post your results in the project section or post them on instagram. And be sure to tag me. If you're using your image for a sketchbook, you might want to consider putting a border or moving the shadow around. So here's another image that I did. Where I put the shadow offset quite a bit a ways, and it draws interest of the page. I also created just a very rustic border, and I wrote the bottle brush. Coolest Ammann over here is well, so that's another way to use it in your art journals or your nature journal. Be sure to follow me here on skill share to get notified of future classes, and please consider leaving a review. If you have any class ideas, I welcome them. Please post your comments in the project section. Thanks for joining me