DIY Watercolor Dahlia + Printable. A Watercolor Tutorial from mybeautifuleveryday.com. This post may contain affiliate links. Your cost is the same but it helps support this site and the fun freebies we share. See our full disclosures here.
DIY Watercolor Dahlia + Printable
Hey Everyone! I’m Lauren from My Beautiful Everyday and I am super excited to share with you my first guest post at Dawn Nicole Designs!
Today I am going to share with you a tutorial in which I combine two of my favorite things: watercolors and flowers. I want to show you the process I go through when drawing flowers with pen and adding a few easy watercolor washes overtop. In the end I hope to allow you to create your own piece of artwork that you can feel proud of and even want to frame. Let’s get started!
- Flowers of your choice- Here I will be using a red dahlia. You can download a printable version you can paint with this tutorial here.
- Set of watercolors. I will be using Daniel Smith watercolor paints, but any kind you have will work fine.
- Watercolor brushes. I prefer using a small round brush. For this painting I used sizes 0, 1, & 2.
- Pencil and a black ultra fine tip sharpie or Micron pen.
- Watercolor paper- I recommend Arches 140 lb. cold pressed.
- Eraser- a kneaded eraser works best for me when using it on top of the watercolor paper. Other erasers sometime smear the graphite on the watercolor paper. You can test out what you have and see what eraser you like best.
- Palette to mix your paints.
- Large bowl or cup of warm water.
Steps to making your own watercolor flowers:
- I begin by drawing my flower on sketch paper. After I am satisfied with how it looks I then transfer the drawing onto my watercolor paper. I do this initial step so that I don’t have unnecessary marks on my clean watercolor paper. A trick I use when transferring/tracing the image is to flip over the drawing and shade the entire back side of the sketch paper with a pencil (I like to use an Ebony, but a regular #2 will work fine). If the graphite is too light, it won’t transfer, so make sure to shade the paper well. I then flip the paper over so the drawing is up, place it on top of the watercolor paper, and then tape the edges to secure it. Once the paper is secure, I then trace the lines to transfer the drawing onto the watercolor paper.
- Once the pencil drawing is transferred, you will take your black pen and draw over your pencil lines. I like to add a few more pen lines during this step to make the flower look a little more realistic. After you have finished using your pen, you can erase your pencil lines.
- Now you are ready to paint! For this project, I am going to do a wet-on-wet watercolor technique. I first brush on clean water where I will be painting, then brush on the paint while the paper is still wet. If you are mixing your paint colors, have your colors ready to go before you add the clean water to your paper. You want to try and add the paint rather quickly and loosely. I love using the wet-on-wet technique with watercolors because it allows the paint to flow and blend together in beautiful and unexpected ways.
- While you are painting, if you are unhappy with an area, you can easily remove the paint in one of two ways. 1. If the area is still wet, you can take a paper towel and gently push down on the watercolor paper to remove the unwanted paint. 2. If the paper is dry, you can take a clean damp brush and gently remove the paint by pushing the brush over the paint multiple times, which allows the unwanted paint to soak into the brush. If the paint doesn’t come off at first, repeat the process. Be careful not to push too hard on your paper when removing paint so as not to damage it.
- Once the first wash (layer) dries, you will notice that your paint colors end up drying lighter than when they were wet. Don’t worry though, we can fix that! To deepen your colors and really make them pop, you repeat the process again by adding another layer of paint over top of your first wash. (Important note: Make sure your first wash is completely dry before adding another layer.) Once the first layer is dry, re-wet the flower again using clear, clean water, then add another layer of paint. Repeat the process of layering the paint, allowing each coat to properly dry, until you get the colors the way you want. I like to add darker shades of paint where I see shadows, to add more depth to the painting.
There you have it! Your very own watercolor!
Below you will find a free printable coloring page version to practice as much as you want. For best results, you will want to transfer this image onto watercolor paper (refer to step 1).
DOWNLOAD THE FREE PRINTABLE HERE.
Here are a few more projects from My Beautiful Everyday you can check out…
Lauren is a former art teacher, married to her high school sweetheart, and now a homeschooling mama of four. She is an artist who has recently developed a love for photography while going through her first year of a Project 365. She has a passion to inspire others to use their creative gifts and abilities no matter what stage of life they are in. On a personal note she loves coffee, music, and eating desserts after her kids are in bed. Check out her website @ www.mybeautifuleveryday.com