Botanical Illustration Inspired Watercolor – AECP

This is my first course in level 3 for the AECP, and boy did I learn a lot. Out of all my courses, I think this was the most challenging.

Warning: this is a picture heavy post.

When I got about halfway through this course, I thought I bit off way more than I can chew. But, I went through all the classes and committed myself to giving this a real effort. I knew I was going be putting in a lot of hours of practice.

Before we get into it, I should note that I’ve used watercolor techniques before, but I’ve never been able to properly shade or figure out how to get the paint to do what I wanted it to do. I’ve tried those ‘beginner’ youtube vids but was never able to ‘get it’. This course, especially the leaves video, was a huge help with understanding the techniques.



  • Prima Watercolor Confections: Woodlands
  • Altenew – Morning Frost Dye Ink
  • Altenew – Poppy Garden Stamp Set
  • Watercolor brushes – sizes 2, 4, and 8
  • Strathmore -140 lb. Hot Press Watercolor Paper – 100% Cotton
  • Arteza – Sheets 140lb/300gsm Cold Press Watercolor Paper – Wood Pulp


I took a lot of pictures throughout this class because I wanted to see my progress. It was definitely noticeable during my practice sheet with the leaves.

Work in Progress – Hot Press 100% Cotton
Botanical Illustration Inspired Watercolor
Progress Through Practice – Hot Press 100% Cotton

I numbered each leaf in the order I colored them, as I wanted to see if I got better as I went along and I did. I started to get a better understanding of how much water to use and when to use it. How much pigment to use and how to move it around on the paper. I even mixed my colors from the Woodland pallet and had great results!

After I was done practicing I stamped a (simple) flower and leaves on 2 pieces of (wood pulp – cold press) watercolor paper. This is an inexpensive paper, but I thought it held up well for my flowers.

Below is my first try at a white flower. I looked online and found lots of white poppies but they’re pure white. I found one with a hue of yellow and used that for reference.

Botanical Illustration Inspired Watercolor
Cold Press Watercolor Paper – Wood Pulp

I used the same stamp for my next attempt, but tried to create a red flower.

Cold Press Watercolor Paper – Wood Pulp

So, I’m somewhat happy with my flowers, and made an honest attempt to watercolor a border around them. I’m not happy with these results… more practice.

Watercolor Border

All the above work took me about 8hrs to do. I took my time on each project, and I think that was a big part of this lesson – patients. Taking my time to learn and understand the techniques. I’m not going to get it perfect right away, but my failures are part of the learning process.

Project Card

I decided to try again, but this time I kept it simple.

My goal was to create a white flower, but the first petal I painted I added too much pigment, so it was more of a soft blueish-white.

Something interesting happened during this process; you know when you watch artists and they don’t turn their paper while they work/color? I’ve always noticed this and this was something I was never able to do. My hand didn’t seem to work, or the color didn’t lay they way I wanted it to, and I had to turn the paper while I colored. It didn’t matter what medium I used, but I had to turn the paper depending on the angle I needed to color.

For each project I in this course, I secured my paper with tape and part of me wanted to turn the paper as I worked, but I decided to try moving my hand instead. I have to admit, this worked really well for me. I wonder if it’s perspective, and when you move the paper, that perspective changes? Honestly, I have no idea, but moving forward I will secure my paper and move my hand while coloring instead of moving the paper.

Botanical Illustration Inspired Watercolor
Final Project

I’m very happy with how this flower turned out. I believe with more practice I can do better, but this is the best watercolor flower I’ve ever painted.

Botanical Illustration Inspired Watercolor
A Closer Look
Botanical Illustration Inspired Watercolor
Inspired Watercolor

That’s is for this course…see you at the next one.

Altenew Educator Certification Program
Altenew Educator Certification Program

3D Words AECP Level 1 AECP Level 2 AECP Level 3 Alcohol Inks Alphabet Die Altenew Blending CardKit Cardmaking Challenge Christmas Copics Crepe Paper Crepe Paper Flowers Design Team Distress Oxide Inks dry eraser Foiling glider Glitter Hot Foil Markers Masculine Card PanPastels Papercraft Business Peonies Pink Ink Designs Silhouette Designs Simon Says Stamp Slimline Stamp stamping glider Stencil Storage and Decor Vinyl Watercoloring Zig ZIG Real Watercolor Brush Pens

4 thoughts on “Botanical Illustration Inspired Watercolor – AECP

  1. I am so glad that you took the time to take photos along the way to show your progress. That must have been a boost really, to see the growth πŸ™‚ Your project and all the results look great! Thank you so much for submitting your wonderful work to the AECP assignment gallery.

    Liked by 1 person

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