Welcome to another Design Cuts Live session,  featuring the insanely talented Aussie illustrator, letterer, designer, and Procreate brush maker, Abbie Nurse. When she's not out corralling her "three scoundrel boys and two dastardly dogs", she's running UPROOT, a website on which she makes and sells her unique digital brushes.

This week, she's leading us through how to paint watercolor florals in Procreate, her go-to digital art software! With her extensive experience on the iPad (and not just playing Candy Crush...), this is a session you won't want to miss. Come prepared with your questions and notepads at the ready!

Make sure to follow along with Abbie's freebies!

Setup the Canvas

Make a bunch of new layers and paint them gray with the Paper Brush from the Everything Watercolor Pack. Duplicate the layer. Set the bottom layer to linear burn 15%. Put color burn on the top layer. 

Pro tip: Use Overlay Brushes to highlight every tone.

The color on the top right box includes primary and secondary colors.

Paint in the Canvas

Open the reference image on Pinterest and keep it aside. Pick the Japanese Watercolor Brush and choose the green-blue color and replicate the leaves. Use pressure wherever needed, based on the reference. 

Pick another canvas layer and Pinterest reference. See the image below for reference. Paint the leaves and stem using the Japanese Watercolor Brush. Attach the two layers.

Pick another canvas layer and Pinterest reference. Pick an orange color and draw the flower petals along with the stem. Attach all the layers together.

Make a Composition

Re-arrange the flowers and the leaves and make a composition. 

Mask the Composition

Click on select, automatic, and then change the threshold to nearly 0. Invert the selection and go to the layer below. Grab the white color and tap on ‘Fill Layer’. Make sure to select all the gaps while doing this process. 

Add a Background

Pick a fluoro yellow color and a purple color to paint the background. Choose a brush and paint in the background.

Choose the Smudge Tool called Push Down for Water and use it to push the background watercolor on the composition. This will help blend the colors together.

Choose a red color and use the Push Down for Color Brush. Increase the size of the brush and lower the opacity. Add a soft effect of the color on the composition.

Create Negative Space

Add an extra effect in the background by creating a negative space. Copy the leaf composition in white, flip it and place it in the background. See the image below for reference. 

Use Hue, Saturation and Brightness

Use the hue, saturation and brightness in the whole composition. 

You can also use a pencil to change the hue, saturation and brightness. Select the Pinky Velvety Brush and add in spaces needed. 

Make final adjustments by adding another effect in the background, creating negative space with white leaves. Congratulations, you’ve painted your first watercolor florals in Procreate.

Abbie draws a second composition to help you understand better. Follow along to draw the composition. 

Setup the Canvas

Make a bunch of new layers. Grab the black color and choose white as a secondary color. Choose the Overlay Brush and paint the gray color on canvas.

Paint in the Canvas

Pick a reference image from Pinterest and start painting the leaves a green color. 

Pick a yellow color and draw the flowers. 

Pro tip: When you have something that you want to put in two separate layers by separating it from the group, duplicate it. Select the half that you want to separate and transform it. 

Mask the Composition

Click on select, automatic and then change the threshold to nearly 0. Invert the selection and go to the layer below. Grab the white color and tap on ‘Fill Layer’. Make sure to select all the gaps while doing this process. 

Pro tip: Alpha Lock all the painting layers.

Choose the Push Down for Color Brush and pick a light orange color. Add it to the leaves and the seeds. 

Add a Background

Pick a fluoro yellow color and a purple color to paint the background. Choose a brush and paint in the background. 

Use Hue, Saturation and Brightness

Use the hue, saturation and brightness in the whole composition. 

Create Negative Space

Add an extra effect in the background by creating a negative space. Copy the leaf composition in white, flip it and place it in the background. See the image below for reference.

Use hue, saturation and brightness and fix the details as per your liking. Congratulations, you’ve successfully created another watercolor art in Procreate.