Painting a Watercolor Poppy : explore 3 watercolor styles | Irina Trzaskos | Skillshare

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Painting a Watercolor Poppy : explore 3 watercolor styles

teacher avatar Irina Trzaskos, Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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.

      Study of Poppy Flower


    • 4.

      Mixing Colors


    • 5.

      Poppy in a Loose Painterly Style


    • 6.

      Poppy in a Realistic Looking Style


    • 7.

      Pen and Watercolor Poppy


    • 8.

      Last Thoughts


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About This Class

The poppy painting will make a beautiful addition to your creative portfolio, or to your wall art collection.

These beautiful flowers are always on trend in decor world.

I love poppies and creating this class was such a joy for me. I hope you will like it, too.

In this class I will explain step by step how to draw and paint poppies in 3 different styles: 

  • in a loose painterly style  
  • in traditional realistic looking style
  • using fine liner and watercolor

Also, we will do a quick study to understand a poppy flower and its details and will mix colors for our beautiful illustration.

In the project section of the class "Your Project" you can find helpful materials for this class. f you are sharing your project on Instagram please tag me @irinatrzaskos and @skillshare, also add the tag #skillshareproject, for the chance to be featured on Skillshare blog. 

This class is geared toward all flowers and watercolor lovers. 

If you are new to the watercolor medium and would like to understand it better, I have 2 classes on watercolor basics:

Essential Watercolor Techniques for Beginners

The Basics of Color Mixing in Watercolor

The classes are concise and fun.

Meet Your Teacher

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Irina Trzaskos

Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, everyone. My name is Irina Trzaskos. I'm an artist and illustrator. Welcome to my new class, Painting a Watercolor Poppy. In today's class, we'll be painting poppy flowers in different styles. Floral trend is very popular now, and watercolor poppy will be a great addition to your creative portfolio. In the next video, I will show you the supplies we'll be using in this class. Let's get started. 2. Supplies: In this class, we'll be using the following supplies, watercolor paper. I'll be using compressed Canson watercolor paper, but you can use any kind you like. Watercolor paint, a watercolor palette, a paper towel. Also, we need a regular office paper for our proper studies. We need a medium size brush, this is number four [inaudible]. Also, we need a small brush for details. This is number two. Synthetic liner brush for the stems of the flowers. Also, we need a big brush. It can be a natural one or synthetic watercolor brush, number 10 or 12. If you are going to paint bigger flowers, you need a bigger brush. Also, we need a pencil, an eraser, a fine liner. I'm using sharpie pen, but you can use any waterproof fine liner. Water, of course. Optional, we'll need a draw pen or a whitewash. We may need a flat synthetic brush. You can find the list of supplies in the project section of the class. 3. Study of Poppy Flower : Before we start painting, let's make a quick study of the poppy flower. For it I'll use regular office paper and fine liners, so you can see better what I'm drawing. Poppies are pretty simple flowers, and the simplest of them are just having four petals. So let's start with the middle of a flower, which is pretty interesting and consist of capsule. It's just a circle with a small flower inside. Then let's draw our four petals, two are on top. You can use reference pictures attached to the project section of the class. They're very very useful. Two petals are on the bottom. Some poppies have this dark spots at the base of the petal, and some have white spots. Let's draw the dark ones now here and here. This is just a study, so we don't have to be precise, just to understand the general shapes. The capsule of the middle of the flower is surrounded by stamens. Just add little lines with a circle at end. So this is a basic poppy flower when we look at it right straight. If we look at the middle of the flower from the side, it'd look like a small cup, and again, it's surrounded by stamens. Somehow minnows are very interesting. Again, and they can be a variety from yellow to dark blue or black. So some of them are surrounded with this little stamens just like these and then with the ones with circle. I'm not sure if I'm saying the botanical names but it's more like dark lines and then we have this last circle. So this is our middle of the flower, and that's from side and this is a general flower shape, but so seldom we can see the flower in nature like that is straight because usually it's windy and poppies are half-closed or half-open, usually I would say from side, something like this in the middle. Then one petal would be half-closed and another will be in the wind somewhere else, then we would have other two petals overlapping and maybe another petal. This is a more usual way to see a poppy and sometimes they would almost be totally closed and would look like a cup. Again we have this dark spot at the bottom. The stems of the poppies have this little cute fluff on them, so it's really interesting to show it in the painting. Then if we would like to paint the bud, then it'd look like this. It has some fluff on it. Now let's look at the shape of the poppy flower. Some of them are not complex but the simplest ones look something like this. My complex one would look almost like a fan looking leaf. The last one will be a seed pod. It's a sphere. Sometimes they're longer, sometimes they're just round and it has a little neck and the stem. On the top it has a little crown with small windows. Here we can draw some lines or just dots and poppy seeds. Sometimes on the bud we can see that the petals are already coming out and of course it'll be a different color. This I think is enough for our poppy study. The next stage I will chose colors for our poppies. 4. Mixing Colors: Now let's make some colors for our poppy flowers. There is a wide variety of colors for the poppies starting with yellow, orange, even white and the most obvious is scarlet red. Then some are a carmine red and some of them even are purple. Well, let's make some colors, and if you want to mix a different colors when I do, you're welcome to. Let's start with cadmium yellow, in case we have an yellow poppy. It's a cadmium yellow on the top and the petals of the poppy are translucent. So our lightest colors, will have a lot of water in them and when it's darker, it'll be golden orange. We get more yellow here. So on the top we have a very watery yellow, and then we add a little more pigment. At the bottom we will have golden orange. If we have that angle of scarlet red poppy, then we'll just stop. Have a scarlet red really watery. You can add just water. Really watery on the top, and then to the middle, we'll add more pigment. More water on the top. On the bottom we'll add a little bit it of a complimentary color to scarlet red which is green. So mix and try it on paper right here. Just a tiny bit. We send the colors for the scarlet red down poppy. If we have a more pink looking, we could use carmine red, which is a colder shade of red. So use carmine red for middle. On the top we could add a little bit of cadmium orange. Add in the water. We will have this beautiful color. For the bottom we have to mix some carmine red with its complimentary color, which is emerald green. This is too much. If I want to paint at peach color poppy, we will start with cadmium orange, a really watery, really light color. We'll add a drop off carmine red to it. Again at the bottom we'll have a little more pigment at the top. These are the colors for our petals. The middle of the flower and the rise from yellow. This is just a cadmium yellow, and we'll add a little bit of green, so sometimes it's greenish and sometimes it's not as bright, so add a drop of purple, which is a complimentary to yellow, just to make it a little bit more natural looking. This is the middle of our flower colors. Sometimes we have a really dark middle which is black. But if you look carefully, it has a drop of ultramarine blue in it. So if you light in the middle, and put a little bit of ultramarine blue in it we'll get the result in what, just like this. Sometimes we want colors to blend in right on the paper, like yellow, middle to blend in right into a petal. In this way we would end the petal first, and then right on paper we add a drop of yellow. You can see how the yellow color is pushing the red color forming this beautiful blend. The same thing we can do with our black middle. Here's our petal. Then we take a drop of black and just add to the middle, and it blends beautifully right into the petal. If we'll be drawing the poppy seeds and we'll be using the raw sienna and a little bit of purple. To the bottom, again, we'll mix more pigment of purple and a raw sienna. If we want to add some darker details, then we'll also can use set down. I'll leave list of all the colors I'm using in the project section of our class, so you can look. For our greens and leaves, we'll be using just the regular green, and we'll mix it with yellow for lighter parts. For the darker parts we'll use more pigment of the green and a little bit of ultramarine blue. This is all our color palette. Yellows, reds, black, and blue, sienna, purple and greens. In next video we'll be painting a poppy in a [inaudible]. 5. Poppy in a Loose Painterly Style: Now, let's paint the Poppy in a loose Painterly Style. I would be using a big brush, number 12, and we will be using a lot of water. I'm not making a sketch with a pencil. I'll be painting right on, but you if you don't feel so confident, you can sketch first. We'll start with petals and just puts in water on the paper. Then on the top of add just some color orange. Then I'll go in with a Scotland. While this petal is still wet, I'm shaping the outer of the flower. Here at the bottom I'll add a darker red mixing, color red with some green, this link this, and is always clever leaving some white. It's up to you of course. This is one the petal, now let's go to the next one. So we are just dragging the water paint down and add some more scarlet, red. On the bottom, we'll have model water. There's a paper towel, dry your brush and just shape at the edge of a flower. Here I will have to add just some orange. They are two petals and we need to more, so will be just directing them, paint with our brush. Whatever petals should go and you see how the paint is just flowing in there. If you feel you need more pigment, just add draws for pet here and there, and again, at the same time we are adding some texture child petals. I would like to have one more flower half-closed, right here on top. I'll start drawing it, again I'll start at the top edge with a little bit of orange. Color it red and calming red with some green, still too much. On this is better. This is one petal and we need a few more, just like these, let's say one here, again I'm getting this beautiful edge, just by pressing our brush on paper. It will come easy after a little bit of practice. I think this is good. Now let watercolor do its magic meanwhile, let's draw some stems. First stem will mix, some green or some yellow, I have two cups of water, one for reds and yellows and another one for green. It's good to have two cup's of water on a table. So let's mix color green to green a little bit in flower. I think it's gone too far, so I'll stop it with dry brush. Let's add a small bud here, and maybe I little leave. I'll say just pressing brush on a paper. While it's still wet, we are adding a little bit of darker green on the one side of the bud and on the stem and on the bottom part of the leaf. Then I would love to add a leaf on this flower too. Again, just pressing brush against the paper. Now we need to add some middle to this flower and I decided to make up a yellow window. So right, and still live here. So I can add a drop of yellow light in the middle. Well, few drops of yellow. Just don't look what happens, when water color nodes, it's magic. At this point will have to let it dry, so it can draw a needle of this far more details after it dries. As parts are totally dry we'll start adding some details with the smaller brush, I'm using number 4, I'll ask you silver and I'll mix more dark red, which is added with drop-off green. I don't want to overwork this pendulum style, so I just need a few ones here and there to show them shadows. On the petals, this really moves and everybody has his own set of brushstrokes, so probably look different on your artwork. At the same thing here, to show which pedals are on the bottom and which are on top. That green will mix some green with a little bit of blue. Because the shadows will dim always clear than the light area. Not always, but when the light is so warm, then definitely the shadows will be clear than the lighten area. So a little bit of darker green on all the leaves and stems. Again, try not to overwork this because it's a painterly style and its need to look really loose and free, and I think this is enough, maybe a little bit more blue right here. To paint the needle of the flower we'll mix some yellow with a little bit of green. We'll draw that little flower we were practicing during this time, add a little bit more green. Oh, we'll add some darker lines here. I'll add our stem at top this is still pretty and dark. So I will take, I fled brush. I'll wipe it and then I'll dry it in a paper towel, and I'll try to take something off and that is where the smallest brush, we can add some more stems. Still feel like they should be darker. Let's add a little bit of blue for more drama, here more dots here and there with [inaudible] Also I'd love to add some more, dark spot on this. The last touches will be here, I need the flower coming out from a bot. Fuel mode lines on our bases out of poppy in the painterly style. 6. Poppy in a Realistic Looking Style: Before we start painting our realistic poppy, let's draw it. Here's the middle of the flower, and then this dark spots. This one is covered by a petal. Then we have two petals on top. I suggest you're making a lighter sketch on this. Don't press your pencil so hard on the paper. Then I have the second petal. Then I have the in one. The petal doesn't have to be precise. There is an outline of this poppy in the project section of the class. If you don't feel like drawing it, you can just transfer it using a window or light box. Just transfer it on your watercolor paper. This is another petal and it seems like it has one more petal right here. Then we can notice there are some sunny spots here and here. It looks sunny edge here. We don't have to show them, but sometimes it helps when we're painting. There's a darker area on this petal right here so I'm putting the petal line. That's how I'm drawing the stem. Just like with [inaudible] in another class, we will be working in layers and it will be important to let every layer to totally dry before we start the next one. For the first layer, we'll have to find the lightest area of the flower and mix with a shade. It will be very watery. I mix zinc cadmium orange with scarlet red. It looks like the light is hitting from the top so this petal is the lightest and this one is the darkest. What we'll do, we'll just mix a lot of paint with water so we have enough. It really has to be watery. We'll cover the petals avoiding the middle area of the flower. I'm using my big squirrel brush. Natural brushes really work better for a watercolor wash. As you see, it's really watery. I picked the lightest area of the flower and this is the hue I'm going with. I think it needs a little bit more orange. I'm trying to avoid these dark spots too, but it's really doesn't matter. The important part is to avoid this yellowish medium in middle of the flower. But the dark spots will be black anyways. I'll try to work fast so the edge of your watercolor wash wouldn't dry. But if it dries, it's okay. May come cover it with texture and it won't be noticeable. We've covered all the petals with the lightest layer. You can notice there is some paddles of watercolor here and there, so I'm drying with my brush and just absorb them with the brush. Now we have to let it dry. After our first layer is totally dry, we'll start adding shadows on our petals paying attention where the areas are darker and where they're lighter. In the lightest layer, we use the most watery watercolor, and when we get into darker areas, we use more pigment and less water. As we see, this part of the petal is the lightest one. Then we have a little darker in here, so I'm mixing more pigment of scarlet red and I didn't get it dried here. Once we get to this part, if you notice, it's getting even darker. All the petals are darker when they're getting to the middle of the flower. We'll mix a little bit of scarlet red with a drop of green, that's how we get our darker red here, and I add it right here in the middle and, of course, to the middle of the flower. Then we have darker areas in this part. Behind right here close to this petal, it will be darker because we have shed from the petal following on another petal, this. Then this petal is the darkest one but it still has some spots of light. It takes scarlet red, we added a little bit of green. The darkest one will get closer to the middle and then we'll take lighter red and we'll move it to the edge. We are avoiding the sunny area on the petal. This edge is light too, this one so we are not touching it. It's staying just like we painted it in the first layer. This petal is pretty dark, but it also has a lighter edge here so we'll leave it down in the first layer and the rest will just darken with more pigment. There are few more edges here we can notice are larger. Because this color is really dark, so I'm going to add with a little bit of green, goes in here and closer to the middle of the flower too. Here we have a wrinkle on this petal. We'll be adding the lines later showing the texture. But now we can darken this area around the middle of that, our poppy. Here we have two more stripes. So we form a shadow. This area I need it dark too. Again, it doesn't have to be exact. After a while we'll just notice that's how it's. I'm just repeating again and again, the same rules. You can just follow your intuition. I feel like this area is too light so let's add a little more scarlet red in here. Because still, this one has to be the lightest one. Add more dark. I'll try it here. Make a triangle here. I'll have to let it dry again. Next will be ending with texture and a little bit more shadows. Now, one of our second layer is totally dry. Now, I can add texture and details to our poppy. First of all, let's mix some yellow with green and paint into the middle of the flower, and the stem. I'm using my small brush for this. Also, I'll be using the small brush for texture and may be an airliner or synthetic brush. Also I can paint the dark spots on the petals. For dark spots, you can use black or sepia. I'm careful because this middle of the flower is still pretty wet. So black can bleed in it. But it'll be best to let it dry before adding this dark spots in there. Here it's okay. It's good for the poppy because it needs to be darkened from the bottom anyway. Next, with the small brush, let's add some texture on our petals. We have lines right here. On the lightest area, I'm adding the lines for a very watery water color. I'm darkening the area on thorough there. Next to the petals. Right here. It's an interesting shape, too. Let's add some texture on this petal. This side still needs a little bit more shadow. Again, some more lines. I almost can't see the lines on the shadow areas. It's up to you to add them or not. Here we have a little bit of shadow on this part. It shows more dimension. Again, our next to the petal, it'll get darker because of the shadow from the petal. Now let's add some shadows on our just shaded part on our stem. On one side. Just paint it all darker green, and closer to flower on the lines. Darken this middle with green mixing with red. I'm showing this details. We can still have a little far from our dark stem. A little more shadow here. Now we can add these tenants. Let's try to use another liner, synthetic liner. No, I like my little brush better. If you want to you can add few more highlights with whitewash or a whiter gel pen too. This is our realistic looking poppy. 7. Pen and Watercolor Poppy: Next, let's draw and paint a poppy using a fine liner and watercolor. First, what I will do, I make a circle where I'm going to draw a flower with fine liner. Here will be our flower. I'll say I want to have seed pod and we're here. Everything also be drawn tried to fine liner. Makes sure that your fine liner is waterproof. So as usual, am starting from the middle. I've this some kit middle here and it's surrounded by stamens. Then I have this some petal. This on drawing so nice for illustrations or sketchbook and TD font and music. So at our drawing, everything with fine liner first, and then we'll add some color. So this is our flower. Add more stamens later, right here. Now we'll have our seed pod. You can use a pencil if you don't feel confident enough drawings with fine liner and just outline into fine liner. So here we'll have the stem, and probably a little leaf. Maybe get them all. I'll say and assign it to draw here a bumble bee. They'll add more interests to our illustration. Now we can add that with a color to enforce. So I want it into the beach. So let's make some cadmium orange with carmine red, I did watering for first layer. Just don't add some color here and there. If you've watched my other classes in all the time, like leaving wide spaces in this illustrations. So for now, I'm leaving a lot of white space and so cave we missed to line at some. Lets get to stop illustrations, so it adds more interested. Don't worry about it. Now while our flower is drying, let's add some colors charts there and leaves. Mixing some red, green with yellow and some red, gray and green. Again, I'm leaving some white space on leaves. All this is smaller brush wardrobe leaves. Next will color c-pod, will make some errors here. We have a little bit of purple. Then a little bit more purple and I'll add some shadow. Yellow leaves a little bit of purple for our bumble bee. The same [inaudible] for purple for bumble bees wings. Now let's add some more shadows to our petals. So will take cadmium red with more pigment and less water, Cadmium orange and add some shadows on direct petals. I even start ending those lines, and even darker in this area. It's always darker next to the middle of the flower, so let have some lines from the middle up. It looks like we need to darken this one at the bottom and this one here. Now, let's add some more shadows to our seedpod. You see always some purple and maybe some dots and these here dots here. Just play. I think this is enough. Let add some shades to our gram leaves stick some green with ultramarine blue and just few dots in dark spots here and there. The middle of our flower is yellow. We'll add touch up here or down here. A little bit of shadow on the bottom of the bee purple and rosina. Next I will take my small brush and I'll make some carmen red orange and a drop of unrolled green and on the last touches of white shadows and some more lines. The shadows on the top petals are not given so it's okay to do this spots. Makes it more interesting. Now let's paint middle of our flower. Take a little bit of ultramarine blue and add it here first. Next I'll add some Stevia and fewer more dots on the petals. Even if it's still wet it's okay. I think I want to darken this petal a little bit. Now I have to let it to dry before we add for final touches with fine liner and white pen. [inaudible] When the color is dry we can add the last touches with fine liner and white pen. I want to make this middle even darker. Here and there drawing just black circles like stamens and then will brighten them with white pen. I'll say, I feel like we need a few more lines here. Some dots may be couple of lines and some [inaudible]. Now let's add some highlights with white pen. Just white dots on our stamens. Not putting them exactly on the black dots I did. Now I have just erase this [inaudible] circle and our fine liner and and water colored puppy is ready. 8. Last Thoughts: Thank you for watching my classes. I hope they help you to develop a beautiful and successful [inaudible]. Please, leave a review and upload the project to project section of the class. I can't wait to see your beautiful flowers.