Last semester I began painting watercolors and immediately was given the task of painting twelve bookmarks for a family member. I had only two days to do all of them, so I turned on some fun music and set to work. The end-result just goes to show how practice, a lot of time and a little determination are all you need to create something amazing. This floral watercolor bookmark is my favorite of the twelve I painted then.
So turn on some music and let's get painting!
I have included a link to my first watercolor instructable, which has links to all the supplies I use in the video and ( some tips and tricks for beginners). But here's a list of what you will need begin painting:
A fine-tipped paintbrush
A pencil (with eraser)
Two jars of water
A washcloth (if you're prone to spilling)
A fine-tipped marker
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Step 1: Watch the Video
Personally, I'm very visual, so if you're like me, I would suggest that you watch the video and paint along with it. You can also go along with the steps if you want to paint at your own speed.
Step 2: Prep Paper
Cut your paper to the desired size and tape it down to your workspace. Make sure it is thoroughly taped down, to prevent warping of the paper when you add water.
Step 3: Sketch
Some people can paint by simply looking at a picture... Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. I always sketch out a the basic shapes of the painting before I add any watercolors. I suggest that you do the same. Remember not to press too hard with your pencil, you do not want to gouge the paper. Then erase the sketch until it's just early visible. (You don't want it to show through the paint.)
Step 4: Painting the Watering Can
I used a relatively dark blue color and added water to lighten. I love that with a pan of dry watercolors, you can mix as you go without being too worried about it drying out! I put the rusty-accents on after the first light coat of blue. In the video, you will see me darkening the handle and edges as everything dries.
Step 5: Painting the Flowers
For all the flowers I started with a light color and then added shading and details later. with the roses especially, I suggest eating for the first coat of paint to dry before adding the details. Remember, the more water you add, the less control you have.
The roses are pretty simple, just a spiral and round petals. For the purple flower, do a the basic shape, but make the outward facing petals longer than the inward facing ones. Experiment with some darker shades; Do you like the ends of the petals darker or the base of the flower darker, maybe you like adding some different colors? The red flowers are relatively simple... I used a dark red with some orange to get that nice pop of color. Paint the yellow center first and make sure it's completely dry before adding the red petals. Make the petals facing upwards longer, tapering the ends as needed. The bottom of the flower should be rounded.
Note: I included two photos in this step, with the lighter base colors and then with all the details. (The leaves will be in the next step.)
Step 6: Stems and Leaves
I did the stems and leaves by littles as it were. Using all the greens I have in my pallet, and mixing a couple of my own. Start with light colors for the stems, and darken around the bases of flowers or as needed. If you don't like the balance of your painting, move the leaves and vines around. The leaves should be fairly simple, dots or dashes attached to their branches. Have some fun with some different greens and shading!
I personally am very symmetrical, so it almost killed me to have that one branch and flower sticking out at the top. But in the end it looks much more natural how it is, with the branches slightly unbalanced and sticking out at many angles.
Step 7: Shading and Fine-Lines
Great job, you're almost done painting! I suggest waiting until everything is dry before this step. I used some gray paint and a lot of water to do shading underneath the watering-can. Then you can use the black fine-tipped marker to draw a straight line across the bottom of the can. I also used it on the spout of the can to define the lines a little more.
Step 8: Finishing Touches (Optional)
Once your amazing watercolor painting is dry, you are ready to fancy it up with some finishing touches. I cut the top corners off and tied on a cute ribbon.
Step 9: Enjoy!
You are now done! Yay! Give yourself a high-five and enjoy your artwork. It may look a little or even vastly different than mine, but that's a good thing. You have taken my rambling instructions and created your own original piece of art that only you could make and (hopefully) learned something in the process. Great Job!
I have included some pics of the original bookmarks including the original of this bookmark... which is your favorite? If you're ready for a challenge, try your hand at some of them. If you liked this instructable, give me a vote in the paint challenge, or comment below. And please post a pic of your bookmark, I would love to see what you've done!
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