Best seller

Botanical Watercolor Sketchbook

A course by Paulina Maciel · Canela
Designer and Illustrator. Guadalajara, Mexico.
Joined June 2015
, Designer and Illustrator

Explore and interpret the natural world by combining watercolor with graphite pencil and fineliners

  • Best seller Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 97% positive reviews (1K)
  • 23756 students

Explore and interpret the natural world by combining watercolor with graphite pencil and fineliners

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 97% positive reviews (1K)
  • 23756 students
  • 15 lessons (2h 52m)
  • 26 additional resources (16 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

If you're looking for inspiration for your illustrations, the answer may lie in stepping out and contemplating the nature around you. Its perfection, subtlety, and extensive variety could be the key you've been searching for. Illustrator and watercolor specialist Paulina Maciel is passionate about the natural world, which is evident in the creations of her studio, Canela Estudio, for branding, packaging, book covers, invitations, and more, as well as her other course Botanical Illustration with Watercolors.

In this course, learn to fill a notebook with botanical watercolors, including illustrations and handwritten notes, by studying nature. This practice exercises your capacity for observation, visual description, and rapid interpretation and helps you understand many of the species that surround us.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Here we begin!
  • U3
    U3. First the technique
  • U4
    U4. Illustrate in your diary
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Start the course by getting to know Paulina Maciel, her work as an artist, what inspires her, and how illustration became her whole world.

Paulina shows you some illustrated journals with various themes from different artists to get your creative juices flowing. Learn how they work and how they can help you improve your drawing skills to create a consistent drawing habit―something you can take anywhere so you can gradually build confidence in your watercolor technique.

Include some handwritten notes to exercise your observation skills, something that will help you understand many of the species that we encounter.

Paulina also goes over the few materials you need to take this course. The goal is to work mainly outside so you only carry the basics with you on your trips.

Move on to some color theory exercises. In watercolor painting you can achieve a wide range of tones and shades with a relatively small palette of pigments.

Practice the basic illustration techniques using graphite, fineliners, and watercolor with some exercises to loosen up and let your creativity take the reins.

Now it's time to do your first naturalist sketchbook illustrations and, with Paulina as your guide, learn to illustrate a page in grisaille. Familiarize yourself with basic steps for interpreting a tree drawing with watercolors. The next step is to use a piece of fruit to analyze and understand the values of light, shadow, and volume in a study of continuous tones with graphite. Once you have grasped this, get ready to illustrate your piece of fruit in watercolor.

Continue the illustration exercises using some mushrooms as your subject, and include them in your journal illustrating them with both fineliners and watercolors. Finally, Paulina teaches you to draw the outline of a flower in pencil, adding volume with watercolors in a botanical print style.

By the end of the course, you have the first pages of your botanical sketchbook, which serves as a progress log in the different fundamental and mixed techniques. You have the rest of the notebook to discover and interpret the natural world through your own eyes!

What is this course's project?

Take the first steps towards creating a botanical sketchbook that you can carry with you to capture your observations of nature. Explore illustrations in pencil, fineliner, and watercolors as well as handwritten notes.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

To all illustration afficionados, art enthusiasts, watercolor lovers, and anyone curious about the nature that surrounds us.

Requirements and materials

No prior knowledge is required for this course, although if you already have experience illustrating you might enjoy it that little bit more!
In terms of materials, you need a suitable notebook for watercolor painting including wet techniques, pan watercolors, a fineliner, a graphite pencil, paintbrushes (waterbrushes would be especially useful). Remember to take a good hat to protect you from the sun if you decide to paint outside!


23756 Students
1010 Reviews
97% Positive ratings

Paulina Maciel · Canela

Teacher Plus
Designer and Illustrator

Paulina Maciel's first encounter with watercolor was at university while she was studying design. It wasn't until a few years later that she decided to deepen her knowledge and explore nature through this technique with professional training at a watercolor academy. Her first commission was a wedding invitation for some friends and since then, there have been many more, although not always related to wedding stationery. Her training in design has given an extra boost to her illustrations, enabling her to apply them in all kinds of projects.


  • U1


    • Presentation
    • My favorite diaries
    • Journals
  • U2

    Here we begin!

    • The materials
    • Mixing colors
    • Color palettes
  • U3

    First the technique

    • Graphite Exercises
    • Pen exercises
    • Watercolor exercises
  • U4

    Illustrate in your diary

    • Illustration of a leaf
    • Illustration of a tree
    • Illustration of a fruit
    • Illustration of a mushroom / mushroom
    • Illustration of a flower P1
    • Illustration of a flower P2
  • FP

    Final project

    • Illustration of a naturalist diary

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 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 member, when you complete a course you've purchased, 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.
Botanical Watercolor Sketchbook. Illustration course by Paulina Maciel · Canela Best seller

Botanical Watercolor Sketchbook

A course by Paulina Maciel · Canela
Designer and Illustrator. Guadalajara, Mexico.
Joined June 2015
  • 97% positive reviews (1K)
  • 23756 students