Botanical Painting Tutorial ~ CHASING AUTUMN ~ Now Available
My Online Realistic Watercolour and Botanical Painting Tutorial ‘CHASING AUTUMN’ is a progressive watercolour botanical painting course that has been specifically designed and developed to apply the skills, knowledge, concepts and practice exercises covered in ‘Paint Realistic Watercolor and Botanicals – STUDIO BASICS‘ into action. Autumn leaves are an ideal subject to start with on our painting journey, and a perfect subject to refine and develop your skills further if you come to this tutorial with some experience already. Offering simple outlines, shapes and form, an insanely beautiful and diverse palette to play with, and endless combinations and variations of colours and textures to play with, this is a topic that gives you plenty of room to move with techniques and colours and still achieve successful results. This course and subject is all about having fun with watercolour… but you may just learn a lot too!
This botanical painting tutorial explores a series of 7 gorgeous Autumn leaves, one leaf at a time. Each have been specifically selected and designed to focus on and develop precise target areas of watercolour techniques to a completed painting (or in this case paintings) allowing us to understand the relevance of what we learned in STUDIO BASICS, and to get a firm hold on the focus points and techniques of each.
With almost 4 hours of content in this watercolour painting tutorial, you can follow my start to end, comprehensive step by step instruction on each element as set out for you, or by exploring your own compositional ideas, you can personalise your work a little more in this tutorial too. Breaking the course into 7 separate subjects allows you to break the course up into bite size pieces, and gives you time to process and digest each one in your own time and place. Its a wonderful place to get started and to get learning! Im really excited to welcome you to this new tutorial.
Leaf 1 ~ Painting Leaf 1 explores a small Japanese Maple leaf in brilliant red Autumn colours. I have selected a small, simple subject to start with so that the sizes, shapes and areas we are dealing with are manageable as a starting point. We explore simple washes, simple form and tone, some beautiful colour and we refine the finished painting with some steady line work to complete… It is a perfect introduction to painting leaves as a subject, and to the watercolour medium.
Leaf 2 ~ Though still fairly simple, painting Leaf 2 digs a little deeper into the complexity of shape and texture, and the watercolour medium. Working in far lighter tones we explore greater tonal ranges and diversity, as well as introducing some subtle variations in colour. We move into more intricate shapes in leaf 2 as well, making it a perfect progression from the first.
Leaf 3 ~ In Leaf 3 we start to step up the level of complexity in our subject, and in the watercolour painting process. Taking what we’ve already explored in the first two leaves, we develop this further into the third. We explore more diversity in tone and colour, using far richer pigment washes over larger areas now too. Working in delicate layers of glaze, we expand on our use of the watercolour techniques to develop the information held within Leaf 3 into our darks, our detail and our textures to completion. Leaf 3 is a perfect opportunity to practice the most essential techniques needed for realistic watercolour painting and botanical illustration… It is delicious!
Leaf 4 ~ Oh I love Leaf 4, and i KNOW you will too! What captured me about this subject is its delicate warm palette, the exploration of delicious colour and that wonderful mottled texture it has. As a subject, it is a perfect manageable size for you to play with, to practice applying washes down to larger areas and to get a feel for the ‘balances’ we must understand to create beautiful water-colour paintings. This exercise is all about understanding these balances, timing, coverage, brushwork, wet and dry, the introduction of new information, working with and understanding that ‘satin sheen’ i speak about so often better, and of course it is an ideal opportunity to play with harmonious colour and to create gorgeous texture. Leaf 4 also introduces a little masking fluid use… just for fun. Leaf 4 is a playground of spontaneity, so much the realm of watercolour painting!
Leaf 5 ~ Working in a more diverse colour palette now, Leaf 5 introduces a new challenge or element to our Autumn Leaf challenge ~ to develop and to maintain soft highlights in our washes. Our challenge here above all else, is to practice achieving this effect in our watercolour paintings, and Leaf 5 is an ideal opportunity to practice this feature in the simplest of terms. Of course this is a critical skill for all botanical painting, so its really important that we take a look at this in the Chasing Autumn tutorial.
Leaf 6 ~ Leaf 6 is gorgeous! With its fine features, delicate serrated edges, gentle textural features and simple delicious palette, Leaf 6 is an ideal opportunity for us to practice the more intricate side of botanical painting. The sizes we work with are wonderful and manageable, which gives us time to focus more intensely on other points such as the beautiful, clear colour shifts from our yellow to our reds, and the delicate mottling we see on the leafs surface. Although in tiny doses, the tonal and colour variation in this subject is also more diverse, giving you an opportunity to practice including much information in smaller and smaller spaces. Shifting away from the larger areas and wash work, the demands on our techniques become more specific, delicate and refined in this painting challenge. It is a simply wonderful subject to play with, and to help you develop your watercolour painting techniques to the next level.
Leaf 7 ~ Leaf 7 is just for the sheer fun of it! The idea behind this leaf exercise is to show you that although a subject can be baffling to consider sometimes, especially when starting out, with logic and good strategy it can be easily achieved. This leaf takes a bit of a different approach technically, as we split the process up into several very clear layers or steps in development. I think its the icing on the watercolour painting and botanical cake and I really look forward to playing with you on this leaf.
Leaf 7 sees the end of the Chasing Autumn Tutorial, a conclusion to a fairly comprehensive yet appropriate painting tutorial for you to jump in to the medium and genre and have an explore…. to break the water-colour ice! Once practiced and refined, the exposure that the watercolour techniques that these 7 leaves offers you is enough to see you making vast improvements not only in your watercolour and botanical work, but across the painting board. Play. Practice. Persevere… Perfection!
In this course I really want you to focus on your own individual development, and your level of enjoyment throughout the painting process. There is always a bar, someone else’s bar, that we can compare to. A pivotal moment is to return to yourself and to focus on raising your own bar in this work. With a little guidance and explanation, the painting subjects in this tutorial are all quite simple to explore. Repeating the process with consciousness about how to improve will serve you extremely well. What I look for in students, is to see an improvement from the first efforts to the last. This is what you must look for yourself, that personal improvement from one attempt to the next… This is progress! This is success!
A couple more things worth noting ~ I know that sourcing materials can cause some real problems and tends to chew up quite a lot of your time. In response to this, I have recently collaborated with my suppliers to create a complete, custom ‘Materials Kit’ for my students. I believe this can also be customised to suit your specific needs, large or small. This means you will be able to order everything you need online in a ‘one stop shopping experience’ from anywhere in the world (i believe) I have also negotiated a discounted rate for the kit, and for my students… I know that this initiative will save so many of you a whole lot of time and trouble when it comes to sourcing everything you need. Its really quite wonderful dont you think? EXHALE! More details on the materials kit can be found in the new ‘Classroom’ section of my website, or you can access the package details directly from this link.
Creating these tutorials is an extremely sharp learning curve for me to produce too. I am not a videographer, photographer, or an editor… i am just a simple artist trying to respond to your calls to bring these tutorials to you as beautifully as I can. It is funny I think, how in order to teach you what I know, my own path has had to take such a learning path as well. As I said, Hollywood fame is a fair way off for me as a career I know, but I am doing my very best to pass my knowledge on and to make these courses a great learning experience for you. I have learned much, and so fast, and in time I will improve just as you will. In any case, I am so thrilled and excited to bring this opportunity to you at last, so Id like to welcome to the next step of our collective development and wish you all some very happy painting.
Finally, the new ‘Classroom’ tab of this website contains information on all of my online botanical painting tutorials, and provides you with direct access to any of my courses. Accessing the course through the direct ‘Classroom’ links also applies a discounted access rate for every tutorial. Stop by anytime for up to date availability, news and developments on my online painting tutorials, or you can check in on this blog space for more detailed information as new tutorials are developed.