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A Step by Step Technique Illustrating a Rose
Learn my technique for illustrating a rose using a step-by-step demonstration to follow along.

Posted by Pam A. Published See Pam A.'s 10 projects »
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  • How to paint a piece of watercolor art. How To Illustrate A Rose - Step 1
    Step 1

    Gather your materials. You will need watercolor paint, a pencil (I prefer a mechanical pencil .05 for detail work, such as this), a micron pen (I go for the tiniest one .005), a paintbrush (for fine detail work I use a round size 0 brush), an eraser, some watercolor paper (standard 140lb paper is excellent for water media), and a rose to paint (You may also use a picture of one if you can't get the real thing.)

  • How to paint a piece of watercolor art. How To Illustrate A Rose - Step 2
    Step 2

    Position your rose in a way that looks pleasing to you. I taped mine to the side of the vase to keep it in place and put white paper behind it (I just propped a sketchbook behind it.)

  • How to paint a piece of watercolor art. How To Illustrate A Rose - Step 3
    Step 3

    Use your pencil to sketch what you see. Play with the overall shape. leave it and come back to it to give yourself perspective. Use your eraser to keep reshaping it until you are satisfied with your overall design

  • How to paint a piece of watercolor art. How To Illustrate A Rose - Step 4
    Step 4

    Use your micron pen to outline the sketch then to add value where there is shadow. I used pointillism to achieve this effect. Adding value will give your drawing depth and dimension.

  • How to paint a piece of watercolor art. How To Illustrate A Rose - Step 5
    Step 5

    Once your inking is complete, you can erase the pencil lines underneath.

  • How to paint a piece of watercolor art. How To Illustrate A Rose - Step 6
    Step 6

    Now get your paints and paintbrushes and add color. Start with lighter colors and build up to mid tones and lastly, the darkest darks.

  • How to paint a piece of watercolor art. How To Illustrate A Rose - Step 7
    Step 7

    Keep layering your paint until you feel satisfied.

  • How to paint a piece of watercolor art. How To Illustrate A Rose - Step 8
    Step 8

    Once you layer all your darkest paint, you can use a removal process to emphasize the lighter highlights. You simply wet your brush (make it damp but not dripping) then gently scrub it over the area you wish to remove the paint and dab with a paper towel to pick up the paint.
    All finished! Now congratulate yourself on a job well done!
    Practice makes perfect so try out this technique on something else or make a few more of your rose. Now you have a thoughtful gift to frame for a friend and a new technique in your painting arsenal!

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