Hi friends!, I am doing a new serie about botanical illustration with watercolors and I´d like to show you in this post the step by step of my last drawing.

All flowers have different meanings. The Magnolia is the oriental symbol of delicacy and feminine beauty. In ancient China, only the emperor was the exclusive owner of these flowers, so a magnolia present was always considered as an honor.

There are lots of different varieties and today I have finished a Lily Magnolia, whose flowers are really beautiful and with the shape of tulips, with firm and waxy petals.

This is my reference picture. I got it from PxHere, a great website where you can find lots of beautiful pictures copyright free.

More or less, I have spent around 14 hours to complete the illustration.

Materials used:

Paper: Canson hot pressed Moulin du Roy 300g/m2
Brushes: Escoda 0.2 y Winsor & Newton 3 y 5, all round
Watercolors: Sonnet Studio: Colors: Carmin, Red Light, Ultramarine light and Sap Green ; Sennelier: Green Earth

This is a short video with the layering process to apply the color


The drying time is quite fast, as I don´t wet the paper very much on each layer. Also I like taking my time in each area.

Once the illustration is finished, I scan it to have it in a digital file. Normally I scan at 600 or 720 ppp, to get a better resolution.

Once scanned, with Photoshop I adjust the levels a bit as the scanner normally drops the colors down.

Ilustración recién escaneada


When the colors have been modified, I delete the white background, using the Pen Tool to make a good selection, creating different Paths. My goal es to get a transparent background.

To soften the edges, I use a soft brush and I create a new layer underneath full with a bright color contrasting with the illustration (in this case, yellow).

Here we have the clean image, without a background. Now I can use it to make multiple compositions digitally.

This is the final result. 🙂

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