Painting Wild Fennel In Watercolors | Jean Lurssen | Skillshare

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Painting Wild Fennel In Watercolors

teacher avatar Jean Lurssen, Jean Lurssen Watercolors

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.

      About The Course


    • 2.

      Painting Materials


    • 3.

      Masking out the flower heads and saving some whites


    • 4.

      The first wash


    • 5.

      Adding more texture


    • 6.

      Removing the masking fluid and painting in the flower heads


    • 7.

      The finishing touches


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About This Class

If you struggle to paint loosely in watercolor this course is for you. Paint Wild Fennel using wet-in-wet, masking, and layering techniques. Using these easy-to-follow steps you can create watercolors with depth - even if you are just a beginner.

Techniques you will learn in this course.

  • Layering of color to create depth in your watercolors
  • Masking to preserve the lights
  • Painting wet-in-wet
  • How to paint background washes
  • How to mix different greens
  • Using warm and cool colors for important contrasts

Using these techniques above will enable you to create your very own loose watercolor painting. Be sure to also post your painting in the gallery to share with other students in order to get feedback. I love to see what students achieve and will help with any issues you may experience.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jean Lurssen

Jean Lurssen Watercolors


Welcome to my Skillshare channel. I hope this is where you will find inspiration to explore your inner creativity to create unique watercolor paintings.

I like to paint atmospheric watercolors and continually try to stretch the boundaries of watercolor, sometimes using other media to create interesting textures in my watercolors. I look forward to sharing my techniques with you here on Skillshare.

For more tutorials, tips and techniques visit me at:

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Level: Beginner

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1. About The Course: Hi, Jean-Louis in here, and I've got a new course for you. I'm going to show you how to build up this watercolor using different techniques to create layers that will give depth to your painting. Even if you're just a beginner, you'll be able to follow along because I've broken down the process into easy to follow steps. Let's take a close up look at the painting and I'll describe some of the techniques that we're going to use. We're going to use masking fluid to leave some whites of the paper which adds dimension and depth to the painting. I'm going to show you how to easily give the impression of the flower heads rather than do a realistic painting. This is, this is an impressionist painting and I'm going to show you how to create the stems without using a paint brush. We're going to do spatter and various layers to create depth to this painting. I've been painting for more than 25 years now, and I have figured out over time how to simplify my watercolors. And I'm going to share with you how easy it is to paint in watercolors. So come and join me and let's paint these wild fennel. 2. Painting Materials: So let's go over the materials that we're going to need for this painting. And it's not that much. Let's start with the brushes. First of all, I use this hockey or Hake brush just to wind down the paper. But you can use any brush that you have, any wash brush to weight down your paper. I use this size 30 wash brush to do the background washes for the painting. And then I use these finer brushes, which is number ten Sable and number two, rigor brush. If you have a rigor and it doesn't have to be a number ten. Any brush that you have will, will do. It doesn't have to be the specific sizes. Also will be using a palette knife and show you that later for the masking. Third, we need, we have to mask out the flower heads in this because the flower heads are yellow and they're lighter than the green background, so we have to mask them out while we do the backgrounds. And for that, I use a wooden skewer, believe it or not, and I use the back of the wooden skewer to do the, the flower heads. And I'll be showing you later on how to do that to save the white of the paper and create some texture, I use a mapping pen with the masking fluid. Now, if you then have a mapping pen, I bought this on Amazon for about $20 and I find you can get very nice fine lines whether it, but if you don't have a mapping pin, you'll be able to use your palette knife, dip it in the masking fluid and just use it like for very fine lines like that. You will need a water bottle. It gives you little droplets of water. Let's see if I can get that for you. Yes, like that. Droplets of water like that which creates some texture. And then I use my little fine mist bottle also for fine misleading. And for a palette, I use a ceramic dish that is actually, I think I bought it at place, at world market or cost-plus. And it's actually used for serving sushi, I think, but I love using ceramic pellets. I tried not to use too much paper towel. So you have these old face cloths that wash over and over. You need two containers of water, one for cleaning off your brush, and one for mixing colors. Now, for the colors, I have, Sap Green, hence the yellow, new gumbo, indigo, and Prussian blue. And you're going to use a Prussian blue with the new gunboats to create another great, a second Green. And I've got some whitewash here that you'll see later on what you may not need it. But if we end up, if you end up not saving enough whites on your watercolors, you can splash on some whitewash at the very end with your palette knife and get back some highlights in your painting. Now, with the paper, you can do this on cold pressed or hot press paper. I actually did this painting on hard-pressed paper, but in retrospect, I think I should have done it on cold press paper to get more of the texture of the paper. Because we were using a lot of textures in this painting. I did the painting on 11 by 15 size paper. But it may be a good idea for you to do it on half the size until you get used to the technique and feel more confident. And if you take 11 by 15 is a quarter sheet, and if you cut that in half, it's a 7.5 by 11, I believe. And that would be a good size to practice on. And if you like what you do, then you can do and do it again on a larger sheet. Don't forget. Also, you will need two containers of water at one for cleaning your brushes and one for mixing your pants. Now that you have all your materials together, we can start painting. 3. Masking out the flower heads and saving some whites: I took these pictures near my local dog park to get an idea of the shape of the stems and the flowers. And you can see the flowers have little clusters of yellow attached by stems meeting the main stem. Here's a picture that I took head on so you could see how the clusters look, but I'm not going to copy this. I don't want to do it too realistic as my style is loose waiting wet. So that's how I'm going to paint this. I've got my 11 by 14 sheet and I'm painting on hot paper, but this can be done on cold pressed to August tend to favor Huck praise pay because I love it. And I'm hoping that you can see the drawing. I did a very pale drawing of a number of these stems coming up with the very rough outline of the flower heads and deliberately want to keep it rough. I'm hoping the pencil lines will go away. And so the first thing I'm going to do is fill in the little clusters of flour heads with masking fluid. And for that I'm using the backend of this wooden skewer, simple as that. And what I'm gonna do is I've done most of them except for one, so that I can save some time. And I'm just going to demonstrate to you how I do then by doing this last one. So basically I just dip it in the masking fluid and do little clusters, three or five, and let the clusters sort of touch each other. And don't worry if you make a mistake here because you can wait until the masking fluid dries and then just wipe it often. Don't ever try to wipe it off. When the masking fluid is wet. You wanna put these fairly close together. I'm actually putting them placed closer together than they are on the actual flowers. Because otherwise it's going to look a little spouse when when it's finished. So you can see what I'm doing here. Doing about three or four clusters, sometimes five and then just leading them, sort of touch each other. But you can see that they are, they have irregular shapes. And that's really what matters is if you try to do it too realistic, you're not going to get this nice loose effect. So they really are. And then once this is dry, I'm going to take some more. I'm going to use the masking fluid to spat Awesome. Drops on the, on the paper so that at the end we gang because these were getting too, when we take this off at the end, it's going to be painted in yellow, the yellow of the flowers. But I want to put some spatters on here and some stamens with masking fluid, said it's some of the white of the paper will show through and give it more of a three-dimensional look. Now the next thing I wanted to do is to take my mapping pin. You can buy these on Amazon. I think it's called a mapping pin. And I've got a very narrow opening day. And I'm getting to a mask out some stems and I'm also going to splash some drops of masking fluid on the paper so that the exit at the end of the painting, when we take all of this off and we paint the flower heads yellow, there'll be some white of the paper sharing through to, which just gives it more dimension. So take my mapping pin and you just really just wanted to be random with this, and it really doesn't matter about being very precise. Now these, you just got to remember that these flowers do have very stick lac stems. Now you see I'm, I didn't like that. They bid on a waitlist dries and then I'll Roberta, you've never tried to get rid of masking fluid when it's Witt, we would just make it worse. Make a situation was and just one to basically, you don't wanna do this daemons in the same place where you draw new stamens that are going to be painted with watercolor. So just random, random, random might even leave some of these little glitches. It's because if you look at a phenol flower, this, the bronchus coming out from the main branch have these little sort of didn't like that. That'll go and okay, I think that's enough for that. If you don't have a mapping pin, you can use your palette knife just by using the tip. You dip the palette knife into the masking fluid and use the tip like this. And you can get the same sort of results. So that's another way to go if you don't have a mapping pin. And we can also splash, get different sized droplets on the paper by using the back of putting some masking fluid on the back of the statue. And I see you on some small big do it sort of just in random areas. And I think that'll, that'll do it. So you can see when I've done they got quite a few different size droplets and we're going to let all of that dry. And then we'll put our first background wash on the painting. 4. The first wash: So I'm now ready to put on the first wash over the masked out flowers and stems. And another thing I just did add undecided to add very quickly with some, just some little stems with the, without the actual flower heads, but just the stems going out. And that'll help to have some dimension to when the painting is finished. So the first thing that we need to do is really with the paper well, and because we want this to be a weighting, wet, loose painting, so I'm just going to wet the paper with my hockey brush or Hake brush. And then I'm going to take my wash brush which is, I think this is I think this is a size 30 wash brush. You can use any large brush. The larger the brush you use, the better because the looser your paintings going to be. And I'm going to take some Prussian blue, First of all, mixed with new gun bows to make some nice green. And remember that when we degrade in weight, well, watercolors, they dry a lot lighter anyway. And so you want to put it on a little darker than you think you need. And we want this to run it down. So I wonder, lift up the paper. I think on the diagonal because I've got the thing's going this way. I think this is the way I should do it actually. Otherwise, it's not going to work out. And when the flour hits, are trying to make that area a little darker because when you put in the yellow of the flower heads, it's going to give you more contrast and putting in some neat sap green, maybe add a little bit of yellow to that, or even indigo. Let's put in some indegree. But I really just want this to look natural and game to just use my spirits bottle to make this run a little more. And just let it run in different directions to create some nice patterns. And I didn't want to make the first layer to dark because we can always add more later, but I am going to add just a little bit of indigo because it's one of my favorite colors. And I'm doing it round with a flower heads are, but I am going to spritz it cradle lots of it. It'll run into the greens. Just to get some variation in color. See, I might have added too much. And if I did that, I can always at this point just add more water to make it run down. I'm trying to keep the dark areas around the flower heads. That will make the whole thing more interesting later on. And the thing that I want to do is very important at this stage, is if you have a lot of because it's very wet and it's run down here at the end, you want to dry off your brush, squeeze the feral, have a dry brush and just pick up these beads of paint otherwise again, to run back into the painting and cause plumes. And we don't want that at this stage. So let's slit that dry and we will take a look at it and see but needs another wash. And if not, we'll proceed with the flower heads. 5. Adding more texture: Now that my paintings dry and I'm looking at it, it's, it's dried. Much lighter than when I put the paint don't and I wanted to add a little more paint, but this time instead of waiting the whole paper, I just want to add some paint in different areas to give a little more texture and substance to the painting. So what I'm gonna do is take my large spray bottle and just lightly spray. So it gives, you can actually in fact can actually, you know, you can't really see it, but you just want to give that light spray painting. And what I'm gonna do is add some more green to some of the areas. Actually use a smaller brush. I'm going to use it, put a little bit of little Dhaka, Prussian blue round the flower heads. And you see, you can see already I didn't put enough water because what I wanna do is I want to run the little textures down like this and going to add little more Prussian blue around where the flower heads are. And basically I wanted to not end up making the painting too dark, but it's put in some more yellow in here. But I do want to just have the flower head areas a little darker. And you can see what I'm, what I'm aiming at getting to just lightly spray this. It runs down not too much so that it covers the whole paper. But see you get some nice texture, texture going. And basically just, just do it until you feel like you're, if you've got some nice pattern going. And that's going to give it a little more depth. And maybe we work we wanted to do actually is I want to put my tissue box behind this and I want to run down this way as it dries. See, I'll add just a little bit. And I'll just sort of fiddle with it until I'm happy with where things are going and how much, how much texture I have going. And to have a little bit more here, down here at the bottom and say, I just take your time working on this to get what you want and kind of lack that actually the way it is now. And so again, we're going to let this dry. And I think, I think it's not going to need more than about these two layers. And I just see an area here which is little too kinda boring some gang to create some patents. And this is, this is something you can do as well. Just take your brush, actually this, this, you could also use a rigor brush which would create some nice thin patterns as well. But I'm just going to do with this right now. And maybe I'll just give it a spray. See you can when you're doing the printing a little docks in like this, not too many of them. It could look like twigs or branches, whatever. You don't want to overdo it. The thing I have maybe a little bit too much there. So I'm just going to wipe off my brush and pick up that painting and make that run down. Okay. Now, I think that's, That's what I'm all I'm gonna do from now. So so basically I haven't put I have some variety in color. Yeah. Some lighter area. Yeah, lighter area here and here. And at the top of the painting, we've lived some white of the paper. They, some of the white of the paper showing through there and at the bottom. And I think that's getting too dry and share a little more texture than it did in the first wash. Relate that drive. And I think we'll be able to take the masking fluid off and work on the flowers. 6. Removing the masking fluid and painting in the flower heads: So I didn't want to add any more paint to this now because I think it's, it has enough layers and I actually put this on, put the second codon a little dark. So, so my painting is ready now to remove all the masking fluid and get ready to paint the flower heads. So the easiest way to do this is just to take your thumb and push the masking flirt and make sure that you get all of the pieces. Although the bits of masking fluid off, if you rub your hand over the surface, you can feel where the masking fluid is and look. You can see things are actually coming to life now and you can see What's going to happen. Once we paint the fly heads and we've got all this nice texture of the white of the paper showing through in the final painting. So just make sure you get everything off. Take your time. Stamp, Russia. We have No there's plenty of time. You can stop the video and just keep going until you get to get rid of all of the masking. Third. So it's exciting when you take the source. It's brings the painting back to life. You always want to have that you've saved enough white space wise of the page to create those nice textures. And if you haven't, he has a little tip. If you, if you didn't do enough spattering, what you can do is take your palette knife and some whitewash and spatter that onto the finished painting at the very end, where we'll talk about that again. So there's a lot of, there's a number of failed states you can due to save your painting if you're not happy with how much masking fluid you put on. And also if you have too much masking fluid, we can add some color to take away some of it. I mean, here for instance, I may decide later that I've got too much there. So I will are made just add some color to that and then we'll get a different it'll be a little bit lighter than the, than the colour that's on there. Nasa, you say you'll have even more depth to the painting. There's so many things you can do in watercolor to save your paintings. Okay. So I've removed all of my masking fluid and just run your hand as one lost taste. Just run your hand over the painting to feel if there's any raised bits o any little specks of masking fluid left behind and just get rid of it. I just found a little one there. Now, doesn't that look much nicer? And at this point, if you draw the not be painting, phenol and u1 withdraw the. At this point you could actually turn this into, rather than paying phenol, you could tend the same too. Queen ends lace or car slip painting if you want to leave the flower heads White. My advice to you is not to leave them like this. You really need to wet the flower heads. Take a little bit of the green, very, very, very pale, and maybe a little bit of another color to different kinds of greens, but very pale, just almost water colored water. And just touch some of the white areas because flowers have shadows on them and they are not pure white. If you've seen lots of paintings of white flowers, they never all white. Some of that you could actually wet some of the area around the painting here and then bleed it into the flower head. And you don't do the whole flower, you can do a little sections of the flower. Makes your white flowers look much more realistic. Now, I'm going to do funnel because I like the contrast of the yellow phenol against the green background. And I'm going to start off with my rigor brush. This rigor brush, by the way, has a interesting history to it that I'm very proud of. I want it in a gene Haynes competition. And Jean Haynes is, she's a famous British water colorist. And she had a challenge rather than a competition in paint as online magazine in on the use of the color yellow. And I did a landscape of Budha cups and I was one of the windows. So I got this brush and and this Sable brush number I think it's as number eight, tin Sable brush and they really are with she sells them on her website and I can tell you, I love it's the base rigor I've ever had not and I have a number of rigors. So now I'm just going to take a little bit of hence a yellow I'm going to use for the flowers. And getting to, I'll start here. And I don't mind overlapping into the green because again, the same way with making white flowers. I want a little bit of the green to seep in here because flowers aunt pure yellow, either that they, you know, they might be some shadow on the flower and so on. So I would actually LET some other color, just a little bit bleed in and I'll leave a little bit of a few white spots too full for highlights. And that's a good thing to do too. So. I'm just sort of getting I'm even I'm not keeping within the lines. I'm going over green areas. So some of the green will bleed in there as it has the enum leaving some white. And I can see this is going to dry it to lag and we're going to need a second coat on some areas we went do know all so just so just basically fill in your flour hits like this. And then when it's dry, we'll see, there will be areas that we'll need touching up. And I can already see that this is going to need some touching up and I'm already getting in there. And I'll do a few there just to give it some contrast against the green. And just try not to be too exact. Just go over the green guy, over the leave a little bit of white for your highlights. Now, another thing, if you feel that your background was too light, now minds, minds a little dark. So I'm not gonna do this. But he has another Save. If your background ended up being too light, you can take some darker green on the back of your spatula and splatter some drops around and just give it a little spritz. It looks like some tiny little flower heads and that will create some more texture also and fix the problem of your background being two lights. So these are all tips, hope you remembering and when you take a look at your painting at the, at the end, C, I'm going to leave some white day. I liked the way the whites have. Give some kind of highlight the think, think I'm going to just add some more yellows. Dots, just dot some yellow daka, daka areas here and there. Not, not all over it. It's just just dot, dot, dot, dot, dot. And you could probably even get a different color, yellow. But I'm actually sticking with this Hansel. Yeah, they're kind of like, I like the color and it looks a lot like the phenol color. And, but see it's creating some nice texture about just adding a little bit of dock areas here and there. Now, I'm going to let that dry taken out and look at it, see if it needs anymore fixing before we do the stems. 7. The finishing touches: The first thing we're gonna do is before we do this, the large stems, I'm going to do the, especially call them stems that, that joined the little florets together. So I've mixed up some sap green with a little bit of Prussian Blue. And the way I'm gonna do this is do a dot in the center of the flower and then all of the stems meet that. I think it needs to be a teeny bit darker. Otherwise it's not going to show up when it dries. You wanna do this fairly quickly. You don't want to make it to studies. And I'm going to do, I'm going to do each one before I do this stems of the flowers. And just here and they have a hint of the stem going up to the little florets. Tenure paper sideways. Okay, so I'm trying not to go too dark and have it dominate the rest of the, of the colors on here. So just adding blue very carefully, just enough to show up the stems when, when it's dry. And if it doesn't show up, you can always go over it again. And the darker color. Now that we've completed the stems coming down from the little fly heads when going to do the major stem. And I'm using the same Sap Green and mixing it with a little bit of Prussian blue. I don't want to do too much. As I said, I don't want the stems to dominate the painting. To make these stems. I'm going to show you this on a, on a piece of watercolor paper. First, I take a piece of one inch watercolor paper that I've cut off from an old painting. And I'd dip the, now you only use one inch length because if you do it any longer, it curves and you don't get straight lines. And I just found that doing it with a one inch pieces is a little easier. So you dip it in the paint. Do you touch the paper? And you drag a little bit sideways like that. Now, these stems on not straight. If you look at the picture of a phenol, it, it sort of does zigzags, very slight zigzags like that. So I'm going to show you how to do this in that it gives you more natural-looking stems so you touch the paper and just drag a little sideways. They're not very thick these stems, so you don't want to drag too far. And in fact, if you put a little less paint on your brush, you get quite a nice, you can see how you get more of a textural effect by, by using less paint on your brush. It takes a little bit of practice. So see that? I kind of like that a little bit better than that. Although this could be you could always go over that again. But anyway, this is my way of putting on these stems. And I'm going to, on this tool one, I'm going to do two inches first and then I'm going to go slightly sideways to inches like that. Just go over a little more. If it doesn't show up, you can always go over it. And you're not going to go straight again one to actually mix up a bit more green because this takes up quite a lot of paint and put a little bit of Prussian blue in it. And let's do this one. And this is a slightly thinner stem. And these, I'm going to just do one inch and I'm gonna make a join that main stem. Cia did that, made it join this mains stem here. Instead of having it all separate flowers. And then this one, again, just do a little sideways to see how much better it looks when you don't do terribly straight. Stems. Looks more natural than Tranby to exact. So let's do this one. Just keep slightly zigzagging the stems, which is how they look naturally. Now, phenol also has some very fine leaves. So I just wanted to, to make things look more interesting. I'm just going to have some stems gang or PAR with very fine little leaves. It's C. Do another one here. I'm gonna do a few more of these just to give some texture to the, some edit texture to the painting. And then we're going to do too many of them. But just do you see how I'm holding my Rigor brush at the end and I'm just doing these very fine leaves. Just GNI, randomly due a few. You can use your judgement with, but I'm putting them higher up on the flower set for some of them. But even then that they generally are lower down. And think, well, do one. Yeah, so my dude here, I want to do a bit more spatter in this plane area here. And I'll just do that. Don't want to do too much because we've got quite a lot of texture going. And maybe do a little bit up here, a little bit more blue, then green. And i'm going to spritz this because it looks a little too large, too much like Spata, and I don't want that. But in the middle here. And maybe just alert or more. Down the bottom here. You gotta be careful that you can actually do it. And I think I'll spirits that as well. Just very lightly. And they we are now I was going to maybe cover up some of this white area here. But I kind of don't want to do that because my background is a little dark, but I will get watered down some I mean, really water down some of the green and just lightly touch a few of the white, a bit of the white area here, which is very busy and maybe I didn't want quite as much as that. Just I just, that's all I did. Now for me, the painting is done and I hope yours turned out well and don't forget to sign your painting. I did notice that I hadn't put in the stem to this flourished. Haha. I don't know if you, when you were watching, you saw that. So I have added I have now added it. And I feel like I have enough white texture in my painting. If you didn't save enough white of the paper, what you can do at this stage is take some whitewash, put it thick, creamy consistency, puts them on the back of your palette knife and just flicks and whites here and there. That should help you add more highlights to your, to your painting. I hope you enjoyed painting along with me. I had a lot of fun doing this. And if you have any questions, feel free to email me. My email is on my contact page, and I'd love to see what you do also, if you'd like to email me a picture of your painting or if you'd like a critique, I'd be happy to give it to you. Hoped you enjoyed painting along with money if you haven't completed your painting it happy painting.