I have just recently decided to start playing around with watercolor. I thought it would be fun to try something different and see what I could create. I have made some fun things using stamps, but have been too timid to try my luck at anything that resembles something.
Well, Lindsey from bentspines.com shared an easy watercolor tutorial that I just love! The tutorial is super easy and can be done by anyone, which is why she’s here today!
Lindsey loves living a creative life. She has book reviews and thoughts about being a reader on her book blog. Besides reading voraciously, her creative pursuits include watercolor painting, crocheting, cooking, singing, and any other creative things her mind can come up with! She have a degree in English from College of the Ozarks and is venturing into the world of freelance writing and virtual assistant services.
I am in love with watercolor painting. I tried acrylic and oil before choosing watercolors, I enjoy painting in any medium but there were a couple big reasons why I chose watercolors to be my go to medium.
First off it is so simple AND so difficult. What I mean by this is that it has such a large scope, you can learn difficult techniques and pile them on to make beautifully detailed paintings or you can keep it very simple even just experiment and come up with beautiful abstract paintings as well.
Secondly, I have a toddler so when I get the chance to paint I want to spend my time painting and not cleaning up. Watercolors are so easy to clean up, mostly just a quick rinse of the brushes and pour out the water.
When I was learning, I looked through several watercolor books and felt completely overwhelmed by all the brushes, paper, kinds of watercolor paints, and techniques. Yet from them I gleaned some basic rules of thumb, which I am going to share with you. And by rules I mean guidelines, it’s so easy to experiment with watercolors!
- Watercolor paper (Any kind will do.)
- Paint brushes (I like to use a small fine bristled one and a medium rounder bristled one.)
- Watercolor paint (I used Crayola watercolor paint.)
- Paper towel
My Clematis is in full bloom so I chose to paint one of the flowers for you. First I drew a rough sketch so I would have a good idea where I wanted things.
Typically I do about three layers of paint. When using watercolors you want to plan out your layers from light to dark, I will show you what I mean as we continue.
Here is my first layer. I used purple and thinned out the paint with water then applied it for each petal. Notice that I left white spaces between them, you don’t have to do this I just like the way it makes the petals stand out.
Before adding the next layer you need to decide how dry you want your paper to be. If your first layer is still very wet your second layer will spread out more and go where ever it chooses, this can make interesting affects but they aren’t as easy to control. If you let your paper dry before you paint the next layer you will have sharp lines.
I let mine dry enough that the paper was still damp which gave it a slightly feathered look. Be careful not to go over things too much or else the water will pick up the first layers paint making it look muddy.
For this second layer I wanted darker shades of purple so I mixed some black into my purple and applied it where I saw shadows. I also mixed a little orange into yellow for the center.
The last layer is the detail work that brings the flower to life. I added the veins of the petals and the details of the stamen in the center and sharpened up some of the edges. I also decided the flower by itself was a little lonely so I added vines for more interest.
I’ve enjoyed painting with you and hope that you give watercolor painting a try. It’s so easy to begin, yet the creative possibilities are endless. Enjoy!