Loose Lemons – Easy Watercolor Tutorial for Beginners Step by Step (2 Ways!)

Loose Lemons – Easy Watercolor Tutorial for Beginners Step by Step (2 Ways!)

hey guys welcome back to my channel and
welcome to the very first video in my 2019 summer series! in this
new series I’m gonna be painting things related to the summertime, and I don’t
know about you but one thing that pops into my mind when I think of summer time
is lemonade and nice fresh fruits! so today we’re going to be painting some
lemons. this loose style is so much fun and seriously not too hard even for
beginners. so let’s dive right in and start creating. so I pulled out a few of
my favorite yellows here we first got a Jaune Brilliant number 1 from Holbein and then we have yellow ochre, gamboge hue, Naples yellow, and then I’m
gonna add in a couple of greens… I’m gonna use Sap green as well as indigo… I
pulled out ultramarine but I’m not going to end up using that. those are just the
colors for the leaves. now I actually didn’t end up using all of these yellow
colors. I just decided to stick with a lighter yellow and then a darker yellow.
so I’m beginning with the Jaune Brilliant right now just to create a light wash. I
found that a little bit too light so I went over it with gamboge hue which is
sort of a medium toned yellow, and for the remainder of the piece I’m basically
going to be using gamboge hue and yellow ochre. I’m working on dry paper this is
the arches cold pressed paper and I’ve got a wet brush… this is my wonder forest
number eight round brush… and I’ve got a nice mixture of water to paint. I
just started creating one edge of the lemon so basically we’re just gonna
paint on sort of an oval shape and I’m going to concentrate this color around
the left-hand side. now lemons sort of have this little pointy tip and a little
nub at the bottom so I definitely want to include that as well and I’m going to
keep this painting really loose with my brush strokes. you can
that I’m holding my brush more towards the center of the brush as opposed to
down by the base of the bristles. that’s just because it allows you to get a
greater range of motion with your wrist and with the brush itself so it allows
for a looser style. so as I paint on the color here I just want to make sure that
I keep the edges nice and wet and I am gonna be keeping in some white space as
well that’s gonna act as highlight. now I’m just taking a yellow ochre and I’m
applying that on to the opposite side of the lemon. this side is going to be the
darker side and I’m using my brush sort of on this side a lot of the time just
to get that really loose effect with my strokes. and using the two shades of
yellow is really going to help make this look less flat.
I’m keeping the edges a little bit crisp for now. I am going to, as I said
previously, keep that paint nice and wet so that I can blend those edges out
because I really want this to be a more loose sort of suggested lemon as opposed
to like an actual hard edged kind of painting. so I’m just taking clean water
right now and watch the very tip of my brush because what I’m doing is I’m just
very lightly touching some of the edges of the lemon and that’s gonna allow some
of those parts to kind of bleed out into the wet clear area that I’ve just added.
this is definitely not something that you have to do I just really liked the
effect and it kind of ties in with the whole loose splotchy effect that I
wanted. and I’m gonna do the exact same thing on
the other side. always always make sure when you do this that you’re using a
clean brush so make sure you swish that around in your clean water first to get
all of the pigment out and then go in around the edges and just lightly touch
some of those edges with the brush to the water. with the paint still wet I’m going to
add in a little bit more yellow ochre and I just want to apply that to the
bottom area here because I want that area to be darker. I’m just using my
brush in these short swooping motions to drag that color upwards. now I’m adding
in a little bit of indigo because I wanted a little bit of shadow detail.
this is also going to help the lemon take shape a little bit better. I like
using cool tones for shadows which is why I decided to use the indigo and
using the very tip of my brush, I’m just going to apply that to the wet yellow
paint along the edge as well just to define that a little bit more. you can
really see how the white areas that we left untouched with paint are really
helping to make the lemon look a little bit more three-dimensional and less flat.
so now that that has completely dried I’m just going to mix up a color for my
leaves I’m mixing up some sap green with some indigo and I’m just going to start
creating leaves. I always like adding a little bit of blue to my greens just to
make them a cooler, so to begin I’m just going to draw in the stem. so I’m using
the very tip of my brush… sorry that my hand is covering it right now… but here
you can see what I’ve done. and then I’m just gonna thicken the very end of it.
now again with the very tip of my brush pressing very very lightly I’m just
going to create a little stem coming off of that main stem that holds the leaf. so
I’m just gonna push down on my brush and really get that belly of the brush
hitting the paper and I’m just gonna drag that water… that puddle of water
that I’ve created… I’m just going to start dragging that down in really short
swoopy motions again to keep that sort of sketchy really loose appearance.
and I’m adding in a little bit more sap green just to liven it up a little bit.
and again I’m making sure to leave lots of white space. so now I decided that I
wanted to add a leaf sort of coming in from behind the lemon and I also wanted
to do this to define that edge of the lemon a little bit better. this will just
help clean up some of the lines as well. so again I’m gonna use the very tip of
my brush and I’m just gonna sort of start going along the edge of where the
lemon is and then I’m just gonna try to imagine what it would look like if the
leaf was coming in from behind the lemon. so I’m going to create the end of the
leaf here and then I’m going to work on sort of bringing it out and making it a
little bit more round looking. so I’ve added a little bit more indigo
just to darken that up and I’m not going to worry if it touches the other leaf… I
kind of like that affect how they blend together. and I’m just pulling that over
the edge of the lemon just to again clean that up a little bit more and
define that edge. now I’m deciding on the placement of a
third leaf because I always think things look better in thirds. so we’re going to
add another one on the opposite side here just to help balance everything out. again for this one I want to keep some
white space. and I’m just dragging that around the edge of the lemon to help
define that a little bit better as well. now rinsing off my brush really well and
taking some clean water again, I’m just going to do the same thing that I did
for the lemon and create some nice wet smudges.
so again applying that wet brush around the edges and then really lightly
touching it to some of those wet edges of the leaves. and then I’m going to do the exact same
thing on the other side. now that I’m happy with that I wanted to
add in a couple little splashes of paint so I’ve just taken a really wet
wash of gamboge hue on my brush and I’m just really lightly creating some
splatters. and that’s gonna do it for the first lemon it’s stay tuned and I’ll
show you how to create the second lemon. okay so we’re going to use gamboge hue
again we’re going to use the same colors that we used previously. and I’m just
going to draw on a half of a slice of lemon. so you kind of want to create this
semicircle shape. it’s going to bend down and then come back up again on both
sides. kind of like… I guess you can think of it as a moon kind of on its side… and
again I’m keeping my paint really wet I don’t want this to dry too much on the
paper as I’m working. I’ve just taken a more concentrated mix of paint here and
I’m applying that around the top edge. and my brush strokes for this one again
are gonna be quite sketchy and I’m gonna use the side of my brush a lot along the
way as well. so just watch how I’m holding my brush and how I’m sort of
flicking it and creating these brush strokes. once again I’m going to keep
those white highlights in the center and I want to keep one side a little bit
darker so I’m going to add yellow ochre to the right-hand side and I’m going to
keep the left-hand side a little bit lighter. and just using a yellow ochre here I’m
just adding a little bit more to this edge. and then I will define the edge a
little bit more with that color and the very tip of my brush. we’re gonna do the
same thing that we did in the last piece with the clear water. it’s gonna lightly
touch that a little bit to some of the edges you can see how I barely touch it
but it still allows for that really nice paint bleed. now I want to do the upper edge of the
lemon so I’m just taking some gamboge hue on my brush and using the very tip
of my brush I’m going to create the other half of this lemon. so you’re gonna
do kind of an upside-down semicircle so opposite of what you did previously but
it’s just going to be an outline this time. now I’m going to start on the inside of
the lemon I’m going to create the little lemon wedges. and to do this I’m just
making it really fast little strokes coming from the center out towards the
edge and they’re going to kind of be like triangle shapes . and once again to
keep that whole effect of the rest of the piece, I’m leaving a lot of white
space in between. so don’t worry about filling these pieces in completely just
kind of be really rough with your brush and suggest where these wedges should go.
I’m also adding in a little bit of yellow ochre to these to make it a
little bit more varied in the yellow tones. I’ll just speed this up a little
bit as I finish all of those wedges. now I wanted to create some splatters so
again I’m taking a nice wet brush filled with paint and I’m just splattering on
at some yellow. it’s time now to create the second lemon.
this is going to be a full uncut lemon coming in from behind the sliced one, so
I’m just going to start with gamboge hue and really roughly kind of sketch on
using my paintbrush sketch on this lemon hiding behind the one in the foreground.
the area closest to the first lemon is going to be darker because with that one
in front it’s going to create a shadow towards the back or the bottom half of
that second lemon. once again keeping these strokes really
light and really loose and allowing for some of that white space to show through
and just defining that edge a little bit better around the first lemon .and make
sure not to touch those lemon wedges that we just created with the new lemon. and then I’m going to take some indigo
and I’m going to start applying that along the area that I said was going to
be in shadow. and I’m just adding on a little bit of a
darker mix of yellow ochre. now we’re going to let that layer dry completely.
so with everything dry we can work on the leaves now so I’m mixing up some of
that sap green again with some of the indigo and I’m just going to suggest
where the edge of that top lemon is. and I’m going to kind of clean that up using
the leaves as I did in the previous lemon. and as always i’m keeping these
strokes really sketchy and leaving the white space that I want. I’m just adding in a little bit more
indigo here because I just wanted these to look a little less flat to help
define the opposite edge of the lemons as well. I’m going to add in another leaf
on the opposite side now using gamboge hue again I’m going to just define that
edge a little bit more. so I’m just going to create sort of another layer on top
of this initial layer that’s going to allow the shadows and the darker areas
pop a little bit better. so I’m using yellow ochre here and a
little bit of gamboge hue as well and I’m just defining some of those areas
that I think got a little bit lost with all of the blending and blurring. and again I’ll just work on defining
those edges and making that dark area a little bit darker to give more of a
shadow effect. now to create a couple more splatters
I’m just going to splatter this on top of what I’ve already done. and then using the very tip of my brush
I’m gonna define some of those wedges just a little bit with a couple little
strokes from my brush. using indigo now I’m going to define the
leaves a little bit better and just give them a bit better separation. with those leaves dry I’m going to go in
now with a little bit more indigo and just separate these two leaves that kind
of got meshed together. and now we’re coming to the end of the video I really
hope that you guys liked it. if you did please remember to give it a thumbs up
and subscribe to my channel if you haven’t yet. also let me know in the
comments below what you would like to see for this summer series as well as
which lemon project was your favorite. if you try these be sure to tag me on
Instagram and I hope to see you guys in the next video!


  • Eibmozluver says:

    I have got to get your brushes. They look amazing! You can hold water, and have precision. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! โค๏ธ

  • Stephanie Singleton says:

    Dana, I finally got ahold of your book and its AMAZING!!! When does the new one come out?? โค๏ธ Thank you ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

  • Sumeyye Can says:

    Which number brushes do you use ?

  • Donna Henry says:

    I love lemons and these are beautiful!

  • Wonder Forest says:

    What would you like to see next in this summer series?! Leave a comment below and include tag #book if youโ€™d like a chance to win my Watercolor With Me: In The Forest book ๐Ÿ˜

  • khadidja dahmani says:

    Amazing๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ˜ #emailcrew

  • Pauline Pinote says:

    Wow ๐Ÿ˜ I wish I could make something as amazing as this๐Ÿ’• #emailcrew #book

  • carol morrow says:

    Love it and can't wait to try it with my new Wonderforest brushes! #emailcrew

  • Robert G says:

    Thankyou for verbalizing what you are doing. So many of the tutorials being put up are almost useless because all the student does is follow along trying to devine what the instructor is doing while music is played in the background. Hope you continue to put up more videos like this one. Thanks again.

  • Lyn Bernatovich says:

    Loved both lemons equally! Beach scenes are a fun summer theme. Bright color is everywhere here in Florida, especially the flowers.

  • Tricia Munk says:

    love the lemon tutorial!! #emailcrew #book

  • thazkiya says:

    Wow,It's simple technic to made a lemon with watercolor..i'll try to with my child at home.i think they gonna be happy with watercolor..


  • Diane O says:

    I'd love to see a pink tropical drink with little umbrella and condensation on the sides ๐Ÿ™‚
    Both lemons were nice but I'll choose the 2nd one as my fav. #emailcrew

  • Carol Conway says:

    The timing of this is perfect! I just received delivery of a personalised travel watercolour set and I'm so excited to use it. Lovely Summer inspiration right here ๐Ÿ™‚ #emailcrew #book

  • AL BaMass says:

    Good morning โ€ฆI really enjoyed your tutorial – keep up the good work. I would love a copy of your #ebook thank you so much.

  • esther chaco says:

    Love both lemons. Would love to see fruits ( pineapple, watermelon, peaches…etc) or even an Ice cream on a cone. #book

  • Cheapscait Creates says:

    This was great! Iโ€™d love to see a summer popsicle tutorial! #book

  • Joan Pringle-Canning says:

    Wonderful Lemon painting, started this, thank goodness for the pause. Hopefully it will turn out looking like lemons, enjoying it. #emailcrew# have Watercolor with Me in the Forest an its awesome, your newest one would make a lovely addition. Good luck to all.

  • Joan Pringle-Canning says:

    Peach or Oranges

  • KristiLee says:

    Thanks for the beautiful tutorials! #emailcrew

  • vtoriyaful says:

    I liked this style, but didn't know how to do it, when color comes out of the edges. With this video it's appeared very simple to understand. Very pleasant and useful video! I like how clear you explain what you are doing. Thanks a lot! #emailcrew

  • Melanie Charlton says:

    A Flamingo would be good! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Amanda Adams says:

    I would love to see flamingoes and tropical flowers/leaves #book

  • Oriana Martini says:

    So delicate and beautiful… your style is great!๐Ÿ’–

  • Emily Hill says:

    I would like to see a crab on the beach sitting under an umbrella haha! Fun and cute! #book

  • Aeli says:

    Love it! You make it look so easy. Summer makes me think of tropical flowers, beach type stuff, sailboats, tropical drinks, gazebos, birds… I could keep going. lol #emailcrew

  • Barbara Ford says:

    Awesome tutorial! I love lemons (and oranges and peaches). My favorite lemon was the one with the slices! Summer favorite for me: ice cream! #book

  • Heather says:

    i'm so excited for this series! i just found my watercolor field kit. #emailcrew

  • Marcia Kubly says:

    I like the way you blended it out. I started using your brushes this week. Love them! #emailcrew

  • VTJ van Tol says:

    I like this series and all your tutorials very much, would you do grapes and their leaves please?

  • Kim Henderson says:

    #emailcrew. I love them both. I plan to give them a try in the morning. Thanks so much.

  • Frances Turano says:

    One word comes to mind when I see your summer wc series: FRESH! Well done, Dana. I have your new brushes, of course, which makes all of this beauty possible. They're SO girly! I love them…

  • Frances Turano says:

    Dana: one question: where did you buy all of your sweet little wc paint saucers? The gold and white are lovely!

  • Billie Anderson says:

    I like. Quite different making the edges bleed out. I like the splatters.

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