Whenever I have some free time, I try to squeeze in my favorite pastime activites such as watercolor painting. I’m new to botanicals so one Sunday, I practiced my beginner-level skills by painting one of the most beautiful flowers, the blue hydrangea. I used my ever-reliable Prang watercolor set, and a 7×10 185 cold-pressed watercolor paper from the prize package that I’ve won in an Instagram giveaway by Tutubing Karayom. 🙂
For this practice, I was guided by this tremendously helpful step-by-step tutorial by an awesome painter, Leslie Fehling! 🙂 Below, I share the process I took along with a simplified version of Leslie’s tutorial:
Step 1: Sketch the flowers and the leaves using watercolor pencils. Then, splatter some droplets of water enough to allow the watercolor to “bleed,” but not drown the paper.
Step 2: For the first layer, start painting different shades of blue but remember to soften and loosen the brush strokes to achieve a subtle and light layer. Also, don’t forget to leave out some white spaces for where the light reflects on the petals. Lighten the edges by adding more water and use darker tones for areas that have shadow.
Step 3: For the second layer, the goal is to define individual petals using midtones of blues, and a bit of violet and pink for variety. To achieve this goal, make sure that wet paint doesn’t spill out of the petals’ edges and blend with other petals. One way to do this is to paint the petals alternately to allow the watercolor to dry a bit (not totally dry though as the wetness is necessary for blending within each petal). Another technique to be noted at this point according to Leslie is: “Some petals will be painted directly, and some will be painted around (negative painting).”
Step 4: For the final layer, add more midtones and dark tones, varying the shades of blue, and adding hints of pink and purple. Then, paint the leaves while waiting for the flower painting to dry. When the hydrangeas are dry, add details to the petals such as the veins, using a fine brush or a watercolor pencil.
Art practices are such a relaxing and rewarding exercise! What other watercolor tips do you know? Kindly share in the comments below! 🙂
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