Watercolor Hydrangea Lesson Plan

Watercolor Hydrangea with Goldfaber Aqua Watercolor Pencils

A Flowering Lesson Plan using Goldfaber Aqua Watercolor Pencils.

In this lesson plan, we combine the unique qualities of three mediums:

These mediums combined, work together producing an inspiring result and are so very enjoyable to use.

Connector Paint Box offering the paint quality of watercolor plus the ability to achieve opaque effects.

Goldfaber Aqua Watercolor Pencils offering the combination of sketching and painting in one pencil

Faber Castell Graphite Pencils offering contrast, texture and a pleasing aesthetic

Materials used:

FC Connector Paint Box

FC Goldfaber Aqua Watercolor Pencils

FC Graphite 2B Pencil

Strathmore Watercolor Pad 11 x 15

A Medium Size Soft Round Brush

A Small Filbert Brush

Paper Towels


 Hydrangea Image


A peaceful place

It’s fall in New England, and my favorite season for watching so many beau­tiful changes take place in nature. One of my favorite sights is the big fluffy hydrangea bushes I see everywhere in most coastal cottage landscapes in our area. These beauties gradually turn from their fresh, lavish summer displays of pink, white, purple and blue, gracefully maturing into the most elegant of all dried fall bouquets, made up of dusty mauve, cream, faded gold and vintage green.

Fun Facts:

In The Language of Flowers, hydrangeas symbolize sincerely heartfelt feelings, whether of joy or sadness.

The hydrangea is also the flower symbol of the 4th wedding anniversary, with the message of gratefulness and appreciation.

Hydrangea Sketch

The sketch:

I begin by making two separate sketches of each flower on tracing paper, and then combine the 2 tracings to arrive at just the right composition. l then make a third tracing of the final composition onto watercolor paper. I draw lightly with a broken line, a bit more detailed in some areas of focus, and loose in other areas.

Yellow Watercolor Hydrangea

The wash:

I begin by wetting the entire flower drawing with water, using a large, soft round brush. I then paint a thin wash of light ochre color over the wet drawing. This serves as a warm golden foundation that will unify all of the art and help

give a subtle aged, vintage feel in the end.


Experiment with different colors, pencils, brush tips, and water consistency

on a piece of scrap watercolor paper throughout the artwork process.

Watercolor Hydrangea Lesson Plan

Adding more color:

While wet, I add a watery dusty pink and pale green. The colors spread and bleed into each other.

For the leaves, I paint a thin wash of green, transparent in some areas. I then tinge the edges of the leaves slightly with brown, to suggest the slow beginning of aging.

Watercolor Hydrangea

Adding dimension

After letting the art dry, I darken my palette of colors with a very little bit of brown or purple. I then loosely dab the muted darker colors around the edges and especially the bottom of the flowers. These darker, less defined marks help give the flower its form, adding dimension.


Using a small Filbert brush will give you just the right shape for the loose dabs of color around the flower head.


I continue to add a few small areas of depth to the flowers with muted lav­ender tones. I then use the watercolor pencils for areas of detail in some of the petals and leaves. I achieve different effects using pencils both with and without water. I also add some soft white highlights with the white paint that comes with the Connector paint set. I add more pencil detail to the leaves.

I now go in with a 2B graphite pencil and add some sketchy detail in some of the flowers. I also add small areas of shading for a bit more depth.


Finally, I add the name hydrangea and sign the artwork in pencil.

Click here to print the lesson plan!

Artist Biography - Janis Doukakis


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