Paint A Simple Rose In Watercolor: Create Your Own Beautiful Greeting Card | Sharon Margolies | Skillshare

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Paint A Simple Rose In Watercolor: Create Your Own Beautiful Greeting Card

teacher avatar Sharon Margolies, Artist | Watercolor + Lettering

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Orientation


    • 3.

      Supplies and Resources


    • 4.

      Finding Inspiration


    • 5.

      Card Layout


    • 6.

      Wet on Wet vs. Wet on Dry


    • 7.

      Comparing Papers


    • 8.

      The Rose Brush Strokes: Part One


    • 9.

      The Rose Brush Strokes: Part Two


    • 10.

      Painting Leaves & Filler Elements


    • 11.

      Completing The Card: Part One


    • 12.

      Completing The Card: Part Two


    • 13.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Have you ever watched an artist paint a simple flower with just a few brush strokes and thought, “that looks like fun?” Well it is and you should totally try it! 

This class is all about learning basic watercolor techniques while creating a beautiful greeting card. We’ll learn how to paint roses, leaves and filler floral elements to create a wreath composition that will surround a message of your choosing.

In easy to follow instructional videos you will learn:

  • The supplies needed for painting in watercolor.
  • How to cut a greeting card to size. Mapping a design for a greeting card.
  • How to choose a pleasing color palette.
  • Basic watercolor techniques such as wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, and how to control the amount of water to pigment.
  • How to make a rose in just a few brush strokes.
  • How to paint leaves and other filler plants to complete a wreath composition.
  • Final execution of the card - The Rose Wreath. Placing the rubber stamp greeting in the center of the wreath. Placing the flower and leaf elements around the wreath. Painting the flower and leaf elements. 

In addition to having a beautiful handmade greeting card, I hope you will find that painting in watercolor is a wonderful way to relax and have fun.

This class is perfect for those starting out in watercolor. No prior experience is necessary. I will show you exactly how I created the greeting card from start to finish. Watercolor may seem a little intimidating at first but I will break it down for you here so that after acquiring some basic watercolor skills you’ll be well on your way to having fun with this magical medium.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Sharon Margolies

Artist | Watercolor + Lettering


Hello, I'm Sharon,

I'm a watercolor artist and calligrapher. I have been an artist for most of my life. Originally from Illinois I now live in Cumming, Georgia. Having been raised by parents who were both artists, I was acquainted with many different art mediums at an early age. I studied Graphic Design at Illinois State University, The University of Illinois, and the American Academy of Art in Chicago. However, in 1984 I chose a different career path and two years later earned a certificate in Dental Hygiene from the University of Texas. After several successful years of working in the Field of Dentistry I am now retired and can enjoy more time painting and lettering. With the launch of my first Skillshare class I am now embarking on ways to share with others what I have learned... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Have you ever wanted to create your own greeting card to give someone? Have you wanted to try watercolor? Why not do both at the same time? Hi, everyone. I'm Sharon from Atlanta and I've been an artist for most of my life. I feel fortunate to have both parents whom were artists. They provided a rich environment for learning many different art mediums and there was always plenty of material and resources with which to explore. I've enjoyed painting in both pastel and oil, but now find that my medium of choice is watercolor. I also enjoy brush lettering and calligraphy, which I incorporate into some of my works. I have recently retired from a career as a dental hygienist and I'm now able to create more art. It is my hope that I can pass on my skills to you and to others so you can enjoy this wonderful medium of watercolor. Welcome to my first Skillshare class. I know you'll have a lot of fun making this greeting card while at the same time learning the basics of watercolor. It is my hope by the end of the class, you'll acquire basic watercolor skills to act as a springboard to create more art, whether it be more greeting cards, paintings, or just a way to relax. We'll be talking about card making and the supplies you'll need to build your card. With easy to follow steps, I'll be walking you through each flower and leaf element that we'll build our floral wreath, which will be our design for our greeting card. You'll learn how to make flowers and leaves with just a few simple brushstrokes. We'll be creating the final project step-by-step. I'll be breaking down different components of the wreath, talking a bit about color design and composition. Now that you know a little bit about me and the class, let's see what we will be creating. 2. Class Orientation: The goal for this class is to create a greeting card. The card will have a floral wreath design with a message of your choosing in the center of the wreath. In completing the project, you will learn some basic watercolor techniques and tab the end result of a greeting card to send to someone. The project is kept fairly simple and small so as not to overwhelm you. I have provided a detailed list of the supplies you will need in the projects and resources section. In addition to the supply list, I've also provided a couple templates to make the process a bit more simple. I suggest you don't feel the pressure of getting through all the lessons at one time. Everyone has their own work schedule and it may be to your advantage to do a little at a time. After learning the brushstrokes that make a flower or a leaf, give yourself time to practice. Sometimes it's fun to learn all the different marks one brush can make. Experiment and have fun in the process. Let's get acquainted with the supplies you will need. You may have some of these already. 3. Supplies and Resources: In this lesson, we'll cover the supplies needed to make our card. Starting with this Canson Mix Media paper measuring nine by 12 inches. The painting surface of this paper has a little bit of texture to it. It's also lightweight enough to be able to make this card. This paper can handle a fair amount of water and should be sufficient enough for our size project. We'll need a kneaded erase, I prefer the Faber-Castell, but there are other brands that are fine. One pencil, either 2B or a 4B, I prefer the 4B. A plastic ruler to measure the dimensions of our card and a metal ruler for when we're ready to cut the card. Also painter's tape and an [inaudible] knife. When it's time to cut out our card we'll need a cutting surface. I'm using a TechTools Standard Self-Healing Cutting Mat, which I like, if you don't have one or you don't want to purchase one, a thick piece of mat board will be just fine. You'll need a light pad, portrays the design onto the paper. I'm using an AGPtek LED light pad. It has three different dim options, which is nice. There are many different brands to choose from. If you don't want to purchase one, a window with sufficient light coming through, it will do just fine. You'll need a protractor to make the circle on your card. However, you can use the template provided in the project and resource section, and then you would not need that protractor. Just tracing the circle onto the card, you would need a top of a jar or in this case, I'm using a small glass bowl that's roughly four inches in diameter, and then that way you can just trace around it with your pencil. When it's time to complete the floral wreath will need a metallic gel pen. I'm using this extra fine gold metallic gel pen by Pentel, which flows really nicely on paper. There are other gel pens available like the sparkle also by Pentel, and this is a Gelly Roll Metallic by Sakura. I do like the first one that I described though, it does flow nicely on paper. You could also instead choose a Sharpie fine tip permanent marker. Keep in mind you want the color of the marker not to overpower the other colors of your wreath. When choosing your rubber stamp, keep in mind you don't want the text much bigger than 1.5 inches by two inches. Also, the color that you choose for your text will determine the color of your flowers. For the rosaries card, I chose the greeting thinking of you by Recollections. Some rubber stamps will come with an acrylic block like this, which allows you to put the rubber stamp, line it up on the block, and some don't and you'll just have to purchase it separately. For the rose wreath card, I chose the ink pads by Recollections. I found that the lighter pink here, which is a peony was too light when I stamped so you might want to choose a darker pink. The colors again, shown here were the pink rose in the peony. The peony was that lighter pink. I'm using envelopes made by The Paper Studio. This package actually contains cards and envelopes. You might be able to find one with just envelopes. The envelopes in this package are six inches by six inches. Just make sure not to go any smaller than five and three quarter by five and three-quarter inches. We'll be using these two Master's Touch brushes, a size 2 and a size 20. They are both series 3,200 round. You'll also need one large round brush to be able to mix the paints easily with and while you are purchasing or ordering them, it might be good to get a few different sizes for larger projects that you might want to create. If you're going to purchase just one, I would get the size 6, some Goldenedge by Grumbacher. For paints, I like the Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor. They come in two different size tubes, the large ones and the small ones seen here. Other professional watercolor paints I like are Holbein and I also do like Daniel Smith. This is a quinacridone rose by Daniel Smith. You could also choose to go with a student-grade watercolor, these are Cotman, also by Winsor & Newton. Keep in mind the professional-grade paints or artist-grade paints will dilute and mixes [inaudible] and also flow and mix beautifully on the paper, while in comparison, the student-grade paints may not dilute or flow nearly as well. These are the colors I used for the card. You don't have to have all these colors, but in addition to the color of your flower, I want you to have two greens and a brown. In choosing a watercolor palette, you'll want to have areas to put the tubes of paint and also areas that work well for mixing colors. This is a Workhorse Artist's portable large white watercolor palette. It closes for when you want to travel and it also has this area to be able to hold the palate if you're standing outside painting. We'll need a roll of paper towels and two cups or jars for clean water and dirty water. These are Faber-Castell Clic & Go water pots. They collapse if you want to travel and they also have this scalloped edge on top that allows you to rest your brush on when not in use. Also, an old towel or a rag is good to have. You'll see in some of my demos that I'm using this ceramic water pot. It was given to me as a Christmas present for my daughter, and it was just easier to use in some of the filming shots. A small spray bottle is nice to have for when your paints dry out, you can spritz the paints and get them active again with some water. This shows what my setup typically looks like. In the supply list, I've included this Arches cold press fine-grain watercolor paper. This isn't required for our project, but of all the watercolor supplies, paper is probably the most important. I will be discussing the differences and similarities between these two papers after you have learned some of the basic watercolor techniques in lesson 6. After you have completed lesson 6, you will better understand the terms I use when discussing the properties of these two papers. But for now, let's gather some reference material for the rose, rosebud, and filler plants that we will be painting. That is what the next lesson will be all about. 4. Finding Inspiration: In this lesson, we'll be finding inspiration by gathering reference material that will help us become familiar with our subject. Searching keywords such as rose, rosebud, and filler floral plants will produce the wealth of photos and images from which to study. When looking at these photos, take note of how the petals look on a rose bud or a rose that's just about to bloom, or on the fully open rose. This plant on the left would make for a great filler plant. It's very simple and delicate. Here are some more simple plants that would make for a nice filler plants. I love this one here with its nice little spiky leaves. Quite often I'll do a clip art search of the subject that I'm painting just to see the many different ways it can be simplified. Take this rose here, there's probably about eight shapes that make it up. Pixabay is a great site to gather reference material. It's a site where creatives share copyright-free images, videos, and music. You're sure to find great reference material from which to study on this site and don't forget Pinterest and Instagram. This fern plant here could be simplified and make for a nice filler plant. Of course, there's nothing like observing the real thing. When you're out for a walk in the woods or a park, make sure that you do bring your phone with you so that you can videotape any of the plant life that may be at a creeks edge or the small flowers that may be along the edge of the woods. You could also make a trip to your local nursery and take some pictures of plants and flowers there. Have the photos or even some of the plants you may have picked nearby for reference, it will be helpful to refer to these in our next several lessons as we learn to paint the shapes that will make up the flora elements. Now that we have all the supplies and have gathered some reference material, let's get our paper prepared for the greeting card. 5. Card Layout: In this lesson, we will be preparing a greeting cards. We will be cutting the card, to size, folding it and making the circle template for the wreath. Measure out a piece of Canson XL paper to 11 inches by 5 1/2 inches. You can use your ruler to measure it out and then cut. Or you can use this circle template that's provided in the student project and resource section. Here, I'm tracing it on my light box. However, make sure that the measurements are 11 inches by 5 1/2 inches before you cut. If you don't have a light box, you can use a window with sufficient light coming through it. I'm using a cutting mat here along with my metal rule an X-Acto blade to cut the card to size. If you don't have a cutting mat, a thick piece of mat board should do. Make sure before you fold the card that you have the correct surface on the outside of the fold. Canson XL paper, the correct side, the painting surface will have a little more texture to it. So make sure that is on the outside. Crease it first with the palms of your hands, and then take the plastic ruler to go along the crease to make it nice and crisp. Here, I've marked the card with the letter F, very lightly in the lower right corner, this why I know it's the front of the card and I know this is where I will want to paint. It also lets me know which way this card opens. Make a four-inch circle in the middle of the car with your protractor. To find the middle of the card, simply draw a line from one corner to the other, making an X. This will allow you to find the center of the circle. I'm using a couple pieces of Painter's tape so as not to leave a puncture mark in the middle of the card. You could choose the template that's provided in the Student Resource and projects section. Here, I'm using a bowl that's roughly the size of the circle and simply tracing around it. Then erase the lines of the circle, but not lose them completely, just so that then you have a ghost image of the circle. Also, make sure that the car fits in the envelope. You may want to repeat this process a couple more times to have some extras. In the next lesson, we'll be learning some basic watercolor techniques. This is where really starts to get fun. 6. Wet on Wet vs. Wet on Dry: In this lesson, we'll experiment using a wet-on-wet technique along with other basic watercolor techniques. What exactly is wet-on-wet? Wet-on-wet is when you put down just some water on the paper making it wet. Then into that you'll put the color so that you'll have this bleed occurring. Wet-on-dry is taking the wet pigment and putting it on the dry paper. Pretty much here there's no bleed, and edges are very distinct. Here, starting out with wet-on-dry using some cadmium yellow. Again, putting that pigment on the dry paper. Now I'll be going to a wet-on-wet technique. Putting some rose mater into this wet yellow, so you can see the bleed here. Little bit of French ultramarine, more bleed. You can see how the colors mix here, creating new colors. More wet-on-wet, here I'm using some French ultramarine, and going into this wet yellow. Here is a little bit different in wet-on-wet, I'm putting some water on the dry paper. It's wet, notice coming in and dabbing into this wet paper. You can see how it makes these little star bursts and bleeds out. I have some fun experimenting with this wet-in-wet technique. It can be really fun and it produces a lot of neat results. Here I'm using a wet-on-dry approach now. The red color has dried and I'm just going in with some other color on top. This is also called layering, where one wet color goes on top of a dry color. Here I'm doing what's called lifting. I've wet my brush and going back into this dry pigment, continue wetting it. Then drawing it and going back in and basically lifting out the color. Another way of lifting color is going into an area that is still wet and cleaning off your brush a few times, drawing it and going back in. Basically you can pretty much lift all the color out, so that is called lifting. Mostly when making these petals, we'll be using a combination of these techniques. Putting the pigment down and then putting maybe some stronger pigment at the base of the petal. Then possibly going back in cleaning your brush off and lifting. It's all to hopefully create this smooth blend. Again, they'll be used in combination back and forth. So have some fun experimenting with all these different techniques. Another important skill to acquire watercolor is controlling how much water is needed in the brush. First we'll see what happens when there's too much water. Now when I add the pigment, it just sits there. It really doesn't do very much. I could go back and rinse my brush off, dry it, go back in and coax the pigment into the rest of the water. But it still doesn't really have a very nice effect there. It also will tend to make the paper buckle a little bit, so that's also not very good. Now we'll go back and use quite not so much water. I just have a feeling that there's the right amount of water right now spreading around just a little bit there. Now I'm going back in, I've to wet some of that paint a little bit. Then I'll come back in with some of the pigment and you'll see it just has a better bleeding out effect right here. I'm just going to dab my brush a little bit, and to create a little bit nice of a blend, going to pull that pigment out a little bit. But again, it draws out better. Just overall, a better blend, nicer look. Now I'm going to use a lot less water so we can see what happens when there isn't enough water. I'll get some more pigment and now go back in. Again, the pigment will just sit there. It doesn't puddle like the first one. But nothing's really happening there, so I can go back in and coax that pigment out. Sometimes you'll get a nice blend, but not really as nice of a blend as that second one we did with what I feel like was just about the right amount of water. We'll take some practice to get a feeling of what the right amount of water really is. In the next lesson, we'll touch on some similarities and differences between mixed media paper and watercolor paper. 7. Comparing Papers: Before we move on to the next lesson, I want to go a little more in depth about watercolor paper. It's probably the most important of all supplies you use when painting in watercolor. This slide shows the similarities and differences between the mixed media paper and watercolor paper. They're both manufactured for wet mediums. Though mixed media paper can handle dry mediums such as pencil, pen, colored pencils, and rubber stamping, which we'll be doing. They both have a slight tooth or texture to the painting surface, but watercolor paper comes in varying degrees of texture. Cold press watercolor paper has a pronounced tooth or more texture as opposed to the hot pressed, which has a smooth surface. Watercolor paper also handles a watercolor wash better. This is the mixed media paper in which we had been learning the basic watercolor techniques. It's thin but can handle a fair amount of water and folds easily to make our card. This is Arches cold press, 140 pound watercolor paper, and it's a bit thicker than the mixed media paper. This is the pad of Arches watercolor paper I currently have. It's fine grain, it also comes in a rough grain, but I prefer the fine. When working wet on wet, I feel that the watercolor paper produces a more uniform bleed as compared to the mixed media paper. Also, the colors seem to appear more vibrant. When blending the colors, it also does so more evenly. The only way to experience the difference is to actually paint on both types of paper. A discussion of the different brands, weights, and textures of watercolor paper could be a whole separate class. That is why I'm touching on just a few key points. It is my suggestion to purchase a small pad or a large sheet of Arches, cold press watercolor paper or another professional brand of your choice to experience the difference. Some art stores and online art stores will sell a sampler pack of different brands, professional watercolor paper, and it's a good way to experience the differences without spending a whole lot of money. You can see here, this has a nice blend as compared to where the paint can sometimes appear Blanche and the mixed media paper, if we're not careful to coax the paint into an even blend. All that being said, the Canson XL mixed media paper is a good choice for our project due to its thickness. The surface which can handle our rubber stamp nicely and it's low cost. In the next lesson, we'll learn the simple brushstrokes that make the open rose. 8. The Rose Brush Strokes: Part One: In this lesson, we'll learn the brush strokes that make the open rose. It will help to look at the actual rose. We'll be painting a series of comma strokes around a center point. The comma strokes that are close to the center are more narrow, maybe a little bit darker, and as they get out towards the edge, the comma strokes become little larger and maybe lighter. The colors I'll be using are the new gamboge, which is this yellow, the opera rose, which is the pink here, the quinacridone red, and the quinacridone rose. Keep in mind, you don't have to use these colors. You can make a wonderful rose with just one color. I'm using the larger brush, the Number 2. Starting out with the opera rose, getting the right amount of water to pigment and then testing it out on a scrap piece of the Canson mix media paper. Dabbing my brush on a paper towel to make sure no drops a water fall on the paper. The open rose is a series of comma strokes around a center point. Starting with the center point and using mostly the tip of our brush, making thin comma strokes around the center and overlapping them as you go. The brushstroke is made by using the tip of your brush, pressing down with the belly of the brush and lifting up, trying not to get too much whitespace in between the strokes. I've picked up a bit more water so that there's more water to pigment, making the color a little bit lighter. I'm also using more pressure when I press down so that I have a bigger swell in the strokes. It will be helpful to practice these strokes separately instead of worrying about trying to make them look like a rose right away. Practicing the thin strokes first with most of the tip of the brush and these strokes will be close to the center of the rose. Now painting the large comma strokes where you'll be using more pressure when you push down. Also experiment with the varying degrees of pigment to water ratio making lighter petals versus dark petals. Have fun experimenting with the pressure you put on the brush and how it makes for a fatter or a thinner comma. The angle of the brush and how long you'll leave it on the paper also determine the size and the shape of the comma strokes. Also remember that the petals on a rose are not going to be these perfect comma shapes. They'll have some irregularities in the edges of the petals, so experiment with this too. When you put down the brush and maybe wiggle it a little bit, you'll end up with some nice varying outlines to it. Experiment with that also. I'll be using a little bit of that wet and wet technique here. Going back in before the petal is completely dried with more intense pigment and maybe putting it more towards one edge of the petal. Now I've just dab my brush off to dry it a little bit and gone into pick up a little of that pigment. Now I get this nice smooth blend here. Now I'll be combining these different colors in one petal. Starting off with some opera rose. Then I will be adding some quinacridone rose to this petal. While it's still wet, you can see a nice bleed is occurring there. You could let it dry like that with that nice feathery appearance, but I feel it's a bit strong, so I've just dab my brush a bit and I'm going back in to pick up some of that pigment to get a nice blend. Using again, some opera rose, but here I'll wiggle the brush just a little bit and you can see it creates that irregular edge there which is nice. Now I'm going in with some quinacridone red while the petal is still wet. I'll now be using a layering technique. I'm checking to make sure that petal is dry and then I'll be going over that with some new gamboge, this yellow. I want to make sure that it's not a very intense yellow, that it's more on the light side. I felt I had a little too much water, so just gently debiting it there on the paper towel and then going in with the color right on top of this pink. You can see here it creates a real nice pitch color now. Practice these comma strokes in varying degrees of size and color and shape. Once you feel confident making these different comma strokes, it's time to put them all together to look like a rose. Again, you start with that center point and using just most of the tip of your brush, you start out small. The color is a bit more intense. As you get towards the outer part of the rose, the comma strokes will become bigger and a bit lighter in color. Make sure that you overlap the strokes and that you don't leave too much whitespace in between them. You can see here where that one petal has that little bit of irregularity. Remember, when you do make some of these petals, it's nice to give that some thought and to make the petals not quite so perfectly in a shape of a comma. That's what I'm just experimenting a little bit with right here, just pressing down in varying degrees and wiggling it a little bit. What I'm going to do now is to give this rose a little bit more dimension by going in with some strong pigment using the tip of my brush and just catching the inner edge of some of these petals with it. Then I will go back into to some of these areas with a damp brush and just draw that pigment out a little bit into the petal. Then going back in, dabbing my brush again and lifting a little bit more there in this one petal. It can be easy at this point to overwork the painting right now, so be careful that you don't get to that point where you're just putting too much into it. Also keep in mind the size of the wreath that the flora elements will be painted on. You will not want to go much bigger than a quarter size circle for the largest rose. I felt I needed to pull this pedal out a little bit more, make it lighter at the edge. That's what I'm doing right here. This rose was painted just with one color and I think it turned out quite nice. Practice these commas strokes and putting them together until you feel confident making this form of the rose. 9. The Rose Brush Strokes: Part Two: Now we'll practice the rose that's not fully open. Three to five strokes makes these particular rose. The first stroke is like a lop-sided teardrop which I'm making here. The second shape is just like a gentle swerve that fits in right to the left of the first petal shape and then finishing off with this little center dot. Can also put in this thin comma stroke, starting with this lop-sided teardrop shape making the first petal. Then when you add this second shape, you want to make sure that when it joins the bottom of the first petal, It's just this very thin line that meets up with the bottom. You want that petal in the front to remain mostly what you see there. Now we'll finish it off at that little dot in the center and if you like that comma stroke at the top. Here, I'm trying to achieve a little more of a smooth blend by just dabbing my brush on my paper towel and lifting a little bit of that pigment up. Here I'm just doing these shapes in reverse, starting out with the lop-sided teardrop shape and then the other shapes so that this rose faces the other direction. Putting a little bit of saturated pigment in the bottom of this petal. Adding some saturated quinacridone red to this petal right here, wet and wet. Making a bit smaller rose here now. I'm using mostly just the tip of my brush. Before adding the couple other petals to make the semi-open rose, I thought it'd be fun to just finish off this one here. Now we'll go on to complete the not fully open rose by placing a few petal shapes to each side of the rose form that we have already created. These resemble the comma strokes that we created in the open rose. Again, you want to make sure that when you meet the base of that petal, the very first petal that we did, that the stroke is thin and just meets just right up against it. Again, that first petal shape is what is most dominant there. These couple extra comma strokes that represent the petals can vary in thinness and thickness. Sometimes it's fine to just add one extra petal. The next shape we'll be making is this rosebud, which is the simplest of the three rose forms that we've been making. The first shape is again this lop-sided teardrop shape, but maybe not with such a quite curvy top. The second stroke is pretty much just a line maybe with a little bit of a swell to it that meets right up at the bottom of that first petal and then finishing off with the center dot. Sometimes it's not even necessary to add that little dot in the center. Adding a bit more pigment at the bottom of this petal right here. Adding just a couple little leaves, which we will be learning in our next lesson. Make sure that you practice these three rose forms before we move on to the next lesson in which we will be learning to paint the leaves and the filler plants that will complete our wreath. 10. Painting Leaves & Filler Elements: In this lesson, we will learn to paint the leaves and the filler plant elements that will enhance our wreath. These are some good examples of what filler plant elements can look like. They typically should be very simple in design and used sparingly, or the wreath can start to look cluttered. They're meant to act as axons for the finished wreath. We'll first start by practicing the stems. I'm using olive green and a sap green, whatever color you want to use will be fine. Use the tip of the brush, and this is the small brush, and just practice a very light stroke. I find it easier to pull up towards the flower with the stem. You may find it easier to pull down. You don't want to have your brush very loaded with water as it will then be too thick. You just have to find that right amount of water and pigment and just very gentle light strokes up or down. The stroke for these small leaves is a quick motion of putting the tip of the brush to the paper, pressing down, and lifting up. Point down, pressure, lift up. If your leaves don't quite meet the stem, simply go back with your brush and put a thin line that attaches the leaves to the stem. Practice these brushstrokes that make the leaves with the small brush and the large brush. I'll be using the large brush now, the number 2, in practicing the same stroke, making the leaves a little bit bigger. Again, the technique is the same, point down, pressure, and lift up. Practice making the leaves a little bit longer and maybe bending slightly. The bigger leaves that are used in a rose wreath will take more than just one brushstroke with this size brush. The technique is the same, tip down, pressure, lift up, but you're using more than one brushstroke for each leaf. After making the outline of the leaf with the two strokes, it's going to require going back in and filling in the shape with more pigment. You'll find that when you lift your brush, that is the place where the paint will collect and puddle there. You may want to go back in and pull that pigment down towards the base of the leaf. The dot type filler plant is a simple element that acts as a nice accent to the wreath. Practice making this twig type plant that has a series of dots or small circles growing off the branches. The twigs or stems of this plant should be kept thin and light in color. The twigs or stems of this plant need not be brown, it could be a different color that goes well with the other colors in the wreath. The dots can also be any color that works well with the other colors in the wreath. You could even try making them gold to add a bit of sparkle like I'm doing here. I'm using my number 2 brush to create small dots here, and I'm using purple. Keep in mind to vary the size of the dots. You could choose to let the paint dry as it is or do as I'm doing here, going back in with a clean dry brush to just lighten up those colors a bit. I'm using my smaller brush now to make this fern type filler plant. It's another element that really can enhance the wreath nicely. The leaves should be kept thin and can be any color that compliments the other flora element colors. Again, try to keep these elements simple. Sometimes only one filler plant is needed. Using just the tip of the brush here making the stem, again, I find it easier to pull up towards the top. Here you can see with this stroke where I go back in towards the stem, it gives me a little bit of a rounded edge at the tip of these leaves, which is nice. Painting these leaves and filler plants can be quite enjoyable. This is where you should give yourself the freedom to fill up a few sheets of this paper, experiment and have fun. In the next couple lessons, we'll be taking everything we've learned and putting it all together to complete our card. 11. Completing The Card: Part One: In this lesson, we'll be taking everything we've learned and putting it together to complete our card. Here, I've taped down the circle template to my light box. If you don't have a light box, you can use a window, taping the circle template to the window, and then taping your card over the template, making sure it's front-facing in the correct orientation. I'm using a small glass bowl, roughly the size of the circle, and then tracing around it with a pencil. Find the center of the circle using a ruler and drawing from one corner of the square to the other. Take your kneaded eraser and erase the lines, but don't lose them completely. Next, I'm taking my rubber stamp and I'm going to ink it. Finding the middle of my circle, but then slightly putting it above into the right just a little, because I know that I want my rows to go in the lower left, slightly above the middle. What I'll be doing next is sketching in where I want the roses to go. Before mapping out the roses, I'm going to erase most of this circle, but not erasing it completely. Here you can see where I've sketched in where the roses and rosebuds will go. It's important to go back with the kneaded eraser and erase the lines to leave just a ghost image because once the paint is on top of the pencil, it will not erase. You could choose to use the floral wreath template provided in the project and resource section and trace the elements on to your card. But keep in mind the rubber stamp greeting that you have chosen most likely is different than mine. You'll probably have to compensate in a few areas for that by placing the flora elements in a little bit different position. Again, once you've drawn your flora elements lightly onto your card, go back and erase them to just a ghost image. Let's paint some roses. I'm using here quinacridone red, which is right here. I also have out some new gamboge, which is this yellow. This is opera rose, which is a wonderful pink for roses. This is quinacridone rose, which is a bit deeper of a pink. We'll first be using the reds and the pinks. Here I'm getting the puddles of colors ready. Some with more water and some puddles with less. But I want them at the ready so that I can continue to paint without having to stop and mix the colors again. That's what I'm doing here, preparing some puddles of paint to use when I'm painting the first rose. To start out, I'm mixing some of the opera rose and the quinacridone red. Here we start out with that center point and then with the comma strokes, see shapes strokes. We go around overlapping and trying to make sure we don't leave too much whitespace between them. I've just rinsed my brush off a little bit using more water instead of a lot of pigment. Again, going back around with these comma strokes, overlapping the edges a bit. I'll be trying to stay inside that sketched out line I made when mapping out the roses and rosebuds. I think one more on this side would be nice to put in, so I'm going back to grab some more pigment and coming around the edge here. Going down a little bit of dimension and vibrancy by going back in with some darker pigment. Just to write around some of these edges of the petals. Another reason, it's good to have a paper towel ready is what just happened there. Some water fell on the middle of the card and I wanted to make sure and I get it up before it dried. I'm glad I saw that. Look how beautiful that opera rose is. Here though, you have to be careful not to overdo it with adding some more pigment. Boy, you got to love that opera rose. Starting on the rosebud here using mostly opera rose. Going back to the first rose that we painted, making sure it's dry, I'm then going to go back with my new gamboge or you could use a similar yellow. I'm going to make sure to leave it a light color so I want to dilute it with quite a bit of water. But again, dabbing it so that my brush isn't saturated with the water. I don't want it to pool, so it's say a mostly dry brush with a very light color of the yellow on it. It produces this nice peachy color. But again, use it sparingly or it just doesn't quite have the same effect. In the next lesson, we'll paint the remaining roses, rosebuds, leaves, and filler plants. 12. Completing The Card: Part Two: In this lesson, we'll be taking the card to completion by adding the remaining floral elements. Making another rose here in the upper right of the wreath, this one will be a bit smaller. Keep in mind when painting a floral research as this, it's best to have one dominant areas such as the lower left-hand corner where we painted our large rose, and that is why I'm painting this rose smaller. Then the rose bud above it will be on a smaller scale also. We'll then go around the wreath with smaller rose buds. Then of course, the filler elements will be light and delicate nature and adding like accents to the wreath. Adding the rows bud here now. I'm adding more rose buds, but these are all going to be small and simple. Speeding the process up a little bit here, since it's more of the same. I'll be using this olive green. If you don't have the olive green, sap green is fine. I'll also be using my very small tipped brush here. These will be for the leaves that are right under the buds. I'll be using my number 2 brush now to make the large leaves underneath the bud and the open rose. I feel another leaf right here would be very nice to add. I've sketched in a little bit with my pencil here just so I know exactly how I want the leaf to go. Before we add any more stems or the filler plant elements, we're going to go back in and trace again around our circle with the gold metallic pen. You should still have a ghost outline of the circle there. Being careful not to go into your rose buds that are already there, you'll have to line it up just so you stop short of going into any of the rose buds or the leaves. Complete the circle with the metallic gold pen. You can see here where I've traced in, sketched in with my pencil, where the filler plants are going to go. Using a very light brown to create this filler plant, this'll be a filler plant that looks a little bit like a fern, but these should all remain very light and airy. The color I'm using here is Van Dyke brown. It's a well diluted Van Dyke brown so that it's very light. Using my small brush still and my olive green, I'm going around in completing the stems to these buds and some more leaves. Using my number 2 brush, I'm going to go back in and make some larger leaves. I've added some yellow to the olive green to vary the color a little bit. Be careful not to overdo it by adding too many leaves. Continue around and where there's a lot of space add a few of these larger in brighter leaps. I felt this area here looked empty, and I'm going back in and adding one more small filler plant. I'm going back in now with my gold metallic pen and adding another filler type plant, but keeping it very, very simple. Very few dots and very few branches. Chose just to go with the gold metallic pen instead of any color, because there already is a lot going on in this wreath composition. Again, just trying to keep it very simple, but wanted to add a little bit of sparkle. One more filler plant to fill this void right here. Congratulations, you now have your beautiful one of a kind greeting card. I hope you had fun creating it. 13. Final Thoughts: Once again, congratulations on creating your very own handmade greeting card. I hope you already have someone in mind that'll be grateful to receive it. Hopefully you've enjoyed the class and discovered how fun watercolor can be. There's something magical about putting the paint on wet paper and watching it flow and bleed. It always produces something unique. You've learned how with just one simple stroke, you end up having a petal or a leaf of a flower. Then you were able to put all the elements together to make a greeting card. Make sure to post your greeting card in the student project section below. I think more important than creating the greeting card is that you will spend many hours exploring and enjoying this wonderful medium. Please play around with all of this, with everything you've learned, and go on to try bigger brushes and brushes of different shapes and see what they can do. Try different types of watercolor paper and see what happens. Just experiment and have fun. Isn't that the bottom line? Really just have fun. Thanks so much for joining me in my first Skillshare class. If you've really enjoyed the class, which I hope you have, please leave a review. I do hope you'll return for some future classes. But until then, happy painting.