Painting Watercolor Roses for Beginners
The tutorial you came for is right below, but I wanted to let you know that I'm teaching more beginner rose techniques as part of the 21 Secrets Just Add Water workshop. Along with the roses, I also teach wildflowers and leaves. There's more information about my watercolor class here. Or you can go directly to the 21 Secrets site for all the details.
The modern brush lettering paired with the vintage looking watercolor rose is making me super happy. I love the blushing yellow colors, but as much as I hate to admit it, it's really simple to paint. Yep, all those years in art school were not necessary for this project!!
To do it, you just need some simple instructions and the following supplies:
Powdered Pigment (I used the red Pixie Paint from Cosmo Cricket)
Yellow and Deep Red watercolor (the red needs to be dark, a deep scarlet)
Resist (I used a resist pen, but I actually prefer liquid resist used with a calligraphy pen)
Pretty Ribbon if desired
OK, my friends, let's get started drawing a rose.
Please don't judge the grainy image... I drew the lines for the rose so lightly that I had to really tweak the contrast on this image for them to show up at all. It went a bit weird, but hey, you got a free tutorial out of it!
Start with the center of your rose and draw a tiny little blob shape. Then draw little, ruffly, edged shapes working your way around the center and getting a little bigger with each round. Stop when the rose is the size you like. See, easy! Once your rose is drawn, use the resist to draw a highlight along the inside edge of each petal. Let the resist dry before moving on or you will ruin your brush... ask me how I know!
Once your resist is dried, it’s time to start painting.
Next, you want to put down a wash of pink and yellow over the top of the entire rose. This will "highlight the highlights" so you know where they are and give you some tone throughout your flower.
It looks tricky with the color changing throughout, but it's not! Just put some of that red Pixie Paint into the handle of your waterbrush and fill it with water. Then, dip into yellow watercolor and start painting from the center out. Don't re-dip into that yellow until the color has turned pink. Repeat that process, working your way out, until the whole rose has a single coat of paint.
Once your rose is colored, we're going to use that same, filled waterbrush to paint in some darks. These dark values will help give the rose a lot more dimension. (OK, maybe a little bit of that art school learning is being used... but just a little!)
As you see in the below photos, the darks are a very dark, red watercolor. I use the pink water in the waterbrush to pull the red out toward the resisted edge. Do this on all the petals, even going over the yellow areas. In fact, I even went back and added some more dark red to the center to really deepen the color there.
If you're still with me, you should have a gorgeous looking rose! Tell me you do!
Now that we've painted a flower we are really happy with, let's risk it all by adding some brush lettering. What do you think?? (I never think to do the lettering first, it's just my way of living on the edge!)
You may like my watercolor downloads featuring roses until you master painting your own. In the very least, you can use them for inspiration in painting your own.
Now that you've tried this technique, learn more! Sign up for the 21 Secrets Just Add Water workshop to learn how to paint flowers like these and a bunch more stuff!