Introduction: Mother's Day Watercolor Painting

About: I am an artist living and teaching ART in NYC for over 30 years, and I am a CZT, Certified Zentangle Teacher. I love to explore all sorts of art making both in my teaching and in my own work...check out my sit…

During the first week of May each year all my classes do watercolor painting for Mother's Day. Sadly no one is in school this spring so I am teaching my Mother's Day Watercolor from my home to theirs.

Step 1: Supplies

Watercolor Paper




masking tape

cup for water


vase of flowers for inspiration (even a photo of a flower arrangement will work)

Step 2: Masking Tape

Tape the paper to a flat surface. It is important to tape the paper and not remove the tape until the paper is completely dry. Watercolor paper stretches the it gets wet (you will see in later photos) It shrinks back to its flat shape as it dries. If you remove the tape when it is wet it will dry rippled instead of flat.

Next LIGHTLY draw a vase shape.

Step 3: Wet the Paper

Using the largest brush you have, wet the entire back ground of the paper, trying hard to avoid getting any water in the vase shape.

Keep that space as dry as possible.

Step 4: Begin Painting

Using that same large brush, make a puddle of paint with the watercolors. You want it very light to represent the "air" around the vase and create your background. More colors can be added as you work on the painting, however, be aware of the colors you use. If too many colors are mixed on the paper they may begin to turn muddy. I stay away from Black and Brown for my "air" Also I try not to use too much green because I know I will be using green in my flower design.

Step 5: Puddles

If there are large puddles on the painting they can be blotted a bit with a damp, clean, sponge.

Step 6: Painting Stems

Because we left the vase shape was left white it represents clear glass . You can see the stems inside the vase.

Using a smaller brush, make a puddle in the green watercolor paint. Starting at the bottom of the vase paint a stem coming out the top. Paint as many stems as you like.

Step 7: Flowers

Paint the flowers either by looking at your reference, or just make up your own. This watercolor technique that I teach my students is very spontaneous . The colors will mix together on their own and create lovely transparent patterns. I ask that they don't labor too long over the painting because it will begin to get dark and muddy. Sometimes less is more!

Step 8: Drying Time

It is hard to see from these photograph, but I want you to notice the paper is very wet now and rippled under the tape. It is very important to let the painting dry completely before removing the tape. I generally leave the paintings over night.

Step 9: When Dry

When your painting is completely dry remove the tape. I love the little white edge created by the masking tape.

Happy Mother's Day....This will surely be one to remember!

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