The Watercolor Painting Series - Monochrome Botanical Patterns | The Artmother | Skillshare

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The Watercolor Painting Series - Monochrome Botanical Patterns

teacher avatar The Artmother, Professional Art Teacher and Artist

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.

      The Rules of Watercolor


    • 4.

      Brush Control - Brush strokes


    • 5.

      Brush Control - Painting Simple Shapes


    • 6.

      Exploring Monochrome


    • 7.

      Exploring Shapes - Botanical Shape Study


    • 8.

      Painting Patterns


    • 9.

      Final Project


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Welcome to the Watercolor Painting Series! These series are designed the way that each class can stand alone and is complete on its own, but they are genuine continuations of each other. Each class has three main ingredients: Art theory, Color Theory and a Trending topic, so that you can keep up with the lates trends and modern techniques.

In this course within Art Theory we will cover PATTERNS and BRUSH CONTROL, within Color Theory we will explore the MONOCHROME and we make sure you can use some art terminology correctly, like HUE, VALUE, SHADE, TINT, TONE. Our trending topic is BOTANICALS.

If you are eager to learn watercolor painting, choose this course! The best way to learn is through practice and projects! The length and the rhythm of the course will make sure that you will stay ENGAGED and that you will be successful in finishing it and be hungry for a continuation and to level up your skills!

So, what are you waiting for? ENROLL!

Meet Your Teacher

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The Artmother

Professional Art Teacher and Artist

Top Teacher

Welcome! My name is Alexandra Finta - a passionate artist, a happy mother and an enthusiastic teacher - in short The Artmother. I am a professional art teacher with a Masters Degree in Art Education with years of experience in teaching in person and online. As an artist, I am creating in all different kinds of mediums from acrylics, watercolors, graphite and digital. I have years of experience in graphic design and photography.

For more info check out my website here:

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook:)

I am very passionate about helping very beginners to explore their artistic abilities and to build their confidence in creating art, so I have built an open comm... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: [MUSIC] I would need to define watercolors and acrylics. I would say that a watercolor is a cat and acrylics is dog. You'll have less control over watercolors. You can act like you own it or really. But at the end of the day, it just jumps out of the window and returns when it wants. Oh, wait, that's the cat. Hello, I'm The Artmother, and welcome to the watercolor paintings series. My name is Alexandra Gabor and I'm a professional art teacher. I'm holding your master's degree in art education, and I have years of experience in teaching art to kids and adults. I'm also an artist. I'm mostly a painter, but I have tons of experience in different fields of art. For example, textile design, illustration, photography, digital art, printmaking. But mostly as I'm painting and I'm a dog person. Maybe this is why I'm also painting with acrylics, but I truly enjoy exploring watercolors. I mostly paint small-size illustrations with lots of decorative elements. What is mostly characteristic of my art is that I paint black bubbles everywhere. I love geometric and folkloric elements. I'm mostly using unlimited color palette accompanied by black. I love the contrast black gives to colors. It makes them more vibrant and defined. I also love to add gold to my paintings. It makes them more elegant, but to be honest, I have periods when I use different color palettes and decorative elements. Nowadays, I'm really into teal aqua turkeys with black and gold. You can find me online by the name, The Artmother. I've chosen his name because well, I'm a mother and an artist. These are the two things which are defining me the most. I have two wonderful kids, a daughter and a son, and we are living in Slovakia, in Eastern Europe. You can find my page on Facebook and on Instagram, so you can hit follow buttons there. But most importantly, hit the one here on Skillshare. I'm aware that there are tons of watercolor classes out there. But it is always interesting to learn from a different artists and different teacher. I hope that you can learn something new from me. I have designed this series so that each class can stand alone and it's complete on its own. All of the classes have three main ingredients. Art theory, color theory, and trending topic. In this class, you are going to learn brush control and patterns as per our theory. We are going to explore monochrome for color theory and our trending topic is botanicals. The class is ideal for beginners as I'm going to go through beginner's topics like supplies and brush control. But intermediate and advanced students can also find it useful to refresh their skills and to practice a little, and they can also take the class projects to a higher level. I would really appreciate if you would take this class. If you feel the creative energy and you are ready to create, let's dive into the class. 2. Supplies : [MUSIC] What is wonderful about watercolors? That it is very cheap in comparison to other mediums. You will need watercolor paints, watercolor paper, and some brushes. Let's take a look on each of them. [MUSIC] Watercolor paper comes in different sizes and thickness. There is hot pressed and cold-pressed. What I use is a 300-gram cold-pressed watercolor paper. Cold-pressed paper has that characteristic texture of watercolor paintings, which makes them unique. I use mainly A4 size paper like this Daler Rowney Aquafine but I really love A3 sized papers because it gives me more space, it is easy to store, but it is big enough to have a painting which looks good on the wall and I can also cut it into smaller pieces. The grammage is important because watercolor paper, which has less grammage tend to get wavy because of the water you use so to prevent it, you need to tap it down. But thick watercolor paper keeps its shape very nicely so you can move it around while you work. It makes the creation process easier and more fun. [MUSIC] Well, I said fairly cheap, because when you get your watercolors, they tend to last almost forever. Of course, there are cheaper brands and the more expensive ones. But you can be sure that if you invest in some professional watercolors, they will serve you for a long time. I will differentiate between three types of watercolors. There are the hot pans sets, the tubes, and the concentrated watercolors. [inaudible] pans or hot pans sets, which are similar to the ones you use on elementary school, and I have one that is almost exactly like that. It is a coin, our product, aniline, but it is highly pigmented it has really wonderful, beautiful, vibrant colors. They are really cheap, but they are rather for beginners and kids. But as I'm an art teacher, I have tons of it at home. Then there is my Van Gogh half-pan set. They are more professional ones. I love pencils because they can't get the pellets on which you can mix your colors. Then there are the tubes, the second watercolors, which are used to create some additional colors. My absolute favorite is the Dr. Ph. Martin's concentrated watercolors, which I really wide rent and you can mix them around with all the other paints you have. It is always a good idea to create a reference palette with all of your pains to see how they really look like on paper because most of the time it is different. You can also add some favorite color mixing so you can get them later again. I just got a new half-pan set from Winsor and Newton, which I got to expand my color palette I can work with. You can see that if you get a new one, all the other colors are packed individually. They have their name on it, and it is just an overly satisfying procedure for a craft hoarder like me to unpack it, I will just include a sped-up few seconds of it. If you don't mind. [MUSIC] For watercolor, it is best to use round brushes because they take up more water. You can play with the thickness of the brush strokes. If you press harder, you get a thicker line. You can paint thin lines with the tip. Get a side of watercolor brushes with different sizes so that you can try which fits you the most. Most of the times, I just have my three or four favorite brushes that I'm using. Even though I have almost 200 of brushes at home, I have some additional supplies. I use white acrylic paints for decoration and correcting mistakes. Or you can use white ink or white gel pen too, but these are just optional. But you will need, is a pencil, not a hard one because it will leave a mark in the paper. Not too black one because it will be hardly removable. I would recommend the pencil in the range of 2B-2H so that you can draw light lines and you can remove them easily. Yes, you will need an eraser too. I like to add details into my artwork pseudo black marker. I use a waterproof one, for example, micron. You can use black ink if you want, but it can get really messy. I just like to ensure my success with using a black marker. You really the color palette if you don't have the pencil and the water holder. Yes, and the water holder. Here's the recap. You will need watercolor paper, watercolor paints, some round brushes, a palette, and a water can. Now, let's take a look on the rules of watercolor. 3. The Rules of Watercolor: The rules of watercolor. There are three rules you need to keep in mind when you use watercolors. First, the more water, the less control. There are two basic techniques in watercolor, the wet on wet and the wet on dry. As we are talking about watercolor, it is obvious that we need water to get the pigment on our brush. But the question is, if we are painting on a dry paper or a wet paper, if we put water on the paper, we can put it in a desired shape, for example, and then we add the pigment with our brush. In this technique, we do not have too much control and the results are pretty much a surprise. There are lots of possibilities within this technique. For example, we can create a gradation by adding more pigments in one side of the shape, or even we can get decorative elements like watercolor blooms. Or we can even mix colors within. For now, just remember that with too much water, you have less control. If you want a shape to be filled seamlessly, you don't want to wet the paper. Just use the water on your brush. The second, work from light to dark. With watercolors, we work with transparent layers. This causes that we can't paint a lighter layer on a dark layer, as we could do with acrylic paints. So, we need to be mindful of the light spaces in our sketches and leave them out. Then we continue to add darker and darker layers to reach the result we want. Wet surfaces can't touch. If wet surfaces touch each other, the colors blend or bleed. If we want the bordering spaces to be a different color without blending, we can do two things. Either we can wait till one color dries and then we add the second color, or really a whitespace border within the two colors. Don't be too strict with this. Blending of bordering colors might give us interesting results and some artistic character. Watercolor is not really about precision, mainly when you are just starting out. I prefer to keep my spaces neat, but that's just me, because I'm mainly an acrylic painter and that's just a totally different medium and I'm just used to that the paint stain where I put them. Watercolors are more loose and free. These are the three rules to keep in mind when you work with watercolors. But remember, these techniques are not exclusive. You might use all three of the rules in one painting so you might keep all the whitespace, some boarding spaces blind to each other. You might paint a darker layer in some spaces. Always just do what your heart tells you and don't limit yourself by anything. 4. Brush Control - Brush strokes: Brush practice, brush strokes. Now, let's do some exercises. Take out a middle-sized or small-sized brush and a piece of watercolor paper, and choose a color you are going to work with. We'll start with painting lines. I pre-drawn some squares to keep my lines in a frame. You can just do that too. The first square is dedicated to straight lines. We are going to work with only one color right now. Just choose one, and wet it with a little water. Fix your wrist on the desk and start at the top and try to keep an even distance from the side of the square. Keep on and always keep a look on the reference line, which is always the previous line you have drawn. Try to keep an even distance from it too. Paint only with the tip of the brush. Don't change the pressure yet. Just try to paint straight evenly spaced lines. [MUSIC] In the second square, we are going to play with pressure. If you increase the pressure on the brush, your lines become thicker. Start at the top and increase the pressure. Now, start at the bottom and increase the pressure upwards. This exercise is awesome. It not just create an amazing pattern, but it creates an opportunity to get to know your brushes. Try it out with all of your brushes if you can, so that you can learn its possibilities and limits. You are also practicing painting from different angles and sides. The third square is dedicated to practice brush weight. Start the lines with the tip of the brush, that as you move downwards, give it a regular push. You will get this pearly line, which is even more interesting as you add more and more lines. By this little activity, you practice to take control over your brushes. [MUSIC] The fourth square is for diagonals. Let's create some rhythm within the frame. Start with two thin lines, then paint a thicker one. Two thin lines, and thicker and so on. [MUSIC] Awesome. Now, you have learned that by playing with pressure, you can create rhythm within your lines. Now, let's try some wavy lines. You can notice that if you always give a push to the brush, when it's going to the left, it will be thicker and it creates this amazing effect of curls. [MUSIC] You can try them on each sides. Then try to make a full thick wave and a full thin wave. Just play around. [MUSIC] Some zigzag lines for the last square. You can again play with the weight and give it a push in some sides, one's the left, one's the right. [MUSIC] Then make a fully zigzag line, then a thin one. Awesome again. By this line painting exercises, you can heavily increase your control and awareness over your brushes and moments. These exercises can also help you out in the times when you lack motivation to paint. Just take out your brushes and paint some lines, and you will see that you will end up with creating something amazing. 5. Brush Control - Painting Simple Shapes: Brush practice, painting simple shapes. I have pre-drawn some rectangles again. Now, we are going to fill them with the basic geometric shapes. Now, let's start with a circle. There are two ways to paint a circle. Either you can start in the center and expand the dot to a circle of the desired size or you can start with painting the contours of the circle and then you fill it up. Both are okay. But when you start with the counters of a bigger circle, it can happen that the initial brushstrokes will be seen if you are not quick enough. Experiment with both and decide which feels more natural to you. Fill the square with circles in different sizes. [MUSIC] Awesome. We already have a nice pattern. Now let's try a little curve painting practice. Paint a dot or a little circle, and try to paint a bigger circle around it by being mindful of keeping an even distance. [MUSIC] Try a bigger and a bigger circle. Now, you practice to paint curves in different angles. How good is that? Let's move to the rectangle. When I paint a rectangle, I start in the top left corner. Then I continue downwards to the right. I don't think there's a rule to follow here. Just practice painting rectangles with filling the whole space with them. Here, we can play with adding more or less water to your brush so that you can get a variety of values. We're going to do the same brush practice with rectangles to practice painting straight lines. Paint a small rectangle, and by keeping an even distance from it, paint a bigger and a bigger one. [MUSIC] Now let's do the same with triangles. I always start with the bottom line. Then I move up to the tip or down to the tip, as in this case, where the triangle's upside down. Let's create a nice pattern with them and also try the brush practice, where we again keep an even distance when painting the bigger triangles. [MUSIC] The fourth square we are going to fill up with organic shapes. Start with painting any shape that, when painting the next one, keep putting one white space between them. By playing around with these random shapes, we get an interesting pattern design. [MUSIC] For the brush practice here, paint anything that comes to your mind. For me, it's a botanical highland which, for its flat characters, fall Clark. [MUSIC] I hope you liked this exercise and that you gain confidence in your painting. 6. Exploring Monochrome: Exploring monochrome: If you put monochrome color palette to the Pinterest search, the results can be misleading. Monochrome derives from the Latin word mono-chroma, meaning one color, but there are endless possibilities within one color. Let's just make some terminology clear. We call the pure color the hue. You might have met this expression in Photoshop or in the names of the paints. Every pure color is a hue. But now I'm showing you just the primary colors, which are red, yellow, and blue. Within here, we have values. A value of a color is its strength. With watercolors, we can achieve different values by simply adding more or less water to your paint. I am sure you've heard the expression 50 shades of gray. Well, we have shades also in colors. I will show you with a red color. If we add black to red, we get the shades of red color. See, we can call it wine red or Burgundy. I really like it. If we add white to the pure hue, we get its tints. Within the tints, we have the raspberry and claret, and so many more. If we add gray to the pure hue, we get its tone. Again, we get some interesting colors. There are endless possibilities, all depends on the proportions we mix the hue with the black, white, or gray. All the shades, tints, tones, and values are included in a monochrome palette. When we get back to Pinterest, vary times there are colors included, which are not included in the monochrome palette of a hue. I have a Pinterest board for you without these misleading results. You can check it out if you find me there, just put theartmother in the search. Just don't forget to tick that you are looking for people, not Pins. There you will find my board monochrome color palettes. Take a look at that and get inspired. In the final project, you will need to create your artwork with a monochrome palette. Your task now is to choose the hue you are going to work with. [MUSIC] 7. Exploring Shapes - Botanical Shape Study: Exploring shapes, botanical shape study. I know tropical leaves are very popular now, but believe me, you have amazing plants locally too. When was the last time you went for a walk? Going to work or school doesn't count. Did you look around, watch the plants, trees, enjoy the fresh air and the sun? This is an amazing course because your task now is to go out. I went for a walk with my kids. We go every day, but this time I was actually really focused on observing the plants. On our short walk to the grocery store nearby, we have collected 30 differently shaped leaves. Like wow, that is amazing, so many different plants. Nature is just the most creative artist. When we got home, I placed all the leaves on the desk and observed them carefully again. I have chosen the shapes I liked the most and created a simple study. Chose a leaf and just try to paint its shape, no need for stamps or details. It doesn't need to be perfect. The point is to practice and to get a deeper understanding of them. I'm going to speed things up a bit, just watch my process. [MUSIC] Amazing. This just looks better than I thought it will. Your task now is to do the same. Choose some some you like and try to paint their shapes with placing them randomly around the watercolor paper. If you do this study, please share it with us. You can upload it into the project below. 8. Painting Patterns: Painting patterns. You have created some nice patterns already, remember in the brush practice and in the simple shape painting activities, then in the shape study. Let's just take a little deeper look on what patterns really are. Patterns are basically motifs that are repeated. The motifs can be placed around randomly. This is what we did in the botanical shapes study. They can be symmetrical and asymmetrical. Within all these categories are tons of possibilities. For example, within symmetrical we can have a diagonal, horizontal, vertical and central placing of the motifs. Within the pattern we can play with the orientation and the rhythm. Basically, our leaf shapes can look outwards inwards. They can be bigger or smaller on a regular or irregular basis. You see tons of possibilities. I recommend you to check out my Pinterest board dedicated to patterns to get an idea what appeals to you. 9. Final Project: We have arrived to the project part. Obviously, you need to create a monochrome botanical pattern. Within monochrome, you need to choose a hue and it doesn't need to be green. If your favorite color is purple, you can freely use purple in the project. For beginners, I advice only to play with the values, to add more or less water. For intermediate students, you can add a shade, or a tint, or a tone. Not all of them. This is for advanced students. Advanced students can play with the values of the hue and add tints, tones, and shades. It's all upon you. As far as the shape, in this project let's keep things simple. Choose only one shape from your botanicals. Either the one that appeals to you the most or the one that you feel most comfortable to work with. As far as the pattern, I absolutely leave it to you. I think by now you've got an idea or inspiration of what you would like to do. Let's see my own artwork for this project. I decided to do it as an absolute beginner. I've chosen purple as my hue, and an absolutely easy leaf shape, and central orientation in my pattern. [MUSIC] Finished. I'm adding some gold dots for decoration and it's good to go. I can't wait to see your artworks. Don't forget to share them in the project gallery. 10. Final Thoughts: I hope that you liked this class. If you did, please don't forget to give me a thumbs up and a review. It is really appreciated. Follow me on social media and get an insight to the production of these classes and my art, and of course, hit the Follow button here on Skillshare to get notified when the other classes will be out. If you really like this class, recommend it to your friends and family. I'm really looking forward to see you in the other classes. Stay tuned.