Bonnie’s Garden: A Watercolor Painting from Beginning to End

In this series of videos, you’ll follow along as artist Ward Jene Stroud creates a gorgeous watercolor painting of a butterfly while sharing his tools and techniques. Throughout the videos, you’ll hear the thought process behind the artistic decisions a painter makes. These tutorials are filled with handy tips from an experienced artist and teacher, as well as Ward’s infectious optimism and wonder. His clear and informative teaching style makes watermedia approachable instead of intimidating.


Part One: Digital Composition

Ward demonstrates his favorite digital tools as a means to compose, edit an image quickly in real time, and shorten the steps needed to go from photograph to painting. Through his demystifying approach, you’ll gain the confidence to add digital tools to your studio practice. Learn how to use the ArtStudio iPad app to save time and get a brush in your hand as quickly as possible.


Part Two: Tracing The Image

In this art tutorial, Ward demonstrates how to use an Artograph Digital Projector to save time in tracing the important features of his source photograph. Using a mechanical pencil, he loosely outlines the crucial areas of the composition that he wants to focus on while describing why he’s choosing to highlight certain areas.


Part Three: Adding the Background

Ward demonstrates how to prepare his Kilimanjaro watercolor paper on a Gatorfoam background support, and how to make amazing backgrounds with unique Brusho techniques. If you’ve ever wondered what Brusho is and how to use it, this video tutorial will be a huge help. Using a Cheap Joe’s Pseudo Squirrel Quill Mop brush and a spray bottle, he ‘dances’ water puddles across the surface in preparation for creating foliage with Brusho.


Part Four: Painting the Butterfly

In this video, the background has dried and it’s time to paint the ‘star of the show’, the Monarch butterfly, with American Journey Watercolor. Learn to make your own dark colors to lay in those all important dark values. Watch how Ward holds the quill brush, how he loads the color, and how he decides where to use more or less water while painting. The special characteristics of Cheap Joe’s Lizard Lick Brush for details are highlighted here.


We hope you enjoyed this series and were inspired to get into your studio and make some magic happen!

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