Learn to Paint a Daisy Watercolor
This piece was created by drawing daisies, and then adding watercolor to the illustration. My hope is that this approach will help to build your confidence with watercolor paints, by adding the color to a completed drawing. We'll start with a step-by-step process for the illustration, finishing it off with Pigma Micron fine liner. These pens are waterproof, so we can paint over everything without worry.
This is a great way to practice watercolor if you are new to the medium, it is almost like you have created your own watercolor coloring page. You're free to think about mixing paints and brushwork, and you don't have to worry about the design or about 'painting' a flower.
Watch the entire process here:
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I start with pencil to create a guide for my illustration. A few large ovals mark out the placement of each flower before I add in more detail. Now I can refine each one by adding a smaller oval to represent the stamen. The petals go from the stamen to the outer circle, making it much easier to create an even daisy. Depending on where you place the stamen, you will have shorter and longer petals around the stamen creating more dimension and shape. A higher stamen will give you a more convex look, and a lower stamen a more concave look.
As I draw the petals I'm wiggling my pen to create the imperfect look of daisies. All you should have to think about as you complete the flowers is making them a little weird and wonky. No two petals look too alike - some are more squared off and some come to a point. You can add to the concave look by curving the tops of the petals as well. I'm adding a hint of line shading as I go, to show the shape, or flow and texture of the petals.
After the flowers, I've drawn in the stems in pencil as well in case I need to draw right through a flower to make sure they line up. The stems are wonky and wavy, perfectly imperfect. The curving lines mark out where I want to add leaves still. I want the painting process for the leaves to be really free and organic, and I can always come back with my fine liner later.
After I get rid of all of the pencil marks the illustration is done. I'm going to add a little more line shading to the petals and some dotting on the stamens, but this is totally optional. And, we are ready to paint!
Two of my favorite greens in the Mungyo set are the olive green and olive brown, they are both very natural and perfect for painting plants. I also used the phthalo green in the mixing. For the stamens I have yellow ochre and a small amount of brown on my palette. I start by painting them yellow and leaving a little negative space to create highlights.
Picking up the green on the tip of my brush I want to add some color to the stems. For the leaves we get to do some loose watercolor painting. Taking lots of paint in the pointed round brush, I start with the center of the leaf, and then have some fun creating messy shapes going off in both directions from that line. You can add extra water to create some lighter areas, pick up a more saturated paint for a dark area, but just have fun. Run the brush across the page and see what emerges. The leaves are your chance to play around, experiment, and have fun.
The leaves also serve as a nice color border for the white daisies and help them to jump off the page. The leaves are natural and organic and fill in a good amount of the space around and between the flowers.
Since I am painting white flowers I want to add shading with a light gray or beige. I mix this by adding a tiny bit of gray or brown to the white watercolor on my palette - you can use whichever color you prefer. With these extra delicate colors to work with for shading we are almost done! Focusing on areas where there would be shadows, I added gray. This includes near the center of the concave flowers, and any of the petals sitting beneath other petals. To add contrast I went over some of the line shading and mixed up a darker gray to create more depth. Likewise, I added a little brown dotting to the stamens to make them really pop.
After it is completely dry I brought back my fine liner to add a sketchy black line to the leaves. I don't want to overdo it, I still want them to retain their loose look so the illustration is a little offset from the paint and doesn't quite match up.
I hope you enjoyed painting daisies with me! Remember to be creative and have fun with it. Don't forget, you can download the illustration as a coloring page from Patreon.