Beautiful, Bright Botanicals

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Pittsburgh winters are cold, and many days lack even a hint of sunshine. Combine that with quarantining and social distancing I am sure many of us are looking for ways to brighten our environments. If you are like me and somehow fail at raising even the heartiest of house plants and need to have pet safe foliage, I have a solution: Create your own watercolor plants! Savor year-round blooms and bursts of green, and throw some sunbeams in there. Make spring happen!

Watercolors are a great medium for all ages if you are looking for something new to try. For those who say they can’t draw or paint I encourage you to try out tutorials by Yao Cheng on Creativebug. Cheng teaches you how to easily use your materials to create beautiful, bright botanicals and more. The tutorials will build your confidence and teach you numerous tricks to get started. Through a few basic brushstrokes and blending techniques, you will be amazed at how far your skills progress with Cheng’s guidance. Once you get the basics down you can adapt the techniques to craft your own unique style.

Check out our tutorial on painting botanical wreaths on YouTube @clpvideo. Using Cheng’s Expressive Brushstrokes class and materials from Hoopla, I now practice creating a new bloom every day. It’s relaxing and I am enjoying the fresh foliage inside while I wait for the leaves to sprout again outside.

Get started painting your own watercolor botanicals using these tutorials available on Creativebug:

Beginning Watercolor With Yao Cheng

Intermediate Watercolor With Yao Cheng

Botanical Watercolor Illustration With Jess Park 

Art Journal Pages With Mou Saha 

Available Exclusively on Hoopla Digital:

Paint and Frame: Botanical Painting by Sara Boccaccini Meadows

Learn to create precious watercolor paintings that you can paint and frame in just one day. This book features 20 charming modern watercolor projects including florals, nature scenes and more.

Watercolor Flowers by Bley Hack

This book teaches artists of all skill levels how to paint harmonious, vibrant and colorful renditions of flora. Calling all aspiring artists! Grab your paints because it’s time to explore key watercolor techniques, including washes, gradations, painting wet-into-wet, glazing and understanding the color wheel to create harmony in your art.

Watercolor: Paintings of Contemporary Artists by Sujean Rim & Leslie Dutcher

Watercolor is taking the art, fashion and home décor worlds by storm. The result is an explosion of amazing new work by contemporary artists. This volume surveys the current revival of this loveliest of mediums, in portfolios from more than 20 of today’s top watercolor artists from around the globe.

Watercolor Botanicals by Nikki Strange

Make your own collection of botanical watercolor paintings with this instruction book. Once upon a time, a vase of beautifully arranged flowers was the perfect subject for a watercolor still life. Today, indoor house plants reign supreme and palms have replaced peonies as the botanical of choice for artists. With clear step-by-step instructions, illustrator and plant lover Nikki Strange shows you how to paint a range of lush, leafy plants.

A-Z of Botanical Flowers: In Watercolour

A complete guide to botanical illustration–from dissection to framing work–this traditional teaching workbook is penned by Michael Lakin, a keen gardener and an experienced and enthusiastic tutor whose teaching methods follow simple, step-by-step, six-stage techniques. Stressing the importance of the sketching process, artists are shown how to develop accomplished pictures from initial beginnings and observations right through to the drawing and final painting stages. With an entire alphabet of flower examples accompanying sketches, this work provides clear descriptions of the colors and techniques used, allowing beginners and more advanced artists alike to find inspiration and a deeper understanding of how floral scenes are composed.

Everyday Watercolor Flowers: A Modern Guide To Painting Blooms, Leaves and Stems Step by Step

Artist Jenna Rainey shares easy-to-follow ways to paint a wide range of botanicals, all in her fresh, modern style that appeals to the next generation of watercolor artists and creatives, from beginners to hobbyists. With gorgeously illustrated instructions for both loose and realistic watercolor depictions of more than 25 flowers, leaves and plants, organized by form and shape, Everyday Floral Watercolor is every nature-lover’s answer to capturing that beauty on paper.