I’ve never been great at watercoloring. I scroll through Instagram, see the professionals at work, and no matter how much I try to replicate their magnificent watercolor gardens, I’m always left unsatisfied with my work. I’ve learned to take it one step at a time, which for me, was learning how to do watercolor roses. Eventually I want to learn how to paint all sorts of different flowers, but for now, this will have to do. Practice makes perfect, right? Creating watercolor roses is so so easy- it’s all about repetition and layering. Let’s get started!
Step One: What to Buy
- Thick watercolor paper: It should be thick enough to absorb the water so the paper doesn’t warp or change textures. My recommendation is the 140 lb watercolor paper. It’s the most commonly used and can take a bit of “scrubbing,” which is basically moving the water around on the paper.
- Fine paintbrushes: You don’t want anything too big, unless you’re creating giant roses. I say the smaller the better, just because it’s easier to control the petals. I suggest getting a round brush- they’re perfect for flowers.
- Watercolor paint: Any kind will do here. Pick out the paint according to the color you want your roses to be.
I also love having some inspiration in front of me- like these Rifle Paper Co. notebooks! ??
Step Two: Mixing the Paint
Make sure you have added a lot of water to your paint on a palette. You do not need a lot of paint on your brush. I know I’ve made the mistake in the past of not adding enough water, and instead of having a watery consistency, the paint is super thick and difficult to manipulate. The more water, the more translucent your paint will be.
Step Three: Layering
Just like drawing roses, painting them is all about creating layers. You want to start small- by painting one petal, and then adding more and more around the central petals. My recommendation is to start off by creating two central petals mirroring the yin and yang symbol, and then to fan out more petals from there. You don’t want the petals to be perfectly symmetrical or anything. If you make a mistake, it’s okay! Just dab the area with a paper towel if you want to remove any water or paint. The best advice I can give is to start off super light, tracing the shape of your rose, before adding more pigment.
Step Four: Adding More Colors!
This is my favorite part. If you want your rose to be multicolored, pick out colors that compliment one another. Once you have started painting a few of your petals, lightly dip your brush in a new color and gently incorporate that into your rose. Again, start off light before adding more pigment.
And there you go! You can add stems and leaves if you want. It’s super easy, and the more you practice, the easier it’ll be and the more consistent your roses will appear. You can even incorporate your roses into cards by adding some text or calligraphy- the opportunities are endless! Have a wonderful time painting your creations- happy painting! ?