Hello beautiful people, how are you all? How's the weather in your city? It's a bright shiny day in France today and I finally have the opportunity to sit in a cafe and work. Looking outside the window, sipping on my ice tea, I was wondering why not take a short break from work and make a quick rendition of some potted cactus I saw here. These might help in adding some freshness to your day with its summery colors. I will be creating this beautiful watercolor look of potted cactus with shades of blues and greens for you. Not only it takes just 10 minutes but it also is super easy to paint. So grab your paints and follow along!
Catch the watercolor painting in action:
Step 1: Sketching the Pots
Start with making a basic sketch of the base and the pots. I am making 4 different pots with a variety of shapes and sizes. I love the dynamic look it gives to the entire setup.
The first pot is slightly triangular in shape having a narrow base. The second one I have made is very round and short. The third one is taller and rectangular and the fourth one is more of a classic shape. You can definitely experiment with the shapes and sizes you like.
Step 2: First Potted Cactus
Take a fine liner brush and make abstract patterns on your first pot. I am using a 'Midnight Blue' from Viviva Colorsheets. You can use any color of your choice. Just remember to keep the color complementary to the Cactuses (shades of green). I am making a simple pattern combining vertical and horizontal tiny lines all over the pot (as shown above). Remember to keep it simple.
Next, let's add a bit of Shadow on the left side of the pot and at the rim with a darker midnight blue. And take some water to gently dab and blend it with the rest of the pot giving a smooth transition. It's very important to maintain the whites for the highlights. Your pot is done!
Now let's paint the cactus on this one. I am taking a brown shade to make a thin layer of soil on top of the pot. To draw a cactus, simply take a green shade and make a rounded cylindrical shape. Imagine drawing an inverted tube-like structure on the pot. Fill it with loose vertical lines of any green shades that you have. Now take a more concentrated shade of green and make the arms of the cactus.
To add a little punch of color, I am going to add a tiny flower to the cactus with my 'metallic baby pink' It's totally optional but I think it looks super cute 😍 Voila! Your first pot is done. I am sure it has turned out really well. Moving on..
Step 3: Second Potted Cactus
For this one, I am again going to use a 'midnight blue' shade, but a lighter one this time. Make some natural zig-zag patterns on this one and add some shadows on the left side of the pot. Now blend the edges with small amounts of water and make sure you don't add too much water and blend too much. Again a small reminder to maintain the white areas for the highlights.
To add plants, first, add a layer of soil with a shade of tree bark brown and then make some fine strokes of light green stemming out from the pot. These are the stems of the plant. Try to keep them random and of different sizes. You can also use various shades of green for the same. Make small leaves following the flow of the stems and fill the space with leaves. This one looks a bit bushy which is perfect for the shape of the pot we have made.
Step 4: Third Potted Cactus
This one is my most favorite of all - Again by using 'mid-night blue' Fill it with some oval shapes in vertical lines. Keep them random and organic. You can keep some in dark and some in light shades of blue. Add a bit of shadow on the left with the concentrated shade and blend it naturally.
Now with the help of your fine liner brush and 'olive green', make elongated, big, and small sharp leaves of the cactus. Let's keep this one in a muted shade of green. Now make horizontal alternate strokes to fill the leaves with.
Voila! you are done with your 3rd one. I love how it's shaping so far. Beautiful range of patterns, shapes, and colors spread across the paper. It automatically adds a sense of coolness to this heat.
Step 5: And the last one!
For making the classic pot, I have used 'Peacock blue' mixed with a tinge of 'Persian blue'. Make the border for the pot first and fill it with a lighter shade of blue in random circular patterns like we generally do while making clouds. Keep your hand very loose and move around following the shape. It is again important to keep white spaces and blend the color well. When this dries off, take a more concentrated version of the color and add it to some of the areas creating shadows.
While making the plant, again add a layer of brown shade first and then start making 'C' like shapes from the center. I have used a lighter version of sap green here. Let it dry and make another layer of darker green on top of it to make it denser and to add good depth and shadows. You're almost there! Just a few final touches and you will be done.
Step 6: Finishing up
The final touches would be adding a brown wash as a base throughout the painting and some shadows below the pots. This looks SUPER! I love it totally, how about you? I know you definitely must be wondering how did you make this in just a short period of time. That's the beauty of not mixing too many colors and not being too perfect and fussy about painting. Letting go is the key. If you closely look at my pots, they are very loosely made without worrying too much about perspective, straight lines, and perfect shapes. That's the beauty of it. Your painting should loudly depict the 'FUN' factor.
I truly enjoyed this one. Should I post more like these? let me know your thoughts about it and share your work in the comment section below. It would really help me understand what you expect from this blog section. See you in the next one!
Painting Artist - Ava & Anna from Pastel Petals