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Winter Botanical Watercolor Class: Pixie Cup Lichen (VIDEO)

The video below is a recording from our The free livestreaming class that was held on Tuesday, January 9, 2024 , 6-8pm CET.

Create a botanical watercolor painting, step by step, with Mira O’Brien. Below you will find the reference image for the class, and materials list.

In the winter, when flowers and leaves are taking rest, it gives some small and delicate specimens a chance to shine. I recently photographed these moss and lichen colonies (Image below) in the the forest in Oregon. Discovering them was like stumbling across miniature worlds, complete in themselves. I look forward to sharing with you the delight of that discovery during our upcoming free botanical watercolor class.


We will approach these detailed subjects with a simple technique that makes painting fine detail accessible to beginners. We will select a composition to focus on, and then build up the detail using tonality first. If this image looks challenging at first, this technique will break it down into a manageable and fun process.

Go deeper into the process in our Botanical Watercolor Workshop Series or join our Botanical Watercolor Essentials Course

Materials: 

  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor set
  • Watercolor Brush round size 4-6 (size 1 or 2 optional)
  • Pencil, HB or 2B
  • White Eraser
  • Paper-towel
  • Water cup
Reference Image:

Cladonia carneola, or pixie cup lichen, with moss found in central Oregon in December, 2023.

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