• Gorgeous “Water Stained” Hydrangea Illustration Tutorial

    If you’re looking for a pretty project, try this “water stained” hydrangea illustration tutorial! You only need four main supplies to create it: paper, a gel pen, gold watercolor, and a paintbrush.

    Gorgeous "Water Stained" Hydrangea Illustration Tutorial
    This hydrangea illustration is the latest addition to TPK’s floral illustrations tutorials. If you love projects like this one, you can browse similar tutorials here!

    This hydrangea illustration is a beautiful and relaxing project. For something so simple — both in respect to technique and the supplies required — it renders impressive results! My hydrangea has earned a permanent spot in my living room décor. I suspect that you’ll love your own hydrangea illustration just as much! Here’s how to make it:

    1. Gather Your Supplies

    Gorgeous "Water Stained" Hydrangea Illustration Tutorial

    First, gather the following:

    2. Make a Pencil Draft

    Start by using your pencil to freehand draw a circle or trace around a circular object on your paper.

    Hydrangea Illustration Pencil Draft
    I traced around a 3″ ramekin to kick off this project. You are welcome to freehand draw your circle!

    Next, draw four curved X’s in the middle part of your circle.

    Turn those X’s into flowers by adding a circle in the center and drawing petals.

    Each petal should have an almond shape and extend a little bit past where the “X” line ends.

    Draw a few more curved X’s around the four flowers that you just drew.

    Then, turn those X’s into flowers, too.

    The flowers that you just drew are in the foreground. Now, you’ll focus on drawing flowers in the background. The flowers in the background will be partially covered by those in the foreground, so you’re mostly drawing partial flowers here.

    Once you’ve finished drawing the little flowers, draw five leaves and a stem as shown below:

    Finish up your pencil draft by adding curved veins to the leaves.

    3. Add Ink

    Now, get out your gel pen, and use it to trace over your pencil draft. When you encounter negative space between flowers, fill it in with black.

    Adding Ink to the Hydrangea Illustration Tutorial
    Don’t trace over your X’s — just the flower outlines!

    Continue to trace until you’ve got an inky flower ball.

    Adding Ink to the Hydrangea Illustration Tutorial

    Then, trace over the leaves and the stem.

    Adding Ink to the Hydrangea Illustration Tutorial

    Once your ink feels dry, you can gently erase pencil draft lines. To be on the safe side, though, you might consider leaving the draft lines so the ink doesn’t smudge. Pencil draft lines won’t be obvious in the final illustration.

    4. Add Water

    Now, it’s time to make inky water stains! Wet your size 00 paintbrush in water, then place the brush on the inky edge of a flower petal. The ink should start to run. Use that ink/water to partially color your petal with the pretty resulting gray tone. Repeat this technique for all of the petals in the hydrangea illustration.

    Adding Water to the Hydrangea Illustration

    Continue to fill in flowers with “water stains” of ink.

    Adding Water to the Hydrangea Illustration

    Then, stain the leaves and stem as well.

    Adding Water to the Hydrangea Illustration

    5. Apply Gold Watercolor

    Next, use your gold watercolor to fill in the centers of the flowers and the leaves.

    Adding Gold Watercolor to the Hydrangea Illustration

    Then, add gold watercolor to the tips of random petals and along the veins in each leaf.

    Adding Gold Watercolor to the Hydrangea Illustration

    6. Add Embellishments

    Once your gold watercolor has dried, use your pen to add dense little lines emanating from the centers of your flowers. This will give the piece more contrast and interest.

    Gorgeous "Water Stained" Hydrangea Illustration Tutorial
    Some of these accent lines should be shorter than others!

    7. Enjoy Your Handiwork

    Now, step back and admire your pretty creation! If you’re so inclined, give yourself a pat on the back: you deserve it.

    Gorgeous "Water Stained" Hydrangea Illustration Tutorial

    While I prefer to create projects like this one on hardy handmade or watercolor paper, you can create it in a sketchbook instead. If you’d like to give the piece some color, feel free to add watercolor to the flowers or the leaves!

    Thanks so much for reading this TPK tutorial. If you love flowers as much as I do, you can check out TPK’s other floral illustration tutorials. The various tutorials feature different techniques and mediums to keep you busy creating for days! Enjoy, and have an artistic and wonderful Memorial Day weekend.


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