Watercolor technique: layering

Hey there!

The past couple of months have been quite a roller coaster ride for me and my country. Thankfully every thing is going awesome now.

I have recently started a Facebook group named, “The Watercolor Cafe Pakistan”. Do join in! Let’s have fun!

So, I recently posted a painting there, and I was asked about the process, therefore, I had to post a little tutorial about the layering process in watercolors.

Step 1

I took half a sheet of watercolor paper and taped it’s sides. I started with the lightest wash of hooker’s green. Once it was dry, I lightly drew the leaf shapes with a 2B pencil.

Then taking a slightly darker wash of the same color, I painted all of the paper, leaving out the drawn leaves.


Step 2

Keep drawing the leaves and painting the rest of the paper using darker washes every single time creating layers.


Step 3

When you are adding layers, make sure the previous layer is completely dry before you start on with the next layer.



Step 4

Once you are done with the layers, add the veins to the leaves and do all the finishing touches.

And there you have it ! Easy … isn’t it?



I tried doing one more in warm colors as well. You can do multiple paintings, testing out the color palette. Trust me.. you’ll be amazed with every single color!


Have an awesome day!



Ramadan Mubarak!

Hey there!

The blessed month is here… !

I pray that our fasts be accepted…

I pray that our sins be forgiven…

I pray that Allah ease our hardships…

and I pray that we understand the true spirit of Ramadan and hold steadfast onto our deen.

May Allah ease the hardship of Syria, Palestine, Kashmir, Burma and everyone all around the world. Ameen!

A Blessed Ramadan to all of you !




Wax resist and watercolors

Hey there!

I posted the previous tutorial and the response was far beyond my expectations! Thank you everyone who visited, commented and messaged me. I’m really grateful!

So I came up with another tutorial. At this time I am going slow and easy to make you comfortable with this medium. I am trying to use just a couple or so paints and just the basic supplies.

So, let’s start with another tutorial. This one is surprisingly easy and fun to do, and NO.. it’s not only for kids… I have made a lot of paintings using this technique and the best part about this is that the resist is invisible until you paint on it.. so you don’t really know how it will turn out. 🙂

Okay, let’s begin…

Step 1

The things you will need for this painting are

1. A quarter sheet of watercolor paper

2. Masking tape

3. Orange and Yellow watercolor paints

4. A large round brush. (I used a number 12)

5. Clean water for rinsing brushes

6. Salt and

7. White oil pastel or crayon.



and that’s it! 😀

Step 2

Tape your watercolor paper onto a hard surface and tape all four sides.


Step 3

All set?

Now draw on the paper with the white oil pastel. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Let go of the feeling of perfection and have fun!

Here is my drawing, I tried to capture the sheen as much as I could. 🙂

Keep drawing until you’re happy with it.




Step 4

Let us now open up the surprise gift 🙂 …

Take out the paints on the palette and dilute them with water.

Start painting parts of the paper with orange and the other parts with yellow and let them mix.


The oil pastel will resist the paint and that’s the magic of it! Let the painting unfold in front of your eyes!

Step 5

While the painting is still wet, sprinkle a pinch of salt over the wet paint.

The salt will absorb the water and form beautiful blooms.

Let the painting dry completely.



When the painting is dry, brush away the remaining salt and remove the tape.

Ta da!

Here’s how mine looks in two different color schemes. The other one was done using viridian and pthalo blue.

Try different designs and different colors.


I hope you had fun…

I’ll be back with another tutorial next week. Insha Allah!

Till then

Have a colorful day!




Watercolor bookmark tutorial

Hey there!

So today I have a surprise for you, and this is something new for me too. 🙂

I have been requested repeatedly for tutorials and classes and workshops, and while workshops and classes are not possible at the moment, I thought of preparing a little tutorial for you. I hope you enjoy.

I shall be waiting for your feedback on this one. 🙂

So, a few days ago, I made watercolor bookmarks with left over pieces of paper and a paint marker that I found while cleaning my cabinet. I decided to play with it and the results were pretty cute. 😀 A lot of people asked me about it, so I decided to make a tutorial for these bookmarks.

So, let’s begin!

First things first… here are the things you’ll need.


  1. Watercolor paper. I cut mine to a size of 2.25 x 6.50 inches.
  2. Masking tape.
  3. paper cutter
  4. A big round brush
  5. blue and magenta watercolors
  6. white paint marker.

And that’s it! 😀

Now let’s get to the fun part !!

Step 1

Start of by cutting the paper to your desired size. Mine was 2.25 x 6.50 inches. Use a paper cutter to get sharp clean edges.

Tape your paper onto a board or a surface that you are painting on. This might get a bit messy, so make sure your work space can handle that.

Taping the paper also helps create a neat edge to your bookmarks.


Step 2

Now, using a larger brush (I used a no.10) wet the whole paper using clear water. The paper should NOT have puddles of water, just a gloss on it to help the paint move around.

Once the paper is wet, put some magenta color splotches on the paper. It’s totally up to you, where you want the paint to go. Watch the color spread on the paper.


Step 3

Once you have applied the magenta paint, apply the blue paint on to the left over white area. Make sure there is no white space left.

The blue and magenta will mix to make beautiful purple color.


Step 4

When you are happy with the colors, let it dry completely.


Step 5

Start doodling on the paper using your white paint marker. Let your imagination go wild!



I think I am quite happy with my doodling. So I’ll stop here.


Step 6

Now comes the best part…!

Carefully remove the tape, making sure the paper doesn’t tear.


Step 7

Be proud of your bookmark! 😀

Here’s how mine looks… I would love to see yours!


I made a couple more. Here’s a pic of the whole family.

Here’s a little tip for you… Use dark colors. It will make the white marker show better.


Hope you had fun!

Have a colorful day.




Monochrome magic!

Hey there!

It is quite hard to juggle between so many social media “thingys”. Facebook, Instagram, blog, twitter. At some point one or the other is bound to suffer, and usually it is my blog.

I have been doing a lot of artwork lately. My crafting is at a complete stand still for now. 🙂 I will be resuming them soon.

There comes a time when a certain color or a certain style becomes your favorite and you just can’t stop incorporating them in your artwork. My latest obsession is “viridian” hue and monochromes!

Viridian to me is special as it has a spooky feel to it and the range of values it has to offer is simply subperb!

So I started of with this painting by doing a basic flat wash…20180330_152154 (1)

After the basic wash, I started building up the layers beginning from the lightest values. It is easier to build up color rather than removing it. This is one of the things to remember when using watercolors. 🙂

The trees done it light values will appear to be receding in the background, where as the darker ones will come out in the front. This play of values gives the painting a very misty and ethereal feel.

This is how it looked when I was done with it. 🙂

It really is amazing the things we can achieve with a limited palette!

I might be doing more of these in different colors. This was too much fun!


Till then.. Have a colorful day!

Stay awesome!



Flowers and hearts

Hey there!

I have been working on a few huge things and they have been taking up all my time.

This little painting was something that just sprang up in my mind. Violet flowers were actually what I had been craving to paint.

I used Winsor and Newton Cotman water colors on 180 gms.  Canson sheet. The brushes that I used were no. 3 and 6.

I have a heart shaped coaster that I used for the outline, then I masked it and painted loose flowers in it in no particular order. That was it!

easy peasy …lemon squeezey!


Hope to be back soon with something new…

Till then,

have a flowery day!





Hey there!

After a huge Art block (I have them quite frequently..!), I picked up my brush again and started painting. It can be quite daunting, feels like you can never paint….

So… the best thing about a painting can be your minimal palette. I used only 2 colors here, Rose madder and Sap green. I also used glazing as the only technique.


I wish I had better light to capture the layers more effectively. The actual work is more prominent with the layers.

I’m off to paint a bit more, while I still have my block… blocked 😉

Till then,

Have a beautiful day




Can we talk in flowers?

“Can we talk in flowers?
It will be easier for me to understand.” – Nayyirah Waheed

Spreading paint on the paper as it rains is by far the best thing in my life. This is my happy place when everything around me is falling apart. Thankfully it rains a lot in this part of the world… the beautiful African coast of Cote d’ivoire.

My crafting is on a stand still as I have no craft supplies here, so watercolors are my main focus these days.

It rains at least 3-4 times a week here. Very tropical! Yes the sun does come out and everything is bright and cheery after a good spell of rain.

So, it rained again and I instantly took out my paints and brushes and sat outside and started a painting…. Wet on wet.


I started with the flowers first…using the wet on wet technique. Then as they were drying, I started off with the stems and leaves. I used medium yellow and crimson for the shades in leaves.

Once the flowers were almost dry, I lifted a bit of paint with a clean brush from the petals and once they were completely dry, I added the pistil part.



And this is how it turned out.

Hope you like it.

Happy Fri-yay y’all!



Autumn is here!

Hey there!

It’s the start of autumn everywhere, but in this beautiful part of the world… the weather is the same throughout the year. So we have rain every couple of days and me being a rain lover, enjoys it to the max!

A few days ago, it got quite hot and then all of a sudden it rained…


It rained for 6 hours straight and I was instantly inspired. I sat outside with a cup of tea and started painting… and even though I see greenery all around me, it was fun painting in the rusty hues….

And once I was done, this is how it turned out! 🙂

Quite pleased with it … what do you think?



More to come… Stay tuned…

Happy Autumn…



Some more watercolors…

Hey there!

This painting is a warm up that I did a few days ago. This was done on my rough watercolor pad, that I keep with me for quick inspirational sketches. I used Reeves watercolors for this one.

It was a wet on wet, freehand painting with no initial sketch. I love these quick free flowing drawings, as you never know how they’ll end up being.

Here is the pic of when I started painting…



See? No pencil marks to be seen. I went with the flow. It’s fun to trust your instinct and let it take you places..

Once I was done with the painting, I used yellow gouache to paint the center of the flowers. I wanted opacity for the center and gouache seemed a sane choice. 🙂

So, this picture below is how it turned out. I am quite happy with it. 🙂



What do you think ?

I have loads more to show you… .so pop by soon .. !

Till then,

Have a colorful day!