Learn to Paint Realistic Watercolor Viola Flowers | Anne Butera | Skillshare

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Learn to Paint Realistic Watercolor Viola Flowers

teacher avatar Anne Butera, Artist. Instigating creativity and joy.

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      My Garden Inspiration


    • 3.

      How Watercolor Works


    • 4.

      Sketching Flower Anatomy


    • 5.

      Mixing Paint


    • 6.

      Painting a Watercolor Viola


    • 7.

      Painting Another Watercolor Viola


    • 8.

      Painting a Third Viola Part 1


    • 9.

      Painting a Third Viola part 2


    • 10.

      Your Project


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About This Class

Have you ever wanted to paint detailed, realistic botanical watercolors, but don't know where to start? In this class I take you step by step through my process for painting viola flowers which are some of the easiest flowers to paint, even for beginners. 

Before we start painting we take a quick visit to my garden. I show you where I get most of the inspiration for my art and why violas appear in so many of my paintings. I demonstrate how to study the anatomy of a plant and how to create simple sketches of what you see. This sort of study is great practice for preparing to paint. I also talk about the properties of watercolor and how to get them to work for you when doing botanical illustrations. 

Another important part of preparing to paint is mixing your colors. This is one of my favorite parts! I show you my technique for mixing a selection of colors with which to paint multiple viola variations. These flowers come in so many color combinations and it's fun to play and experiment.

Finally I demonstrate painting three different viola flowers. In the last demonstration (divided into two segments) I share how to make your painting look more finished by adding leaves and a second stem with a flower bud.

Then you're on your own to create your viola paintings. Once you're comfortable with them, the skills you learn in this class can be used to create more complicated compositions.

Meet Your Teacher

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Anne Butera

Artist. Instigating creativity and joy.

Top Teacher

I'm a full-time artist, art educator and writer, but for a long time I believed I wasn't good at art and could never be an artist.

The beginning of my story might sound similar to yours. When I was a child I loved to make things, but as I grew up I "learned" I wasn't good at art and stopped making it.

But that wasn't the end of my story.

I love teaching on Skillshare because through my classes I can help YOU reclaim YOUR creativity. I know what it's like to yearn to make art but not know where to start.

Are you ready to begin rewriting your story?

Read My Blog

Get My Free Sketchbook Guide

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Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: Hi, I'm Anne Butera. I'm the artist behind the website and blog, mygiantstrawberry. In this class, I will show you how I paint Viola flowers with watercolor. I have painted Viola flowers many times over the years because I love them and my garden is filled with them. We'll start by taking a visit to my garden to look for inspiration. Returning to my studio, we'll do some studying and sketching. I'll show you some properties of watercolor that make it perfect for this type of painting. I'll demonstrate my technique for mixing paint and then I'll walk you through the process as I create three botanical illustrations. If you're as excited as I am to start painting some Viola flowers with squatter color, I'll see you in the first lesson. 2. My Garden Inspiration: My garden is a constant source of inspiration and nearly everywhere I look, I can find viola's that have self seeded. They grow happily around, and behind, and among my other plants. Right now, it's late summer. Some things are overgrown, some are nearly finished. My garden isn't neat and tidy, and I love the sprawl of this time of the year. They are a delight for all of my senses and always subject for my paintings. I've painted viola flowers many times over the years. In part because I love them and in part because they lend themselves so well to watercolor. I'm excited to share my way of painting them with you. Let's get back to my studio and we can get started. 3. How Watercolor Works: One of the things that makes violas so fun to paint is that they almost look like they were painted with watercolor. The way the colors flow together. Going to do a few experiments here with some leftover paint from another project to show you how watercolor tends to blend. I started out with some plain water, and then on one side of my rectangle I painted purple and then on the other blue. We'll see how those blend as they dry. Now I'm taking all purple and I'm going to add blue to the edge and let them blend like that. Just experimenting to see how things go. There are many techniques to create lots of different effects. Here I'm going to just paint a very thin edge on that purple with the blue and see how they blend together. What if we just take some blue and paint a swatch here? I'm going to let that dry before I add any other color. Finally, let's paint a swatch of purple. Then line the edge with some blue, like with the thin edge, and we'll use more paint that is wetter and see what happens. I'll let that dry and we'll try some other colors. Again, starting with just a clear water swatch, and then adding some color to it. When you dab the paint on the water, it will start to bleed. Why don't we use some yellow this time? Because yellow is a color that often is in violas and sometimes when yellow blends with purple in watercolor, the colors just get really muddy, and although you want a really pretty look, it doesn't end up that way. Let's take a larger swatch of yellow and then see what happens when we take some purple and pink along the edge. Let that purple start to blend with the yellow. Dabbing a bit more in, just to see how those colors will bleed from one to the other. Sometimes paint likes to do its own thing. More yellow. Let's paint a swatch of purple, that yellow I'm going to let dry, and the purple too. Now we'll test this one. When it's cool to the touch, that means it's still wet, but this isn't. Adding water on top and then adding some purple. That way the colors aren't actually mixing because the blue is already dry on there. The purple is just blending and you can see how those colors blended. The different effects. Some are obscured, some stay distinct. We'll try this with the yellow glaze and clear water and then add some purple. The purple on top of the yellow. You can see that the color isn't the same purple as when it's just on top of the white paint. If we paint yellow on top of purple and then blend it along the edge. This technique gives us a different look altogether. In the next lesson, we'll mix and paint and then we'll get started painting. 4. Sketching Flower Anatomy: Painting is really about seeing. The best way to get started with your painting is to observe and study the flower shape. I'm going to just pull this Viola flower apart so we can take a look at all the different parts. That's made up of five petals and for the most part these flowers stay in one direction. Too little petals at the top, two on the sides, and one larger on the bottom. Now when you look at the leaves, they're unusual because there's two different types of leaves. There's usually two smaller lobed leaves. Then one larger leaf arranged together. We can get started sketching. I'm going to start by sketching the different bits of the flower, the petals themselves, separately from one another. Just to get an idea of their shapes. Then pulling these pieces onto my paper so that they're close by for me to study. I'm just going to sketch very simple shapes here, which is pretty much the outline. Then maybe a couple lines to add depth. There's a little dark bit on the side petals. Viola flowers have so many different shapes, and patterns, and colors. Just sketch them out taking my time. I'm not really worried about the colors here, it's more all about shapes. When we're painting, we'll get the colors and variations of colors. Now that we've done the petals, we can do the leaves. I'll arrange them like this because that's how they are on the stem, starting with the large center leaf. It has some lobe sort of and a longer stem. Then the smaller with very large lobes. Just take a look at it, see are they symmetrical? Sometimes you think in nature that things are perfectly symmetrical, but then when you look carefully, you see that they are not. In order to have a realistic, accurate drawing or painting, it's important to be able to distinguish that and know what you're really seeing, not what you think you should be seeing. Let's do a whole flower with all the petals together. One of the things that makes the Viola flower easy to paint and to draw is that for the most part, it's relatively flat. All of the pedals line up side-by-side, all facing, for the most part the same direction. The side and bottom petals sometimes have little lines on them and here these top ones. I'm just giving a hint of the darkness with those little sketchy lines. Let's do a sketch now of the seed pod forming on this stem. It's bent flower, the petals have fallen away and we're left with this. These little pointy parts that are behind the flower when it's in bloom they're called sepals. There are five of them on Viola flowers. I'm just sketching a rough shape of it. Let's see what should we sketched next? How about this flower that's about to open and a couple leaves? Stem is relatively straight, but it has a curve at the top. Then the leaves, they form at the bottom of where the stem ends. Again, there's the two smaller lobed leaves. They don't always have the same number of lobes I've noticed. Then one larger leaf. This flower that hasn't yet opened, sketching the sepals like we did with the seed pod. Then there are a couple of petals that you can see on the outside. They're folded up inside those sepals. Sketching like this, sketching flower faces, sketching the different parts, it's just really great practice. It gets you to observe, to notice what you see, to take a look with a critical eye. Once you're comfortable with these shapes, with observing them, with sketching them, then it'll be easier to paint. I always start my watercolor paintings with a sketch. I guess I shouldn't say always. Sometimes I do paint without a sketch, but I usually start with a sketch. Practicing the sketchings beforehand in your sketch book is very helpful, because then when you're ready to do your sketch in the watercolor paper, it's not new and you're less likely to make mistakes. It's also nice to sketch the flowers from different directions. Painting them head on is the easiest, and sketching them head on is easiest. But if you're looking at a plant, the flowers aren't all facing the same direction. Of course, when you're creating your art, you can choose to depict whatever you'd like and your plant may have flowers that are facing different directions, but you decide to paint them on the same direction. It's really up to you. But it's good to practice painting things and sketching things in different ways so that you build your skills. Then you'll be able to create more complex compositions and your art will be more realistic. I usually try not to use an eraser when I'm doing sketches like this, but sometimes I need to. If you need to, that's okay too. Although I try to be as realistic as I can with my art, I also create compositions. Sometimes I need to simplify things, simplifying the number of leaves, simplifying the number of flowers and it's fun to fill up your sketch book with little sketches like this. Little studies, because that's really what you're doing here. You're studying the plant, you're these flowers, you're observing, and you're practicing. It's very interesting to collect a bunch of flowers like this and see how different they are. See the little variations. Of course, there are differences in color, but when you're looking at natural subjects, you can see that even on the same plant, sometimes colors slightly different and sometimes shapes are slightly different. Sometimes things have been damaged by bugs or weather. Flowers, I've found when they're on the plant along time, they sometimes change their color. Newly opened flowers will have one color and flowers that have been on the plant for a while will have another. Here I'm sketching just another slightly more complicated composition. A stem with a couple different things going on. Different groupings of leaves, one flower that's open, another flower that has finished ,a couple of stems coming apart from one another, just to give myself a feeling of how these are put together. Building up your art, starting simplest and working up to more complex is really the best way to go to be most successful and not get frustrated. When you're on your own, you can do as many sketches as you're inspired to do. If you have a large sketchbook, that's a nice way to fill up a page. I don't usually do large drawings so having a large sketch book page that can sometimes feel a little daunting. But filling it up with a lot of little sketches is a great way to make the page a little less scary. I just love the way the Viola flowers have these little designs on their petals. It's so unique to them. Gives him personalities, I think. Violas and Pansies, which are just a larger type of flower. You saw some in my garden when we were out there, they have larger faces. I like to think of these flowers as having faces. This unopened flower, it's interesting observing how the flower opens, how it comes out of the stem, how the leaves are arranged. Before I ever sketched Viola leaves, I didn't realize how interesting they were. Now that we've done some sketching, it's time to play with some paint. 5. Mixing Paint: One of my favorite parts of watercolor painting is mixing the colors. Here I have a selection of flowers from the garden to use as color reference. I'm going to mix a lot of different colors so that we'll have options when it comes time to paint. I'm going to consult my swatch reference. This has swatches of all my watercolors. I'm looking at some blue, then purples, and pinks. I'm going to mix a number of these to get a couple good purples. They usually like to mix some blues into the purples, some pinks into the purples, and some reds. I'm also going to mix some oranges and yellows to use for the flowers and we're going to need some green for the leaves and stems. To get mixing, I use one of the brushes that isn't my favorite, I wet it, rub it against the color in the pan, and then rub and scrape onto my palette. I'm going to include all the colors in the handouts, so don't worry about trying to keep notes to anything. I'm using a violet rose color to start with, I'm going to make some purple into that and you can see the colors mix together to create a pretty vivid color. It's hard to tell what the color is going to look like on paper. After I mix, I always do some swatches. Again, rub the color with my brush and then rub and scrape on the palette. Always adding more water to try and get as much paint off my brush as I can. These color mixes will be very wet to begin with which is okay. I'm going to let them dry before we start painting. I have three different palettes full of watercolor pan paint. Pan paints are my favorite to use and there are three different brands. The palette that is on the left on the screen that is a mixture of various brands. I'm adding some blue here to darken this purple and turn indigo. Now, I'm going to start doing some swatching and this can help when I'm determining whether I need to add more colors to my mix, I'm not quite sure if that's right. I'm going to add some rose warm that up a bit, I want the purple to look natural. Sometimes premixed purples can look a little unnatural. I just keep mixing until I'm happy with the color. Add more blue and mix some grape and we'll try this out. See this is a warmer color, little more muted than the first one. It'll give a nice dark color. I'm going to mix this second purple when I've sped up the video here, because it takes a while to mix the paint and get enough onto my palette for a full painting and we don't want to be here all day mixing paint. I'm using the same technique and I'm mixing a slightly different purple and when have a warmer purple and a cooler purple. Here I'm adding some more reds and you can see this is almost a brownish purple. I'm just going to keep mixing until I'm happy with the colors. Even when I've created colors that I like, sometimes I have to adjust them while I'm in the middle of the painting, so it's all a process. Nothing is ever rigid and set in stone. I'm liking how these colors are developing. I'm going to try some yellow here. I want a couple different colors to use on these flower faces and this is a pretty warm yellow, not quite mustard. Get a lot of that on my brush onto the palette adding some lighter, brighter, cooler yellow to pretty nice yellow, mimics another orange yellow. Starting with that same yellow and mixing a little orange in it, it's nice for painting details and then I'm going to have an orange. Adding some orange and a little bit more of another orange, some yellow, some nice really warm colors to complement the purples. Just keep mixing until I'm satisfied with how they look. Now, greens can be hard. My favorite green is rushing green [inaudible] and they often use that as a base to start a dark green so often add some yellow to it, to warm it up a little bit and just keep mixing. Going to do one painting that has leaves but I want to have plenty of color. Most going to mix really limy green which I'm going to use in the flower centers for details and it's also nice to have on hand for mixing. I could also like to have a really dark color because we need some details on the flowers I'm starting with a paints gray, and adds a purple. It's going to be a dark, purply gray. We're not going to need much of that just a little bit for the details, so we need one more color. I'm going to mix a bluish purple, or pale color starting out with some ultramarine and then adding a little purple to that and some more blue. I don't want it to be very dark and I don't want it to be very purple. I want it more on the blue side, so I'll try this so is looking almost a grayish blue. I think I need to add a little more blue paint. Just add on top of this and I'm running out of room here. Maybe let's see what other color. Maybe a little warmer pink, I think that's it. In the next lesson, we'll get started painting. See you there. 6. Painting a Watercolor Viola: Before we begin, let's look at our supplies. This is cold pressed watercolor, 140 pounds. I've cut it into a five by seven sheet. Here's my paint palette, we've already mixed on that. We need some brushes. I have pointed round brushes and some long paint around with nice long tips. Some small brushes, these little spotters. We're going to need a kneaded eraser, a pencil, some paper towels for blotting, a jar of water. I've painted some swatches of the colors just to see what they look like, and here's the flower I'm going to paint. It's got some blue, purple, and the yellow is mixing into the purple. That'll be fun to paint. Also, if we look at our painting experiments, you can see the different ways the colors blended. This one didn't blend much, this blended a lot, and this one changed the color, and that one you can't really even see the yellow. I've already sketched out the flower, and here I'm showing you the size difference between my usual paintings and what we're going to do in this class. Also, you can see the difference between hot pressed and cold pressed paper. Ready to get started. Usually I use my kneaded eraser and dab at the drawing to lift the lines, but I'm going to leave the lines darker so I can see them. I have a hard time seeing while I'm doing these videos. I'm just starting with one of the side petals, and I'm putting some of that blue purple down, just brushing it onto the paper lightly, you don't want it very dark. Filling in the whole space and making the edge a little bit darker than the center. I want a bit of a gradient, and we're going to add a little yellow. You can see there's yellow in the center. I'm going to push the paint over some more while it's still wet, making the middle lighter. Now, here we go and drop in some yellow. I want that to be pretty pale too, and you can see the yellow spreading. It's going to be subtle. Here I'm adding a little more water to blend everything out and lighten things up. While that is drying, I'm going to do the other side petal, and just doing it the same way I did the first one. Adding the paint to the petal, filling in the whole space, and making the center paler than the edge. When you take a darker mix of paint and put it on the edge, it'll blend a little bit, but it will also stay in that area. Dropping in some yellow. Just dabbing the paper with the paint, pushing the yellow back towards the center, lifting a little bit of the paint up and filling in that whole space. I don't want these two petals to touch, but they come very close. Now this is dry. I'm going to touch it to see, if it's cool then it's not yet dry. I'm going to erase the lines. You don't want to erase if the painting is still wet because you could damage the paper. If you've gone over the lines with paint, they won't erase well, so that's why I like to dab off the pencil with the kneaded eraser. I want to use a larger brush this time, the pointed round. I'm going to wet my brush, and actually, I don't think I want any paint, just water. I'm sorry you can't see my water jar. Now I'm just going to fill in this bottom petal with clear water. I'm going to blend the colors on the paper, just starting with water. Just filling in that space with the water till it's nice and wet, and I'm going to dab in some of the blue purple along the bottom edge leaving the middle unpainted. Next thing is I'm going to blob my brush and then get some yellow and dab the yellow in. Add a little more water and paint. Dab the yellow in, filling in the space. This yellow is brighter than the ones on the side petals. I want the colors, the purple and the yellow to just barely mingle on the page. Dab in some orange. Let that mix with the yellow so we have sort of an orangey center moving to yellow. Add more yellow, this brightens and darkens everything up, and you can see the paint spreading. I'm going to add some more purple along the bottom edge using the very tip of this pointed round brush, and I'm just going to keep adding color and dabbing and mixing. I don't want too much mixing to go on, but I want it to blend a little bit. With a dry brush, I'm going to lift off some of that paint. Here, I'm going to use a smaller brush and just push the yellow up towards the center. Just push the edges just to lighten things a little and keep the purple at the bottom more distinct, and it's just a pushing motion with the brush, bringing some of the purple towards the center. I'm going to add some more purple, drop it in, make it darker and have that go up towards the center a little bit. Now I'm going to work on the top petals using the long pointed round brush. That long tip can get into narrow spaces, and I'm just going to fill in this top petal carefully at first along the edges and filling in the whole space. I want this top petal to be very dark. I'm using the warmer purple that we mixed, and you can see how the cold pressed paper has a lot of texture to it. Sometimes it can give your edges sort of a bumpy look which is fine. If you want a smoother line, you can use hot pressed watercolor paper. It's a little harder to work with because it doesn't absorb and lift off the paper quite the same way. This brush can hold a lot of paint in water, and I'm adding in more color. These dark purple petals always look velvety to me so I'm going to try and recreate that. There'll be a bit of a gradient, just some highlights that are lighter and then some darker areas, and I'll achieve that by pushing the paint to the areas that I want it to be darker and lifting the paint from the areas I wanted to be lighter, and dropping in dabs of paint to darken. This is a process. I'll often do a couple different layers of paint, letting the whole thing dry and then adding more. For this video, I'm not going to do that. Here, I'm using a damp, clean brush to push the paint and lift it to create areas of lighter and darker color. When it's wet like this, the paint will want to flow back into the drier areas. We just work with it for awhile. Once it gets drier, you're lifting will create even lighter areas. Which for this I don't really want. I'm just dabbing in more paint and lifting the paint from the areas I don't want it to be as dark. It's really a fun technique. That's drying, I'm going to add some details using that dark gray purple. We're just going to make some little lines on the petals and this really will help finish off the painting giving a finished look. I'm using this pointed round brush even though it's a pretty large brush because the tip is so narrow you can get a very fine line. The other nice thing is that this brush holds a lot of paint. If you're making a long line or many lines, you don't have to fill up your brush again and again, like you would with a really small brush. Now that's not quite dry. Here it's dry and I'm going to erase the lines on that bottom petal. You can see the top is still not dry but we won't bother with that just yet. I'm going to paint the lines on that big bottom petal. These little detail lines. Make sure my brush is filled and wet enough. Then, just carefully using the very tip, paint these details. These lines give your viola flowers their distinctive look. I try and recreate the design of the actual flower onto my painting. You can see how much bigger my painting is than the actual flower. I just wanted you to be able to see clearly what I'm doing. I think those lines look good. We're going to paint a little tiny accent on the bottom, using the tip of the brush, adding some purple. A sweet little detail. That's looking pretty good. I'm going to use a small brush to paint in the very center of my flower, just do a little green spot. That's in the middle where all of the petals match, where they all meet. I'm sorry, you can't see the flower, but there's also a little bit of orange underneath that green spot. I'll paint that in, and that overlaps a bit with the bottom petal. Add a little yellow to that orange. Using the very small brush is fine here. These are really small details and I'm not going to need a lot of paint for them. Little additional green to that center gives your painting a finished looked at these details. The last part, we're going to paint the final petal. I've sped up the video for this. Just working in the same way we did before, filling in the petal with that purple. I'm using a smaller brush that doesn't have quite as longer point for this one. The choice of brushes are always up to you. What you feel most comfortable with. Sometimes the really long tips are hard to get to go where you want them to, because the tip is sort of bendy. I'm giving some gradient to this petal just like with the other one. This one is behind those other petals. You want to give your painting a sense that it's behind. I'm adding some darker purple in here along the edge just to make it look like it's more three-dimensional. Watch that flow. Now the final part, we're going to do is just a little stem. Let's test this green. I added some of the darker green to that lime green. Using the long pointed round brush, just make a nice thin stem. You can increase the width of the stem by adding more paint. The harder you push down with your brush tip, the thicker your line will be. But I'm just being very gentle here. I want the very top of my stem to be darker than the rest of this stem because we have a bit of a shadow from the flower. I'm pushing our paint up the length of the stem. If you blot your brush and make it a little drier with less paint, this will work better. Just keep pushing it up there and there we have it. In the next lesson, I'll show you how to paint another flower. See you there. 7. Painting Another Watercolor Viola: This flower will give us some good blending opportunities. I've already sketched out my flower and I'm ready to get started with the side petals first, just like before. There are some fur on my brush, clean that off. I'm just using this light blue purple filling in the shape of this first side petal. I want to really pale wash of color on the paper. It's a little hard to see because it's so pale, but I'm just filling it in, making sure that the paper is equally saturated. Now I'm going to do the same on the other side. These two petals will both be painted the light blue, purple at the same time. Both filled and wet. The paper saturated and a pretty uniform color. I'm going to take a look and see how it's drying. I don't want it to be totally dry or the paint won't blend. But I think this is good. I'm using a small brush and I'm going to just paint some of this dark purple along the edge. Make sure there's plenty of paint on my brush and just touch the brush to the edge of the petal. You can see that the paint will flow, the darker purple will flow into the pale blue. That's just what I want to have happen along the edges. I want it to flow into the center of less and I'm not going to stop my brush as much there. Just move my brush against the side. Then to have it flow more into the center of the petal, I'll dab in the area I want it to flow and it'll move outward from my brushstroke. I'm going to keep dabbing until I'm happy with the color and until I see that the color is no longer flowing. Do the same on the other side. I've sped this up but go as slow as you need to go. Please keep adding color while the paint's still flows and to get the amount of color saturation that you want. Sometimes the paper dries before you're ready. In that case I would say let it dry all the way and then start over with a clear glaze of water. This purple is so pretty blending into the blue. This very pale along the center and darker along the edge. Dab more where you want it to flow more and have a smoother stroke where you just want to have darkness on the edge. Now I'm going to dab in the center edge of the petal because there's a darker spot there on the petal. I'm just doing it gently and also since the paper is drying more, it's not flowing as much. I think that looks pretty good. Once it's dry, erase the pencil lines. Again, you want to make sure that your paper is entirely dry before you erase, or you could damage the paper. Now we're ready to move on to our next petal. We'll do the bottom petal on the same way we did the side petals. Starting with the pale blue, purple, filling in the whole petal with that color, making sure my brush is completely saturated. I'm using appointed round brush, but not the long tipped brush. You can see how it gives you a different level of control. The tip is less fine and that's okay for this painting. You don't need it to go into very small spaces. I'm painting this a little bit darker than the side petals. I'm going to wait until that's the right consistency, the right wetness. Now we'll do the same as we did on the side petals. Painting the darker purple along the edge. Flow with the brush. Where you just want a thin line and stop with the brush where you want the paint to flow more towards the wet center of the petal. Just go slowly. The paper will stay wet for a while. You have time to manipulate your paint. You don't want to brush and go over the same spots you've gone over once with more paint to give yourself a darker color. I just love the way that flows, it's so beautiful. That's why watercolor work so well for painting these flowers. We saw the same thing happened with our watercolor experiments. When we were painting one color on top of another color. Painting the edge. Wanted to be a nice deep purple flowing into that light blue, that looks good. And now on the center will do the same as we did with the sides. This dark spot is larger than the dark spots on the side petals and just flow so well. Things are coming along and looking pretty good with this flower. I'm going to do one of the top petals now using the bluer purple, the other one than we did for the first flower for the top petals. I'm using a pointed round brush, but not the long one and it works fine. Just filling in the space with the dark color and you can see how nice and dark this purple is going on to the paper. Such a beautiful color, works so well for these pretty viola flowers, and it's the same concept as before. Filling in the petal with the color, and then we're just going to manipulate the paint a little bit to give some darker and lighter spots. That just gives the petal a three-dimensional sense, almost like it's crinkled. Because although I said that viola flowers are fairly flat, they have some crinkling, some bending, slight folding. Just pushing the paint into one area away from another area, that looks good. We're going to do the second petal now that the first petal is dry. That little narrow space we can get with the very tip of the brush, that's why the pointed round brushes are good for this, even when they're not the longer variety. Just moving the paint on the paper, want to fill in the whole space, have some lighter areas and some darker areas. As I said before, these dark purple petals always make me think of velvet. Dabbing in some darker, again to show that this petal is behind the others. Just moving the paint on the paper, picks that little edge there. I like how this is looking. Now we're going to do some details and I'm using the long pointed round brush with the very fine tip and using that dark gray purple to paint the very fine lines for the detail of this flower. This is overlapping where the dark spot is on the side petals. Some of the lines are single lines, some have slight breaks in them, some fork lightly. I'm just going to paint a little more paint on here to make our lines a bit more dramatic so that they'll show up more. Again, this is a larger flower than I usually paint. When I'm painting violas, I like to make them small. This shows up a lot easier on film. I'll do the same detail painting on the bottom petal with the tip of the brush, making these lines, each unique. Some of them are forked, some are broken, some have thinner and thicker areas. Look to your flowers for inspiration. These lines really make a viola flower look like a viola flower, very distinctive. Now we're going to paint the center, let me use this green again in the very center where all the petals come together, you can see a little better than in my other video. Then we're going to use some yellow that I'm mixing with this yellow-orange and just paint that right above the bottom petal. Right up to the green. Add a little more yellow to that color. Now the last thing we're going to do is paint the stem. I'm adding some of the darker green to the lighter green on my palette. I like to mix the colors on the palette even though I've already pre-mixed them. Here I'm taking the fine spotter brush and painting the stem. Just to show you a different way of doing the stem with the fine brush, we have to load more paint on when we want to add more paint because it only holds a small amount. You just pull the paint down with your brush. I'm going to add a little darker color up at the top to give you a sense of the shadow of the flower at the top, just gives a little finishing touch on our painting. In the next lesson, we'll paint another flower this time with leaves. 8. Painting a Third Viola Part 1: This painting is going to be the most complex. It's including a couple of flowers, a seed head, some leaves. The flowers themselves are a little simpler, no blending of colors but this will just give you an idea of how to do more complex compositions. We're starting with the main flower and doing the side petals first, just in the very same way we've done the other ones. This time though, I'm not going to be blending any other colors with this yellow. The side petals and the bottom petal they're just going to be straight yellow with some designs on them like with the other ones, but we're not going to be blending colors. I'm just moving the yellow paint a bit on the paper to give a darker center and slightly lighter edge. I'm going to do the same thing on the second side petal, just painting the straight yellow, moving the paint around on the paper in the same way we've done it before and then adding some darker color to the very center, pushing the paint away from the edge on both of these petals. Now, I'm going to paint some yellow on the second flower. I'm not sure if it's a flower that is just starting to open or one that is fading, I think it's one that's just starting to open. The bottom part is yellow and the other side is purple, getting ready to unfurl, just avoiding the pencil lines here I'm testing the paper to see if it's dry, if can erase the lines. You don't want to erase when the paper is still wet. Although, I haven't explicitly said it, I've shown you how I paint just one section at a time and don't let the wet paint touch another wet paint area. Now, we're ready to do the bottom petal painting in the yellow. I wouldn't want to do this while the side petals were still wet because I wouldn't want the paint to flow from one area to another. I'm going to add a little orange to this bottom petal, I guess I lied when I said there wasn't going to be blending of colors. Just adding some more yellow also, it's more monochromatic blending orange into the yellow. Already it's looking pretty. Now, since the top petals are dry, we can start on the top petal. I'm using the same dark purple, the bluer purple for the top petal painting it in the same manner that I painted the other petals getting right up to the edge. The brush I'm using is fairly small and it's the regular pointed round not the extra long, it's working perfectly fine as you can see. Use the brushes you have and don't feel like you need to get a lot of brushes. For the second flower, I'm painting the purple in now. The purple petals are just starting to unfurl, just having in more color, doing the same with the other petal. Taking another brush and pulling off some of that paint, pushing the paint from one area to another to give lighter and darker areas. We've done this with the other two flowers. It's the same technique, just like we're going to add more paint to deepen the colors. This is such a nice dark color, works so well. Now that the first petal is dry, I'm going to add the second top petal in the same manner. You can see that this flower, the top petals are overlapped differently than the other flowers we painted, this one, the right petal is in front of the left petal, the other ones were the opposite way around with the right petal being behind the left petal. Every flower is different. It's really interesting when you start studying the plants, you can see all these little differences. Now let's paint the center, just a little green spot in the center between the center petals, above the bottom petal, below the top petal and now some orange, just like we did before right up to that green. The green is spreading in the orange and we can easily just move some of that green out of the way, dry your brush off and just pick up some of the paint we don't want on there, move it off of the paper and there we go. Now, time to paint the details with the dark gray purple using the fine tipped long pointed round brush, just painting these lines. These lines are pretty simple. On this simple yellow and purple viola, just three little lines on the side petals. They remind me a bit of whiskers. So loading up some more color onto my brush and we'll paint the bottom petal with these little detail lines. Going carefully with the very tip of the brush until I'm satisfied with the way it looks. We're going to add a little bit of a detail to the bottom of the yellow bottom petal, like we did with one of the other flowers. Just a little spot. Now I'm going to lift up some of the pencil line and start painting some leaves. These top leaves were a little bit chewed, I think, on the plant. They're going to be a little rugged. That's a little dark, I'm going to mix some of the lighter color, and actually I think I want to pick up some of the paint from my paper, just to dry brush to pick up the paint. Then continuing painting these little rugged leaves, they're not quite full leaves. I'm just going to paint one on one side and another one on the other side. Making sure my color is evenly distributed. Doing the same thing on the other side. To bit symmetrical, a bit not symmetrical, nature is never perfectly symmetrical. I think that's pretty good. We'll add to more details later. I'm going to pull up some more of the pencil lines using my kneaded eraser and paint some of the leaves further down. This is more the normal configuration for the viola flowers. The two small lobed leaves and the one larger leaf that's longer. I'm using this fine tipped, long, pointed round brush. I can paint the little tiny serrations on the bottom part of the leaf, and then also the wider part at the end of the leaf. Because I lifted up the pencil marks, I can't see exactly where they are. With the video, looking at it, I can see that I've not quite hitting the paper where those marks were and that's okay. It's not going to do any damage to the painting. It's good to be flexible with your art, and go with the flow sometimes. I lightened up the pencil marks because I didn't want to have the rigidly follow their contours. We've got those two little side leaves. Now we'll paint the longer a leaf that has a skinny stem first. I'll just follow. This time I didn't pick up my pencil lines, but that's okay. Painting the lobed shape, I'm just pulling this paint down to fill in the shape and evening things out, making sure it's all covered. Getting the rounded edge of the leaf. The nice thing about this fine pointed tip is that I can get a nice edge. Now I'm cleaning off my brush and I'm going to lift up some of the paint. This will just give us some contour and gradation for our leaf. If we waited until the leaf was drier, till that paint was drier when we do this, it will give us a nice white line. I don't quite want that for this one. Lifting up some more of the pencil marks and we're going to paint the sepals that are on top of this unfurling flower. They had ends that stick up, and then they have the long pointed shapes that hug the flower. We sketched all of these and one of the earlier lessons, so these are not unusual shapes for us. We know what they look like. I'm just using the tip of my brush to pull the paint down in a very fine point. If you don't have such a fine pointed brush, that's okay, you can use a smaller brush. You'll still be able to have a successful painting. After I dry off my brush a bit, I'm going to use the tip to push the pain around. Give some variety and tones on these sepals, some lighter parts, some darker part. We've done the same thing with the pedals. We're going to go back on all of these areas and add some details. Don't worry. If it doesn't look quite right yet, we'll get there. 9. Painting a Third Viola part 2: I'm going to do the sepals on this little seed pod. I think I mixed my greens too dark for this, my dark green too dark because I'm not liking the way it looks. But that's okay, I can mix it with colors on my palette. Again, the little sepal parts that point up and then the pointy parts that hug what is now become a little seed pod. Viola seed pods are pretty neat the way they open up and scatter the seeds everywhere and that's why they're all over my garden and we'll just lift up some of the paint pushed around, give some variety of tone, just the same way we did with the other. That's looking pretty good. Now let's paint some details on the leaves. Using a darker green, I'm using the very tip of this pointed round brush to paint some lines, some veining and some details just to finish up the shapes and make them look more like leaves. You can keep working until you're satisfied with the way the leaves look. Now, I'm going to make some veins on these other leaves. Just drawing a simple line down the length of the leaf. I'll do the same on this long leaf and I'll paint some side veins as well. Again, just using the very tip of this long pointed round brush, and don't worry if they don't look right at first. You can work on them, refine the shapes, spread out the paint a bit. You can even do multiple layers of color on the entire leaf. I'm just going to spread a little bit of the darker color to the rest of the leaf because it was looking a little bit pale. Some people think that you can't fix mistakes with watercolor and while in some cases that is true, you can always go back and add more details, add more layers of paint. These other sepals over here for our just opening flower need some details too. Just gently add some more color to give some three-dimensionality to these sepals. A darker line on the edge will help it to stand out. Now I'm going to paint the little seed pod and the color is a bright yellowy green. I'm just pulling down the color into the shape of the pod and I can refine both the shape and the color, pulling up some of the paint to lighten it, adding a little more yellowy color to brighten it. Now I'm going to dab off some more of the pencil marks and paint our final little leaves and refining the shape as I go, pulling the paint in the direction of the leaf. These are just cute little leaflets, those side leaves and although I like them like this, I think we need a third leaf, so although I haven't drawn that, I'm just going to wing it and add another of the long leaves. The shape is pretty simple and so I'm not worried about having no outline to follow. Just pulling the paint and the direction of the leaf down the stem around the curves. Just evening everything out. While I'm painting and while I have wet paint on my brush, I can look at the rest of the grain details and see what else needs some refinement. I wasn't really happy with those veins, so I'm just darkening them up a little. Just take a look at your painting to see what it needs. Now that things are dry, I'm going to erase more of the pencil lines and I think that painting the stems, I won't use the lines. If I erase the stems, can pretty much remember where the stems need to go, from the flowers to the leaf clusters and down to the bottom of the page. If you think you need to keep your lines, that's fine too. I was just a little worried of having them show in the painting. Once you paint over pencil marks with watercolor, the lines will stay there. I'm going to mix a lighter color than is on my palette to make my stems and I'll just line up my stem between the flower and these first little leaves, and like we did before with stems, I'm adding more paint as I go, thickening the line, just pulling the paint down with my brush. That's why using this long pointed round brush is good for painting stems because it holds so much paint. While the paint is wet, I can keep refining the shape of the stem. I keep mixing some of the lighter green with a darker green for this. I have to be careful not to touch the wet parts of the page with my hand, so I keep turning my paper, in part so that it's easier to paint the shape and also so I don't set my hand in wet paint. That's a mistake I've made many times and you end up with a smudge of paint that sometimes you can get rid of by dabbing it with clear water, and sometimes you can't. This stem for this flower connects to the second set of leaves and then between the two sets of leaves, there'll be another stem. I'm just painting these flower stems first and then I'll connect the leaf sets. These colors are looking a little dark and a little blue to me on the stems, but we can adjust that later. Right now, I'm going to connect these two leaf sets in the same way we created the other stems, pulling the paint down with the tip of the brush and you can see that the paint is flowing from one wet area to another and that's okay. They're the same color and I don't really need too much of a difference in gradation or color. Pulling down the paint and refining the edges and we can paint some additional details and some shadowing later and here's the final bottom part of the stem. I like the ends of my stems to be a little jagged as if they've been snipped in the garden. I guess we have not so sharp scissors. This final flower stem that goes to the flower that turned into a seed pod is the last bit that we need to paint and the curves are hard, but if you go slowly and work carefully, you'll be able to create them. You may want to practice on a separate piece if you're feeling a little nervous. Again, I can move the paint from one area to another. Now I'm going to add some more yellow to warm up the color of the stems. I'm just going over what I already painted to brighten and warm up the color so it doesn't look quite as blue and it blends better with the leaves, which are really rather yellowy green. Again, this is all a process and you can keep working, keep adding layers, keep adding paint until you're happy with how things look. You're the only one who can determine if you think something looks finished, if you think it looks good, it's your painting. These last leaves that we painted, need their details and I'm trying to paint as thin a line as possible by keeping the very tip of the brush on the paper and I can add details wherever I see that I need them. A little more color here, little extra line here. That's one of the nice things about watercolor. You can just keep refining. These sepals need their details, a little bit of dark edges just to make it finished and then that seed pod gets a little dark green tip. Just look at your painting, sometimes it helps to hold it up and look at it an arm's length like the way squint your eyes and you can see what you think it needs, what additional details. Just keep painting until you're happy with it. It's also good to know when to stop. Adding too much paint can make a painting look overworked, but adding some shadowing and some details is a great way to finish your painting. In the next lesson we'll talk about your painting. See you there. 10. Your Project: For your class project, I want you to paint a vial of a flower. You can paint one with just a stem. Or if you feel more ambitious, you can paint multiple flowers and leaves. Share a photo of your creation in the class project section. If you want to share photos of your inspiration and your process. I can't wait to see what you create. Thanks so much for taking this class. See you next time.