In this class I show you how I paint a realistic botanical art portrait of holly. The trick is to keep you highlights reserved so you can capture the look of glossy leaves. I show you how you can start off with hard edged highlights and change them into soft transitions.

This class is broken down into shorter videos, so there are more videos but each of them are shorter than my normal course segments. Let me know what you think!

Printable Resources 

Download the Holly reference photo 

Download the Holly Line Drawing

Download the Holly finished painting reference


Paper 140lb cold pressed paper by Fluid (in Speedball sketchbook)
Alternatively you can use Arches 140 lb cold pressed paper it is a little more expensive but is higher quality.
Brushes #4, #2, and #0/2 round brushes


  • Scarlet lake
  • Pyrrole red
  • Alizarin crimson
  • Alizarin crimson + permanent violet
  • Alizarin crimson + permanent violet + neutral tint
  • Lemon yellow + sap green
  • Sap green
  • Shadow green + lemon yellow
  • Shadow green + lemon yellow + neutral tint
  • Sap green + pyrrol red + neutral tint (for stem  & markings)


If you would like to learn how to slow down and speed up the videos I post here in The Watercolor Garden to customize your viewing experience you can check out this quick tip video.

Please upload your project here if you would like feedback on your work during our next member's only watercolor workshop.

Please note that each student can submit one assignment for feedback per month.