Best seller

Naturalist Illustrations with Watercolors: Drawing and Composition

A course by Cristina Cilloniz
Botanical Artist and Illustrator. Lima District, Peru.
Joined November 2017
, Botanical Artist and Illustrator

Learn illustration techniques to give life to animals, insects, and botanical elements

  • Best seller Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% positive reviews (577)
  • 8272 students

Learn illustration techniques to give life to animals, insects, and botanical elements

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 99% positive reviews (577)
  • 8272 students
  • 20 lessons (3h 41m)
  • 18 additional resources (10 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

Watercolor painting is a versatile method that requires strict attention to detail while also providing peace of mind to those who practice it. This is reflected in the work of Cristina Cilloniz, a naturalist illustrator specializing in watercolor who uses the nature around her as a form of personal growth.

In this course, learn how to draw and compose a naturalistic watercolor illustration by combining an animal or insect with botanical elements. And if you’re interested in adding depth to your paintings, Cristina teaches the proper techniques in her first Domestika course: Negative Watercolor Painting for Botanical Illustration.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Materials and different techniques in watercolor
  • U3
    U3. Create and paint
  • U4
    U4. Watercolors turned into a notebook
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Start this course by getting to know your teacher, Cristina Cilloniz. See how watercolor helped transform her life and discover her main artistic influences. Then, get some more details regarding your final project.

Next, Cristina shows you the materials you need to work with watercolor. Learn how to prepare your color palette and create shadow and volume effects using color theory concepts. Discover new painting techniques to create original layers, transparencies, textures, and details, using them to highlight specific points in your illustration.

From theory to practice: learn to create a mood board that will serve as a guide. Then, inspired by botanical figures and the shapes of insects and animals, start sketching to loosen up your hand and lose the fear of drawing.

Start composing the structure of your final illustration in pencil. Then, apply the watercolor techniques you learned in the previous unit to bring your work to life.

Once finished, scan your work and make some final adjustments in Photoshop. See how to apply your illustration to the design of a notebook using a template and create a mockup to understand what it would look like.

What is this course's project?

Create a naturalistic illustration with watercolor, combining an insect or animal with botanical elements. Learn to digitize your work and use your illustration to design a notebook.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

To anyone passionate about nature who is looking to disconnect from their day to day, learn new creative techniques, or deepen their knowledge of watercolor painting.

Requirements and materials

To take this course, some basic knowledge of watercolor and Adobe Photoshop is recommended.

As for the materials, you will need pencils, sketch paper, tracing paper, watercolor paper, brushes, some color palettes, and watercolors. Also, to digitize your work, you will need a scanner and a computer with Photoshop installed.


8272 Students
577 Reviews
99% Positive ratings

Cristina Cilloniz

A course by Cristina Cilloniz

Teacher Plus
Botanical Artist and Illustrator

For Cristina Cilloniz, watercolor became a source of creativity and growth at a crucial moment in her life. An architect who is passionate about nature, she decided to change her life’s trajectory in 2016 when she began devoting herself to botanical illustration with watercolor—an activity that has turned into a tool for exploring, healing, and sharing.

Cristina has collaborated with brands such as L'Occitane, Patagonia, and Faber-Castell in a variety of formats including stationery products, wallpaper, fabrics, and wood.


  • U1


    • Influences
    • What will we Do in This Course?
    • Presentation
  • U2

    Materials and different techniques in watercolor

    • Materials
    • Colour
    • Layers and transparencies 1
    • Layers and transparencies 2
    • Textures and details 1
    • Textures and details 2
    • Lights
  • U3

    Create and paint

    • Inspirational mood board
    • Drawing exercises 1
    • Drawing exercises 2
    • Composition and sketch
    • First layers of color
    • Shadows and volume
    • Details and lights
  • U4

    Watercolors turned into a notebook

    • Mock-up
    • Notebook design
    • Image digitization
  • FP

    Final project

    • Naturalistic drawing and composition in watercolor

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus or PRO member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus or PRO member, when you complete a course you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates
Naturalist Illustrations with Watercolors: Drawing and Composition. Illustration course by Cristina Cilloniz Best seller

Naturalist Illustrations with Watercolors: Drawing and Composition

A course by Cristina Cilloniz
Botanical Artist and Illustrator. Lima District, Peru.
Joined November 2017
  • 99% positive reviews (577)
  • 8272 students