Create Realistic Watercolor Flowers in Procreate

painting procreate Feb 13, 2020

In this Procreate tutorial, we're going to be creating a floral piece using brushes that have been specially created to render realistic watercolor effects.

Over the last few years, I've been admittedly "nose up" about digital painting because, if we're being honest, there's absolutely nothing that will render the same wonderful results as real paint on a real paintbrush on real paper or real canvas or real whatever.

BUT, since digital art is now so accessible, it makes creating more accessible no matter what circumstances we're in. So why shouldn't we explore with creating digitally? Why shouldn't we try to find the best digital brushes out there? 

Without further ado, this watercolor brush pack nails it. Watch this video for an extended visual tutorial, or follow along below!

Want to follow along? Grab the Everything Watercolour brush set now.

Now, let's play!


Step 1: Create your canvas

Open Procreate and create a new canvas.


Step 2: Lay down the first "wash"

Select the brush you'll be using for your first watercolor wash. You'll be scrolling through 68 incredible watercolor brushes in this pack, so to avoid confusion, I'm using the Inky Velvet brush to start.


To create my initial flowers, I'm treating the shape a bit like a horse shoe with some filler in between. So the stroke is curved upward around the left side, with shorter strokes in the middle, before curving outward around the right side.

The Inky Velvet brush has some gorgeous texture to it, and when layering with the brush, it's like adding realistic watercolor layering.


One of the most unique factors of the Everything Watercolour brush pack is that there are two brushes that act as though you're adding more paint in a flow, or adding actual WATER to the flow. To make it nice and easy, they're named Push down for paint and Push down for water.

I have been playing with the Push down for water brush after laying down my initial washes because it essentially blurs isolated areas, making it appear that water has been in more of an excess wherever I place it.


Step 2: Add hard edges to your washes

Here's where the big bonus of this brush pack comes in: Pairing the watercolor wash brushes with watercolor edge brushes like Blooming Seep or Damp and Dry makes it look like the edging that can occur on paper as watercolors dry within a shape.

Pro Tip: When you have a huge brush pack, press, hold and drag the brushes you like and use the most to the top of the pack. That way, they'll be much easier to find!

Step 3: Add accent flowers

When I add elements to digital pieces, I like to create a new layer.

This keeps the flowers, leaves, stems, etc. independent of each other so I can easily move or make edits to the individual pieces, rather than trying to tackle the piece as a whole. It's one of the main benefits of working digitally so we might as well take advantage of it!

My accent flowers are created using varied pressure with the Inky Wash brush. The varied pressure makes it look like some areas are more saturated, while others are more transparent. 


Bonus: See all of those glorious colors in my palette? They work PERFECTLY with watercolor brushes and you can grab them for FREE here!


Step 4: Add stems

I'm adding stems using the First Step Brush. I like that it's straightforward with clean edges but keeps a watercolor texture. 

Create stems with a slight C-curve so the flowers look like they have some movement to them.


Step 5: Add leaves

Using the Inky Velvet brush again, I'm creating leaves by pressing down for a broader stroke, then lifting my pressure for a thinner line.

I then go back in with my eraser and set my eraser brush to Watercolor Eraser from the Everything Watercolor brush pack, and I clean up any excess areas that I don't want the leaves spilling over into. I like this brush because it retains the textured edge that often accompanies real watercolors.

Just as I added the edge detail to the flowers, I'm going to do the same with isolated areas in the leaves. I'm doing this again with the Damp and Dry brush.

Click here to grab the Everything Watercolour brush set!

Step 6: Add line detail

The next part comes down to personal preference, but I like to complete loose pieces with some dark, loose line work. I'm doing this the Japanese Scratch Ink Wet brush. The texture of this brush is gorgeous and it retains that even at a very small scale.


To add line details, I create very small horseshoe shapes to build up the center of my flowers. Then I make small C-curves to add some lines through the petals of my flowers.


Step 7: Add a realistic background

I didn't realize that this was a part of the Everything Watercolour brush pack at first, but when I saw it and tried it, I was officially blown away by the value. Y'all, this pack comes with REAL PAPER TEXTURE BRUSHES!! Like, multiple options. 

You can just select a super light color like ivory, create a layer beneath your other layers, and drag your brush over your entire canvas. THEN LOOK AT HOW GOOD IT IS!!! I used the Watercolour Paper Hand Pressed brush.


Basically, I'm stoked. If you end up grabbing this brush pack, PLEASE share what you create with it!! I can't wait to see it!