The featured artist of this blog post proves that it’s never too late to start your art journey! Rinko Kimino shows us how to outline and paint some simple yet lovely lilies using the wet-in-wet technique and create some smooth blends along the way.
So if you’re a beginner, this is the perfect opportunity to make the first step!
Step 1: Sketch and Linework
To start, you’ll need to do some prep work. Rinko already had her sketch done to save time, so to get to this point, you can use the reference photo to follow and sketch.
Rinko uses a pencil and Etchr’s 50% cotton watercolour paper block (A5 size, cold press), but feel free to use your own watercolour paper. Just make sure that the paper is thick enough to hold all the water!
Tip: While it may be tempting to directly print this linework onto your paper or trace the reference image, I highly recommend sketching from scratch. It’s good practice, plus you can tweak the petals and/or leaves a bit to your liking. Additionally, printer ink isn’t guaranteed to be waterproof!
Once you’re done, use an 005 or 01 black fineliner to go over your lines, and add any details you may have left out in the pencil sketch. Make sure the fineliner uses waterproof ink! Don’t forget to add a frame for your artwork as well, using a ruler to get those straight lines.
Note: You don’t need to ink the outline of your frame, as you’ll be painting it with a dark colour later.
When all your lines are down, gently erase your pencil lines, so you’re left with clean and crisp linework. If you're a bit heavy handed with your eraser, try using a kneaded eraser and roll it on your paper to gently erase your lines.
Step 2: Painting Flowers with Wet-in-Wet
Next, it’s time to paint! Rinko uses Etchr’s 24 watercolour set, though you can use your own watercolours. You can always find colours that are similar to those used here.
Tip: Rinko premixes all her colours in a palette beforehand to keep her mixes consistent and for convenience. It’s up to you whether you want to do this too!
Just make sure your palette has enough empty wells to hold all your colour mixes (there will be about 6-7).
To use the wet-in-wet technique, add clean water to the central petal of the largest flower (the one in the top left corner). Then, while the paper is still wet, drop purple paint at the bottom and “pull” the paint upwards towards the middle.
Mix in some sweet red next (similar to quinacridone red) for a reddish-purple, then drop this mixture in for the top half of the petal. Allow these two colours to blend together on paper naturally! You’ll notice that the paint will spread to wherever it is wet, which is why the colours bleed into one another.
Rinse and repeat the same process to all the petals of the two largest flowers, though make sure to work on a petal that isn’t right next to the one you’ve just painted.
This is to avoid bleeding your paints across adjacent petals! Alternatively, you can wait for each petal to dry before working on the next one, but that will take too much waiting time.
You’ll notice that some of the petals have an inner side to them, where you can see them curve around the flower’s centre. Leave those areas unpainted for now.
Step 3: Smaller Flowers and Adding Depth
To paint the smaller flowers, use the same technique as the one in the previous step, but only use purple, with the bottom of each petal being a more saturated purple and the top being a lighter, more diluted purple.
You can do this by dropping in the saturated purple at the bottom then cleaning your brush before “pulling” the paint upwards to the petal’s tip.
Once you’re all done, wait for your paint to dry before using a saturated purple to paint the inner curves of the petals. This will create more depth in your flowers!
Step 4: Stems and Leaves
Next, paint the stems using a mixture of lime green and Prussian blue. You can vary the green a little by adjusting the ratio between the green and blue, or adjusting the paint’s saturation, though, for the stems, it’s better to lean towards a lighter green.
For the leaves, you can save time by painting a layer of lighter green, then dropping a darker green at the bottom of each leaf while the paint is still wet. This way, you’ll get a lovely gradation of dark to light green!
Tip: Again, to prevent bleeding in the wrong areas, wait for the paint on the stems to dry before painting the leaves.
Step 5: Colour Variation
To keep things interesting, leave the top right set of leaves for last, as you’ll be using a different kind of green here.
For these larger leaves, use the wet-in-wet technique like before, but for the leaves’ tips, use yellow ochre, which will bleed into a blueish-green made by mixing leaf green and ultramarine blue.
When you’re done, use this darker green to paint the stems for the leaves.
Step 6: Final Frame
Last but not least, paint a solid purple frame around the flowers and leaves. If you want to get a clean, straight line, you can mask off the area around the frame using washi tape.
Tip: Washi tape isn’t as sticky as artist’s or painter’s tape, which is best here as you don’t want to tear the paper underneath when you peel it off! And whatever you do, don’t stick tape on your painting until it’s completely dry.
You can check by lightly touching the back of your fingers to the paper, and if it feels like normal watercolour paper, it’s dry.
Once you’ve added the tape, paint your frame while avoiding the parts where your leaves or flower petals overlap the frame. When you’re done, leave it to dry before carefully peeling off the tape. And voila! You’re done!
While this painting is on the simple side, it’s a great way to practice your compositional and drawing skills and learn more about the wet-in-wet technique. So I hope you enjoyed following along!
And if you do, please share your painting with the rest of us in the Etchr Studio Fam Group – we love to see how our art classes have inspired you to make more art!
You can check out Rinko’s FREE Demo if you want the full experience. You can also click here for a picture of her final work, though do keep in mind that you always have the creative license to make whatever changes you wish!
If you loved her teaching style, I highly suggest that you check out her 90-minute art class! She'll go more in-depth with her process for painting an elegant floral scene.
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