Paint With Me: Loose Watercolor Flowers | Jana Raninis | Skillshare

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Paint With Me: Loose Watercolor Flowers

teacher avatar Jana Raninis, watercolorist

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      How to Paint Flowers


    • 4.

      How to Paint Leaves


    • 5.

      Class Project #1 - Roses


    • 6.

      Class Project #2 - Daisies


    • 7.

      Class Project #3 - Free Composition


    • 8.

      Thank You!


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About This Class

Flowers, floral shapes and watercolor? That is just the perfect match!

In this class, we will explore different floral elements, and create 3 lovely artworks together, and we will paint them loose and fresh, because that is exactly why watercolor is the best medium for this kind of painting.

And the best part is that it is not only the class projects you will be able to create with me in/after this class, but mastering these simple floral elements will give you countless options of building up your own floral compositions.

Does not matter if you are a beginner or you already have some experience in this area, I believe this class can be fun for all of you.

So if you have a piece of watercolor paper and some paints and brushes, you are ready to join me in the class!

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Meet Your Teacher

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Jana Raninis



Hello, I'm Jana.

I live in Slovakia - a small lovely country in the very heart of Europe. I have studied Arts years ago, and since I was a little child, a set of paints or crayons was the best present anyone could give me. But then life happened and I found myself doing a corporate job instead of illustrating children's books. However, it does not mean I gave up on painting and drawing - not at all.

In fact, it is pretty much how I spend my evenings, my free days or even lunch breaks sometimes.

I just love it! Especially watercolor. One of my art teachers once told me I would eventually end up with acrylics, because watercolor is just too unpredictable and the mistakes are too hard to correct. Well, she couldn't be more wrong :).

I am here today to share my p... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello my friends and welcome. My name is Yana and I have another watercolor costs for you because I love flowers and fresh painting style, loose painting style. I decided to pack it altogether and create the one class with all these elements just for you. Painting organic shapes like leaves and flowers is something that is very relaxing and very easy. And I believe that it is something that we all already have somewhere inside us. So it doesn't matter if you are a beginner or if you already have some experience, you can join this class. I will show you how to paint different kinds of flowers, different shapes of leaves, and how to put it altogether and build a nice floral painting like this. If you're ready to explore some simple but effective techniques to paint flowers, I'm waiting for you in the class. 2. Materials: There is nothing special you need for this class, but let's see what I have here on my desk. First, here's my watercolor palette. I use this set all the time and it's full of different colors. But don't worry, you definitely do not need this big watercolor set. You are good to go with basically any watercolors said you have at hand. For the paintings, we will use limited color palette to keep it simple and harmonious. Next I have here in my watercolor paper. This is a Canson Heritage cold press watercolor paper. It is a 100% cotton paper, which I can only recommend. This paper is not that expensive as arches for example, but does a really good job. It holds the most are long enough to give me the time to work on my painting. It's press the pigment evenly. It's just a pleasure to use it. We will paint three different paintings as our class project. For this, I have three pieces of heritage paper, each 13 by 18 centimeters. For the practice, I have here, just a piece of less expensive aquifer and paper. Now let's take a look at my brushes. I have different sizes of brushes here. I have a bigger brush, maybe a size eight, for the flower, petals and leaves. And I also have some smaller, thinner brushes for stems and details. I have here also this glass dip pen. This is optional guys, no worries, you can skip it altogether. The same details can be created using a regular deepen or just a woodwinds cure for example. Of course, you will need a jar of water and some paper towel to clean your brush. And let's say, if you have everything ready, let's explore the floral shapes together. 3. How to Paint Flowers: We are going to paint the different types of flowers today to be more comfortable once putting altogether in the final paintings, Let's break it down first and try to paint all the floral elements separately. Let's start with the Roses. Roses work so good for watercolor because they are so gentle and soft. When I paint roses, I tried to use light color mixes for the bigger part of the flower, and I go darker in the center. Let's see. I have my carmine red color and medium brush with a nice tip. I start from the center of the flower. I put down something like a messy spiral, few short around lines. And at this point the color is quite a rich and dark. Now I clean my brush in the water, and I use the clean water also to water down the red I have in my palette so that it's lighter. With this very light red color, I paint loose rose petals circling around the center. As you move to the outer petals, you can use just the water. The petals are really light, but the pigment will spread there from the previous layer of the petals, so they will get some color. The key is to leave out these tiny dry, blank spots between the layers of petals. Without them, the rows is just a red blob of paint. While the rows is still wet, you can add more pigment to the center. It will run nicely and give you a flower or some depth. This may be takes some practice, at least from my experience. Let's try again. This time, I want to try two different colors, red and yellow. In my country, roses like this are called the zeros is not sure if it's a thing. Also in English speaking countries though. But I start again with the center. I paint some spiral, some round lines with carmine red. And then I'm using practically just the red colored water in my water jar for the petals and lead, the pigment ran from the Center. For the other leaves, I take a bit of yellow, very light mix and paint few messy loose petals around the red ones. Somewhere. I let them bleed into one another, but I make sure that there are still some white dries pause between the petals to give my roles the actual texture. Now I would like to show you how to paint a rose bud in the same style. I started again with the center. In this case, it would actually be the top of the bed where you can see the petals are still bundled together. I use darker mix of carmine red for this. And then you can use a very light mix for the actual body of the bat, which is just a simple All shape. Don't forget about those very important blank spaces. I want to make it more interesting. So I add a bit of yellow again. One more rows. This one is depicted a bit in an angle. You can play around with this. You can paint roses, as you would see them from different sides, different angles. You can change the colors, see what works for you. Another very popular flower is definitely a daisy. This is come in so many colors and types and they are very easy to paint. I will show you a yellow daisy with an orange center, similar as we the rows I start in the center with a rich orange color. I paint several small dots giving me a round shape. And I make sure to leave some wide between them. Now I'm mixed myself a light mix of yellow ocher. I don't want this color to be too dark. Then I use this color to paint the daisy petals. This petal slightly touch the orange center, which is still wet. And as the arch pigment runs into the yellow petal, I will get a nice gradient effect for my flower that I paint the petals far from each other at this point. I don't want them to touch just yet while they are still wet. While we wait for the petals to dry, Let's try another daisy this time a different point of view. I paint the center orange again, but I don't make around shape, but the other half circle, tilted to one side a little. Now using the same light yellow I paint the petals that I would see if I was looking at the flower from the side. I let it dry again. And in the meantime, I come back to the first day is the end, add more petals. The vessels can now be overlapping and layering. Just make sure your yellow is not too dark. Keep it light and transparent. If you managed to leave out tiny white spaces between the petals, the daisy bit more textured and fresh. I do the same with the second Daisy. You can leave it as it is now, or you can add some more petals that are on the other side. They would appear shorter than those that are closer to you. One more way to paint a very simple daisy is again, Ben, few dots for the center. And then using a rich mix of yellow color, being simple, narrow petals, basically just one or two brushstrokes for one petal. These petals are more pointing. The flower reminds me more of an astro kind of flower, but it is a very easy and nice-looking floral element for your paintings. Painting floral shapes that can be very relaxing because you do not need to follow a specific reference photo. You can make up the flowers. Use your imagination, like in this case where I'm painting simple flower causes thing of just three blue petals. I will add a bit of red here on the bottom of each petal. The pigment is still wet and using my tiny brush, I paint thin lines connecting the pieces together. Now while the petals are still wet, I'm going to add a little veins. I take my glass pen and I draw the lines from the red part to the blue, spreading the red pigment to the blue wash and creating the veins. You can skip this step or use wooden skewer. If you don't have a dip pen, It's up to you. It just use a bit of green for a stem and very simple leaves. You can see that the shapes of the leaves and petals are very similar. You can do a lot with them. Just adjust the length, color, how pointy around they are. And you really can create countless amount of different floral elements. Here you can see that I use the same a drop shape to paint another floral piece. This can be a flower if it's red or yellow, or a stem with leaves. If it's green, you can choose. Painting loose flowers is sometimes really only about few brushstrokes. Here I use orange color and my tiny brush and I paint few tiny dashes in a V-shape represent a bunch of little orange flowers. Now, all you need to do is to connect them together. Paint elegans, thin stems. I use paints gray for this. You don't even need to wait for the flowers to dry. Don't worry if there is some bleeding and pigment granting tiny flowers like these come handy when you want to fill up the spaces between the main elements. Like big roses are daisies. They are very subtle and easy to paint. One more example of such a bunch of flowers. This one is again something I just made up. I paint small circles. I add a bit of red color for the texture. Now I just connect them all to a one main stem. Don't limit yourself the stems and leaves to not need to be always green. You can make them purple or blue or pink. It's more about the overall aesthetics of the painting and what feeling you want your art to evoke, rather than the realistic depiction of the flowers. 4. How to Paint Leaves: The leaves are very important filling element in the floral painting. I like to paint them simple. One or two brushstrokes to paint a narrow point to leave. Just start with the tip of your brush and then start pressing the belly of the brush against the paper while still moving and drawing a line. Then again gradually released the pressure and finish the leaf with just a tip of the brush. You can try this with different brushes. They will provide you with different results. The next type of leaf is again very common. I will just leave out the center vein for additional detail. This kind of leaves is one of my favorites because of its nice textured edge. I create each little point with one brush stroke and fill all the left half of the leaf this way. I move to the other side and do the same. I start at the top of the leaf and move downwards. Let's add a bit of indigo color just to add some color. And maybe few details with a dependent leaves like this create nice contrast with smooth flower petals. Now we can try several smaller leaves on one common stem. The shape of the leaves is again, something you can play with. The leaves can be narrow and remind of a fern around and white. Actually, when I paint around leaves, I always started with circles. And then I add 1 to their bottom. That is the place the stem connects to the leaves. Very easy way to draw along leaves are grasses is just to load your brush with watery color mix. Similarly to the first type of leaves we explored together, started with the tip of your brush and then press against the paper to use the whole capacity of the brush belly and at the same time, move the belly of the brush across the paper. Just remember to use NFV paint and water to make the long leaves without running out. Arrows is here, look like they could use some leaves to contrast with them. I'm using very light mix of indigo color and paint, a Lewis pointy leaf. In painting like this, do not outline anything first to fill it with color lighter. It couldn't give you a weird marks as the outline could dry sooner than the feeling. Try to engage the belly of the brush, not just a tip to spread the paint and create the shape from within seated, I'm leaving tiny spaces blank. Again, it is a good practice in watercolor. It is not only the texture, but also the highlight who are creating this way. Guys, you can spend more time practicing the roses, leaves and daisies. You don't need to hurry. Most you already, we can proceed to the first out of three paintings we are going to bring to life today. 5. Class Project #1 - Roses: The first painting, the first project we will work on today will be a simple composition of three roses. For this painting, I will be using three colors. Reach earthy red color called Clarett to pastel colors, dunes, which is kind of beige color, and mint, which is a very fresh light blue. These three colors may seem strange at the first side for painting of roses. But I really encourage you to experiment and choose different colors and just green for the leaves and stems. You will be surprised how this will help you to work with colors and come up with new ideas and combinations. I'm starting with the roses. I want this painting to contain three roses. That will be the main element. I have my medium brush and Clara thread color and I'm painting this messy spiral that would be the middle of the rows. This point, the color is quite rich and I'm using just the tip of the brush. Now as I'm moving to the outer petals, I am mixing more water into the red to make it lighter. And I'm engaging the whole belly of the brush to analyze the area and covering with color. I'm adding more color into the center of the rose to make it more contrasting. Do not forget to leave out small spaces between the petals. So we do not want arrows to be just a blob of red color. Let's paint the second row. The third one. I am again darkening the middle of the Roses and let the pigment flow freely. Ester cirrhosis are still wet. Now let's make a light mix of the pastel beige color. I won't send a very simple leaves to add to my roses. I'm intentionally causing the steel web threat and the base pigments to run into one another because I liked the gradient of the colors and the feeling of flow this would give to my painting. Not forget that this is a loose painting technique. We do not need to worry about tiny details and we can afford accidents like this. Actually. Actually this accidents are what makes these paintings look fresh and effortless. I think I have enough of these leaves for now, so let me clean my brush and move to the third color that I will be using for this painting, and that is the mean blue. For starters, I want to take the advantage of the beige leaves being still wet and I'm just dropping bits of the main pigment here and there and let it spread. I also want to add some mint leaves, again, touching the beige leaves and make the pigments mixed and flow is up to you how many leaves and how many rows as you want to have. I just want to stress that for paintings like this, it is very important not to use too dark colors. And I vote too many small details. We don't want to overdo it. My painting dry before I add few more floral elements. But let me now show you this nice bleeding here. As the leaf is touching the rows. I really love it. I'm now using my liner brush and painting few veinous, not on every leaf, just some of them. With the same brush. I suggest a few stems, just very short because they are hidden behind the flowers and leaves. The final thing here, let me take my thin brush andro, few tweaks for additional texture. On these tweaks, there are some red berries. They would look nice. I'm using the same read as for the roses. Few tiny leaves. And that's it. I didn't want to add more details. I think this has just enough. This was the first one out of the three projects I have for you today. Please take a break if you are tired and make sure to come back for the remaining two. 6. Class Project #2 - Daisies: This paintings composition is going to be a little more orderly because what I want to do is create irregular oval shape out of flowers. So I will start with light sketch of this oval shape. I'm using my mechanical pencil and this helping schedule will be erased once the painting is finished. This is just to give me the borders for my composition. If you want, you can try different shapes like a circle or a heart event. That would also be very nice. Now what I want to do is to fill this oval shape, this space with floral elements. And I want the dominant flowers to be daisies. Let's start. I have my medium brush and I want to have three big daisies in this painting. I'm now painting the centers of these flowers. I use orange color, just like in the exercise chapter. I paint all three flowers at once. Just several orange dots creating a circle. I'm leaving out some blank spots in the middle. I will paint the petals using gill color. And I slightly touched the still wet center of the flower. That will make the orange pigment around into the petals. I have the first batch of petals dry. Now, I will continue with the second one. Make sure your color is light enough. Your petals can overlap and create a nice transparent layers. At this point, the orange center is already dry, so if you think your daisies wouldn't need a bit of a contrast, you can add more orange color. My daisies are done now and I can move to the rest of the oval. I have some big blank spots I wanted to fill, but I want the daisies to be dominant so the rest of florals shouldn't be saddled and light. You can choose from the elements we tried before together, or you can just paint with me. I decided for tiny red flowers with gray stems and leaves. The red is actually the same orange that I used for the daisies mixed with carmine red. Now I take my liner brush and I paint the stems. I'm using light mix of paints gray for the leaves. I'm using my medium brush and I'm engaging the full belly of the brush, just make sure you are not using too dark colors. We don't want the leaves to be the 10th on ice off the daisies and red flowers. I'm holding onto the borders of the oval. I wanted my tiny flowers and leaves emphasize the shape. Now, I think I'm done with these red flowers. There are still some empty spaces that need feeling. I feel like few green leaves would bring a nice accents to this composition. So I choose this pointy, jagged leaf and subtle earthy green color and I paint several leaves, two contrasts with the daisies. There can still be Santana is posted code for something. So I will paint the tiny stems, tiny details using the same green color for the leaves. That's it. I'm very happy with this. The last thing to do is to erase the helping lines. 7. Class Project #3 - Free Composition: In the previous painting, we had to stay within some lines or borders, but the final composition will be wild and free. I'm going to use the whole paper and I want to utilize many of the elements we learned today. Let's see. Let's have one rose. I'm using very light mix of carmine red, of course, darker in the middle of the flower. Now for example, let's have two daisies. Let's make them blue this time, but I still want them to be very light. So I use Prussian blue for the center. And then I water the paint down significantly and paint the petals. You can see that the mix is almost clean water. But as I touched the center, the pigment from the center is spreading and given my petals more color. Now let's add some of these simple three petal florals I showed you before. To make the painting harmonic. I make the violet color for these flowers mixing the carmine red I used for the rows and depression blue from the daisies. While still wet, I add a bit of carmine rights to the petals. With my glass depend. I draw something vase. So far only two colors used. So let's add one more. This is a regular green color mixed with a bit of Prussian blue, still very light. I paint some ropes leaves to contrast with the lucid rose petals. The same green, blue mix is now used for the stems of the violet flowers, daisies, and few simple leaves. With my liner brush, I am now drawing thin lines, stems. They can overlap the existing flowers and make our floral piece we'll look at later, especially if we add some more small leaves. Now, the last thing to do is to add some texture to the green leaves. There are few lanes. The final painting, the third project is done. Let me know, guys. So which one of these paintings did you try to do like the most? I hope that you liked all of them. I already think we managed to paint some lovely floral pieces together. 8. Thank You!: Friends, thank you very much for being here with me today. I had a wonderful time. As always. Please tell your projects and in case you have any questions or comments, let me know. I will be happy to assist if you want to take out Also my other classes. Thank you again. Stay safe and see you next time.