A Rainy Afternoon for Watercolor Florals

For quite some time, I have been following Ms. Carla Chua in instragram and I have been amazed on her growth as an artist. I especially admire how effortless her flower paintings look. From time to time I see her photos of workshops that she conducts.


I am interested in attending more workshops to enhance my skill. However, I usually have second thoughts on several factors and among them is the venue and of course, cost.

The first time I attended a watercolor workshop focused on flowers was with Joannie Candi and Mimi Camille way back in December 2015 in Lizzy Latte, Makati. While I did learn a lot from the workshop – techniques that I don’t think I will know on my own, I know that I haven’t fully grasped effectively painting watercolor flowers.

When Carla Chua announced that she will move the venue of her July 29 workshop to Plaza Cafe in Makati, I grabbed the opportunity to take enroll the class.

A few days before the workshop, we were advised to drop by the venue earlier than the scheduled time so that we have a chance to talk with our workshop instructor, Carla, and ask her about watercolors. I arrived roughly an hour before workshop started. Another participant was already in the cafe with Carla.

The painting starts with a sketch of the the parts of the flower.

After a few minutes of chitchat, the other attendees arrived. Soon, we started with the watercolor basics. We made filled shapes on a practice sheet to familiarize ourselves with the materials. After which, Carla teaches how to do gradients – a watercolor technique crucial for painting watercolor flowers.

From the basics, we continued on to drawing the shape of the flower. Based on the photo attached in the workshop manual, we sketched the basic shape of the petals and other parts of the flower.

Carla demonstrates the technique in building the layers for the painting.

After sketching, we proceeded in filling the shapes with colors recalling the techniques in painting gradients from the first exercise. Before we started working on our exercise, Carla showed us how to apply the first layer of color for the petals.  And as we paint with watercolors, our instructor visits each one to check if there are parts we need to work on.

In the class, we are reminded that patience is a very important value in dealing with water colors. We can’t rush to pile on the layers or the layers will just mix together as one. Allow it to dry and learn to work on separate parts to avoid accidentally mixing them all together.

Class Picture. Photo taken from Carla Chua’s Facebook Page.

Carla has been a very nice and warm instructor. She encourages her students especially at times when they get frustrated that things do not seem to go well.  She would always tell us to keep practicing and soon we can really be better at it.

To see more of Carla’s artworks and workshop schedules visit carlacochua.com or her socials.


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