Watercolor Lotus - Explore Trendy Watercolor Techniques | Irina Trzaskos | Skillshare

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Watercolor Lotus - Explore Trendy Watercolor Techniques

teacher avatar Irina Trzaskos, Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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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.

      Colors and Supplies


    • 3.

      Drawing a Lotus


    • 4.

      Lotus painting first layer


    • 5.

      Leaves painting first layer


    • 6.

      Adding shadows on the flower


    • 7.

      Adding shadows to the leaves


    • 8.

      Adding final details


    • 9.

      Last Thoughts and Thank you!


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About This Class

Welcome to Watercolor Lotus class! Lotus and water lily flowers are perfect subjects to paint in watercolor, they look so magical, gentle and summery. In this class will dive deeper into some trendy watercolor techniques, we talked about in "Watercolor Trends" class at the beginning of this year. Lotus Blossom is a symbol of purity of heart, enlightenment, and self-regeneration, I enjoyed painting it so much and hope you will be painting along with me. In the project section of the class, you will find the reference picture, a template and the list of supplies.

I can't wait to see your beautiful projects!

Happy painting,

x Irina.

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Irina Trzaskos

Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm [inaudible] Watercolor Artist and Illustrator. Welcome to my studio and to my Skillshare channel. Here you'll find a big collection of watercolor classes for beginners. There in my classes you are exploring different watercolor styles and techniques. In today's class, we will be painting a watercolor lotus flower. I will show you step-by-step how to paint this flower. In watercolor trans class we talked about floral strands on dark playgrounds. A lotus flower is a perfect flower for this project. All my classes are filmed in real-time, so you can paint along. If you're new to this can channel, press the follow button, and let's get started. 2. Colors and Supplies: In today's class, We will be using our usual supplies, which is Canson, our watercolor paper cold press. Any watercolor paper which you are used to will work. If you're using hot press, it's okay. It's just good to be at least a 140 pounds or 300 grams. I'll be cutting my paper in a square. You can do the same or you can choose your own shape and cut your paper anyway you like. We'll be using watercolor paint. Later I'll show you the colors we'll be using, water of course, paint palette to mix the colors, paper towel, eraser and a pencil to draw our lotus flower. A white pen or if you don't have it, a whitewash or white ink, white acrylic paint, whichever you like and a medium ground watercolor brush with a good tip, this is number 4 Kolinsky brush and a small watercolor brush. For the details, this is number 2, a synthetic brush from Escoda. Now I want to show you the colors we'll be using today. Today, we will be using only six colors. This one is a lemon yellow. Of course, you can use your own color story. Just make sure we mix nicely together, before you start painting your final art work. So a lemon yellow, cadmium orange, magenta for the flower, because I want the flower to be pink not white and violet, bright blue and teal. I'm using watercolor by White Nights watercolors, you'll find the link in a project section of a class where also you'll find the reference picture and the entire list of supplies. Let's get started. 3. Drawing a Lotus: In the project section of the class, you'll find a reference photo, a picture, paints for a lotus flower and now we'll start drawing it. Also you can find the outline if you don't want to draw it yourself, you can just transfer it onto a watercolor paper? It's going to be this size, because that's how I built their composition. Again, I think about a composition where you want a flower to be, where you want the leaves to be, and just have fun with it and make sure your drawing is not too dark with the pencil, but I am going to make it dark so you can see it in the camera. We'll start with petals close to the middle of a flower and I'll draw one, the second one and the third. It's like a little crown, but [inaudible] used to receive a lot of stylized somewhere and from here we'll start building the rest of the composition. Here we'll have the middle of the flower which is going to be yellow and you'll have some circles. Draw as many circles as you like. I think they're adorable and they add some beautiful details to your drawing. Then I want the others to goes to open towards us. I decided we'll have a petal right here and either one opening given the [inaudible] right here and then another one here and here. Your entire flower has to be like in a circle, inscribed in a circle. But still, it's nice to get out some petals out of a circle, so it has more natural look unless you are going to stylize your lotus for some symmetrical design or something. Now we have the middle of the flower, it's just going to be yellow and I'll have some lines and circles and then we have the petals behind it. One more here, and the rest are the second part of the flower. It's nothing complicated. Just pointy, beautiful petals. Some bigger and some smaller, the ones which are closer to the middle far are smaller and ones which are farther, are of course bigger because they already grew enough to be bigger. I researched what's the difference between the lotus flower and the water lily and the only difference is almost the same flower but the lotus is growing above the water, so the stem grows longer and it's not laying on the water. The flower and leaves grow above the water. Let's add one here. I think this is enough and now I want to add its stem above the water and if you're drawing the water lily when you have the water right all the way to the flower. Then here I want to have a little piece of the leaf. You can change your composition anyway you like. This is another leaf. They have, very interesting shapes. They're organic and beautiful, flowery shapes like this. Let's have it bending a little bit like this, and go back to this shape. I left a little bit of edge. You don't have to, but I decided in case I want to tape it, if I want to add the background, it's good to have a frame. There is a little bud, another huge leaf. The leaves, you can really improvise the leaf shape once you understand approximately how they look you can draw them in any way you like. Let's add another bud here and again, 1, 2, 3 and few more and another stem here. This stem is for this bud and this one will be for the flower. Nice composition. You see, it's a little lighter at this corner and of more object in this one and this way it's not too busy, but it's all balanced and beautiful. Next, we can start painting. 4. Lotus painting first layer: I hope your drawing is way lighter than mine, barely visible lines. If it's not just a take an eraser and erase it very lightly before you start painting because otherwise, and on my painting, it's possible we'll see all the pencil lines. But it's okay because I want you to see them in my drawing, but it's better it not to be in your final drawing. I'm taking the number four, medium Kolinsky watercolor brush. As usually, I'll start painting from the middle of the flower. This is the first layer. The role of a first layer is just to add the first tone of your flower. So it's just setting the mood. However, we won't have too many layers because I want our painting to stay contemporary and fresh. So if you can add more details during first or second layer, we'll do so. Next, I just wet it a little bit. All this area we're painting the mid-top of the flower, so you can see it's shining. I hope you can see it. Then I'm taking some lemon yellow, and I'm adding it right here like this. Have your paper towel always right next to you in case you need to take out excess of water from your brush. Next, I'm going to the ends of these petals, and I'm covering them with water. All the yellow is still wet, and that's exactly what we need. Next, what we'll do, I'll take some Magenta, add just a little bit of cadmium orange too because it's too cold. It should a little warmer color and we add teeny tiny bits of paint to the ends of the petals. Next time, washing the brush and drying it in a paper towel and softening this color. It's a very soft, beautiful transition where there's an area with the most details. Now, we can start painting other petals. I'm just wetting it a little bit. Well, I'm covering the entire petal with water. Then I'm taking magenta, you can add some orange too. I decided I want my Lotus to be pink, I didn't want it to be white. I think white is a little too boring. I'm raising the colors to the top of the petal. But also I want a little bit of colors to the bottom so we can show that it's behind of this petal. Again, I'm covering the entire petal with water. It's very relaxing because we're just painting petal by petal and if you feel you're tired, your can take a break and then go back. Again, paint petal by petal and covering it all with water. Then I went on some color. This time let's add some here, try not to make it so dark because we can always make it darker. Then this little petal. Now, I'd like to leave some white spots on the petals, like some highlights so we don't have to wipe it with white ink or whitewash. Just dilute the paint with a lot of water and with brush strokes, just adding this very watery paint to the petals. This is another way to paint petals. Wet into dry technique. You see this water color and the, I'm just making some pink lines and I'm leaving the white ones. After our first layer our flower will look pretty flat because it doesn't have enough shadows, it doesn't have enough depth, because we're just adding the tone to very first layer, so don't get disappointed before time. Again, let's add some color to the bottom of the petals. You remember when we were painting other flowers, the darkest part would be closer to the middle of the flower. With water is not always like that, sometimes the tops of petals are the darkest, and we'll probably add that paint when we'll be adding details in very last layer. But here, I want to show that this petal is between these two. So I'm adding the most color in this area and then I am softening it to the end like this. This middle part will be very light pink but right next it we want a dark color. Magenta with a little bit of orange like this. Just take your time and paint petal by petal and orange the same. Endure the process until you have every leave, every petal. It's nothing complicated. You can go in any direction you like, of course, it's bad to go from left to right so you won't smudge any ink. But I already had gone this way so it's okay. Here and there we will leave some white paper for highlights. It will seem that there are too many highlights we left. We can always cover it with a very light layer or with a color after it dries. I want magenta, this is bright, let's soften it a little bit. Sometimes we can cover entire flower with one tone of ink but I think it makes it look more interesting when we will go petal by petal. They all look a little bit different, just like in nature, plus it's more dyslexia to have a smaller watercolor wash but then having the entire flower covered with water and rushing to color it. If you have a smaller petals, just take a small brush and here I touched this petal, which wasn't my plan, but it's okay. If I may be using a small brush, that wouldn't have happened. You can see how the layers can tone, some parts of the petals are lighter and some are darker. It implies that the Sun or whichever light source we have is playing in the petals. I think you'll notice water, lilies are very summative flowers. Very minding of freshness of the pawns over water, it's very pleasant to paint them. The data makes it. On this one let's leave some white space again and highlight it too, just in case we need it, like this. We've seen some of his parts and let's wait until the flower is dry. 5. Leaves painting first layer: Next, we can add the first layer drop of the paint to our buds, and odd leaves, and our stems. I would like to use unusual colors to give it more contemporary, interesting ventricle. I'm taking some lemon yellow, diluting it in a lot of water right here, and that's added to the top of our bud, which is still green. Then I'm taking some teal, and again, I dilute it with a lot of water and I add it there. Next, let's take some dried blue, and we'll finish painting the stem with very watery blue. You can see how magical it looks, all the transition of these colors. Try not to paint them too dark, the stems, buds and the leaves because if you want to make it dark and round, it will look nicer if they're very, very light. The same. I'm starting with the blue on this stem. Next, I'll mix some blue with some teal. We have more greenish blue here. If you have bottles of watercolor, just wash your brush, dry it in a paper towel, and absorb the excess of water and paint. Otherwise, it will create blossom blooms which look like water damage, and unless you want that, it's better to absorb them in excess. Now we'll take again some lemon yellow, I'll leave it to the top, and then I'm taking the same teal with blue and I'll add it to the edges. It's mixing on paper and creates this beautiful transition. If yours look so crazy, don't worry, you can always add another layer of watercolor on top. But before that, just let it dry and probably will look magical. Don't rush. Mix again before you're sure you don't like it. This leaf I want it to be blue, and on this edge, I want some teal and it'll create some dimension. Again, for colors blend and dried on the paper. That's why it's important to have very watery watercolor, especially for the first layer. You can see how beautifully the petal looks on a contrast of dark color. Right here. Again, I am absorbing the access of what I can paint before I move to the next leaf. Next we have this part. Well, let's do the same thing as we did with the previous bond. Lemon yellow. It looks so magical. I leave most of it that color and then we'll take some teal and let just a little bit of teal in here so it makes this beautiful green. I like it. This green is beautiful too, so let's try it. Let's take more lemon yellow, some teal, and mix them, and use it for this one. Why not. Very fresh. Absolutely magical. If the bottom is lighter in front, the top will be darker, and we'll take some teal with a blue. I'm not afraid to get out of this frame because I'll be cutting it anyway. Make sure you have all the colors all the way to the edge or further, if you're drawing the same. Let's color the stem of the flower with this color, and the stem of the bud will be light blue because we used light blue on this side. Let's try to fix this. This is better. We have left this leaf and this one. This is teal. We just covered all this part over here, before it bends here with very watery too. The bending would be with a little bit of lemon yellow, with the same teal, so it would be green. This part over here, we'll let this dry a little bit, and we'll add a different hue to it. For the bottom leaf, let's us some lemon yellow with teal again, so we'll have it balanced with this part. Just some more strokes. Needs too much strokes, I see. Actually, I like this color, so why don't we use it also here? I think it will be nice. We have also weighed in more shadows because you can see the picture is looking very flat after the first layer. Even we have some beautiful color transitions, we still need some shadows, highlights, and details to pull it all together. This is our first layer, and it already looks beautiful but it'll look even more beautiful after the second one. 6. Adding shadows on the flower: So I waited until my first layer is totally dry, bone dry, and now we construct a tank of shadows. We'll start with this teeny tiny circles we had on the yellow. So let's take some yellow, and we'll take magenta to compliment it and create a darker shade. We need more yellow. Also you can mix a yellow with blue and shade early that area with a greenish, yellow. So I'm shading these little circles only one side and another side I'm leaving uncovered with second layer, it's just the first day in there. In this way we're getting some dimension and they start looking more interests. Next time we add in a little lines too. You can see that I switched to a smaller little brush for this. This is number two synthetic brush from this quota because so many of you were asking which kind of brush is this. That's how our middle of flower is looking. I like it and we probably be adding some shadows a little later after it dries or maybe not. We'll see how it looks together with the shadowed petals. Next let's take some magenta, dilute it with water. So the light flowers have dark shadows, but they are so tiny that they don't cover the most of the petal with the shadow just a little there. Otherwise, you would have a darker petals. So I might take just a little bit of a shadow to show that this petal is between these two. The same can verify line down here and give your hand and brush some freedom them put it in water and just see where your hand will lead you and try to create some lines like this. You can instantly see how our petals are coming to life and make a shadow here. Improvise. I know improvising may seem a little bit harder to begin with but then you'll discover how fun it can be just to come up with your own shades and taken some lines. Beautiful. So we're at the same time it's anguish shadows and the texture. That's all because I don't want to add too many layers to painting, I want to give it the creche. Tranditional old school botanical illustrations or add first shadows or add that texture or sometimes into new way, more layers of shadows and highlights and colors. So you can see I'm pretty brave with magenta. I'm taking a dark tone. By then making very fine lines so they still understand that. Lordosis, It's a light. It just has some darker texture and shadows and try not to overdo it. So try not to add lines on every single petal and just keep some and add to some so it has to be balanced. So be careful with that. I have to be careful too, because I'm sometimes caught in this game of hiding lines and textures and I just enjoyed someone to it It's hard to stop. So make sure you add enough shadows so every petal has a little made that list of highlight and shadow to show which one is behind and which one is in front and the same on this side. So we heard that petal bending here. So I made this extra bold shadow and you can see how it instantly changed the look of entire painting. So our flower is not looking flip anymore,it got enough, depth, dimension and personality. So if you need a softer shadow, of course you got to have a bigger brush. Here I want to show that for texture, you don't really need a very dark tone, you can have a very watery diluted water current like I do now and it still adds enough lines in our texture so it can get softer color. So one more here and here and I think this is enough for now then will look a little later with fresh eyes and if we still see that some glitter, we need some more we can add them later. Now let's take some light blue and dilute it with a lot of water and add some little bit of light blue lines here. So it doesn't look too brownish in some freshness there. Some interest. Now I see this petal. Let's add some blue to it too. Just a little bit. So it's like the reflection of the petals gets from the water and the color of water. We'll take the bigger brush and we will make this softer and some here. Always keep it balanced don't tell it only to one petal and nowhere else, but try not to over do it too. So if you set the shadows are flawed. 7. Adding shadows to the leaves: Now in our flower is all of it is different beautiful. It's time to add shadows to the pods, stems and leaves. Also will be adding texture and details just like we did with our petals. I'm taking some teal and I'm starting, just like with the petals, search shadows to be some bud leaves or future petals and they need a smaller brush. So now I took a bright blue. So again, try to show which one is behind and which one is in front. Which petal or which leave is where. I'm going to send some texture to the same. So that you draw hand free. Let's see what it wants to do. Don't be afraid. So these lines of the bud are same. Stem shadow, add texture to the stem and the same here. Again, I'm taking some teal with blue. If you use different colors, then make sure you experiment first and you like overtones. Who says much that petal don't get here? We'll have a circle here or something. So making some lines on this leaf just like this. Simply belief so I wanted to make it more interesting. I'm not sure how mechanically, scientifically I carried this face, but I hope is close and if it's not, it's okay. We already have a shadow here from the first layer and it's enough. Here we'll have lines again with the teal. Let's take some blue and makes it to a teal and the shadow under here. I want to make this place has absolutely a very beautiful long. Very beautiful colored transition here. But they still want to add a few lines like this. The shadow inside and a little bee chunk. So we need to shadow and then I don't give my time here and let's soften this one. The same thing inside of a this leaf. I a very soft and beautiful shadow. So we knew the shadow on the bee chunk part and the closer to bee's chunk the darker it is. The shadow always repeats the shape of an object line. So we can't have any geometrical lines showing this or we can't have an equivalence when we are shadowing some geometric objects. Nice. Now, this little part bud the stem. A little bit of texture here and some lines here and I also want to try some interrupted lines like this to make it more interesting on the stem. Then this one, I want some dots with very watery tube to return to our illustration and this is it and next we'll add a few details. 8. Adding final details: Our illustration is almost ready. I just want to add a little bit much shadow on this part. I'm taking magenta and just add it here and then trying to appear into small lines because that's how the texture is there in the middle of the flower. Next, I wanted to add just a little pink petal here. I think it'll look very nice. Create a little bit of mystery there and see here. It's a bud or is it blooming? Just a little bit of pink. I think everything else looks good. I'm just taking a wide gel pan and adding some white dots on my circles. Also you can add some white dots on the petals. It always adds a little bit of magic. Add some white dots here and there on the leaves. Also I want to show you how to paint the background dark, but I won't be painting the entire background. I'll show you only with one segment because the composition was built specifically so you don't have to paint the big area with dark but you can paint it piece by piece in between the objects. If you are preferring your own composition, just make sure you have enough leaves and stems to create these parts of dark and bright colors. It makes the composition more interesting and it makes it easier for you to fill the space with that paint which is so pretty difficult especially for beginners, and it's difficult for me too to paint a big portion of the dark paint. I'm mixing teal with a violet and then using a brush with very sharp tip. At this point just take your time, there is no rush. If you have a very small portion somewhere or you are not too competent, just take a smaller brush, but not just small because it will create brushstroke lines. It's okay if it does, you can always color it with second layer and it will hide it. Just very carefully around the objects. Right next to the object I'm applying the paint with the tip, and once I go in the open area I would press the body of a brush on the paper. This is the only tip. The most important rule is just adding enough object so you don't have too much open space to cover at once. You can take breaks, you can have a cup of tea, you can make smart color, or just leave it for the next day if you are tired. I chose the dark blue for my background because I want to add this painting to the collection of botanical illustrations on the dark background I already have, and I use dark blue there. But you can have a dark green, or black, or indigo, or pink-grey, or a violet, whichever dark color you want to use. Now I'm covering it one more time. Try not to make it even more even. Try to create beautiful shapes even when you are covering with background. Like here I try this arch. If it dries like that it's looking good. Try to relax and then your lines will always look relaxed too. Let me paint this one around here. While you are painting with a dark background and if you have some paint which came out of the line or/and not in the direction you want, you can fix it. This has how you paint the dark background. Go behind the scenes and I'll paint the rest because it's the same process, nothing complicated and you can do it too. I'll see you after. Just a few dark spots here. I think it will make it look nicer. Yes. After it dries I will probably add some white shades here. This is our lotus flower and botanical illustration on the dark background. 9. Last Thoughts and Thank you!: Thank you for joining me in this class. I hope you had a chance to paint with me. If you like the class, please leave your review. For the project section of the class, I will reply to your project as soon as I can. I receive so many projects from you. Thank you so much, I love seeing them. I'm trying to keep up with your creativity. If you are sharing your project on Instagram please tag me so I can see your beautiful artwork. I'll see you in my next class. Bye.