Come behind the scenes with me as I paint the fall watercolor flowers for my October desktop calendar! This watercolor flower tutorial walks you through some of my color mixing tricks, how I layer colors and paint as well as tips and tricks to unify the painting as a whole.
For this month, I wanted to embrace the moodier, earthy colors that we all love to see in the fall. This isn’t my natural bent (I mentally live in an eternal summer and my color palettes generally reflect that), so I knew that I would need to be strategic or else the colors would not flow together well.
To do this and create unity throughout the entire piece, I started with a large amount of the desaturated peachy color you can see on the large rose on the right. This color was then the base for most of the other colors that I used throughout the piece—the purple/mauve roses and the rust-orange poppy on the left specifically, but also in some of the greenery.
Painting in general—and especially for more realistic styles like this watercolor—require multiple passes. A “pass” is just the art term for a layer of paint. Multiple passes are just multiple layers of paint that is applied over each other as they dry. This is one way (and possibly the easiest) to create depth and deepen the shadows and intensity of the colors.
I have also found it helpful to layer brighter colors in a light wash over areas that had grown too dull and desaturated. Doing this in an analogous color will help to bring the life back into the area in question. Add that color to other areas of the painting and it unifies the piece as a whole. Definitely one of my favorite tricks that I have picked up along the way!
As I mentioned in the video, I have a 2019 Wall Calendar featuring a series of 12 watercolor flowers in this style, as well as a printable Appointment Calendar with the same watercolor flowers on it. And, of course, if you are hoping to use the free desktop calendar featuring this artwork, you can find that file here!