Hi guys! We have a new painting project you can work on for the New Year! Nassybah Cruz of IG: @nussay_watercolor is on our blog today to show us how she creates her beautiful watercolor beetle paintings using Craftamo's Air Edition brushes!
Read her step-by-step instructions below!
Hi there! I'm Nassybah, from @nussay_watercoloron Instagram. I'm a self-taught artist who enjoys bringing the beauty of nature to paper. I started painting as a way to pass the time after moving to Madison, WI a few years ago. I try to honor nature with my paintings, recreating her shapes and patterns. This tutorial will show you how to paint a beetle, one of my favorite creatures.
Watercolor paint. For this particular painting I used Senellier watercolors but you can use whatever brand you like. - 315 BDO7 - 805 BDO8 - 703 BD07
Pen to sketch and an eraser
Masking fluid, I used Fineline.
Watercolor paper, I used Arches 300 100% cotton paper, cold press.
Sketch your beetle of choice. I'm painting an Oxythyrea cinctella. Try to draw it as simple as possible. You don't want pencil marks in your final painting.
Depending on the beetle you've chosen, this step won't be necessary, but this one has a pattern on its wing case. Paint the first layer with a very diluted color. This first layer is the one you'd barely see at the end, but it's very important.
Use masking fluid to recreate the pattern on its back. Cover all the dots and lines that have the lightest color. The more details you keep covered, the nicer it will look at the end.
Once you make sure the masking fluid is dry, you can start painting the second layer. Use a darker color on the outsides and a more diluted color in the middle. This way, your bug will look round and real. Paint each section separately and allow the paint to dry before going onto the next, otherwise the sections will look messy.
I painted the legs while waiting for the sections to dry, using black color on the darker parts and swiping with a clean brush towards the end to create the illusion of depth.
Once the second layer has dried, we'll paint a third layer using a clean brush to wet the surface. This layer will have more details, but we want them to be smooth and integrated, that's why we wet the paper. Using the darkest color, paint a line all around the bug, to create depth, and add some lines to the back, recreating the shape of your insect. Also add some dots to the head. All this keeping the painting wet!
Allow to dry once you're done.
Now that it's dry, we can peel the masking fluid and add more details with a thin brush and white ink. Add highlights to the legs and antennas. You'll see how it comes to life!
Note: I don't recommend using white watercolor, it will fade once is dry. You can use opaque ink or a white pen.
CHECK OUT THE FINISHED PIECE BELOW:
I hope you enjoy my tutorial! Please use my hashtag #nussaywatercolor if you try it out! I'd love to see it!
Thanks so much!
Have a question about this process? Comment below and we'll do our best to answer you!
To see more of Nassybah's work, visit or contact her on the following channels: