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Watercolour Natives

Video Duration: 30 mins

Estimated time to complete the lesson: 2-3 hours

(pause video as needed to complete steps, but please complete at your own pace)

This tutorial is recommended for adults and children 10+.

Use watercolour or gouache to create a gentle composition of Australian natives

  • be guided step by step through the various layers and techniques

  • learn valuable skills relating to the use of watercolours or gouache

  • design an attractive composition

  • learn how to mix colours

  • pick up handy tips



  • Watercolour paper, no smaller than A4, preferably 300gsm although lighter is still OK

  • Soft brushes suitable for watercolour 

  • Graphite pencil, 2B or HB

  • Soft eraser

  • Watercolours or gouache

  • Paper towel 

  • Water and Palette

native watercolours trailer_000047.jpg


REMEMBER – there are no rules, don’t be afraid of experimenting!

The aim is to:

  • learn more about the use of watercolours, and important things to consider when working with this medium

  • work with just the three cool primary colours to mix a variety of colours and tones

  • understand the importance of using water for tonal effects

  • work through various layers

  • create a gentle work, building each step at your own pace

  • discover some handy tips to help you achieve desired effects (and how to avoid those you don't) when using watercolours.

These are my tips, to be used as as a guideline for creating this particular work, in conjunction with the video. Pause the video after each step and then complete that stage at your own pace. You can always go back to gain clarification on a particular aspect of the process:

  • always draw as lightly as you can when preparing for watercolours

  • when drawing leaf and bud outlines, refer to the provided photographs for inspiration and shapes

  • erase the bulk of your pencil lines before adding colour - leave only enough pencil to see the shapes as you don't want the pencil lines to dominate the composition

  • mix your colours before starting to paint or wet the paper - preparation is key

  • paint every second leaf - leave dry space between areas when painting - do not paint two areas that touch to avoid colour bleed

  • wait for one layer to dry completely before adding the next

  • try to achieve even wetting of areas 

  • you will generally wet areas first and then drop colours into that space

  • don't be tempted to fiddle with areas once you've left them - if you decide that you need to correct something it is better to let it dry completely first

  • watercolours will dry lighter than they appear when they are wet - you can test colour and strength on a scrap piece of paper if necessary 

QUESTIONS: Please feel free to send me an email at

Happy Creating!