How to Watercolor : Poinsettias!

A simple tutorial for watercoloring the most festive flower (or bunch of leaves, rather!) of the season. There are so many ways to paint a poinsettia, and this is just one. You can play around with different petal/leave numbers and shapes and colors. You can digitize this and create a pattern. You can make a holiday card or wrapping paper or wall paper or stickers.

 

The possibilities are infinite. #putapoinsettiaonit! Okay. Let’s begin…


SUPPLIES

Kuretake Gansai Tambi Paints : https://amzn.to/2E9JdWS

Princeton Brush Size 8 : https://amzn.to/2QLNgzt

Erasable Colored Pencil : https://amzn.to/2QFaSWz

Artograph LightTracer Light Box : https://amzn.to/2PzbRmE

Canson XL Series Watercolor Paper : https://amzn.to/2QJ2yVI


01.

LIGHTLY SKETCH IMAGE

Use a light box or a window or a lightbulb under a glass table (yes I have been there). If you like you can use the image below to trace, or create your own snazzy poinsettia.

 
 
jessengle_poinsettia_tracing
 
 
poinsettia_trace.png
 
 
 

02.

MIX COLORS FOR PETALS

Choose the color for your poinsettias. I went with coral. Could be deep crimson, fire engine, date night - Poinsettias come in all of the Revlon nail colors.

 
 
jessengle_palette
 
 
 

03.

PAINT PETALS

Paint the petals starting from the top of the page - this way you don’t smudge them with your arm later. It might be worth marking the leaves so you don’t accidentally paint those.

The trick with watercolor is to just let the water do the work. I put a moderate amount of paint on my brush and a good amount of water so they were dark enough not to need another coat, but you can still see the variation and gradation that only watercolor can do!

 
 
 
 
 

04.

MIX COLORS FOR LEAVES

Gradient time. Again, there are many ways to paint a leaf… I always think gradients are fun and soooo easy to achieve with watercolors. I used a blend of sap green and ochre for this batch.

 
 
jessengle_palette.png
 
 

05.

Paint Leaves

To paint a watercolor gradient, start with one color - doesn’t matter which, then add the other before the first dries. The water will blend them for you, it’s awesome.

 
jessengle_tutorial
 
 

06.

Paint Middle Bits

Paint the middle circles of the flower - never really know the technical term for these… Decided to go with an opaque ochre, but I’ve done some in black that are also quite lovely.

 
jessengle_tutorial
 

07.

Admire the Result!

poinsettia_result.png