Learn to Make Ink and Watercolor Illustrations

painting Jun 10, 2021
How to make a floral ink and watercolor illustration

Floral illustrations never go out of style because flowers are, well, flowers. But they can get a bit repetitive if you're always using the same techniques. Fear not because today I'm going to show you how to mix it up and add more interest into your beautiful floral ink drawings.

Hi everyone! I’m Linnea and I'm gonna show you a super simple way to combine ink and watercolor to create this fun and beautiful floral illustration. Here are the supplies that I used. If you have other preferences, please use whatever makes you happy.




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Step 1: Sketching


I’m gonna be honest with you. I’m not a big fan of sketching and I rarely make a sketch on small illustrations like this one. But sometimes I make markings for some of the elements. So for this flower, I make a mark where I want the base of the flower to be. I also mark out the stem and the leaves. You can sketch as little or as much as you want, I promise not to judge.


Step 2: Draw


Let’s start with the outlines. I am making two of the petals in ink and I draw them with some space between. I also draw a thin stem and two leaves, one on each side. And as you can see I didn’t really follow my sketch.



If you're new to learning how to make beautiful botanical line drawings, grab Botanical Line Drawing book here - it's the only guide you'll need. Promise.

Step 3: Details


Then I add some details to my stem, leaves and petals. I draw some lines to give it a bit more texture. You can be as detailed as you like in this step. And you don’t have to copy me, take the opportunity to experiment to make the illustration your own. Then I erase my sketch because it did its job.


Step 4: Paint petals


Now for the fun part. I will add four leaves in watercolor, with the same shape as the ink ones. I want them to partially layer on top of the ink. I am using a light wash with a mix of pink and yellow. I always try to vary the shade a bit in each petal to make it more interesting.


Step 5: Paint leaves


Moving on to the leaves. I add one watercolor leaf to each of the ink leaves but you can add more of course. I use a light wash here as well. It’s a mix of green and blue. And once it’s dry, it’s done! This illustration is great because it’s very striking and you can vary it endlessly. My style is quite minimalistic but I would love to see different takes on this illustration.

Thank you for joining me. If you create something from this tutorial, be sure to tag me (@artbybroling). I wanna see!

Hi, I’m Linnea! I am an illustrator and watercolor artist who has been drawing and painting since forever. Mostly landscapes and plants, but I’ve recently begun to include buildings and people to my paintings. I live in the south of Sweden with my husband and our two kids. When I’m not painting, I am most likely hanging out with my family, playing video games or having a glass of wine with a friend. I am also a big consumer of horror movies and anything true crimey. Want to see more of my art? Check out my YouTube channel or pop over to my website.

Cool tutorial huh? Pin it for later so it's easy to find!