I just wanted to start off by saying the biggest thank you to each and every one of you. This was a dream come true and a huge milestone for my art career and I feel really lucky to have shared it with you. I hope that you all got something valuable out of the class and I would love to hear some feedback and see any progress photos, finished wreaths and answer any questions, so please stay in touch. I wanted to send an email just to recap what we learnt in the class as I find it's a good way to keep everything fresh and have something to refer back to.
I L L U S T R A T I O N S
As we all know the illustration part can be tedious but I'd like to encourage you to keep practicing and finding inspiration from wherever you can. I find majority of my inspiration on Instagram, floral clothing and just by looking outside. My illustrations are merely a guide, make them your own, combine shapes together, make up leaves/flowers, it's all about being creative!
W R E A T H A E S T H E T I C
I find that wreath aesthetic is paramount in a creating a successful wreath. By successful I mean, a wreath that works as a collective piece highlighting all the wonderful elements that you have put in the wreath. I find using my three tips/phases really helpful.
Begin your wreath by choosing your best florals and pin in to one side of your wreath. This will not only become your centre point but also your focal point! Your other leaf and floral placements should be used to compliment your feature florals and start to create a realm around them. By all means your entire wreath can consist of statement florals, but try to stay away from the conventional wreath format and try something different. Try two statement florals diagonal from each other, a statement floral and a statement leaf pinned together or a cluster of florals even. Think-outside-the-circle, make it yours!
As you begin to place your statement florals and surrounding leaves/florals you’ll notice the wreath starting to form. With any type of wreath you choose to do (half wreath, full wreath, disjointed wreath) the wreath will require an element of balance. By balance I mean, if you’re going to have a massive floral party to the left of the wreath, ensure the opposite/diagonal side has the same width to the florals. By width I mean, create the same illusion of fullness throughout your entire wreath to allow your wreath to work as a collective piece. For example, you can achieve fullness by adding embellishments like dots, sticks, loose leaves and hanging strands/stems.
Along with balance, colour consistency plays an important role in seeing your wreath as a collective piece. My advice to you is, with whichever colour combination you choose be sure to make the colour flow around the wreath by choosing specific spaces to show elements of your combination. This may be a matter of placing little dots of the colour sparingly around a leaf or a combination of little plants here and there. Your colour choices accentuate your florals and leaves, so be sure to make them work together.
W A T E R C O L O U R T E C H N I Q U E S
The watercolour techniques I taught will take practice but I promise you, once you find your niche, you will feel like a pro. In your booklets, on the last page, I gave you the watercolour techniques template we used. Although you can't watercolour in the booklet, please feel free to scan and print it on the watercolour paper to practice (exactly what I did for the class).
We learnt 5 techniques: Wet to Wet, Bold to Bleed, Colour Mixing, Solid & Marbling.
This technique is where you apply activated watercolour paint to a wet surface (a sheen). This creates a fluid, ripple-like effect. It’s almost like a dance between the water and paint and it’s extremely beautiful to watch and create. This is great for texturising leaves or creating different dimensions within your florals.
Bold to bleed is my most used technique. It is where, using activated paint, you create a vivid colour line around the selected shape. The bold line should be extremely bold and pigmented in colour. Simply add water to the bold line with your brush and paint the remaining surface.
A great way to add dimension to your wreaths is by using the solid technique. The solid technique is where the shape is made up of one solid colour and has an even spread around the entire shape. This requires colour activation with a little bit of water and a whole lot of colour.
The colour mixing technique is a wonderful way to help create real-life representations of leaves and florals and, again, helps add dimension to your wreath. Using the same steps as wet to wet, enjoy watching two colours (or however many you desire) dance together in the sheen on water to create a spectacular outcome. I use this technique mostly when trying to emulate realistic leaves.
Marbling has similar features to bold to bleed however requires 1 extra tool: a paper towel. Using the same steps initially as bold to bleed, all you’ll need to do is blot the paper towel on the colour to create texture within the shape. Be brave and add second or third colours to really mix things up!
I hope those explanations are clear enough to follow or trigger some recollection of what we practiced.
D E T A I L I N G / L A Y E R I N G
Although we didn't have enough time for detailing/layering, please refer to the detailing handout. When detailing you can use watercolour, gouache, pens, markers or anything you desire to make veins in leaves or embellishments on petals. On the handout, I have illustrated my most common detailing patterns which can be found in majority of my wreaths. The patterns can be used on any leaves/florals you desire, there is no right or wrong. When layering, be brave and try different things like leaves coming over flowers, leaves on top of leaves, florals over florals etc. it really creates a point of difference to your wreath and essentially highlights your signature style.
I hope that these recap notes come in handy and make sense. I loved the class and I really appreciate that you all took the time to attend. Below are the links to the products we used as well as coupon codes for various companies that'll save you some money.
Good luck painting, please keep in touch and I look forward to painting again with you soon!
- Simela (Pizzle Paints)
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