Watercolor Rose | Louise De Masi | Skillshare

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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.

      Introduction Yellow Rose


    • 2.

      Supplies Used


    • 3.

      Loading the Brush


    • 4.

      Water on Paper


    • 5.

      Transfer the Drawing


    • 6.

      Initial Washes


    • 7.

      Introducing Grey


    • 8.

      Completing Initial Washes


    • 9.

      Let's Warm it up


    • 10.

      Increasing Colour


    • 11.



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About This Class

Explore how professional watercolor artist and teacher Louise De Masi brings her beautiful watercolors to life. In this 58 minute tutorial Louise will guide you step by step through the painting of a gorgeous detailed yellow rose in watercolor. 

The line drawing of the rose and also the reference photo has been provided for you to download so that you can paint along with her. You can find them if you click on the 'Your Project' tab above. She will share tips such as the way she loads her brush with paint, how she transfers the drawing onto the watercolor paper, and how to correct some common errors. You will follow along as she paints wet on wet and wet on dry and you will watch the rose come to life in this glorious medium. This tutorial is suitable for intermediate students who have some knowledge of watercolor but beginners will also find it useful.

You can follow Louise's work on her website, in her Etsy store and on Instagram.

This is what you will be painting.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Louise De Masi

Artist - capturing beauty with watercolour


Hi, I'm Louise DeMasi,

I am a professional watercolour artist and a qualified school teacher from Australia with over 26 years of experience.

I have a Bachelor of Education degree and I understand how people learn. I am co-author of a watercolour painting instruction book by Walter Foster- titled 'The Art of Painting Sea Life in Watercolor'. My work has been featured in Australian Artist's Palette Magazine, Australian Country Craft Magazine and The Sydney Morning Herald.

As a teacher, my goal is to demystify the art-making process and make learning accessible and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of their skill level. I believe in a student centered approach, encouraging exploration, personal expression, and continuous growth. My courses... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction Yellow Rose: Hi, I'm Louise. You may know me from Instagram, Facebook, or my Etsy shop. I'm a professional watercolor artist and this is my first Skillshare tutorial. I've been painting now for 20 years. For the past six years, I've been painting primarily in watercolor. I've painted hundreds of watercolor paintings. I've painted lots of birds, lots of animals, and I particularly enjoy painting flowers. Watercolor is the perfect medium to use for flowers, it's truly magical. In this tutorial, I will demonstrate how I painted this beautiful yellow rose in watercolor. I'll show you some of my techniques that I apply to all of my paintings. I will show you how I transfer the drawing of the rose onto the paper. You will see how I load my brush with paint. I will show you how I lay in basic washes and how I deepen the color in areas that require more definition. I'll demonstrate how I softened hard edges and how I add detail with a fine brush. I'll even show you how I correct mistakes. Once you enroll in the class, you will have access to the resources PDF, which will have links to some of the products that I use. You'll be able to download the reference photo that I took of the rose, you can download the line drawing of the rose that you can paint along with me step-by-step. I've even included progress photos so that you can see the progression of the rose through the different stages. At the end of this tutorial, you will have a beautiful yellow rose that you can hang on your wall or give as a gift. Let's start painting. 2. Supplies Used: In this lesson, I'm going to show you all of the supplies that I use to complete the rose. Now, don't worry if you don't have the same supplies, use whatever you have that is similar. Here are all the supplies that I use to complete the rose. I used tracing paper to complete the rose. I'll show you what I did with these in video 5, transfer the drawing. This little handy device is a light box, and this is what I use to transfer my drawing onto the watercolor paper. Now if you don't have one, just use the light coming through a window. I use arches hot press watercolor paper. It has a velvety smooth surface that lends itself to data. I can apply lots of washes over the top. This paper is heavyweight so I didn't have to stretch it. This is my well-used water container and believe it or not, I actually cleaned it before I took this photo. So you're going to need some container to hold water. You'll need some paper towel or some old towel to wipe your brush on. I use a battery operated eraser to remove pencil lines but a normal eraser is fine too. I used a black sharpie and a mechanical pencil. This pencil is an HB. Now, onto the brushes. I used a Da Vinci Nova in this painting. This is a very fine brush that I used to tidy up the edges of the rose. This one is a 3/0. This is a short flat bristle brush. I use this brush a lot to remove highlights, and it's also very handy for fixing some of the mistakes that I often make. My favorite brush. This is a Da Vinci Squirrel Mop. I use it all the time. It holds lots of water and paint, and it has a beautiful fine tip. This one is a number 3. This is my favorite palette. It's a little ceramic one. I'll talk to you more about this palette in another video. I use this water spray bottle to wet my paints when they're on the palette. Now, here are the paints that I used. The first one is called winsor lemon. It's a beautiful, clean, bright yellow. I used transparent yellow, which is another bright yellow. Gold ocher gave me those warm orange tones on the rose. Burnt sienna is a rich brown pigment, and I used it to mix with another color to make a beautiful gray. French ultramarine blue is a rich transparent blue, and this is the color that I used to mix with the burnt sienna to make that beautiful gray. This is a Daniel Smith color called Rhodonite Genuine. It's a pretty pink color. This is sap green. I use this color quite a lot when I'm painting foliage. Last but not least, this is phthalo yellow green, it's a bright yellow, a green color. I use these color quite often underneath sap green. Are you ready? Let's get started. 3. Loading the Brush: I'm getting a lot of questions about how I load my brush with paint. People get confused with the amount of water versus the amount of paint, so I'm going to show you how I do that. The first thing I do is start with a clean palette. A clean palette means clean colors. I like this ceramic one because it doesn't stain. The wells are sloped too, which is important, and I'll show you why. When I put my paint on the palette, I put it here on the highest point of each well, I give it a quick squirt of water, and the watery paint pulls at the bottom of the well. After a little bit of time, the soft gooey paint goes hard, and I call this the hard paint, and this is the watery paint. When I want soft, transparent color, and when I work on dry paper, I generally use the watery paint. When I want my color to be more intense, I just want my wet brush through the hard paint. More often than not, I use the hard paint. So that's basically wet paint means soft color, and hard paint means vivid color. 4. Water on Paper: There is one other thing I want to show you and that's the amount of water that I put on the paper. There are three stages of dampness. There's wet, there's damp, and there's almost dry. When I am laying in a simple wash, the paper can be quite wet. With wet paper it's just as it sounds, there is a reasonable amount of water on the paper and the water can be moved around. Damp paper, on the other hand, means the water has soaked into the paper a little bit. It still leaves a slight chain on the surface. Again, you can tilt your paper to the light to see it more clearly. Then there is the paper that is almost dry. Most of the water has been absorbed by the paper. You'll know if you have too much water because the paint will float on the surface for too long and it won't be absorbed into the paper. If you don't have enough moisture, the pigment might move around and you will be using your brush to paint strokes more. In this tutorial, I'm only using wet and damp paper. It takes a lot of practice to get used to the amount of water that you need. I hope by watching me paint, you will gain more of an understanding. Okay, let's paint. 5. Transfer the Drawing: I get asked so often how I get my drawing of the rose onto the watercolor paper. Well, guess what? I cheat. Don't tell anyone. In this lesson, you will see how I transfer the drawing of the rose onto the paper. This is the top half of the reference photo that I printed out in black and white. I've drawn over the petals with a Sharpie so that I can see them better when I place the tracing paper over the top. I'm just trying to position the rose so that it fits on the tracing paper properly. This is the bottom half of the rose. The rose is on two pieces of paper because I had to enlarge it to the size that I made it. That looks good. I'm ready to start tracing the rose onto the tracing paper now. I use a Sharpie because the watercolor paper I use is very thick and I need to be able to see it shining through. I can see the rose quite well now but again, I have to place the paper over the top carefully. I check that the boundaries around the edges of the rose are much the same as each other before I start to trace. I've got my mechanical pencil and I can start to trace the rose onto the paper. Now this is an HB pencil. It's important not to use pencils that are too soft because they tend to smudge if you have to do any erasing. On the other hand, if you use hard pencils, they tend to dig into the paper and I find them difficult to erase, so an HB is usually a good choice. Now remember I said if you don't have a light box, you can use a window. Well, before I bought my light box, this is what I use to do. I would hold the paper against a window and use the daylight coming through to help me see the tracing underneath. 6. Initial Washes: In this video, I will show you how I begin the painting overlaying in a basic wash of yellow on parts of the rose. I work on damp paper and I'm working with only one color. So let's get started. I'm putting some transparent yellow on my palette. I put it at the top of the palette so that the water will pull at the bottom. I'm using my squirrel mop brush to apply some water to the paper. Now, I apply it carefully in the area. I want my first yellow wash to go. I'm picking up some pigment on my wet brush from the hard paint that's at the top of the palette. Because the paper is damp, the paint flow is nicely for me. All I have to do is just carefully push it around where I want it. You can see my iPad in the left hand corner, it has my reference photo of the rose on it. Now as I paint, I'm constantly referring to it. So if you see my hand posing, it's because I'm glancing at my reference photo. I've dampened this area with water just as I did before. I'm wetting more than one petal here because you see in a moment that a whole section of the front of the rose will be washed in. You might be wondering why I dampened the paper. Well, the dampness of the paper allows me to work at my own pace. It stops any hard edges from forming, and it keeps the paint soft and luminous, allowing the paper, it will still be seen underneath. That was nice and easy, that's how initial wash is completed. 7. Introducing Grey: In this lesson, I'll introduce a new color to the painting. I'll demonstrate how I mix a beautiful gray that I use in a lot of my paintings. I'll show you how I paint petals with two colors, on the one petal. You will see how I let the moisture on the paper gently disperse the pigment so that the colors merge softly together. Now we're going to use two colors to make gray. I'm putting some French ultramarine blue on my palette along with some burnt sienna. I give them a quick squirt of water and then I use my brush to take a little bit of each color to mix together. This makes a nice blue-grey color. I'll show you what this color looks like on a piece of paper. Now I can adjust this gray by adding more blue to make a bluer or cooler gray, or I can add more burnt sienna to warm it up a little. Let's bring this gray onto our painting. I'm wetting my paper just as I did with the yellow wash in the previous video. I'm applying it carefully, putting it exactly where I want the paint to go. I give my brush a quick dab on the paper towel and I'm ready to pick up some gray. Now, because my paper is damp, I know then I'm not going to have any hard edges forming, which is what I want, because the lower half of the petal is going to have some yellow on it. I want the two colors to just softly merge together. Now, I'm just adding some transparent yellow to the bottom of this petal. The moisture on the paper moves the pigment around for me and it just allows the two colors just to blend softly together. When I picked the transparent yellow paint up, I picked it up from the top of the palette where the hard painting is. I'm dropping in a little bit of ultramarine blue, just to add some interest to the top of this petal. Now, I'm painting on a dry paper here. There are two reasons I'm doing that. The first is because the area is small and I can paint it fairly quickly. The second reason is because I see the gray forming a hard edge rather than a soft edge. This part of this petal here is painted on dry paper as well, because it also has a hard edge and I don't have to add any yellow into this area, so there's no blending of colors needed. Now, while my paper is damp, I can drop in a little bit more of the ultramarine blue, just as I did with the other petal. This petal is painted on wet paper as well because it has the two colors on it. It has the yellow and the gray, and I want those two colors to merge softly together. I don't want any hard edges. Again, I took the transparent yellow from the hard paint at the top of the palette. I'm working on the wet paper again. I've picked up some gray, but this time my gray just appears to be a little bit bluer than what it was before. That's okay. I quite like it when my color is very slightly, I think it adds a little bit of interest to the painting. There is a small white highlight that I've drawn in there. I'm just carefully painting around it. You can use masking fluid to preserve the white areas. But I'm not a huge fan, I find it ruins my brushes and tends to leave a hard edge when you take the masking fluid off. I do use it occasionally though. Now, I'm just dropping a little bit of gray into the yellow while it's still damp. I'm just wetting the top of this petal, and now I'm dropping some gray onto the wet area. Now, as I said, I wet the top of the petal, but not the bottom. I want to increase the color of the yellow at the base. It's such a thin small area that I didn't need to wet it. I know that when the yellow meets the wet paper where the gray is, the dampness of the paper will blend the colors nicely for me. This dark yellow forms a hard edge on this petal. You'll notice it if you have a look at the reference photo. I'm deepening the yellow here. When I pick the paint up, I wipe my wet brush through the paint that I squirted out at the top of the palette rather than the watery paint that is pulled at the bottom of the palette well. I found an area in my drawing here, so I'm just using my eraser to clean up my pencil line. I'm deepening the yellow here. I can use my wet, clean brush just to soften the edge of the yellow where the dark yellow meets the light yellow. I'm just dropping in a little bit of gray here while the paper is wet. This is the second stage of our painting completed. 8. Completing Initial Washes: This lesson on the completing the initial washes, so that all of the petals will be covered in paint. I'll also show you how I fixed a mistake. I'm wetting the paper with water again, getting it ready for the gray paint. There's another white highlight there that I'm just being careful to avoid. Whoops, there's a little bit too much pigment there. But because my paper is damp, all have to do is give it a little scrub and it disappears. I'll move on to another petal that's not adjacent to the one I've just finished because I don't want the colors to run into one another. When I pick the paint up, I'm just running my width brush through the hard paints from the palette rather than the watery painting that's pulled at the bottom. Whenever you see me using the gray color, I'm using the water repaint that's pulled at the bottom of the well, I have to use that because I mixed that color and that's all there is. Both of those petals are dry now, so I can move back onto this one in the middle. Here's a different angle for you so that you can see the water on the paper. How I love this brush, this conceptual beautiful point on it. I can get into tiny little spaces with it and it holds so much paint, and so much water. It's just a beautiful brush. I'm just drawing myself a few guidelines that seem to be missing. I'm painting on dry paper here because the error is on the small and I don't have to do any blending. This petal am wetting because I've got two colors to go on it, and I want a nice soft merge. Whoops, I've done it again. That's a sum total, isn't it? I must be in need of a break. Luckily, my paper is damp and it's easy for me to take it away. I'm just using my paper towel to block some of the water up. I've got a little bit too much paint and water there and I need to drop some yellow in the corner. I'm just quickly rewetting that area because am about to drop some yellow in there. This is where we're up to now. The whole rose has been washed in, it's dry, and it's ready for some additional layers. 9. Let's Warm it up: In this lesson, I introduced some gold ocher to the rose. Now this color warms up the rose beautifully. I'll be working on damp paper again, and I'll also introduce a little bit of pink. I'm squeezing out some gold ocher on to my palette. I'll use this color to add some warm orange-y tones to the petals. I've turned my paper around because I find it easier to work that way. I've put a little bit of water onto that petal where I'm working. I'm now applying some gold ocher onto the damp paper. When I pick the paint up, I picked it up from the top of the palette where the paint is that I squirted out, not the watery paint that's pulled at the bottom. This is Winsor Lemon, it's a real bright lemony color. It's brighter than the transparent yellow that I've been using. This petal is still damp with the gold ocher that I just use, and I'm just dropping a little bit of the Winsor lemon onto it. This petal gets the same treatment as the other petal. I've dampened it with water. I'm applying some gold ocher. Now I'm washing my brush. I've picked up some Winsor lemon from the top of the palette where the hard paint is. I'm just applying it to the front of the petal. The petal in the middle there was just painted exactly the same as the other two. The paper is dry here and instead of using the hard paint at the top of the palette, I've used the watery paint that's pulled at the bottom. I'm adding some rhodonite genuine to the palette. I'm dropping some of that rhodonite genuine onto the damp paper. I've turned my paper again and I'm using some watery Winsor lemon just to warm up these gray areas. I want to show you again, when I want soft subtle color, I use the watery paint that is pulled the bottom of the well. When I want more intense color, I take it from the top of the palette with my wet brush. Here I've taken the gold ocher from the top of the palette. I'm just warming these petals up again with some watery Winsor lemon. I'm doing this because I felt that the gray color just stood out a little bit too much. I just want the yellow just to drop back a little bit. I've just dampened this petal. I'm adding some gray over the top of the yellow base, and now I'm going to drop some of the rhodonite genuine onto the gray. A little bit of gold ocher here onto the damp paper. Now, a little bit of rhodonite genuine onto the damp paper. I'm just increasing the color of this petal here with some Winsor lemon and my paper is damp. I'm using my Da Vinci Nova brush here to define the edge of this petal with some gold ocher. The paper is damp. The same thing here, except I'm using some watery, transparent yellow. I've left a little gap of dry paper here where I don't want the paint to go. To give a little petals of blush, I'm just brushing some watery rhodonite genuine onto them. This is gold ocher on damp paper, and this is transparent yellow. I've picked up some gold ocher from the top of the palette and I'm using it just to deepen this lower half of the petal. Just softening with a little bit of water here. I've dampened the paper with water here, and I'm increasing the color with transparent yellow. You can see that the color is quite dark. That's because I picked the paint down from the top of the palette and not from the watery paint that is pulled at the bottom. Now I'm just warming up the base of the petal here with some more gold ocher. I'm using some watery Winsor lemon here. Now some transparent yellow. This is some watery gold ocher. I've wet that entire area against the gray petal there, and I'm just adding some gold ocher over the top. I'm just softening it with some water on my brush now. I think it's starting to come together nicely now. I'm adding some gold ocher to the base of this petal now. This is some transparent yellow. I'm washing my brush out in water and dabbing it on the paper towel, and I use it to soften the edges of the paint. This is gold ocher again. A little bit more gold ocher on damp paper here. Here I'm going to show you how I paint the edge of the petal. I wet it it first, and then I use my fine brush and some of the gray mix to run along the edge. The water on the paper softly flares the paint, instead of leaving a hard line. Just use a little bit more water if you need to soften and further. That's what we're up to. All we have to do now is increased the color in places and paint the foliage. Don't forget that I have included this image here for you to download. 10. Increasing Colour: In this lesson, I'll be completing all of the petals. I will deepen the shadows on the rows, and I'll add definition to some other petals. This is a stage of the painting that I enjoy the most. This is the time when I pull everything together and I'm confident that the painting is working for me. I'm going to start with some repair work. I'm not very happy with this white highlights, I think that the edges are too hard. So I'm going to give them scrub with this flat brush. I have painted it with some clean water, and I'm just gently rubbing back and forth just to scrub the paint away. There's another highlight here that needs to be softened. I keep rewetting my brushes I need to and I'm just gently rubbing. That looks better. I've just applied some water to this peddle to dampen it, and now I'm applying a wash of Winsor lemon. I picked the paint up with my width branch from the top of the pellet with a hard paints. Now, I've dampen this little section here where I'm working with some water and I'm applying some transparent yellow down at the base of this petal. The water moves the pigment around for me without me having to do very much, and it stops any hard edges from forming. This area here is done exactly the same. Have dampen the area first and now I'm applying the transparent yellow. Now, my paper is damp here, but it's not damp here. The reason I haven't dampened it here is because I need to be very careful where the paint goes, I'm only doing a very fine line. The paper is dry here because I need to get right into the corner of the edges of those two petals. You can soften the edges with some water on your brush. I'm just extending that line a little bit. The paper is dry again here. Now I've dampen my brush with some water and I'm just softening the edge of the line. The paper is dry here because it's just a small area and I know that I can soften the edge of the paint with some water. I'm painting a wash of Winsor lemon over these petals. The paper is dry and I've used several watery paint that pulls at the bottom of the palette. Just a little bit of water on this petal here, and now some transparent yellow are taken from the top of the palette with the hard paints. Here is the edge of a petal again, like we did in the last lesson. Remember, I wet it first, and then I use my fine brush and some of the gray mix to run along the edge and the water on the paper, softly plays the paint. The same again here, just a little bit of water, and then apply the paint with the fine brush. I want to increase the color on that line, but I don't want to add edged line, I want a line that is a little bit softer. If I dampen it just a little bit with some water, before I apply the paint, I get a nice soft line. I'm using the damp bristle brush here on a highlight that I want to soften. Just use it gently, you don't want to tear a hole in your paper. I'm deepening the gray color here. My paper is dry, but I have a wet brush ready to soften the edge of the paint. Now I've picked up a little more of the gray color. I'm defining the edges of the petal again, the paper is damp, and I'm using my fine brush and some of the gray. My paper has dried here without me realizing and the paint went on a little harder than I expected. So a little bit more water here will soften it for me. This is water, it transparent yellow on dry paper. We're nearly there. This is the fidly part of the painting where I add all the detail. This is the part I enjoy the most and it really makes a difference to the final painting. I want to add a pink blush to this petal, so I dampen it with water before I drop in some [inaudible]. I'm just increasing the color at the base of this petal here, the color is gold darker and the paper is damp. I'm increasing the color on this petal as well. The color is transparent yellow. The paper is just a little bit damp. I'm brushing over this petal really softly with some clean water on my brush just to soften the edges there. I'm finished with all the petals, and I think it looks lovely. I'm very happy with that. In the next lesson, I will be completing the rollers by painting the leaves and the stem. 11. Foliage: In this lesson, I will finish the rose. I will work on the foliage and I find another mistake that I need to correct. I'm ready for the greens now. A quick squad of phthalo yellow green, and a squad of some sap green. I'm going to start with the stem. What I have to do first is just add some water to it. This is phthalo yellow green. Just be careful that you haven't got too much water on your brush or the paint will get away from you. Now the dampness of the paper stops the paint from drying too quickly and it just allows it to flow nicely for me. I'm just applying a little bit of water to this leaf because I'm going to paint it next, but I waited until the stem has dried before I did that. This is sap green and I'm just applying it to the damp paper. Now you can see that the color is quite dense. That's because I'm wiping my brush through the hard paint on the palette. I'm not using the watery paint. I'm deepening the color here by picking up some more paint. This is phthalo yellow green again. I haven't wet the paper here because it's only a small area. I've used the watery paint this time, but I made sure that I put enough pigment in it so that it's not too pale. I'm just going to add a bit of a shadow on this petal. I wet it first, and then I'm using some sap green. Now it's time to add some sap green to the left side of the stem. The paint is dried, so I'm rewetting it carefully. I'm picking up some of the hard sap green, and I use the tip of the brush to run the paint down the left side of the stem. Now I'm allowing the water on the paper to disperse the pigment for me. I'm coming back with some more paint and I'm applying it a second time just to deepen the color slightly. The paper is still damp. I'm drawing in a guideline for myself on this leaf. This is sap green again. I wiped my wet brush through the hard paint here. The paper is dry because it's a small area and I have a hard edge on the green. I made a few more guidelines here. Again, I'm using sap green here. This time I'm using the watery sap green on the dry paper because I have a specific place that I want to put the paint. In other words, I want to be more precise where the paint goes. Now I've picked up some more sap green, but this time I picked up the hard paint. The paper is damp from when I applied the watery paint a moment ago. I'm using my fine brush here to define this edge with sap green, the paper is dry. This is watery sap green and the paper is dry again. I've given the paper some time to dry, and I'm now using watery phthalo yellow green. I'm turning my paper because I seem to find it easier to work vertically rather than horizontally. I prefer to pull strokes towards myself. The paper has dried again here and I rewet it with water so that I can apply some sap green on this part. I think I'm finished now. But wait, I see a problem. I think I need to attach that leaf that I just painted to the stem. It seems to be floating in the air. I've attached the leaf to the stem with my pencil, and now I'm using the damp bristle brush to rub out some of the stem. I'm filling it in with phthalo yellow green. While the paper is still damp, I use my fine brush to run some sap green down the left side edge. Now a little hint of gold ocher at the base there where it meets the stem. All finished. So that's it. I hope that you enjoy painting this rose with me, and I hope that you will upload your painting so we can all enjoy the new skills that you have learned.