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You probably love sending greeting cards, so this watercolor tutorial that teaches you to paint watercolors while you create a beautiful card is a must. Whether you are busy with a full-time job and a family to raise, refiguring your life, or now have time that is yours, here is a little creativity to brighten life’s spaces.
Don’t let self-doubt creep in. Don’t wonder whether you can actually learn to paint or whether that teacher was right, and you really don’t have any “talent”…
Remember our promise:
We want you to learn to paint watercolors with
- a clear set of instructions
- access to materials that you fit to your personal budget
- and while you learn, make something useable.
THEN, if you want to go beyond this series and become “really good”, all you need will be the miles on your brush….
CAN YOU CAN LEARN TO PAINT BEAUTIFUL Spring FLORAL WATERCOLORS?
See whether this works for you: Try our free Primroses Template
If we get rid of your drawing fears, and use these templates that I drew for you, I’m pretty sure that you can easily learn to paint some beautiful spring florals.
Click here to try your free Spring Primroses printable and begin your first step-by-step watercolor tutorial.
HOW YOU CREATE QUALITY PRINTABLES AT HOME
Use genuine brand inks in your printer. Do a quick test to make sure your printer ink won’t bleed when washed over with water.
See that your printer can handle the weight of 100# cardstock. If it can, then your printer will also print 140# watercolor paper cut to size. This printable will also allow you to experience the effect of painting your watercolors on different paper types.
Make your card very professional looking, with a clean straight edge by using a paper cutter. This recommended paper cutter is affordable, excellent quality and easy to use. I also suggest that you also purchase the replacement blades, because a scoring blade will allow you to create a crisp professional crease along your card’s fold.
Effect of Different Paper
You can make a 5″ x 7″ card with this template without adjusting its size. Decide whether you will make a postcard or a folded card. Feel free to change the size of your template if you want to create something else.
Begin by printing and painting on white #100 cardstock. Cardstock is less expensive than watercolor paper. But it paints like hot-pressed (HP) watercolor paper (for discussion of watercolor papers click here). The watercolor paint will “skate” on the cardstock surface. You will find that cardstock isn’t as good as hot-pressed watercolor paper for blossoms, bleed backs or other unique surface effects. Therefore, you will want to try HP paper sometime.
Next, print and paint on 140# cold pressed (CP) watercolor paper. Can you see how differently the watercolor paint works on a CP surface? The paint colors appear more intense (brighter) on CP paper. This is because CP paper has different absorption. In addition, CP paper contains more valleys for granulation or sedimentation effects (to see more about paper differences click here).
I also print my color wheel and color mixing templates (see them here) on CP watercolor paper.
First floral Watercolor Tutorial
If you learn better by watching videos, here is a super quick DEMO of this primrose painting.
If you like to read, follow these steps.
- Begin with a fairly juicy application of Aureolin Yellow.
- Drop some Indian or Cadmium Yellow Light into a few of the centers of the flowers while the Aureolin is still wet.
Here is a lesson in wetness. Watercolor is all the amount of water: water in your brush, water on your palette (in your color pools or on your colors themselves), and water on the paper.
Too much water and it runs all over. No worries if that happens. Simply press down onto the watery mess with a dry tissue or paper towel, lift up and try again.
- Let the centers dry.
LEARN TO PAINT WATERCOLORS: Step 2
- Be sure to leave some unpainted white close to the yellow centers.
- Paint juicy Permanent Rose at either the saved whites or close to the yellow centers.
- Clean your brush and put clear water on the outside of the petals.
- Touch the brush, as it loses moisture, to edge of your Permanent Rose.
- The pink color will rush toward the wet margin. and will spread so that there is a color graduation.
- Dab the outside petal edge with a paper towel if you need to to lift and lighten some of the color.
- While the pink watercolor is wet, drop some Translucent Orange into the left upper petal.
- Drop some manganese violet (or Permanent Magenta) into the lower right petal.
Primroses Watercolor Tutorial: Step 3
- Continue painting the other flowers.
- Start with clear water over each of the remaining flowers before dropping in the paint, to keep them lighter in value (and therefore less important) than the first flower. Alternatively, you can lift color with a piece of paper towel.
- You didn’t know that painting watercolors was putting paint on….and taking paint off, did you?
- The colors for the other flowers are Permanent Rose, Opera Rose (the hotter pink), Cadmium Red Light, and Manganese Violet.
- Have fun.
- Put these colors in where you want them.
- Do save the more blue colors (the manganese) for the flowers that are further in the background.
LEARN TO PAINT WATERCOLORS: Step 4
- Paint the greens wet into wet. (Wet-into-wet means that you first put clear water over the leaf and then put the green into it).
- Use Perylene Green, Carbazole (or Diaxazine) Purple, Sap Green, Cobalt Turquoise, and all the previous yellows.
- Make sure that you leave small unpainted passages of white outside some of the flowers and in the leaf veins.
ADDING THE DARKS: Step 5
- The shadows are are Deep Purple and Perylene Green.
- The lower left shadow has Ultramarine Violet added.
- The leaf veins are painted with Naples Yellow Reddish.
Adding a Border
The border below is painted with Aureolin Yellow, run into Cobalt Turquoise, then Blockx Blue.
Here is a second version of this border painted with Deep Purple, Manganese Violet and Permanent Rose.
If you would like to experiment with more flowers, a series of Printable Templates for Spring Flowers can be obtained here. You can print your templates in different sizes to use them as gift tags, or images for your bullet journal. You can even make them into small paintings. Have fun and try some colors of your own.
And, if you are like me, and won’t always have time to create an original card, you can print the full-color printable watercolor card packet for any occasion that needs something bright and cheerful.
In addition, you can use this full-color printable watercolor card packet as a guide for painting all of the learn to paint spring floral watercolor printable templates.
You might be interested in reading about mixing greens or about painting backyard birds.