Robbie Laird

Robbie Laird: Flowing Florals - The Informed, Intuitive Approach

Video Length: 2 Hours 13 Minutes
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Robbie Larid's instructional art video workshop teaches you a few simple preparations that will make all the difference when watercolor painting.

Robbie starts with her painting materials and shows you how to use color mixing theory to logically organize your palette. Laird then begins her watercolor lessons where she first gathers her source material including sketch book sketches and photos for color. Next she delves into her favorite watercolor technique wet-into-wet and uses a double loaded brush, one of her art tips, to create smooth blending. Laird works with the fluidity of her watermedia to create saturated, rich color. Laird's watercolor painting techniques are fun, fast and fluid!

Watercolorist Robbie Laird works as an informed, intuitive painter. She strives to create a feeling of spontaneity while always remaining in control. In this workshop, Robbie plans a floral painting with careful sketches and color tests then captures the essence of the Miltonia orchids with her free-flowing wet-into-wet technique.

She takes pride in her materials, including her self-designed palette. The workshop introduces you to Robbie's favorite papers and brushes and provides a foundation in color selection and theory. She creates her own deckled edge while altering her paper and explains how to soak and maintain moisture during extended wet-into-wet sessions. Robbie prepares you to make the most of these materials with lessons in planning and artistic philosophy. She demonstrates options for sketching, experiments with color schemes and shares what she's learned about making watercolor work as a personal expression.

She transfers her sketch to 300-pound paper then begins her signature technique of flowing florals. She splashes in a yellow base, double-loads her stiff brush to define leaves and lets orchids bloom from vivid pools of quinacridone rose. She manages moisture on the paper, brush and palette to achieve exciting, unpredictable edges while maintaining the major shapes in her original design. To improve definition in the plants, Robbie scrapes out veins and ridges with her brush handle and a plastic palette knife. She switches to a round brush to add fine detail.

To cement the painting as a personal expression, Robbie adds line highlights with watercolor crayon. The sharp lines both flatten perspective and accentuate edges.

Robbie uses bacon paper stencils to revise her composition. She lifts pigment to recover her original shapes and make way for new lines. The stencils pave the way for a second round of wet-into-wet painting, this time using a spray bottle and brush to prepare small areas for flowing color. She creates blossoms at the center of each orchid and glazes key shapes to control depth with color temperature.

By the end of the workshop, you'll understand how to stay faithful to your design principles without sacrificing the spontaneity that makes watercolor unique. To find your way as an informed, intuitive painter, join Robbie Laird in Flowing Florals: The Informed, Intuitive Approach.


BONUS CLIP: Gestural Marks

In this clip from her video workshop, Flowing Florals, Robbie Laird adds gestural marks to a watercolor painting by scraping with the back of a brush and a plastic palette knife. Robbie rotates her brush as she scrapes to vary the width of her marks and create grooves to collect wet, flowing paint.