Posts in sketchbook
Boring is my new best friend.

It's been an incredibly calm month for us so far. Words cannot express how much I've needed calm these past few weeks. I forget sometimes how hard it is to be pregnant. I've had to cut back so much and allow myself the luxury of uninterrupted rest. Usually I go a little stir crazy when I'm not busy with work, but I've sunk down deep this month, on more than one occasion, into the comfy chair and indulged in novel reading and coffee drinking and just plain spacing out. And yes, it's been amazing.

I think my brain needs more time for spacing out. All this quiet and calm has cleaned up so much of the clutter that typically fills my thought life every day. I find myself more creative, more focused, and craving even more blissful rest. 

They should really do more research on the benefits of spacing out, don't you think?? :)

Cutting out screen time has helped with the spacing out thing, too. 

Seth's been home most nights, which is rare, but it's freed me up to have a few evenings a week to do things I enjoy- mostly work on my portfolio (see previous post) and bake and cook. And of course, because of this nasty weather, we've been forced to stay inside and not fill our evenings with plans.

It does get boring sometimes, I'll admit. But what mother doesn't need more boring in her life? Boring is my new best friend. At least for now. :) 

Current Inspiration and Mood

In my free time I paint dogs and donuts. I'm not sure why other than the fact that I absolutely love them both. Every now and then Josie will get ahold of my sketchbook and flip through the pages and point with excitement to all the dogs. It makes us so happy to see all the color and fun things hidden in those pages!

Here's a peek...

Follow my Pinterest board here for links to all the photos. Because who DOESN'T love wiener dogs and donuts?

Watercolor Tutorial Lesson Seven: Roses
free watercolor tutorial, how to paint roses

free watercolor tutorial, how to paint roses

I'm so excited to share today's tutorial because roses are one of my all-time favorite flowers and are really fun to paint. Plus, next week I'm going to show you how to combine the last few tutorials to create a custom illustration for your hunny bunny for Valentine's Day. How fun is that??

paint pink roses for valentine's day, watercolor tutorial

paint pink roses for valentine's day, watercolor tutorial

To get started you'll need some sort of reference material. I get David Austin catalogs in the mail that I keep on hand for references, but you could simply pull up a rose on your phone or computer. I chose pink for Valentine's Day. :)

We'll be working in our watercolor moleskine sketchbooks again and using a large round brush size 16.

free watercolor tutorial, how to paint roses

free watercolor tutorial, how to paint roses

A few tips:

  • hold the brush lightly and toward the end of the handle with a loose wrist because you'll want less control over movement
  • use lots of water
  • fade the petals as you move away from the center by rinsing your brush out slightly with each layer
  • practice twisting the brush in your hand as you paint
  • keep the line work uneven and varied

Step 1: Start from the center and work your way out.

Load your brush with a saturated pink. I used a blend of Cotman Permanent Rose and Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus Quinacridone Magenta. (For a full list of all my supplies, please read this Getting Started tutorial.)

In a circular motion working away from center, pull the brush around in a swirly motion, twisting the brush slightly, working slowly, and varying the pressure on the bristles to create a varied look. Go slow and practice this motion! Try to do it all without stopping or picking up your brush.

Since rose petals are more compact toward the center of the flower, the petals there will be smaller. So use the tip of your brush to create thinner lines.

You may want to drop a bit more color into the very center while the paint is still wet.

Step 2. Rinse the brush and work outward.

As you work your way outward, remember that the petals get lighter, so rinse the brush out slightly before moving on. 

Start at the bottom edge of the swirly center you just created and, with a wet brush, use the side of the bristles to make a flatter, larger petal. Repeat that motion as you add petals around the center of the flower.

step by step watercolor tutorial, free painting lessons, how to paint roses

step by step watercolor tutorial, free painting lessons, how to paint roses

Step 3: Rinse brush again and add a few thinner petals to the outer edge.

You should now have a center surrounded by 3-4 larger petals to one side (bottom left or right). Rinse your brush and pick up a medium shade of pink from your palette.

Add a few smaller petals to the sides and top of the center to make the rose look more full and in bloom. Blur your eyes and back away from the painting slightly to see where the rose might need more petals or be uneven. 

Step 4: Practice and paint lots of roses!

It takes lots of practice to know how many petals to add, how much color to load your brush with, and how to fade the petals from dark to light. So, work at a consistent pace and paint lots of flowers like I did! Don't be afraid to fill the entire page with roses.

Don't forget to come back next Thursday for another tutorial! We'll be combining our skills to create super cute customizable floral wreaths. How fun!