How to Make a Waterdrop Floral Bouquet Using WatercolorJul 08, 2021
If you love watercolors but are bored of the "traditional" ways of using them, this tutorial is for you. I'm going to be walking you through an approachable, fun and easy way to play with watercolors and explore all their magic potential! All you need is a few of your favorite watercolor paints, water, a brush and paper. Afterwards, you’ll be left with your own beautiful art or a gift for someone special. Let’s get started.
- 3 - 5 watercolor paints and/or gouache paint in your choice of color palette - FYI used in this painting: DS lilac, DS Undersea Green, WN Sap Green, WN Paynes Grey, and WN Flesh Gouache
- Watercolor paper (5 x 7 is a good starting point)
- Paint palette - can be one you’ve made, a butcher's tray or an old porcelain plate
- Watercolor paint brush - round (size 8 or size 10)
- Cup of clean water
- Paper towel for drying the brushes
If you're just starting out exploring watercolor and floral drawings, grab yourself a copy of Peggy Dean's Guide to Nature Drawing & Watercolor or the best-selling Botanical Line Drawing book for easy to follow step-by-step guides. You'll be a pro in no time! Just think of all the beautiful things you can create...
Step 1: Prep watercolor paint
We will be using a wet-on-wet watercolor painting technique. You may use paint straight from the tube or have a palette. If using paint straight from the tube, squeeze a little out your palette. Using your paint brush, start adding a bit of water until you get to a consistency that resembles soy sauce ;-) Remember to clean your brush in the water before prepping each paint.
Step 2: Paint water drop florals and stems
Next, clean off your brush thoroughly. To make the water drops you will want your paint brush to be fully loaded with water. Don't wipe the excess water from the brush! Take your brush over your paper and lightly shake the brush until water droplets fall from the tip. I am not too methodical about the placement of the drops as we are aiming for a more abstract and organic feel. However, we do want to try to make some resemblance to a bouquet. Try to have variation in the size of your droplets, dipping back into your water when needed. Here is when I like to pull water down to create stems as well.
Step 3: Refine the shapes, if needed
At this point we have droplets on our page! I like to go back with a less wet brush and refine the petal shapes, just a bit. There are times when you may notice the droplet has made more of a bubble - it’s in these instances where I like to smooth the water out and make it more flat on the page.
Step 4: Add watercolor paint
Now is when the magic happens! Load up your brush with your first color. I like to start with my lighter colors: I used my Winsor & Newton Gouache in Flesh first. Randomly drop the color into the water drop flowers and watch it spread! Once you feel satisfied with where your first color placement is, rinse off your brush and add your second color. I used my Daniel Smith Lilac for this part. Drop in the second color and watch as the colors merge and bleed into one another - that’s the wonderful thing about watercolor. Lastly, add in your darkest color option.
Once your colors are all placed, you can refine and spread the colors a little bit to achieve the desired look. TRY not to fuss with them too much. The point here is to let watercolor do its thing and mix the way it wants!
Step 5: Add leaves and stems
Rinse your brush and load it with the color you’ve chosen for the stems and leaves. In this piece, I used a mix of Daniel Smith’s Undersea Green and Winsor & Newton’s Sap Green. You certainly *don't* have to use green as a stem color! Drop in the green to where the stems are located and add leaves where you please. I like to get close to the petals when adding leaves so that some of the petal colors can flow into the green.
The result is beautiful and unexpected bleeds.
Step 6: Let it dry!
This is important! When you’re satisfied with the color and painting …. W.A.L.K A.W.A.Y and let her dry! It’s important to allow the paint to dry and work its own way into the water and other colors. This is hard to do sometimes, but don't fuss with it!
And there you have it! A fun and easy way to explore with washes of color to create a stunning abstract floral bouquet. I would LOVE to see your finished pieces - tag me on Instagram at @BrookeBasinger, can’t wait to see your creations!