One of the most lovely qualities of watercolour is its free-flowing haziness on that page, which comes in handy for painting loose florals in a romantic and Impressionistic style.
Step 1: The Sketch
To begin, outline the subject lightly, being a bit less specific with the actual flowers as those will have soft faded outlines instead of hard lines around them in the end.
If you feel like your sketch is too dark to paint over transparently, you can lighten it with a kneaded eraser before you start painting. I actually lightened mine with a regular eraser, so that’s an option even though it’s not the easiest.
Step 2: The Wall
Wet the area around the window and gently use a brick reddish-brown to suggest a wall. The layer can be splotchy and uneven for an Impressionistic effect because that looks quite nice.
Just paint in a few areas, then connect them, and the splotchy flow should come naturally.
Step 3: The Windows
Mix some of the reddish-brown into some green until the colour is nice and subdued for some windows.
Start with a light layer, then dry your brush a bit and add in more pigment to shade the window. The result will be a nice soft realism!
Step 4: Beginning the Flowers
I was far more heavy-handed than Renata at this step in the process, which compromised the romantic feeling of my flowers, but I like to think I redeemed my painting in the end.
I experimented and tried wet-on-dry for this part, but it wasn’t the best thing to do. I recommend doing Renata’s more sparing approach in your painting because the white spaces left give you more contrast later on.
Step 5: Beginning the Leaves
I did the same wet-on-dry experiment for the leaves. Once again, I recommend taking it slow and following Renata’s lead for this step, but I’m glad I tried this because otherwise, I wouldn’t know what would happen!
For the colour, I used the green and brown mixture but made it more heavy on the green.
Step 6: Shading and Details
Once the layers you’ve just made have dried, now’s a good time to add another coat of brown to the windows to increase the contrast. While you’re at it, layer more pigment onto the grass and the flowers to create depth.
Don’t be too precise with your brushstrokes, and feel free to incorporate some splatter techniques! The Impressionistic style is all about keeping your wrist loose and being spontaneous, so be sure to have some fun with this.
Step 7: Inking
Use your own personal taste as your guide when it comes to inking, but remember the basic guideline that a broken-up and soft line is better for the look this painting is meant to have.
If your lines are too tight and precise, the Impressionism won’t be so evident. You can use any pen you like for this. I chose a ballpoint pen because I could get the line width I wanted (my felt tip art pens are wider than this).
The linework is when each artist’s individual style tends to show the most because everyone’s hand is different!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson and found the results of my experiment valuable! Remember to let your layers dry adequately in between adding new paint, and also make sure you don’t tighten your wrist too much because that will make the technique rigid and lose the fluffy romantic look we’re going for.
To see more of Renata’s excellent techniques, I recommend joining her 90-minute art class! Also, subscribing to our email newsletter will let you know when new instructors release content so that you can keep on learning! Happy painting!