Learn to Paint Botanical Watercolors with a Modern Twist | Cat Coquillette | Skillshare

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Learn to Paint Botanical Watercolors with a Modern Twist

teacher avatar Cat Coquillette, Artist + Entrepreneur + Educator

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.

      Let's Go!


    • 2.

      Your Project


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Monstera: Sketch


    • 5.

      Monstera: Starting Strokes


    • 6.

      Monstera: Painting


    • 7.

      Monstera: Finishing


    • 8.

      Sunflower: Petals


    • 9.

      Sunflower: Layering


    • 10.

      Sunflower: Seeds


    • 11.

      Sunflower: Accents


    • 12.

      Hibiscus: Sketch


    • 13.

      Hibiscus: Details


    • 14.

      Hibiscus: Petals


    • 15.

      Succulent: Sketch


    • 16.

      Succulent: Painting


    • 17.

      Final Tips


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About This Class

Learn to paint botanical watercolors with a modern twist! In this class, you’ll create four distinct watercolor paintings. During each project, you’ll learn specific skills to help you fine-tune your painting skills and learn what makes watercolor such a unique medium. 

By the end of the class, you’ll have a stack of botanical paintings that you created yourself!

As we paint, you’ll learn:

  • Supply recommendations
  • Simple sketching tips + freehand painting
  • Brush control techniques (helloooo, whitespace!)
  • Color mixing on palettes + paper
  • Tips for modern watercolors!


This class is for all levels:

  • Beginners: with step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to follow along with each painting
  • Advanced artists: you’ll learn techniques to infuse modern practices into your paintings

Who I am:

Hello! My name is Cat Coquillette and I’m a professional artist, surface designer, and Skillshare Top Teacher. My watercolor art prints are available in stores like Target, Urban Outfitters, Home Goods and more. My designs have been sold throughout the world on over a million products and counting!

My painting style is modern and on-trend, which is a big part of why my work sells. I distill complicated motifs into simple shapes with a whimsical touch and plenty of intricate whitespace line-work. I blend a few non-traditional techniques within the watercolor medium for a unique and contemporary aesthetic.


Don’t forget to follow me on Skillshare! Click the “follow” button above the video and you’ll be the first to know as soon as I launch a new course or have a big announcement to share with my students.


Additional Resources:


Ready for the next step? Learn how to scan in your watercolor painting so you can edit it digitally and sell it as art prints online!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Cat Coquillette

Artist + Entrepreneur + Educator

Top Teacher

Hello there! I'm Cat Coquillette.

I'm a location-independent artist, entrepreneur, and educator. I run my entire creative brand, CatCoq, from around the world. My "office" changes daily, usually a coffee shop, co-working space, or airport terminal somewhere in the world. 

My brand aspires to not only provide an exhilarating aesthetic rooted in an appreciation for culture, travel and the outdoors, but through education, I inspire my students to channel their natural curiosity and reach their full potential.

CatCoq artwork and designs are licensed worldwide in stores including Urban Outfitters, Target, Barnes & Noble, Modcloth, Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, among many others. ... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Let's Go!: Do you want to learn how to paint your own botanical watercolors with a modern twist? This class is all about simplifying the watercolor process so you can paint modern, vibrant, artwork. Whether you're totally new to watercolors or already an experienced artist, you'll be able to follow along and build your painting skills. My name is Cat Coquillette and this is actually my 19th Skillshare class! I'm a professional artist and surface designer, and watercolors are one of my favorite mediums. In fact, you can find my watercolor art prints in stores like Target, HomeGoods, Urban Outfitters, and many more. I travel the world full-time as a digital nomad artist and I paint the things that inspire me on my travels. I consider my art portfolio a diary of my experiences around the globe. One of my favorite aspects of watercolors are the unexpected surprises. A completely dry painting is going to look quite different from when it was wet. You can dip different pigments together to see how they blend or pour water on your page so that it creates these complex blooms when it dries. Simply put, watercolor is pretty incredible. In this class, I'll be breaking everything down into simple steps. I've been a professional artist for years and my process has become pretty finely tuned. I start with a reference image and then I distill complicated motifs into simple shapes. By the time I finished my sketch and get up my brushes, I'm essentially painting within the lines like a coloring book. You'll learn how to do exactly this and paint with white space in mind, which creates a modern vibe to your paintings. By the end of this class, you'll have a stack of four watercolor illustrations that you painted yourself. In the process, you'll be learning some cool techniques and my best advice for watercolor painters. Ready to dive in and create your own watercolor originals? Let's get started. 2. Your Project: First off, thank you for joining me today! We're going to be creating four unique illustrations, all inspired by botanical motifs. When it comes to painting leaves, florals, pretty much anything, I am a big fan of reference photos. I'm not a photorealistic artist by any means. Instead, I look at a photo and I distill a complex motif into a few simple segments. This is what makes my artwork so modern and clean. I'm providing four reference photos, which you can find in the Projects and Resources tab down below. Once you're there, you'll see a column on the right called Resources. That's where you can click to download each reference photo for this class. I'll be demonstrating four different motifs. A tropical monstera leaf, a sunflower, a hibiscus, and a rosette succulent. However, if you'd like to paint from a photo that you took or simply paint your own favorite flower instead, please feel free. The sketching and painting techniques that you'll be learning are universal no matter what reference photo you're using. For example, in the section where you learn how to paint a sunflower, you can be following along with a chrysanthemum instead. Or maybe during the hibiscus lesson, you want to swap out the colors and paint a bright blue hibiscus instead of a fuchsia one, totally fine. I want you to make these paintings your own, and you can do that by infusing your own stylistic preferences. I would love to see what you made in the class today. Once you finish the paintings, please snap a picture and share them in the student project gallery. You can find the gallery under the same Project and Resources tab. On the right, you'll see a green button that says Create Project. Tap that, and once you're there, you'll have the option to upload a cover photo and a title and write a little description. You could include both images and text here if you'd like. If you're up for it, I would love to hear a bit about your process and what you learned along the way. Once your project is uploaded, it will appear in the Student Projects Gallery. You can view other projects here and I definitely encourage you to like and comment each other's work. If you wanted to share your project on Instagram, please tag me @catcoq, and Skillshare, @skillshare so we can both like and comment on social media too. If you share your work in your Instagram Stories, don't forget to tag me so I can re-share your story to my own audience as well. After all, as artists, our output is split between creating beautiful art and then marketing that art so that the world can see it. Any chance we have to support one another, let's do it. Please don't forget to follow me on Skillshare by clicking the "Follow" button up top. That means that you'll get an email as soon as I launch my next class. Now that you have a sense of the class, let's dive right in, starting with supplies. 3. Supplies: In terms of supplies, let's start with the most basic. Watercolor paints. My preferred brand is right here, it's Winsor & Newton. I actually have a couple of these. This is the Cotman series, which as you can see, has definitely seen some better days. Now, this is just the sign of a very well-loved watercolor sets. I use a lot of green in my artwork, so a lot of my green pans are decimated. But the good thing with pans, as you can always buy replacements, the Cotman series is known as the student grade. In terms of Winsor & Newton, it's a little bit cheaper. To put it into perspective, I'm 33 years old now, and I've been using a Winsor & Newton Cotman series since I was about 16. I bought many different pans over the years, but the brand has always been the same, it's really reliable. If you feel like spending a little bit more money and upgrading from their Student series, which again is Cotman, to their Professional Artists series, which is this one right here, you can do so as well. I actually just bought these. So as you can tell, very brands new pan, love the look of this, it will not look this way for very long. But the main difference between the Professional series and the Cotman series are these, we'll have a little bit more vivid and bright tones to their pigments. But again, I've been using the Cotman series since I was a teenager, and they've worked out just fine for me, so Winsor Newton is my brand of choice for watercolor pans. Now, with watercolors, you can also paint with tubes. Let me show you what my tubes look like. Get them all out of there. I've got a lot of tubes I work with. The majority of these tubes I use are just really cheap branded tubes that I buy around the world when I'm traveling. A lot of these came from Thailand, some from Indonesia, but the point is they're cheap tubes, they cost $1 or $2, and they work really well for me. Watercolors come in both tubes and pans, and they both accomplish the same thing. They're both watercolor pigment, and you can use them both in your same painting. You can use them interchangeably. In fact, let me show you over here, in this very difficult to open pan. Sometimes I'll take the tube paints, squeeze it over onto my pan, and then I'll mix pan paint with tube paint to get the exact color that I'm looking for. You can use tubes, you can use pans. As long as it's watercolor paints, we'll be able to get there. If you want to use the exact same brand, I primarily use Winsor & Newton, but I also buy these, I can't even read it, it's not even in English. I also use these tube paints from time to time that I pick up at art supply stores, and they're super cheap and they worked out really well for me. It's not about the brand or how much you spend. It's about what you do with that paint, and that's what you're going to learn today. Next up, brushes. I don't have any particular brand loyalty to any one brush brand in particular. Instead, I buy these cheap brushes that I find in art supply stores or off Amazon. I don't spend a lot of money on them. I usually use synthetic brushes, not sable brushes, and it's really just a cost thing. I use these brushes like crazy. In fact, for some of the detail brushes that I use, if I'm doing a lot of paintings that week, I might throw this brush away by the end of the week. It's a good thing this one cost me about a dollar. With brushes, instead of telling you the brands that I look for, I'm going to talk about the attributes I look for in a good brush. The most important thing to look for in a watercolor brush is that simply put, it holds a lot of water. The bristles should be very soft, so the really dry and crispy acrylic and oil brushes aren't going to work very well for watercolor paints specifically. I want brushes that are very soft, and will really hold that water within the brush. I mostly use round brushes like these that come to a very, very fine tip. That way, if I press them hard on the paper, I can cover a lot of area, but I can also get a lot of really nice details in there because of that fine tip on the end of the brush. I like having a variety of sizes on hand as well. For any type of watercolor painting I'm doing, this is about what the brush set would look like for when I'm working on. I have a couple very fine detail brushes, I have a nice medium brush, and I also have a nice big, fat, thick brush that can hold a lot of paint and pigment. If I need to cover larger areas, I'll use my big brush, and for the teeny-tiny details, I'll use this little guy right here. Remember, when you're shopping for brushes, the brand doesn't really matter as much as what that brush can do. Just make sure that you're purchasing a watercolor brush. I like round brushes that come to a tapered point. If you're curious about sizes, this is a size 1 brush. My other detail brush, I think is a zero, this one is a zero. I also have a size 4 and a size 16. If you're wondering what this giant brush over here is, I rarely use this to paint, unless I'm doing big background washes, which I don't really do that often. I really don't use this for painting. Instead, I use this brush for brushing the eraser marks off my page after I finished erasing something. Say I've drawn a sketch and erased it out and you have these little nibs of eraser bits all of your page, I don't like using my hands to clear those because I don't want to smear the graphite of that sketch or get my oils and skin textures on that page. Just like a good archaeologist, I use a brush for that instead. You don't have to be as extra as me for that, it's just a personal preference. Let's chat paper. My preferred paper is Strathmore watercolor paper. Now, this one is in the 300 series, which is medium range in terms of durability. The 300 is marketed towards beginner artists, but I'm going to be completely honest here. I'm a professional artist, and I still use the 300 series. For me. there's no need to splurge on the higher-end watercolor series paper because this one works just fine for my purposes. To give you a better idea of that, for Strathmore, the series range to 500, so 500 is going to be really thick paper, and 200 is going to be very thin paper. The reason that the weight of the paper matters is because if you're using a lot of water on your page, that paper might start to buckle. If you're going to be doing that, then maybe the 500 series is going to be better for you. But for me, again, 300, it's a little bit cheaper than the 500, and it works just fine. Again, instead of talking about brands necessarily, I'm going to talk about the things that I look for in a good watercolor paper. First things first, cold press. What that means is this paper is going to have a really nice tooth to it. It's not going to be too smooth, it's going to have some texture. If you're looking for something that's smoother, hot press is what you want to go for. But again, I like cold press because I like having that texture coming through with the watercolor. Another thing I look for, is I want to make sure that water color paper is acid free. This is an important thing to look for, because it means this paper isn't going to get yellow over time. If say, if you were going to paint something, frame it, and put it on your wall, and it's next to a window, and that sunlight is hitting the paper, it might start getting yellow over time if it's not acid free, but acid free paper means it's going to age very well. It's not going to get yellow, it's not going to get crackly. It'll last you for a very long time to come. It's just a very simple thing. It's usually pretty small on the paper, but acid free is definitely what to go for. The last thing I look for is the weight of the paper. We already have the weight indicated up here, where it says 300 series, but you should find somewhere on the page, here we go, heavyweight. Again, that just means that that paper is going to be a lot thicker, which means it's good for watercolor. Again, with watercolor, we're using water. If that paper is too thin, that paper will start to buckle a little bit and crease, which is not good. Heavyweight paper means that it'll be durable, it won't start to bend or fold, doesn't get saturated with watercolor, and it means it has better quality. Now that we've got the staples out of the way, the paint, the papers, and the brushes, let's talk about some of the extras, starting with pencils. With watercolor, I use pencils to sketch on page before I paint. The specific thing I look for in a pencil is I want to make sure it has a really hard lead. I'm going to set this down, you can see it. This pencil is a 3H. 3H means it has a fairly hard lead, which means if I make a very light sketch on paper, it's barely going to show, that lead is way too hard. You'd really have to push down to make that lead show. The opposite of that is a soft lead pencil. Soft lead is indicated by B. Hard lead has an H, soft lead has a B. I do not use soft lead pencils when I'm sketching for watercolor. The simple reason why, is with a really soft lead pencil, you can barely make a mark on that page, and it's definitely going to show. The whole thing with watercolors is, when you paint over your pencil marks, those pencil marks are permanently there. You can't erase them after you've got the paint on top. In order to make my pencil marks not show as much, I want to make sure that they're very light on the paper. For doing that, I want to make sure I have a hard lead pencil. But if you don't have hard, soft lead pencils, all of those designations, you can still do this with mechanical pencil and sketch, and that is where your eraser is going to come in handy. I use two types of erasers: the kneaded rubber erasers, and then the click erasers. Like I was saying, if you do a hard sketch on paper, no problem, you can use this kneaded eraser to push down on your sketch, and literally lift those pencil marks up off the paper. Even if you sketch hard, sometimes I do that too, you can always use your kneaded eraser to remove the sketch marks, and lighten it up a little bit before you start painting. The click eraser, it's just fun to do this, but the other thing that the click eraser is, whenever I have a sketch, and I want to erase certain parts of it, and a really particular fine area, this just gives me more control. It's basically like a erasing with a pencil. Again, with watercolor, you want to have a very minimal sketch on the page. Usually what I do is, I'll do my rough sketch and then I'll use my eraser to erase out any parts that aren't integral to the painting. More stuff you need. A water dish. We are, after all, using watercolor, so you'll need some source of water. You'll notice up top, I have this little piece of masking tape over my dish. The only reason I have that is, it's just to remind myself not to drink the water. I don't know if you guys have ever done the same thing, but when I'm painting, sometimes I'm drinking tea or coffee, and I can't tell you how many times I've accidentally dipped my brush in my coffee, and then thought I was cleaning it or what's even grosser, sipped my paint water because I thought it was my tea. By putting a little piece of tape, Scotch tape, washi tape, it doesn't matter, just something on top of that rim will remind me not to accidentally drink it. There is your pro tip for today. If you get nothing else out of this class, it's going to be the tape trick, so that you don't drink your paint water, I promise. A couple other things to have on hand. It's always a good idea to have paper towels so that when you need to use them, they're right there. I use paper towels for erasing mistakes. So if I drip a little bit of paint somewhere, I can quickly blot it up with my paper towel. This one's wet, because I already spilled my paint water right before I turned the camera on, so it's already come in handy. A couple other little extras. This is a tube of acrylic paints. I know this is a watercolor class, but sometimes I like adding white acrylic accents on top of my watercolor. It just adds a nice modern touch. With watercolor, the only white you're ever going to get is going to be the paper itself, so if you ever want to add white details later, acrylic is a really great way to do it. Alright, more fun stuff. Having some sort of palette for your paint is a pretty good idea. What I mean by palette is, just some area where you can mix colors together, squeeze out from the tube, pull paint from the pan. And so for me, if I can open these, it's old cigar packaging from cigar tins. And what I've done, they're really lightweight easy to travel with, and I can seal them up like this. These old cigar tins are perfect for me, because I can have these three primary pallets of my primary colors. I've got a yellow area, blue, magenta, purple, a little bit of green. You can get this with your paints as well. Again, with my beautifully tornado attacked paint pans right here, I use these areas for my palettes too. But I just ran out of space because as you can see, I'm very chaotic with my color mixing so it's nice to have some extras. This isn't absolutely necessary, but if you like having these really nice designated areas for mixing your paints together, it can be a good idea. I use these old cigar tins, but you can buy plastic palettes online. They cost about 50 cents a palette, they're very cheap. You can also use dishes. You can use whatever you want, just as long as you have a nice clean area to mix your paints together. Last but not least, your reference photo. When I paint, I'm almost always working off of a reference photo. What that means is, I'm looking at an actual photo of what it is that I'm going to be depicting with my watercolors. In this case, one of our lessons today will be painting this Monstera leaf, and so I've got this nice reference photo here to look at. Usually what I do is, I have it up on my iPad like this, or my laptop screen or my phone, and I just have it off to the side as I'm painting, so that I'm constantly referencing what this real life thing is going to look like. Even though my paintings are not photo-realistic, that's not my style, I do very modern, simplified, illustrative paintings, it's still nice to have a photo like this to base your illustration off of. Now that we have all of our supplies covered, let's get to the fun stuff, which is our first sketch. 4. Monstera: Sketch: Now we are going to kick this off with our sketch. What we want to do is take this reference photo, which is a tropical Monstera leaf and distill it into a very simple sketch to have on our watercolor paper. For this sketch, you will need a few supplies. You'll need to have your reference photo. Again, I'll be using the tropical Monstera leaf. But if you want to follow along with a different motif; maybe it's a photo you took yourself, or a different kind of tropical plant, or just something else entirely, please feel free. The things that you'll be learning will still be the same, whether you're doing a palm leaf or a Monstera. So follow along or do your own thing, it's up to you. You've got your reference photo no matter what it is, we have our piece of paper, and you have a pencil and an eraser. Like I mentioned, I like using really hard lead pencils, but I'm not going to use it right now because I want you to actually be able to see what I'm doing on-screen. I will be using an HB pencil, which is in between hard and soft lead pencil. I'll be drawing pretty hard on my page so that you can actually see up here on camera what I'm doing. But remember, the point is to have the sketch be very, very light so that once that paint is on top you can't see the pencil marks. I'm going to be drawing dark, but be sure to be following along with a very light stroke. First things first, let's go ahead and take a look over here at our reference photo. It's a pretty simple shape. It's basically this oblong, almost heart-shaped with a central vein that runs down the middle. That's actually what I'm going to start with. The first thing I'm going to do is just draw this line down my page. My line is really dark and that's making me inwardly cringe on this watercolor paper, but I want you to be able to see what I'm doing. So very soft, gentle pencil marks as you draw that one vertical line. Now it looks like it divots right here in the middle, so I'm going to draw that divot. Then it comes to a nice fine point at the bottom, so let's get that point in. Now it's just a matter of completing these curves. It doesn't have to be perfectly symmetrical. You know our reference photo, definitely isn't. Maybe one side is a little bit fatter and the other side it's a little bit longer before it comes to a point. Remember, these don't have to be perfect. Imperfections are what make watercolor such a beautiful medium to work with. I've got the central line. I've got this rough shape of what the leaf looks like. Now let's add in some of these whole areas. A Monstera leaf is like Swiss cheese. It's got a lot of holes, and they have these divots that run through almost to that central vein of the leaf. So I'm going to start with those divot areas. It doesn't have to be following exactly with the photo, you can decide where you want these divots to be yourself. I'm just going to add a few here. Maybe a bigger one right here to make it a little bit more interesting. May be a really tiny one right here. That Monstera leaf also has these nice isolated holes, so I'm going to come up with a few areas that I think would be good holes. Maybe one right here. Cool. Pretty simple, we don't have to overthink it too much. This is about taking a complex motif and simplifying it into a few basic shapes. Before I go any further, I'm going to get out my eraser and erase the unnecessary lines. Remember we have these divots, so we can erase these whitespace areas. This is where I use my archaeologist brush, and brush those eraser marks off the page because I'm a little bit extra when I paint. Last but not least, let's go ahead and segment this leaf out based off of this veining that we see here in the reference photo. When I paint with watercolor, one of the techniques that I like to use for my own personal style is to have these segmented areas that are separated by whitespace. The reason I like having these areas and these little sizable chunks and segments, is it makes it easier for me to fill in with watercolor and pigments before it dries on me. With watercolor it dries very, very quickly, so you've got to work quickly or you can work in smaller chunks at a time. Rather than rushing myself and trying to paint very quickly before the paint dries, I like having these segments and nice sizable chunks that I know I can finish painting before the paint dries. If that doesn't make sense to you right now, it definitely will in this next video when we start painting. But for now, what we want to do is isolate this leaf into segments so that we're only painting one segment at a time before we move on to the next segments. It's easy with this leaf because we have these veins built-in. So the motif makes it pretty simple for us. I'm just going to go through and finish the veining on this leaf. I don't want to have the segments too small, but I don't want them too big either. For a segment about this area or about this area, I know I can fill it in with paint without feeling too rushed. Maybe one here. Maybe we'll have this whole splinted area and a nice fine tip, and I'll do the same thing on the other side. We're just dividing this into little chunks, and maybe one that swoops up like this. We have our sketch completed, pretty simple. Again, we're taking a complex leaf and making it a very simple flat shape, and we have these nice segments that will each individually be filled with different types of pigments. So if we were to do this perfectly, by the time we finished painting we would be able to take our eraser and erase out all of these pencil marks. Just think of it this way, we're going to be painting in these areas but not painting over the pencil marks. If you paint over a pencil mark, it's fine. I do it all the time, but as we're working on brush control the idea will be leaving these pencil marks to represent the empty space areas. Last but not least, you want to go ahead and lighten your sketch. If you have a kneaded eraser, what you can do is literally just push it on the page and pull that graphite up from the paper to make your sketch a lot lighter, so when you do watercolor that pencil won't show through. If you don't have a kneaded eraser, no problem. You can do it with any eraser. You'll just go through and very gently erase out on that page. But again, I'm not going to do that because I want to have really dark lines so that you can see what I'm doing. Our sketch is finished. Let's go ahead and do the fun part, which is painting. 5. Monstera: Starting Strokes: Time to do our very first painting. From left to right, I have my reference photo over here. We don't really need it that much anymore since we've already established our sketch. But it's nice to have just to see the lightness and darkness within that leaf. I'm not going to put it aside just yet. I'll just leave it right here. I've also got my sketch over here in the center. I've got three brushes that I'll be using. A large round brush with a nice fine tip, and then I've got two smaller detail brushes. Three brushes will probably get me through this entire painting. Again, the thing I look for is a round brush that can hold a lot of water and then that really fine tip, so that I can get those nice tight details. As I paint, I actually like to work from left to right because I'm right-handed. If I were to start down here and then move over here, I would just smear my paint everywhere. I'll be starting at this top left edge and then working my way across. I've also got my water dish with my nice piece of tape to keep me from drinking my paint water. Over here, last but not least, I have all of my different paints. Like I mentioned it before, I use a combination of the pans, which are these little hard pieces right here. These I've pulled out of my professional series, and I like mixing and matching. I've also got my pans over here for my Cot-man series and then a lot of pallet real estate. I've already gone ahead and squeezed some of my tube paint out onto my palette, so that I can begin mixing things together. The way I like to start is with my nice round brush here, get it nice and wet, and then start getting my palettes very saturated. I know it looks super messy, but it'll be this nice controlled chaos when we get it on the actual paper. Getting a nice saturated palettes, and I really want to be focusing on loading up my large round brush with a lot of pigments and a lot of water. When I say that I want to load my brush-up with water and pigments, what I mean is a nice even coating of that paint and that water on my brush. I don't want it to be too drippy, otherwise, I'm going to lose control and probably splatter all over my paper, but I don't want it to dry either. Otherwise, it's going to be this dry effect, which can sometimes be cool, but it's not what I'm looking for right now. A good rule of thumb is you get a nice and saturated, you hold it over your hand. If it drips maybe once, sometimes a little shake, perfect. That is just the amount of water and pigment I want on this brush. These paper towels are already coming in handy. So I'm just going to pull this pigment and water through. Again, if you go over your lines, it's no big deal, I do it all the time. I will switch to one of my detail brushes, use that same pigments and then just really get those fine crisp corners. I'm trying not to go over my pencil marks, but again, nobody's perfect. If you go over them, it's not a big deal. Cool. Now what I want to do, it's a nice even layer, evenish of this paint. I want this corner to be nice and dark. Because if you look at my reference photo, when it gets to the center of that veining, it gets a lot deeper because that leaf curves inwards. If I want the green to get dark, I'm going to add its complimentary color, which is red. I'm mixing up a little bit of red, a little bit of magenta, nice even coating, and I'm just going to make a few little dip marks right here in the middle. I'll just let that blend with the green naturally. Nothing else I have to do on my ends. To make it a little bit more interesting, maybe I'll pull from some of this yellow and add some yellow over here at this back corner. You can see that the paint is even starting to dry as quickly as we just started. We just started late in this pigment down. But there's areas here where that paint has already been dried on the page. That's what I mean with watercolor. You've got to work pretty quickly, which is why I like piecing things out into small segments at a time, so that it's not too overwhelming. I have a chance to fill in all these fun little details while it's still wet and malleable. This first segment is done. As you can see, it's not just a straight green. We've mixed a little bit of purple, magenta in here at that corner to add depth. I've added some unexpected splotches of yellow just to make it a little bit more fun and unexpected, and then I've also really pulled in a little bit of darker green at the top here. At this area at the top, there's a lot of water. It's really heavy, saturated area with water. So what that means is as this top area begins to dry, it's going to create an effect called watercolor blooming. Blooming is one of my favorite things about watercolor. You can't get it with any other medium, oil, acrylic, pastel. This thing is only with watercolor. What blooming is as this pigment and water starts to dry, what's going to happen are the outer edges of that puddle are going to have these really defined lines. It's almost going to look like a really squiggly outline, and it's a really cool effect. I love it with watercolor and I like creating watercolor blooms whenever I can. Again, you can get there by pulling a lot of water in one area with a lot of pigments, and you'll see this as it begins to dry that it's going to create this bloom. Just a fun little tip as you're painting. For the next section, I just used this main green for this top part. So I want to do something a little bit different. Let's see, I've got this nice lime green area over here on my palette. Same thing, I'm just going to get my brush nice and saturated. Do you ever see bubbles like this in your pallets? What that means is it's probably soap. The way that you clean watercolor brushes are basically you can use hand soap, any kind of soap, and then you just clean the brushes out against your palm. If you don't clean your brushes very thoroughly, then you're going to have some soap left in those bristles. Those little bubbles you're seeing here are probably because one time I didn't clean my brush as well as I should have. It will work its way out over time, but it's a good reminder to always clean your brush very, very thoroughly. Let's go ahead with this next section. Again, I'm starting with this big large brush to get the main area of this leaf, and then I'll set it aside. Switch to my smaller detail brush with that exact same pigments and then start filling in those areas. This is where that whitespace technique is really going to come in handy. Because as you can see, I'm not actually touching that top segments. I'm leaving a gap and that gap, that's the effect that we call white space or negative space, and it just adds a more modern aesthetic to my paintings. The reason I started using whitespace way back in the day was because I was too impatient to let my paint dry, and I wanted to get on with the next section without worrying about it bleeding into the previous section. My impatience paid off because that's now my signature technique with all of my paintings, is always incorporating this whitespace. It also means that you can paint quickly without having to wait for the paint to dry all the time. I'm adding in some red over here to this corner because red is the complementary color of green. It just adds a little bit more depth. If you want things to blend together, you can just drop in a little bit of water without any paint on it. Yeah. So red is the complementary color of green, which means when you mix those two together, it's going to create a desaturated color. For me personally, I never worked with an absolute black paint straight out of the tube. Instead, I mix two complimentary colors together to create black. If you mix red and green together, it'll create black because they're across each other on the color wheel. Purple and yellow together make black, and then blue and orange will also make black. By mixing two complimentary colors together to achieve a black, it just makes it look a lot more interesting, and that way you can skew that black to be maybe more warm or more cool depending on what you're wanting. We'll drop in a little bit of yellow right here towards the middle. Cool. Paper towels are my best friend when painting. Next up, let's go ahead and do the section. 6. Monstera: Painting: I think I want this to be a bluish green. We have this Kelly green up top, this more yellow desaturated green. Let's try something that feels a little bit more cool and blue. I think one of my cigar tins, perfect, it already has blue. Let's go ahead and get this nice and saturated. I can pull in some of that blue from this pan over here. Maybe from this one as well. Perfect. Now it's this nice, blue-green. That's really nice and vibrant. Same thing, I'm just going to load up my brush. That's just gorgeous. It's this really nice turquoise teal. Set that guy aside. Get my detail brush out and really carefully utilizing that fine tip of the brush to get those nice crisp corners. Same thing. I don't want to touch that layer above it, I want to leave a nice little empty space gap. Let's bring it to a fine point. I'll set that aside for now. Same thing, I'll just pull a little bit of this purple onto my brush. I'm just going to give it a few dips at this corner up here and let it just naturally work its way through as it dries and blend with that green. I want to dip in another color just to make it a little bit more unexpected. How about some of this blue pen? Get a few drops of blue up here. Again, I'm just going to let that dry and this watercolor is going to do the mixing work for me. I don't have to do any extra steps. It's just as it dries, it will naturally blend in with that color because everything is still wet. If this paint were dry and I try to drop it on like that, it wouldn't have that same blending effect. That's another reason why I like to work with these small segments at a time so that I know that everything I'm working with is still wet and malleable. Next section. To be honest, a lot of times when I'm choosing colors, there's not a ton of pre-planning. It's a very intuitive process. I look at the colors I've got on my paper, I look at my palette and it's all just a game time decision. For this one, let's have it be really dark, desaturated. Nice. Now I'll switch to my smaller detail brush to fill in those corners. Really carefully follow along that line so that it's not overlapping, but it creates that nice white space. I don't know if you can hear that, but it's actually thundering outside right now. I'm in Playa del Carmen in my apartment in Mexico. We haven't had a good rain for a really long time, so I'm really excited for all this rain. It means everything is going to be very green tomorrow. Let's dip in some of this is yellow. Cool. When I arrived in Mexico, I actually got here right at the beginning of hurricane season. The day after my flight got in, I had to prepare for a category four hurricane, which was super fun. But it was actually the first hurricane I'd ever been in. I grew up in Kansas, so I know about tornado drills, and tornado sirens, and tornado shelters, all of that. But it was my first hurricane this year. Let's take a look at what we're working with. We have a nice blend of colors coming through. Even though we're using a lot of different colors with this, they're all within the same category of green. That's the consistency here. We're adding in some nice unexpected pops of different colors. We have a lot of these magentas and reds from the center that add a lot of depth coming out. Then we have these little exploding areas of different crazy colors within the paint as well. I'm really liking this really bright blue over here against the turquoise. Some unexpected yellow, especially when you have the rest of the segment being very desaturated. What I'm going to do is just go through and start filling in the rest of this left-side of the leaf. Feel free to follow along with me. Remember a good rule of thumb here is wherever you have your pencil marks, treat those as the areas where the white space should be. What I mean by that is, I shouldn't be painting over any of my pencil marks. That way when I'm totally finished with my entire painting, what I'll be able to do is just, again, when it's totally dry, I take my eraser and erase out all of these pencil marks that are on these edges. You go over your pencil marks like I do up here and in a lot of places, it's no big deal, but as you're painting, just try to keep that in mind that if you can avoid painting over the pencil marks, then we'll be able to erase those out at the very end. But again, it doesn't have to be perfect. We have the left-side of leaf completed. It's still very wet, so be careful not to smear it. I've got a little bit of a blob of my paper, but I can remove it just like that. Again, paper towels are amazing for cleaning up mistakes with watercolor. Let's go ahead and move on to the right-side of our leaf. Real quick before we do so, I want to explain what this technique is called. This is actually called wet-on-dry painting. What that means is the paper is bone dry and our brush is very, very wet. Remember when I was like, we really need to load it with all this pigment and water. So we have a very wet brush and so we're painting on dry paper, thus wet-on-dry technique. This is actually the watercolor technique that will give you the most control. There's also wet-on-wet, which is getting your paper nice and saturated with a thin layer of water first before you start painting. Then it blooms as you go. You won't get those crisp lines. Then you also have dry-on-dry, in which case your brush, it has pigment and it has water on it, but there's very little water and a lot of pigments. Then when you make lines they're a little bit crispier and they're on this dry paper so you see the tooth of that paper coming through as well. Those are the three techniques. Wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, and dry-on-dry. For this painting, we're doing the wet-on-dry technique. Let's move on to the right-side of our leaf. 7. Monstera: Finishing: For the other side of this leaf, I'm pretty much just going to do the exact same thing. Pull this water through and switching between the large brush with one of my detail brushes, and just being really careful with that white space and making sure that I'm getting those fine tips at the ends. Again, I can always mix together some of that red, dip it through right at the front here. Not only does that add a lot of depth to my painting, but it also just add some visual interest. It doesn't all have to be green just because it's a leaf. This next area looks a little bit more complicated because we have this section that comes down here. Then we also have this hole in the middle and this divot. So because there's going to have to be a lot of very precise lines, the way that I'm going to approach this one is by always keeping a lot of water on the page so that it stays wet and doesn't dry on me as I'm still trying to paint. If you ever get to a point and you're overwhelmed because the paint is starting to dry, but you're not finished with that area yet, just keep making sure that your brush is nice and wet as you go and that will always buy you time. As you can see here at the tip top, right up there, I accidentally had my brush touch the area above it. It's not the end of the world, it's okay to have the little mistakes happen. That is what makes hand painting hand painting. It doesn't have to be absolutely perfect. In fact, when you make those mistakes from time to time, it's nice to see the fun mistakes that happen as these two areas blend together. Actually, I'm going to add a little yellow there, just to really enhance that little mistake. Let me get a little bit more magenta in this one, and purple, and I'm going to pull through a really vivid green pigment just to dot through this area. Cool. I'm just going to repeat the process for the whole left side of this painting. Sometimes what I do is I just grab water right from the dish, without any pigment on it, and I just dab some water onto these sections if I need to blend it out a little bit more, or maybe sometimes, it's really dark and I want to brighten it up a bit. Because this area is blue, remember, orange is the complimentary of blue, so if I want that part to be a little bit more desaturated, I'll just add a little bit of orange up here to the tip. Again, I'm just going to let that do the blending on its own. I don't have to overly blend it. Watercolor will blend naturally as it dries. I think I'm actually going to grab one of my tubes. I bought this one in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at a little art supply store. Yeah, I think I brought this about four years ago and I haven't even made it halfway through this tube. These tube paints are an awesome investments and that thing cost me a dollar or two, so even better. All right. Same thing, load up my brush, really smooth it out so that paint gets nice and even on those bristles, and let's pull it through. This one, I can't do too much for that large brush because we have this big hole right in the middle where we really need to pay attention to those details. Pretty much immediately switching to a medium-sized brush for the details. Let's do a little bit of really pastel pink in there. It's a pastel green in a way, so maybe adding some pastel could be fun. Maybe down here too. As you can see, watercolor is not a perfect science. You can have a lot of fun, see what colors look good when they start to blend together. This is really just about playing, exploring, seeing how these colors are interacting, and overall, just having fun. This is a creative, relaxing exercise. I think I'm going to do a really bright yellow for this area. Let's get out my cigar tin. As you can see, this paint water, it's getting pretty dark, so when I mix it with this yellow, it's getting a little bit dirty. But general best practice is to clean out your paint water from time to time, especially when you're moving from one primary color or one color in general to another color. But I'm just being a little bit lazy. But yeah, in general, if you were going to, say, be painting a large green section on your painting and then your next section would be bright red or something, it's a good idea to switch out that paint water and start with something fresh. But for me, this is all mostly green, so I'm going to go ahead and be lazy and keep that black, disgusting water. I've mostly been doing these kinds of purples and reds in the middle. Now I want to break it out a little bit and do a few spots right in the middle. All right. We are nearing the end. Let's go back to this really dark, deep green. I'm going to end it with this minty turquoise. There is a lot of pigment on my brush, which is why you see it appearing so opaque on that paper. It's also because this is a pastel tube. When you're working with pastel tubes, they'll tend to be a little bit more opaque. Traditional watercolors are very transparent, but when you mix a little bit of white into it, which is what creates pastel, that white will really amp up that opacity, which means you're not working with these extremely transparent paints like normal. Maybe a few dabs of yellow. All right. There we go. Yeah, we have finished our very first painting, which is this beautiful monstera leaf. As you can see, it does not look exactly like our reference photo, which is a very photorealistic leaf because it is a photo. But we have our own painted interpretation. There's a lot of different colors at play, but it all stays in that same family of green, a little bit of yellow, a touch of blue. Then we used that red and purple to add to the center of that veining so that it adds more volume and depth. What I'm going to do is set this aside very carefully because there's still some really deep pools of water, so I want to be careful not to tilt it, and let this dry. As it starts to dry, you'll start to see these really incredible color blooming effects. You'll see how when we dropped in maybe bits of red against the yellow, it really created this nice painterly feel, and we got these really beautiful color blooms and ombre effects through the colors. Round of applause for yourselves. We have finished our very first modern painting. This is one of four of the botanicals. Let's go ahead, let this dry all the way, hang it on your fridge, give it to your mom, maybe even scan it into your computer so that you can sell it through print-on-demand websites like I do. But yeah, let's go ahead and move on to our next painting. 8. Sunflower: Petals: For this next botanical watercolor, we are going to be doing this sunflower. This is actually a photo I took when I was in Denver, Colorado last summer. It's just the perfect sunflower and I thought it would make a great painting for us. Remember, if you're following along, you can follow along exactly with the same photo, or you can pick a different flower, or maybe use the same photo but choose different colors. It's all up to you. Feel free to make this your own if you'd like to. So for this sunflower, we're actually going to be doing this in three separate steps. Spoiler alert, this is what the final sunflower is going to look like. We're actually not going to be painting this all in one go. We're going to do three steps at a time. The first step is just going to be painting the first layer of those petals. What we want to do is wait for the paint to dry before we do our second layer of petals. The reason we want the paint to dry is so that those two separate petal layers don't bleed into each other. They feel like two distinct layers. First things first will be the first layer of petals. What you need for this will be a pencil and then something that you can trace to make a perfect circle. For me, I'll be using my water dish. I'm just going to draw around my water dish. That is all the sketching we will be doing for this watercolor; the rest will be completely free-form. We're going to have a lot of fun with this one. I have my reference photo. I have my blank piece of paper with a circle, sketched in pencil. I have brand-new, very clean paint water. I went ahead and dumped out all of that gunky green water to start with fresh clear water. Then I've also got my palette over here. I just pulled a few yellow tones, a few browns, burnt sienna, and then there's some red on my palette as well. I'm just going to be working with these nice warm yellow tones. Same three brushes that I used last time. We have the large round brush with a fine tip and then the two detail brushes. Without further ado, let's go ahead and dive in. How I want to structure this, again, it's these three stages, and in-between each stage we want to wait for everything to dry. The first thing I'm going to do is get my medium brush, get it nice and wet, and then just start creating these areas on my palette with the pigment really coming through. This yellow is from my Cotman professional series. It's really vibrant; I think we're going to have a lot of fun with that one. Then the other colors that exist on this palette are just a combination of two paints and pans from my Winsor and Newton Cotman series. I'm going to set that mixing brush aside, get my large brush out, some nice water on there and fill it up with pigment. What I'm going to do is create a petal one and then switch to my finer detail brush to get those nice crisp tight edges. My third brush, I'm actually going to be using to add this ombre gradient effect from the center outwards. It looks like on my reference photo, you can see that it gets a little bit more orange and dark as it gets towards the center, and then very bright on those outer edges. I want to get that same effect, so I'm going to pull some of this. Let's see which one is this; raw sienna. I'm going to pull some of that raw sienna, mix it over here on the side, pull in a little bit of that yellow, definitely needs more water, and let's see how this looks. It's interesting. I think I actually want it a little bit more vibrant. So let's pull from this pan which is perm rose. That means permanent rose. I think it's going to be a nice, bright red; maybe actually a mixture of that burnt sienna and that red. Oh yeah, that's a nice effect. I'm just going to again be dipping my brush with that darker pigment at the bottom base and let it naturally flood outwards. That's petal one. Just a few more to go. I already dripped water on my paper, but I've got my best friend paper towels to just pull it right up. What I want to do for these leaves is have them really close together but not actually touching each other. That way, by the time that I get to my second layer, I'll be able to have that second layer really overlap and not have any weird gaps. So I'm switching to my detail brush here to pull in maybe some of those browns. It was called raw umber, raw sienna. I'm just going to dip it right here in the middle to add some depth. I'm mixing these two yellows together. I actually want to pull a little bit of this pigment in as well, so it's not so boring, bright yellow. It's always fun to mix colors together rather than go with a color straight out of the palette. I think that adds more visual interest. Oh yeah, that's super nice. This is also a good time to clean up those tips and get them nice and sharp and to a point. You can even do that same thing that we're doing at the bottom where we add in that darker color so that it floods through. You can do the same thing at the top if you'd like to, just add a little bit more visual interest. As you can see, I'm overlapping that circle a little bit. That's totally cool. By the time we get to that center, it'll be that seeded part and it's going to be very dark, so we're just going to layer that over these tips. Remember, this is just that first layer and we'll be doing a second layer on top of this when it dries. If you ever hear that sound, it means that brush is very thirsty. This is nice, mixing it up with some reds and getting that fine point on the tip of those petals. Because I'm using a lot of water on this big brush, I can get away with doing a few petals at a time before I start adding in those darker areas on those center points. Feel free to rotate the paper as you go. Sometimes that makes it a little bit easier with brush control. Let's get those fine points. As you can see, I can get most of the petal with that really large round brush, but it's just a matter of getting those really fine tips with my detail brush. Keep in mind that we have this line here that we've drawn with our pencil and everything that's within that line is going to be filled with this really dark brown area. If you can hear this noise outside, there's this truck that goes by and blares, I don't even know what it is. It's something in Spanish and my Spanish is so bad that I don't know. It's the biggest mystery of my life here, is what is that truck saying? At first I thought it was selling ice cream or food, but I don't think that's the case anymore. If anybody knows, anybody who spent time in Mexico or knows what the loud truck going by is broadcasting, please leave it in the comments and let me know. Just a few more petals. Now as you can see, I'm not just using one yellow pan, I'm actually using a combination of different yellows, and that's what really keeps things more interesting. Again, this is about watercolor. It's mixing pigments together. It's really having fun with it. Feel free to mix and match your colors as you see fit. Sometimes my bracelets drag into the paint. If that happens at the very beginning of my painting, I can usually fix it, but when it happens at the end, it's the biggest catastrophe ever. Again, anything that's within this circle is going to be filled in with that brown. I just want to make sure that that ombre effect is passing the outer edge of that circle. So we have our first layer completed. Pretty simple. We used a nice range of these yellow paints. It's not just one boring, flat color. We mixed a lot of different colors together, but overall, it feels really consistent within that yellow. Over here, it's a little bit more acid tone, then we got a little bit warmer. Here we had some fun stuff happening with that red bleeding out to the rest of the petal. I think stuff like that is really fun when it happens and adds a lot more visual intrigue. Like I mentioned, we're going to be doing this sunflower in several different layers. Here's the one I've already completed. We've already done that first layer of petals right here, and we want to wait for that to dry completely before doing the petals that overlap these. You can either sit and wait before starting the next lesson for your paint to completely dry on your paper, or if you're impatient and you want to really keep going, you can skip ahead a few videos and then start the sketch for your hibiscus. Either way, I'm going to keep this whole class in sequential order, but if you want to skip forward a few lessons to get started on the hibiscus while your paint dries, please feel free to go right ahead. See you soon. 9. Sunflower: Layering: Now it is time for step 2 of our sunflower botanical watercolor. At this point, everything should be completely dry. You should be able to run your fingers through this painting and have no wetness at all. If it's not quite dry yet, I encourage you to go ahead and skip forward to the first video of hibiscus, which is sketching the hibiscus. Maybe make it through a few more videos until this is completely dry and then come back. If your paper is completely dry and you're ready to rock and roll, then let's go ahead and get started. Everything is the same as before. I have my reference photo over here to the left, I've got my same three brushes, and I have my paints over here. The only difference is that I'm introducing a new color, and that is white. I rarely use white watercolor because it's in my mind, pretty unnecessary. If I want something to be lighter with watercolor, I simply allow that paper to show through. That's how watercolor is intended to be used. But that being said, there are some rare occasions in which case I will use white like this. One of those occasions is if I want to have more opacity in my paint. What I mean by that is watercolor, as a medium, is very transparent. You see these lines really showing through. Anything you draw with pencil, it shows through with watercolor. But if you add white to any watercolor, it's going to make it a lot more opaque, which means less transparent. It's the same principle if you're working with acrylic. Oftentimes when I'm using a really bright pink acrylic paint, it can look really thin and transparent and it doesn't really get the effect I'm looking for. But if I add a little bit of white acrylic to mix with my pink acrylic, it makes it very opaque, so it's less transparent. You can do that exact same thing with watercolor by adding a little bit of white pigment to your paint. The reason I want to do that in this case, here, let me pull up my previous illustration. I've done that same thing here. I've used a lot of similar hues within that yellow zone, but I've added a little bit of white and pastel so that you can really see that opacity show through on those overlaps. We're going to do the same thing here, and you can get there in a few different ways. My watercolor set comes with a white pigment, so I can use that. But I actually also have this pastel pink. Again, this is one of those watercolors that I bought in Thailand ages ago, and I do use it from time to time. But because it's pastel, it's very opaque. It's not a transparent color. I'm actually going to be using a little bit of both of these for this one. But if you just have a pastel or you just have white, that works just fine too. I am simply going to use one of my medium detail brushes, load this up to get it nice and saturated with water, and then mix that in with my yellow. I'm actually going to squeeze some of that pastel pink on here too, just to add a little bit more contrast against all of that yellow. You don't need a ton of this paint to make a big difference. A lot of white, mix it in with that yellow, maybe pull in a little bit of that pink as well. If it's looking way too light, just go ahead and add a little bit more yellow, maybe a little bit more red if you want to vary it up a little bit. Feels like a pretty good hue. I'm going to start, not with my large brush, but with my medium size brush just because I want to have a little bit more control over this one. I've got some yellow, I've got some pink, and I've got some white, and they're all mixing together to create this new hue. Oh no, bubbles, that means I still have soap in my brush. Let's just go ahead and do our first overlap. Because that first layer is completely dry, we're not going to have any issues here with anything bleeding over into the other petals. For that previous one, I had a lot of those darker tones coming out from those inner tips, and then bleeding outwards. But I think I want to try the opposite for this one just to have a little bit more contrast between those overlapping petals. I'm going to add a little bit of yellow to my brush and then just maybe add some yellow tips here. I don't know if it'll make too much of a difference but we'll see when it dries. Same thing. Next petal. We're getting this really nice overlap that is really unique with watercolors because of its transparent medium. Always have paper towels. That's probably the biggest takeaway from this class because I'll make so many mistakes and have to use them so many times. It's getting a little bit washed out so I'm going to add a little bit more white and a little bit more of that pastel pink to bring that back in. Oh yeah, and I was going to make the tips a little bit darker. Let's pull some of this brown and maybe just dip it in up here at the tip. Cool. Again loading my brush with a lot of water, and I'm using this medium size brush right now. I'm just going to go through and finish up that 2nd layer and making sure that that overlap is looking nice and smooth. If I want some more contrast, I can pull in some reds or browns and just dip it right here like this at the very tip of the petal. I'm going to go ahead and finish filling out the rest of these. Perfect. I'm just going to pop that bubble right there because they still had some soap on my brush. Cool. So we have our nice overlap accomplished. We have that really vivid yellow undertone, and then the overlapping petals or that pastel, we've got a lot of white. In my case, I added some pinkish hues to add more contrast between that first layer of petals and then that second layer of petals. At this point, same thing as before. We want to set this aside and let it dry entirely before we add our next layer, which is going to be that center that we're going to fill in with some brown seeds. I'm just going to set this aside and make sure it dries absolutely entirely so that nothing is going to bleed out on that next layer, then we can go ahead and get going. Same thing as before, if you really just want to keep rolling with this class, you can go ahead and skip forward to a future lesson, complete that lesson, and then come back to finish this once it's dry. Let's go ahead and move on. 10. Sunflower: Seeds: At this point, we should have both layers of those petals completed. We have that first layer with that bright yellow paints and then that second layer with that slightly opaque pigments. At this point, it is time to fill in the center of the sunflower. If we take a look over here at our reference photo, the center of the sunflower it's not an absolute perfect circle. It has these bumpy, jagged edges on the outside and there's some different tonalities in here. There's some lighter areas and then some darker areas as well. The first thing we want to do is mix a brown pigment to fill in the center of this sunflower. Like I mentioned before, my favorite way of making really dark desaturated colors is by mixing two complimentary colors together. In this case, I'm going to be mixing red with green. I already have this little blob of green on my palette, so that's going to be my starting point. Then I found my little tube of red paint, and just put a little bit maybe in this corner. Don't need too much. Then I'm going to use my medium-size brush, fill it up with some water and then start blending these two together. It's a pretty big surface area, so I'm going to need a fair amount of this black pigments to fill in the center of this sunflower. When I say black, I don't mean pure black. This is kind of this reddish brown. That's the same thing I'm wanting to accomplish with this. When I mix these two together, I want it to skew warm. The tonality of this desaturated center, I want it to be a little bit warmer rather than be cooler. In that case, I want to have that read be more dominant as I mix these two together. This is getting to a pretty good place. Now I'm just going to clean my brush out on my palette by dipping in even more water and then I can set it aside. I pulled this brown in as well. I just grabbed this out of my Winsor and Newton Professional Series. If I want to add some little splotches of brown or maybe yellow, I'll have that as an option to do. But the base of that center coat is going to be this really desaturated pigment that I just mixed together. I've got my large round brush for this one. Let's go ahead and get some water on there and mix it into that pigment. Again, everything on my page is completely dry right now, so as I start filling into the center, there's no chance that it's going to bleed into these petals at all because it is completely dry. I've got my brush nice and loaded up with pigments, little bit more water. What I'm going to do is just fill in the center. Right now you can see it's got a little bit more green in there. I'm going to mix a tiny bit more red. I've got that main part filled in. Time to switch to one of my smaller round brushes, again, loading it up with pigments. I want to emulate these jagged, crooked edges where those seeds are popping out. I'm just going to let my brush get really loose, wreck the lines of that perfect circle. Lots of little squiggles. Maybe some areas it can pop out a little bit more, and feel a little bit rough and imperfect on those edges. I've got some yellow on my palette as well. What I'm going to do is get that nice and saturated with water and maybe dip in some yellow areas just to add a little bit more variety so it's not just monotone. Anytime that you can add in more colors into a wash like this, it just makes it a lot more interesting. Now let's add some of this nice brown over here and do the same thing, just going to dip it in. Now I'm pulling some of that green that I used to make that black and I'll just do a few little dips and dubs. Maybe pull some more of that red. Cool. That final step was actually pretty simple. It was just filling in that center area of the sunflower with a really complex hue. I wouldn't really call it brown. It's this reddish green. It's got some yellows, a lot of different tonalities to it, which makes it really interesting. We could stop here. It's looking pretty fantastic, or we could add one more layer. I mentioned earlier during that supplies video that sometimes I like using white acrylic as an accent over my watercolors. This is the perfect example for where something like that might be appropriate. Over here, this is my little practice watercolor I did before. I added some of these white embellishments. What that does is it breaks up that central area. It's a really dense dark area in the center. Just check it out on the page here. Here, I'll set these side-by-side so you can see both. In the one we just completed, that center of the sunflower, it's very, very dark and it's a little bit jarring to have such a dark center against those really bright and light petals. There's a little bit of a juxtaposition between these two hues. Over here, by adding in these white accents with acrylic, really what that does is break up those really dark tonalities and brighten up that center area a little bit more. In addition, it's also adding some nice details and a suggestion of those sunflower seeds, so you're getting two for one. You're getting some nice added details and then you're also having a way to break out that darkness and make it a little bit lighter. If you want to, what you can do is wait for this to dry completely. If you paint acrylic over watercolor that's still wet, it's going to get pretty sloppy and it's not going to look very good. But if you wait for this to dry entirely and then you can add these little accent marks over it, it's going to work out really well. White acrylic is a great accent piece over watercolor because it gives you that opportunity to bring white back into your painting. Remember with watercolor, if you only use watercolor, the only way you'll get a pure white is by allowing that paper to show through. But you can cheat that a little bit by introducing white acrylic when you're completely finished as a detail accent piece. I'm going to let this dry, it's not going to take very long, maybe about 10 minutes or so, and then I'm going to come back and show you how I add these white accents with acrylic. Paint types. 11. Sunflower: Accents: All right, it's been about seven minutes. I timed it, and this center part is now entirely dry. So if you're on the same page with me and your watercolor is now totally dry, we can go ahead and move on to this fun little extra step where we add some white acrylic accents. Remember this step is optional, so you can follow along if you'd like to, but if you want to keep your watercolor as it is right now, it's a beautiful painting, please feel free. But I just want to show you how you can add white acrylic accents if you'd like to do that for any of your paintings, now or in the future. So, the things you'll need for this are a tube of white acrylic and that exact same brush that I've been using earlier for all my details. The only difference is I don't want to have any water on my brush. I want it to be very dry. This acrylic is actually a heavy body acrylic, which means it's just a thicker paint. When I add acrylic accents, I like using heavy body acrylics because they gloop on. I know that's not the best term, they gloop on to the page a lot better than a thinner paint would. We're not even going to put this on a palette, I'm just going to pull it straight out of the tube like this, get a little bit on my brush, and then just look for areas where maybe those seeds come in. It's okay to have some volume here. As you can see, this is really popping off my page and it's really thick as I apply it. It's actually nice to have some different textural elements to your painting. Watercolor dries very flat and chalky, so it's fun to have these 3D paint elements coming out. The way that I'm going to do these seeds is just find different ways that I can cluster them together on the center. I don't want to fill up the entire center with seeds. I think that'd be kind of boring. I'm having them kind of radiate out from the center point, so that there's this motion and flow to the direction of the seeds. As you can see, I'm letting the paint brush really make the mark here in terms of having these seeds have that tapered edge and then come out to a rounder endpoint. That's just all the brush here, because I'm using this round brush that has this fine tapered point to it. I can get that exact same stroke to happen with the acrylic. I'm going to go ahead and stop while I'm ahead, and take a look at this. Let's compare it to the photo. Again, this is not a photo-realistic painting. It's more of a modern interpretation of this photo I took of the sunflower. This is a completely free form painting, which means we didn't have to sketch it out first. Minus the circle that we did at the very beginning to set orientation, the rest was just all freehand, which is really cool. It's fun to do those from time to time. We also got to explore layering. We worked on our patience waiting for layers to completely dry before moving on to the next layer. Then we've also done a little bit of mixed media for this one by adding these acrylic accents. Overall, I hope you're really happy with your painting. This was a really fun one to do, and as an added perk, sunflowers are just beautiful flowers, and they're actually on trend right now. You're probably seen them everywhere in home decor, fashion, accessories, a lot of different things. They are really popular motifs, and they're also the state flower of Kansas, which is where I grew up, so extra special. We are finished with this painting. Real quick, if you followed along with those acrylic accents, go ahead and wash your brush out, because if this acrylic will dry on your brush, it'll ruin the brush. It's really hard to get acrylic out of brushes once it's dried. I'm lazy with my watercolors. Sometimes I let the paint sit there for hours before I wash it out. But if I use acrylic, I'm going to go wash this out immediately before it ruins the brush. I'm going to clean my brush, and get setup for our next painting, which will be the tropical hibiscus. So let's go ahead and get started. 12. Hibiscus: Sketch: For our next botanical watercolor, we are going to be doing this hibiscus right here. I actually took this photo here in Mexico. It had just rained, it was the absolute perfect specimen of a hibiscus, and it happens to be one of my favorite flowers. Just like all the others, feel free to either follow along with the same photo, or use one of your own photos, or a similar-looking flower. It is all up to you. For this step, I have a few things. I have my reference photo over here on the left, a completely blank piece of paper and then over here, I've got my sketching pencil. Remember, the harder the lead, the better. But I'll be using a pretty soft lead so that you can actually see what I'm sketching. I've also got my clicky eraser and my diva brush for brushing off all of the little eraser bits on the page. First things first, let's go ahead and take a look at this flower. This will be the first botanical we're doing that actually has some dimension to it. That sunflower was pretty flat, and so was that monstera leaf. But with this one, you can see these petals are pulling outwards from the center. We have petals in the foreground, petals in the background, so it's a little bit more complicated of a motif. But that is awesome because it is a perfect thing to practice on to learn how to handle dimension. Let's go ahead and take a look. I like starting right in the center and defining what that center point will be, and I'm just going to mark it on my page with a little circle. The second thing I'm going to take a look at is this pistol that comes out right from the center. This is one of my favorite parts about the hibiscus. I think it looks really quirky. It's almost like an alien flower. I'm just going to go ahead and do one line to sketch out what that looks like. Even though this pistol is a little bit thicker, it's not just as thin as one little line. The reason I want to have that line here is just to remind me of the direction that I want it to go. As you're sketching out these botanicals, one really important thing to remember is that you don't have to sketch every single little detail. You just want to get an overall impression of where you want to be painting, so the less sketching, the better. I try to keep my sketches pretty minimal so that there's not a ton of graphite on my paper that I'm painting over. We have the center of the flower represented by a teeny, tiny circle, and then we have one line that's going to be representing the pistol of that flower. Then from here, I want to go ahead and start with this main leaf in the foreground. If this is the center, and again, this does not have to be exact, I'm just going to bring it out like this. Maybe make it a little bit larger than it is in real life. One thing to take note of is I just made up where I think these curls of the pedal should belong. Let's go ahead and do the same for the others. The next step, let's take a look at this one on the left. It dips, explodes outwards, comes back to a dip, and then it has this smooth, graceful wave to it at the bottom. It doesn't have to be perfect, but something like that will get the point across. Let's go ahead and do that one exact opposite it on the right. It looks like this one overlaps, and again, it's not perfect and it doesn't have to be photorealistic with what's happening in this reference image. It's just getting a general idea of the movement of these petals. Two more to go. Let's go ahead and tackle this one over here. It looks like the same thing. It shoots outwards like this, has a few divots, and then goes back in. Then finally, that far-left petal should be the easiest one to do. It's just a few flat lines like this. We have our reference photo, and then we have our sketch. It is not absolutely perfect, but it is just fine for watercolor. Remember, this is a very loose and gestural medium, so it doesn't have to be absolutely picture perfect. We can be very fluid with it. Like I mentioned, I like my sketches to be really minimal, so I'm going to go ahead and use my eraser to erase out that line where this overlap is happening with this petal right here. As you can see this petal is overlapping the one underneath it. There's a little bug on there. I never noticed that before. Yeah, same thing. I'm just going to erase out the sections on my sketch where this overlap is taking place, and that serves two purposes for me. One, it gets rid of more pencil marks on the page, which is always a good thing with watercolor. Two, I'm not going to accidentally fill in any of this area that shouldn't be filled in. Same thing over here, this line is unnecessary because that top petal overlaps it, so we can just go ahead and get rid of that line. Archaeologist brush to get those eraser marks off the page, and this is my sketch. I don't need to go any further with it. This is absolutely perfect for painting. If you're looking at your page and you're thinking, this is not enough information for me to paint, I promise it is. We don't need to have a super complicated sketch. This is going to be perfect for filling in with watercolor and I'm going to show you exactly how to do that in the next video. 13. Hibiscus: Details: Now that our very minimal sketch is completed, it's time to start painting our hibiscus. Here's what I've got. I've got my reference photo over here on the left. I have my paper, a clean water dish, and then my paints is over here. The colors that I'm going to be working with for this painting are a lot of magentas and reds. I have this really bright cadmium red and then this moth. These are both tube paints from the Winsor and Newton Cotman series. So these ones are a little bit pricier than the cheap tubes that I've been using for the other paintings. But they're really vivid colors, so they're worth every penny. I also pulled a couple of yellow pans out of my professional artists series that I'll just be using off to the side to add some accents in with those magentas. As far as brushes go, it's the exact same three brushes I been using for all of the other paintings. It's my very large round brush and then those two detail brushes. Why mess with perfection? It's been working pretty well, so I'm going to keep using these same three. I'm going to start with this pistil right here in the center, coming out from the middle of the hibiscus as a way to orient myself. That way when I'm filling in the blooms afterwards, I'll make sure they'll have that space allotted for that pistil in the middle. That will be my starting points, and for that I'm actually going to be using this medium detail brush. Same one as before, it's that size 4. It looks like this is a really bright, deep fuchsia pink. What I'm going to do is bring my palette over here, make sure the bottom is clean before I put it on my paper and start mixing together what looks like a really bright magenta pink. This pan is really nice in vivid. I've got a good amount of water on my brush and I'm just going to take it from the top and pull it straight down. I varied my brush pressure. As you can see, I pushed down harder when I got towards the end so that it has this nice tapered top and then this really fat, round bottom. Just for some visual interests, let's add some more colors in here. Maybe make it a little bit darker at the top, so I'm just going to dip in some of that purple. Just for fun, let's see what happens if I add maybe a little touchy yellow red in there. Cool. There's a bubble, got it. I'm going to set that brush aside and go to my tinier brush, this is that size 0. Now what I want to do is look at these areas that are shooting outwards at the top. One thing to note is as I add these detail areas in, I want to make sure that those are above where that sketch is. If I add those details down here, then I'm going to have to deal with some really tight white space areas as I fill in this bloom. This photograph actually makes it pretty simple because all of those details are above the bloom. I'm just going to make sure that all these details I'm adding are clearing that petal down below. It's easy for me right now because that paint is still really wet up here. I'm pulling in that pigment from what I just laid down to add these accents pieces that come out. They can be different sizes. Maybe they curve a little bit. That top's pretty fun. It's like a little alien plant. Maybe add a few more unexpected ones to break up the symmetry a bit. Cool. That's looking pretty good. I'm going to switch to that yellow, get it nice and saturated and then just add some little balls to the top. Because that paint is all still wet, that magenta will start pulling into the yellow and it'll blend that color for you. That's again the nice thing about watercolors. A lot of the work is done for you. You don't have to make a bunch of very tedious color blending together, it just happens automatically as it begins to dry. Sometimes I'll pull pigment from an existing one and then place it in a new one that I'm painting, just to move around that color balance a little bit. Maybe I'll have some little floating yellow balls in there as well. These floating ones are nice because it just breaks up that composition, makes it feel a little bit more airy and whimsical. I'm going to stop before I overdo it. That is the first portion. It's getting that piston or pistil. I never remember the name for the center of the flowers, I think it's pistil. We've got that pistil done and that is the most detailed part of this entire painting. The rest of the petals, they're going to be very soft and we're going to be working on these ombre gradients coming through. Let's go ahead and move on to the petals. 14. Hibiscus: Petals: Now that we have our detail element done, it is time to start filling in these blooms. It's going to be pretty fun because we have this really nice gradient, really bright and vivid in the center and then it smooths out to this really beautiful pink tone. We are going to do the exact same thing with watercolors. I'm going to pretty much work with that same palettes that I used for the pistil right in the middle, except for this time I think I'm just going to keep it a lot lighter. I'm going to start with my large brush, get it nice and wet and then just get this palette nice and saturated. The petal I'm going to start with is this one over here on the left, right over here. Again, it's because I like working from left to right so that I don't smear the paint as I go. Got my brush nice and loaded with this really bright pigment, it's actually a mix of three tones right now, which is perfect. What I'm going to do is make sure I've got a lot of water on there and then just get this all in one fluid be a few fluid movements. Nice. I'm going to smooth out that paint a little bit more and then switch over to one of my detail brushes to dip in a lot of these really dark purple tones, which I will just be plopping right here in the center and let it just naturally float outwards and create that ombre gradient for me. Then I'm going to use my other detail brush to pull in some of this yellow even though there's no yellow in the petals of our example, it's still nice to add some of those unexpected touches. Because this paint is so wet on that paper, it really just begins to bloom outward and immediately soak into and mix without existing pink pigments. Pretty simple, I'm going to go ahead and do a similar thing for the rest of the flowers. Let's go ahead and tackle this one here, I think it's going to be a little bit more complicated because it's broken by this pistil that goes through it. I'm going to use my medium-size detail brush for this one, fill it with some pigments, and start by doing a really fine line right alongside that pistil to create that white space. I think it's the more water on my brush and start pulling it through the rest of these areas. Remember, whenever you feel like you don't have enough brush control or things are getting a little bit scratchy on your page, just add more water to your brush and that will give you more control, especially when you're doing this technique which is painting wet on dry paper. Filling in this area and same thing, I'm going to pull my darkest tone here and just drop it right in the corner and let it bloom outwards and do the work for me. Same thing, I'm going to pull a little bit of that yellow in, it's more water on there and just do a few drops at the top to add some more visual interest. Now let's do the other half of that petal that was split by this hibiscus probe. Remember the trick here is just not to let that paint to dry when you're still working on that certain section. Just keep it nice and wet until you get a chance to fill in all the areas that you're going for. Same thing, I'm going to add in a darker tone right here just a few little drops of it and let it pull out naturally. This is why I like working with three different brushes at a time. A few drops of yellow or more, cool. This is coming right along and now I'm going to switch to my larger brush to work on this petal right here. Because this is a larger section, I want to make sure that I have a lot of water and a lot of pigment on my brush. Let's go ahead and pull it out and now I'll switch to my detail brush to really fine tune those areas of the white space. Right now everything is so malleable and mixes together so well because it's really, really wet on the page. Just keep that in mind if things are beginning to dry and you're not having enough time to get those pigments to mix, just add more water to your brush like this and then just get that page nice and wet again. Same thing. I'm going to add some of those really deep tones to the center and let those do their thing and start blooming out for me. I'm going to add some little dabs of yellow in here for visual interest. This one is coming along really well. These next two are the two largest sections, so I want to make sure that I have a lot of water on my brush because I don't want it to start drawing before I have an opportunity to mix in these yellow tones and then that deeper purple in the center. Lots of water, lots of pigments working swiftly before it has an opportunity to dry. Switched my detail brush to get those edges nice and crisp. Sometimes I just add water straight to the page like this without even doing too much pigment. This one is going to be really beautiful. Darker areas here where it's really dipping into that center, maybe I'll vary this one up a little bit and add some darker areas on the petal as well and then I'll switch to that yellow to add those areas of intrigue. One more to go, so same thing lots of pigments, lots of water and I'm just going to pull this through adding even more water to my page as I go because this is a lot of area to cover and I don't want that paint to start drying before I'm ready for it to. There are some areas like right here where I'd accidentally led in to that other section, that's totally fine, its these happy mistakes that you make along the way that makes your painting more interesting. Darker center area and because this one is another big petal, I'm going to add some darker pieces on this petal as well, just to make it more interesting. Then last but not least, some of these yellow accents. It's really fun to watch those bloom out onto the page. This one was really intuitive and free-flowing, we really got to explore some gestural brushstrokes which are always a lot of fun. Because I pulled a lot of water in some of these sections, especially on the bigger petals, as these begin to dry, we'll start seeing that water color blooming effect, which is really cool. It's where you get those nice crinkly edges where the paint dries. I'll have to very carefully set this aside somewhere flat so that it doesn't run as I transfer it over. Our third botanical watercolor is now complete, let's just very carefully transfer it over somewhere to dry and move on with our very last watercolor of today, which is a rosette succulents. 15. Succulent: Sketch: It is time for our final botanical illustration of today's class, which is going to be this rosette succulent. I've actually painted a few of these in the past, they're one of my favorite things to paint. Little sneak peek of what our final painting might look like. You can see that we have this rosette succulent as our reference photo, some really beautiful tones in there. But what we can do, because we're painting with watercolor and we're artists and we can do whatever we want, we can start adding some really fun rainbow tonalities into this. In our reference photo, it's a lot of these really light mince, maybe some darker greens at the tips, but we can really go wild with it. That's what I want you to explore for this lesson. We'll be finding ways to infuse a lot of rainbows of colors into your succulent. Before we get started with that, let's go ahead and get our sketch established. For the sketch, I have my reference photo over here to the left, blank piece of clean water color paper, my pencil, click eraser, and then my kneaded eraser. The way I like to start with my sketch is defining that center point, which I'm just going to eyeball it. It looks like it's about here on the paper. I'm making a little dot and that represents the very center point for the succulent. Now what I'm going to do is just basically starting from the center in a similar way that I might draw mandala, I'm just going to come up with how these leaves might explode outwards from the center. Again, I'm drawing pretty dark on my page, but I encourage you to maybe go a little bit lighter. Then as I go, I can erase certain parts that I might not need. For example, this leaf was overlapping the other leaf so we can erase the data that's not needed. That first layer of leaves looks like it's pretty tight, so those I drew very small and then that second layer, those leaves get a little bit bigger. Let's maybe do this thing. Now as you can see, it's not perfect. It's not an absolute representation of what those leaves look like, but you can add your own stylistic touches like I'm doing with mine. That was that second layer. Let's do another layer. Again, as these leaves are expanding outwards, they're getting larger and larger. A good way for me to figure out placement is to look for the gap areas. Where this comes to a point right here, that will be the center point of my next leaf. It comes outwards like so. I think I'm going to do one final layer just to smooth it out. Right now it's getting a little off center to the left, so maybe I'll add some larger leaves over here and one more. No, I lied. One more. Perfect. As you can see, it is not an exact replica of that reference photo. I've added my own twist to it and my own stylistic embellishments, which is great because as artists, we get an opportunity to do that. We can take this photo and see what their real life version looks like and then interpret it in our own creative way. My sketch is finished. If I have any unnecessary pencil marks, I can go ahead and erase them now. If there's any overlaps, some of those leaves that are overlapping other leaves, I can get rid of those marks and brush off those little eraser nips. Last but not least, don't forget to lighten your sketch. If you drew it a little bit too hard, you can use that kneaded eraser and lift it straight off the paper or just erase very lightly with your standard eraser so that you can barely see those pencil marks. Now that our sketch is established, let's move on with our painting. 16. Succulent: Painting: It's time for the painting portion of the succulents. We have our sketch and then hopefully our final, we can incorporate a lot of really beautiful rainbow tonalities. Even within this one, there's so many colors, but we have this constant and these kinds of turquoise, and greens, and purples. Even though there's a lot of color coming through, the overarching theme here are these cool tones. That's something to keep in mind as we start painting on our sketch, is establishing that primary hue. In this case, it's a cool tone of bluish green turquoise and then adding supplementary hues, to make it pop and feel really vivid and like a rainbow explosion. To get started, I have again my reference photo on the left, my brand new sketch, and a lot of different paints, pallets. I've pulled over all of my paint tins so we can get a lot of different values coming through. Same three brushes that I've been using throughout this class, my really large thick brush, and then those two detail brushes. I also have brand new, clean paint water. I'm going to start from the center and then work outwards. The reason I'm doing that is so that, as I define these white space areas, once I have the center elements drawn and I work outwards, I can have these very defined areas of white space. You'll get a sense of what that means as we get going. The first thing I'm going to do is mix together what I want that first hue to look like. I'm going to start over here with my greens, so this is a little bit of tube green coming through, that I'm mixing with a little bit of yellow and a little bit of red to desaturate it a bit. A lot of water on that brush and I'll just simply get started. This is my first leaf and I'm being, again pretty careful here to try not to paint over those pencil marks because I want those to be the white space areas. First area, pretty simple. It's all one tone. It's been painted flat on the page so I'm going to switch to my other detail brush. What if we have maybe a little bit of that purple magenta, just popping in right at the tip? I've just barely touched my paintbrush on that paper there and I'm going to let that tip of the leaf, flow forth with that magenta color. Now, time for the leaf next to it. I think I'll use a little bit more of this blue. Mix a little bit of green in as well, so it feels like a really beautiful turquoise and same thing. I'm going to try and avoid my pencil marks and then just delicately paint in this area. Nice. Before I dip a color in that one, it's got a lot of water on there. I'm going to give that a little bit of time to dry before I dip my alternate color into that paint. Sometimes, if it's too wet and too saturated, especially for such a small area, if I were to say dip in a little bit of yellow right now, that yellow might just cover the entire area. I'm going to give that a minute or two to dry, before I add my extra color. Next up, let's try something with a little bit more purple to it. I had some green on my brush, which is why this purple is feeling a little bit more desaturated which is nice. Same thing, a little bit more water. Avoiding those pencil areas. You filling that in with one flat tone. Same thing here. There's a lot of water on that page, so I'm going to give it a little bit of time to dry before I pop in my second color onto the tip. Let's go back to green. I'm just kind of alternating through my palettes over here and choosing my colors very intuitively. I don't have this all pre-planned out. I'm just going to see what colors are working well together as I go. This is that really desaturated, dark green. You can twist your brush around to get a fine tip and have a little bit more brush control. I'm being careful to respect those white space areas, so that these segments don't bleed together. If they do, it's not a big deal. That's nice to have a few bleeding together, but I let those be happy accidents. Let's get a little bit more yellow in here. Now that these first sections have dried a little bit more, I can go ahead and pop in those accent colors. I'm going to use my other brush. Maybe, this dark green. Nice. We use that same dark green to be the tip of that area and then switch it to a red right here. Maybe, a little bit of red up here as well. Cool. As you can see, when I'm adding those detail areas, I'm just getting that pigment on my brush and then just barely touching it onto the tips of these leaves. We'll have a better sense of how that begins to blend together, once it dries a little bit more. But again, we're letting the watercolor do that blending work for us. That is out of our hands. Time to move on to that second section. I'm going to switch to that medium-sized brush and I really like that lime green. I think I'll use something similar to that again. I'm going to pull a little bit of yellow, mix it with that green that's already on my tin. A lot of water on my brush and then start pulling it in. Remember, it's never a bad idea to add more water as you go. It just allows you to have more control over your painting. Cool. I'll use my other brush to dip in a little bit of magenta right here at the tip. Now, that's going to be fun and then define that to sharper points. Cool. For this one, I think I'm going to add another tone, this turquoise, and dip it in here at the bottom just to see how those two interact with each other. Next up. That turquoise is nice, so I'll use that again. Again, there's really no wrong colors you can be using here. This is about exploring how colors and tones start blending together while painting and working on your brush control and respecting white space. Try to avoid those pencil marks if you can, but if you paint over them, that's not the end of the world. I'll switch to my detail brush, to may be drop in some red right here at the very tip. Now, that's cool. Maybe, some red at the bottom as well. I'm not even painting. I'm just dropping it straight into that wet area. That desaturated green, remember I just mixed a little bit of red into it and that complementary color will automatically bring down the vibrancy of the green into a much darker, deeper shade. More water on my brush. Same thing. I'm going to pull in some of that bright red. Drop it up here at the very tip. Then I think I want to put some blue down here at the bottom [inaudible]. Just to add some more shadows and depth as that petal is behind the one in front of it. Cool. We're already getting a lot of really fun colors and tonalities in here. The overarching color here, it's still that very cool green. But we're able to bring in this rainbow effect by dropping in these accent colors. Let's do the next petal. Sometimes I accidentally drop water on my paper like this, but again, paper towels are your best friend when you're painting with watercolor, you can just pop it right out of the paper. Again, I'm being really careful as I get close to these other sections, because I want that white space to be a really integral part of this painting. Let's add some yellow in here, maybe just right in the middle, to make it a little bit more interesting. I think I'll drop in some bright blue at the bottom, then maybe a little bit of purple right at the tip. I think I want to go back to purple for this next petal. I've mixed yellow with purple, which is its complementary color because yellow and purple are across from each other on the color wheel. By just adding a little bit of yellow to that purple, I've desaturated it a little bit, so it's not so vibrant. Maybe I'll work in some dark green here in the shadow areas to give it a little bit more depth. Now that's cool. More yellow. Awesome. This next area I'll have a bit green. Right now I'm just pulling in a lot of water to work with that existing pigment, so you don't always have to have paint on your brush. Sometimes if there's a lot of pigments already on the paper, you can just pull water straight in and spread it out that way. This one, I'll add some purple shadows. Now that I've finished the center areas, I am going to graduate onwards to my slightly larger brush, because the rest of our painting has larger areas to fill in, so I can justify using a larger brush. Let's get back to that turquoise. Like a really bright blue here. Now, I'll switch over to my detail brush. As you can see, I've touched this other area, which is fine. It just adds some interesting effects as those areas begin to blend together. Purple at the tip of this, like a desaturated green towards the bottom. I'm going to work through the rest of this and start filling it in. You may find, as you get to some of these larger areas, as we get to the outer edges, that the paint is starting to dry much more quickly, and it's just because you're covering a larger surface area. As we get to these outer places, it helps to just really load a lot of water onto your brush to keep that section wet until you are completely finished mixing those colors together. All right just a few more sections. Lots and lots of water on my brush right now. All right, and that is a wrap of our rosette succulent. I would hold it up, but the paint would just all smear down on the page. What we've done here is really worked on three particular things. We explored, again, that wet on dry technique, where we had a very saturated brush and painted on dry paper. We also explored a lot of color mixing on page. As you went through and painted this exercise and each individual segments, I hope you got an opportunity to see what colors blended well with other colors and the fun things that started to happen as those different tones hit each other and exploded together on page. Last but not least, this exercise really helps you learn brush control. We have so much whitespace in this illustration. It was a lot of very delicate brushstrokes. But now that you've finished, I'm sure that your brush control techniques are 10 times better than they were before this lesson. Brush control is just a muscle that you have to exercise from time to time to build up that strength, and doing exercises like this will really help you get a feel for that brush. The pressure that you put on the paper, the way you hold it, all of that combines together to have supreme brush control. Congratulations, you have now finished four of our botanical watercolor illustrations. Round of applause for yourselves. But before we wrap up, I have a few final tips that I'd like to share with you in the last video for today. 17. Final Tips: [MUSIC] You did it. At this point, you should have four beautiful watercolor paintings. Congratulations on finishing these projects with me. For final cleanup, go ahead and erase out all the pencil marks now, but do make sure that your paint is completely dry before you start doing that. The creativity doesn't have to stop here. When I finish a painting, the fun is only just beginning. I scan my watercolors into my computer so I can clean them up a bit in Photoshop, so I can sell them as art prints and products on print on demand sites like Society6, Redbubble, and a bunch of others. If you want to learn all of my digitizing tips and tricks, check out my other Skillshare class,. Digitize your Art to Sell Online, prep your paintings for print on demands. In that one, I show you the scan settings I use and then we dive into Photoshop to clean up our artwork isolate it from the background paper, make cool color alterations and more. If you want to learn how you can take your watercolors that we did today and turn them into very dynamic patterns, checkout my patterns class, it's called Modern Patterns, from sketch to screen. In that class, you'll learn how to take your existing artwork just like this and turn it into a bunch of fun patterns plus creating new illustrations to patternize as well. Last but not least, I also have Skillshare classes on marketing yourself with social media. Plus there's an entire class just on trend tracking so that you can create artwork with mass appeal. If you enjoyed painting with watercolors today and you want to try out a different medium, checkout my acrylics class or my hand lettering and calligraphy class. You can find all of these classes by clicking my name up top and scrolling to the bottom of my profile. Please don't forget to share your painting with the student project gallery. If you share on Instagram, please tag me @catcoq and Skillshare @skillshare. You can also follow me on Skillshare by clicking that follow button up top. This means that you'll get an email notification as soon as I launch my next class or have an announcement to share with my students. About once a month, I'll send out a message directly to all of my students who follow me. If you enjoyed my class today, please leave a review. I read every single one of them and they give me so much fulfillment as a teacher. You guys are great. Thank you so much for joining me today. I can't wait to see your watercolor paintings. Take care. [MUSIC]