How To Paint Eucalyptus: Watercolor Techniques Explained

Did you know that there are different
painting techniques when it comes to watercolors? Today I’m going to break two
popular painting styles down for you so that you feel confident with both and
we’re going to paint some lovely sprigs of eucalyptus Hi guys I’m Shayda welcome to my channel
in this space I focus mainly on arts like hand lettering illustration and
watercolors so if you’re into that stuff consider subscribing if you haven’t
already okay let’s get started so here we are a nice blank page I’ve got a
piece of cold pressed watercolor paper here and as I said we’re gonna paint
some eucalyptus and I’m gonna take this opportunity to paint two different types
of eucalyptus and I’m gonna paint each sprig using a different technique I hope
you’ll find this a very straightforward how to perfect for even the absolute
beginner now the first technique that we’re gonna talk about is called wet on
wet and it’s just what it sounds like it means putting wet paint
on wet paint so painting on a wet surface what I’m gonna do here is I’ve
got my green paints mixed up there on my palette and I’m taking a nice big round
brush and some clear water and I’m making a circle on the page and it’s
puddle wet then you can see here when I take my smaller paintbrush and start
adding the green onto the water that I lay down I get this crazy out of control
but beautiful feathering there’s all kinds of texture happening and I can
push the paint around push the water around a little but in a very real way
I’m not completely in control and that’s kind of what’s beautiful about this and
you can add in other colors and they’ll sort of sit there or they might splotch
out so to speak and this is a really fun technique wet-on-wet just means laying
down that initial puddle and then adding wet paint on top of more wet paint and
you’re really letting the paint do its own thing with this technique and I
think that’s what’s really cool about it so now that you know that wet-on-wet is
just exactly what it sounds like let’s zoom in a little closer here so that you
can really see what’s going on I’m using my fat round brush to lay down a nice
puddle of water so we would call that puddle wet
and then I’m taking my smaller I think this is a number four round brush maybe
a number three and I’m adding this nice cool greeny gray to that puddle of water
and the paint is just going crazy things are a little hairy and it’s great and
I’m able to push the paint around just speckle little other colors in there and
I’m just giving up some control here Now I’ll also say a few words about painting
the eucalyptus itself for the wet-on-wet technique I’ve chosen to paint
silverdollar eucalyptus you can google that but that’s the eucalyptus that has
these big round flat leaves that are singular so they each sort of each stem
leads to a big round singular leaf that has a little bit of a point at the end
and so this is a fairly straightforward strategy for me here I’m making these
round puddles with my large brush and then I’m going in and just allowing the
greeny gray paint to give me this wonderful look of a botanical of a real
eucalyptus leaf at this point I’m going to let my wet-on-wet silverdollar
eucalyptus dry and I’m gonna move on to the second type of eucalyptus and the
second technique so the second technique is called wet on dry and spoiler alert
it’s also just what it sounds like it means applying wet paint to dry paint so
that begs the question well where’s the dry paint? well that’s what we need to
start with we need to sort of do what I would call maybe this isn’t quite the
right term but it’s sort of an underpainting it’s just the beginning of
the painting so here I’m going to paint some argyle apple eucalyptus and that’s
the eucalyptus that’s sort of on one stem and it has these tiny leaves at the
top and they get larger as they go down the stem and I’m going to just do a very
light green and I’m going to just do my whole painting but without too much
depth or shadow it’s like I’m just doing a very flat painting and you can see
that coming together here and then once I’ve allowed
this to dry as in the dry and wet on dry I’ll go back with wet paint and I’ll add
that to my initial layer that I’ve allowed to dry now that you have an
understanding of the idea of wet on dry let’s talk a little about how to paint
this second type of eucalyptus this Argyll Apple basically this one’s all
about the size of the leaves so you just want to start small at the top and then
get slightly larger as you go down and you sort of have to have an imaginary
stem there although you could draw this first but I think it’s sort of fun just
to paint it and sort of see what happens and a little secret here you can pretty
much make these leaves any shape and its gonna look like eucalyptus if you stick
to that small at the top and larger at the bottom and maybe put a few rounder
ones at the bottom alright moving on now we’ve got both paintings complete the
first layer complete and you can see here on the wet-on-wet that it’s still
quite wet in some areas there’s a puddle on that one leaf but it’s starting to
dry and you’re starting to be able to see the cool almost psychedelic puddly
look that comes through as the wet-on-wet technique soaks into the
paper and dries completely and once that wet on wet eucalyptus is dry I’m gonna
consider it complete it still needs the stem but otherwise I’m happy with the
way it looks and my second eucalyptus sprig my argyle apple has dried in the
meantime and so now I’m ready to do that second layer to add my wet paint on dry
paint so I’ve just got a bit of a darker green just a hair darker these
differences in color do not need to be dramatic in fact I think the more subtle
the more sophisticated look you’re going to get so what I’m doing is I’m trying
to add a little bit of depth and shadow to my eucalyptus leaves as if they’re
sort of wrinkled not wrinkled but sort of curved which they are of course like
any leaf so just adding that little bit of darker greeny gray to really bring
these leaves to life and for the round ones which are sort of flat on at the
viewer I’m just giving them a little of darkening at the bottom to just you
know as a leaf would be it would be different colors in different places so
and this is quite simple I’m just using a little bit of a darker shade and just
you know taking my time and thinking about where I want to apply it so you
have a lot of control with this technique as opposed to the wet-on-wet
where you sort of have to give up that control so with the two paintings done I
am ready to add the stems and the key with the stems is to keep the brown very
cool the color very cool brown and the stem itself very very thin so here I’ve
mixed up some watercolor paint brown with a lot of purple and blue and black
in it to keep it cool and then I’m doing this very almost pencil thin line so
just using the point of the brush and of course the Silver Dollar eucalyptus has
a middle stem and then these little tiny branches that reach out to each leaf and
then the Argyle Apple just has one stem going right through the middle
any time you’re painting botanicals you want to have an image or the plant
itself nearby to look at and it’s not so that you can capture its likeness
perfectly you can do whatever you want abstract it represent it any which way
but what you want to do is capture some of the plants unique features so that
your viewer knows that it is in fact eucalyptus and in this case the unique
feature is the stem that goes straight versus the stem that has the little
twigs going off of it all right painting complete I think at
this point you can really see the differences in the two techniques of
course the wet-on-wet has this crazy feathering and a great variation in
color and then the wet on dry on the right you’ve got all this detail and
depth and I would be a very bad teacher if I didn’t mention that you can of
course combine these two techniques and you can start with a wet on wet wait for
it to dry and then add all your tiny details and shadow and whatever else you
want by painting on it once it’s dry so I hope you’ve enjoyed learning to
paint these two different types of eucalyptus the silver dollar and the
argyle apple and I hope that you feel you’ve got a handle on these two very
different but both very fun watercolor techniques thank you so much
for watching today guys remember there are links to all of the supplies used in
today’s video in the description box and please remember to subscribe and like
and leave me a comment and I’ll see you Friday with a new tutorial


  • martina antunović

    Wow, those leaves are soo beautiful! Thank you Shayda for sharing your knowledge<3

  • Julia S

    Your very talented Shayda! Thank you for sharing ☺

  • Meike

    Yes! Just awesome. Thanjs for the clear tutorial and the beautiful paintings. Always fun to look at

  • Daisy and Coot Vlogs

    Very nice Indeed.. 👍👍👍😊😊
    Thanks for sharing 😊🌼

  • Katrina Santana

    This came out so nice! They look realistic. I like how you used wet on wet and wet on dry it gives a cool depth effect.

  • Brenda Collins Deeks

    I love eucalyptus. Thank you for simplifying the painting so I can try them!

  • Samantha Oconnor

    Hey shayda ! Every time I do watercolour painting the page always warps even if I’m using a heavy weight paper 😞 what can I do to prevent this ? Am I using too much water perhaps ?

  • Daisyville

    So not intimidating! I may even actually paint tomorrow! Thank you, Shayda!

  • Mcdiem1

    I'm sorry but I've now watched two videos of you trying "wet on wet" watercolor and I really get the impression that you absolutely hate it. I feel like you're very focused on the loss of control and that it makes you a bit crazy. So I wonder, if you hate doing it, why do it then? Just do what you love, and show us what you know about that.

  • Jo Mana

    Hi, I would be interested in a video about brushes! Liked this Video a lot! Well done !
    Can you list down the brushes you use ?
    Thanks Jo

  • muhlenstedt

    So delicate and beautiful, it is a pleasure to watch you painting.Please, could you tell me the name of the black brush with a golden stripe? Thnak you and happy thanksgiving

  • Anna M. Wolleben

    Awesome tutorial, thanks! I would appreciate some tutorial with succulents! I am in love with them, but still sucking in watercolors painting them. Cheers from Canada !

  • Regina Rooks


  • B Inspired Crafting

    I LOVE the Micron Pigma Pens.Can't have enough of them!!! I am also using alcohol markers a lot lately – but I definitely use the Micron pens everyday! Love your channel and the way you present things!!!!

  • Not My Name

    hi! can i use a sketchpad with 200 gsm paper with watercolor?

  • Gracie Shack Art!

    Beautiful Painting! I am a newbie fan of your art and could I draw and paint this and give this to my dad? a cool! present for Christmas! I am in uk and we have lots of succulents and cactuses he like them 🙂
    think your very talented Artist! 🙂 happy Holidays!🎄

  • Meow Meow Kapow

    The way that you used both of these techniques on similar but different subjects for wonderful but obviously different results is so good! I’m really pleased to see how well the sharp edge from the wet on dry piece worked to create that “edge” on each leaf and really make them seem for highlighted as a result. Ill have to keep this in mind for more drastic angles, since I tend to work wet on wet a lot but hadn’t understood the value of wet on dry for intentionally creating what looks like a sharp angle until just now. Thank you!

  • Leighanne Garrick

    Very nice! I really like how you can see the paper and water and how many times you dip the brush as well 🙂

  • Doris Huey

    Did you outline the silver dollar ones?

  • Sarah Granville

    beautiful, thanks for sharing x

  • lnorr1

    Hi, I just wondered what your view is on run backs (cauliflower). I've watched quite a few different videos and they all seem to be against them and try to avoid. What's your take on it? thanks

  • Sasha & Co

    I enjoyed this. I’ve painted along side you. I’m happy with my result. Thank you 😊

  • Maeve Garcia

    WOW – I'm so glad I found you on YT – a very happy accident! I love your technique and how wonderfully clear you explain step by step. Cannot wait to see all your video's. I do have a question please….what brand of paint brushes are you using? I'm trying out different brushes till I find the ones that work best for me (left-handed). Thanks from this somewhat beginner. You're so inspiring!! xx

  • Elisabeth Timmons

    Absolutely loved this tutorial! thank you!

  • Isis A.

    How do you control our colors

  • safi456

    um, no….wet on wet is applying wet paint on wet paper (wet with water, not wet with paint), and wet on dry is applying wet paint on dry paper, not dry paint.

  • Chitra Tembe

    i tried to paint using this technique and i guess it turned out good

  • cookie monster

    You explain so well without skipping steps. Thankyou for sharing. I’m your new sub.

  • jean george

    Hey my dear, thank

  • jean george


  • Cathy Seok

    what brush are you using?

  • Janice Hellzen

    I tried this tonight and it came out really pretty (for someone that is new to all of this. Thank you for not making this look intimidating. I love your channel and am so glad I found you!

  • Gina Friend

    Thank you!

  • catherine

    That is the video I was waiting for ! Thank you sooooo much for sharing !!

  • Erika Ngabonzima

    So beautiful. 🙂

  • Gillian Pender

    Beautiful! I love eucalyptus and you have perfectly captured both types.

  • cindy michelotti

    just what I wanted!! great explanation !

  • Meagan Forget

    My favourite essential oil is eucalyptus! You made this tutorial so easy to follow. I have been wanting to complete on of your tutorials for some time now. This was my first one and I enjoyed it alot

  • Barbra

    Hi, do you have a tutorial on how to paint monstera leaves and fiddle leaf leaves?

  • J

    Wonderful video, very easy to understand and learn


    Thanks 🙂

  • Nina N

    Hi Shayda, can I paint this on canvas?

  • Siby Varghese

    Wow!! 💖


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