10 Easy Watercolor Backgrounds for Brush Lettering and Modern Calligraphy | Shelley Hitz | Skillshare

10 Easy Watercolor Backgrounds for Brush Lettering and Modern Calligraphy

Shelley Hitz, Watercolor and Lettering Artist

10 Easy Watercolor Backgrounds for Brush Lettering and Modern Calligraphy

Shelley Hitz, Watercolor and Lettering Artist

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14 Lessons (1h 13m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Background 1: Three Color Wash

    • 4. Background 2: Ziplock Technique

    • 5. Background 3: Mini Galaxy

    • 6. Background 4: Stripes

    • 7. Background 5: Circles

    • 8. Background 6: Sun and Grass

    • 9. Background 7: Mountains

    • 10. Background 8: Ocean with Fish

    • 11. Background 9: Tree

    • 12. Background 10: Flowers

    • 13. Class Project

    • 14. Next Steps

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About This Class


Would you like to be able to create easy watercolor backgrounds to add to your hand lettering or modern calligraphy that will only take you a few minutes to create?

I love watercolor.

I have been creating watercolor backgrounds since the beginning of my lettering journey. Watercolor adds an amazing effect to your lettering pieces and it only takes a few minutes of your time to create the backgrounds I teach you in this class.

However, I know what it's like to start with a blank page and just to sit there and thing, "What should I create, what should I do?"

Sometimes we feel uninspired or don't know where to start. Therefore, in this class I'm going to walk you step-by-step through creating 10 easy watercolor backgrounds.

These are backgrounds I have personally used myself. They are easy and don't take a lot of skill. Anyone can do these. By simply taking a few minutes to add a watercolor background to your lettering pieces it can take your artwork to the next level.

It's also a great way to create gifts and to simply add more color in your life.

Many times our lives are so busy and it's nice to take a few minutes away and enjoy some art therapy.

Join me in this class and let's dive in and create these easy watercolor backgrounds. I cannot wait to see what you create!

Learn all the watercolor supplies I recommend and use here: http://skl.sh/2pOMG6H

Learn Brush Lettering for Beginners here: http://skl.sh/2lwvwWa

If you want to know when I release new classes, make sure to click the "follow" button on my profile here: https://www.skillshare.com/user/shelleyhitz

Meet Your Teacher

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Shelley Hitz

Watercolor and Lettering Artist


Ready to learn the art of lettering and watercolor, the easy way? I know what it's like to be a beginner. And I know what it's like to battle the inner critic. The fear, self-doubt, and comparison.

But, I have learned to embrace the artist in me and have re-discovered the joy of creating art.

Art can help you:

Relax and have fun. It's been an amazing form of self-care for me. Discover the power of color. Creating art can bring you so much joy. Create beautiful pieces you can display in your home or give as gifts. And so much more!

I'm passionate about teaching others and love seeing each of you have the courage to embrace your creativity and choose to create art.

In my classes, I will take you step-by-step through the learning process and cheer you on in this... See full profile

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1. Introduction: would you like to be able to create easy watercolor backgrounds to add to your hand lettering or modern clicker fee that will only take you a few minutes to create high mining ? Micheli hits. I'm an artist and illustrator, and I love watercolor. I have been creating watercolor backgrounds almost since the beginning of my lettering journey, and water color adds an amazing effect to your lettering pieces, and it really can Onley take just a few minutes of extra time to create these backgrounds. However, I know what it's like to start with a blank page and just to sit there and think, What should I create on this? What should I do? And sometimes you just I feel uninspired or you don't know where to start. So in this class I'm gonna walk you step by step through creating 10 easy watercolor backgrounds thes our backgrounds I have personally used. I have personally done myself there easy. They don't take a lot of skill. Anyone can do these by simply taking a few minutes to add a watercolor background to your lettering pieces. It can really take your artwork to the next level. It's also a great way to create gifts to give to people and just to create more color in our lives. Many times our lives are so busy, and it's just nice to take a few minutes away and enjoy some art therapy. So join me in this class and let's dive in and create these easy watercolor backgrounds. I cannot wait to see what you create. 2. Supplies: in this class. We can keep the supplies really simple. All you'll need is some watercolor paper. This is Skansen X l paper and I have cut it down into four by six sheets. And so I like to do this because working smaller is quick. You get the satisfaction of having something done. This is a size four by six. You can fit in a frame. You could put a mat around it to put it in a larger frame like eight by 10. And it's just a really great thing toe to use while learning on. So you'll just need some paper. You can use whatever paper you want. And if you haven't taken my watercolor and ink supplies class, I go into depth on all of the supplies I recommend in use and why. And you can get a lot more detail if you're interested in them. You also need some pains. These air, my favorite ones. Currently, this is the mission gold set, and it has 24 different colors, and this is what I prefer. But there are a ton of different ones. You don't need anything fancy for this. We're just gonna have some fun, and we're going to create some really colorful fun backgrounds. Next thing you'll need is a brush. Now I pretty much got started using my my pen tell water brushes. These are so they're small, medium and large, and so it comes in a pack of three on Amazon. But if you're just getting started and you also want to use it for lettering, just get this small and it will work fine. But the large one does come in handy, making the backgrounds and such. I prefer now to work with regular brushes. When I'm in my studio now, my water rushes travel with me and they go with me everywhere. But when I'm in the studio, I do prefer using my regular brushes. And for the longest time, I just only used this brush for my backgrounds. It's just a round six silver black velvet. And like I said, all the links and all the information about my supplies are available in my class. Watercolor ink supplies. There's a pdf you can download with all the links of where you can buy these things. But this even if you just have this one brush, this will be fine. Now I have I have some other rushes to, and this is ah, bigger around 12. So if you're working on a larger space, then you might want to a larger brush so that it doesn't take you forever to put down the backgrounds, and I recently just bought this mop brush. I got this at Michael's with a coupon, of course, and this is really helpful for just getting the backgrounds done quickly and easily because it holds a lot of water and, you know, you'll just be able to really get it done faster. So if you have something like this, this might come in handy for you. For this class, you also need to containers of water. I prefer these smaller jars just because I can dip in really quick and easy you can use to pickle jars. You can use anything. It doesn't have to be fancy Conduce two cups. You'll need some sort of towel or paper towel to wipe off your Russia's a palette if you don't have one built into your watercolor paints, and I prefer ceramic because it doesn't stain, and then maybe some sort of spritzer so you can wake up your watercolors. Basically, you're just gonna spray over them and this reactivates your watercolors. It's really handy. I think I got this one up literally at the dollar store. So you just buy one of these. A lot of times different stores have them for their travel sets, like things that you can take on the plane. So just get something like this tohave. You know, when you're using your watercolors, it comes in really handy. So that's pretty much it. We're just going to make it. Keep it simple, keep it fun, keep it quick and easy, and these air, all backgrounds. Then you can use with your lettering and with really anything you want to use it with and really just have fun. So let's go ahead and get started with the first background. 3. Background 1: Three Color Wash: the first background we're going to create is a simple 2 to 3 color wash. Now, for the sake of this class, I'm gonna keep these videos short and simple. So we're not going to go into a bunch of theory and technique with watercolor that will come in another class. But for this class, I'm just going to take you step by step. I'm gonna show you exactly what to do. Now, when you do this kind of wash, you can see here I have some yellow orange, and then a type of red. There are red orange. When you have a wash like this, they're gonna blend. The colors are gonna start to blend together. You can see I did several different colors on this one, and you can see how the colors kind of start to blend together. So the most important thing for this is that you choose colors that blend well together. So I recommend using colors like this yellow, orange and red. Or you can just look on a color wheel. Just you can Google color Will, or I bought this one on Amazon, and you just want to see what colors air close to each other on the color will. So you could even do red, purple and blue. Or you could dio blue, green and yellow. You know you can do any of these colors. They're gonna all blend well together. But just keep it simple. If you're not sure how colors are gonna blend, you can always test it first on a scrap piece of paper. One thing I do is I always keep anything that you know, I If I make a mistake or something happens, I always keep them as scrap pieces of paper. So I literally just have them right here. And I have a bunch of scrap pieces of paper and I could do testing on those pieces of scrap paper at any time to test my colors first. So for this class, let's go ahead and do the yellow, orange and red and horizontal. But I wanted to show you can also do it. Vertical a swell, so you're not limited to that. And what I usually do is I just put it onto the paper dry. I don't add the water on here first, but you can add the water on. It's a wet on when wet wash. But for the sake of this class, let's just go ahead and put it on there. Dries, I'm just gonna dip my brush in the water in a dip in the yellow. And if you want it first, you could put it into a palette and just out of maybe a little bit more water, the biggest thing with watercolor is you want kind of a good consistency. You don't want too much water. You don't want too little water. But really, anything goes. So then once you have that paint, you just bring it on to your paper. And if you don't have enough water, you'll notice there it's kind of dry and places, and so you can just add a little more water watercolors very forgiving. So it's really nice. So then I'm gonna go ahead into my orange, and I'm gonna go ahead and just bring it on to the next layer, and I can just kind of blend it a little bit. I'm gonna add some more water cause it's getting a little dry, and basically I'm just doing a side to side motion. There's nothing fancy about this, and watercolor will be watercolor. So it will do what it wants to dio and with a blending. Now I'm gonna add some red gonna get a little more water. I just encourage you to play around with your colors and see how they blend. But pretty much just in a few strokes. We have a beautiful background that now I'm just gonna allow to dry. Or if you have a hair dryer, you could use a hair dryer. I have a heat tool, Nicole heat to up again that's listed in my watercolor and ink supply class. Where to get that? You can add more if you want to this, but I think I'm just gonna leave it as it is and go with that. So that's as simple as it can be just to create a three color watercolor wash background. 4. Background 2: Ziplock Technique: for this background, we're going to make again a watercolor wash background, but we're gonna make it with a Ziploc bag, so it's going to create a different look. So instead of a flat wash, it's going to have a more texture. Look, I really like this look. It just goes really well with watercolor, and it's very easy to create in my Crayola art class. I actually show you how to create this look with Crayola markers. So if you haven't taken that class yet, I definitely recommend you take it, cause I also show you how to use Crayola Xas water color paint how you can use it for pain . So let's go ahead and create this background. Let's get another clean sheet of paper and again, you want to choose colors that typically tend to blend well together. So I'm just gonna wake up my paints again. Some of them got a little bit drier. I think this time I'll do pink, purple and blue. I love those colors together. To do with this is just put yours a block over your piece of paper, and that's another reason it's kind of nice to work small, but you can get bigger Ziploc bags to you can see have used this a lot. It's kind of stained and just kind of Make sure it fits over top of that. And then what you can do is just take your brush and bring some paint and just again, just wipe some pain over. They're gonna remove the paint from my brush, and you don't have to remove it cause the's colors do mix well together, so it won't make a big difference. If some of the colors mix in with each other. I just tend to do it. So I'm using the bright opera pink, bright, clear violet and peacock blue of the Mission Gold and oh, I love these airs like probably my three favorite colors, huh? And I just love them. And then I just white my brush on the paper towel. So once you have that just moved that aside, just be careful not to get your arm or hand in that, and I like to just use a simple dropper. You can also use your brush just to drop water on there. I just find it easier just to use this. It's really easy to find. And then I just dropped, like, 3 to 4 drops. And I make different little rose. But you can just do whatever you want. There's no exact perfect recipe for this. You know, if you have too much water, you can always take it up with a paper towel. If you have don't have enough water, you can always add more leader. So once you have those drops of water on there, now you're gonna bring your Ziploc bag back again, and this time we're just going to flip it over and we're gonna lay it on top, and we're gonna just spread out the water color. So this is where the magic happens, and there's gonna let it all spread out and really make this pretty pretty background. Just gonna lift this up. And sometimes it gets a little bit weird when you lift it up because there's still water on there and there you go. You can kind of let it drip over the background if you want. It just depends on what you want it to look like. I think that looks really cool, but you can also take a paper towel and you can pick up extra water if you want, you can put those that block back over it again. Um, if you want to kind of smooth it out. So I'm just showing you kind of like what you could do and just want to make sure you have something underneath that you don't mind getting wet or stained because that often happens with this technique. But it's so fun. And I love the outcome so you could always bring this back, spread it out again and be good there. So isn't that pretty? So I'm gonna let this drive and really you can have any kind of look that you want. You can see this other one that I created has more of the red and yellow type. Look in it. But I love this as a quick and easy background, and it's so fun to create 5. Background 3: Mini Galaxy: Now we're going to create this fun background with the different colors mixed in. But then also the details that you can add at the end with the splatters and the stars. So what I normally do for this one is just I do wet the paper down first, so just take your brush and just add water. I still have a little bit of paint and my brush from the last one. But that's OK, cause it's gonna be a similar color and just gonna add the water where I want this to be. All right, So now I'm going to pick up some teal and we're gonna put it into my palette here. I'm gonna add this teal all. Actually, it's peacock blue and add it all to the background here. You just want to kind of let it kind of fit into all those spaces that you got wet again. There's no right or wrong with art if you haven't taken my embrace, The artist in you class definitely recommend it because I walk you through some different mindset things helping you to really have that freedom to create It's art is everyone's interpretation of something so there is no right or wrong. All right, so now I'm gonna take some purple. I'm just gonna mix it in here with the blue That was already in there because I know that would be a neat color. I got a lot of purple. I didn't realize I was grabbing that much, but that's kind of fun. So then you could just kind of drop it in wherever you want it to be. And again, it doesn't have to be anything specific in particular. I'm gonna grab some pink. I love me some opera pink again. I'm just kind of touching, lightly touching the paper where I want, you know, the paint to go. And I'm just kind of putting it kind of in between where I put the purple just to make it all blend together kind of what I'm doing. But there's no role. Reimer reason I don't know that I could ever duplicate anything that I've done because every time it turns out a little bit different. But that's what I love about watercolor. It's like it's the magic of water colors, the blending. And now I'm just taking a brush and dabbing it just to kind of blend it around a little bit , so I want more of that blundered Look, But you can, you know, bring more blue. And again if you wanted to. Certain spots. Um, you can really just do whatever you want. And so I encourage you just explore, create yours does not have to look like mine. And it will not look like wine. Like I won't even be able to completely, you know, duplicate my own paintings. But that's the fun of it. All right, so now let it dry. I'm gonna go ahead and use my heat tool just so that I can speed it up. If your pain is not fully dry when you add the white details, it won't be as distinct because it will tend to blend in there so you can add white details in two different ways. You gonna choose a uni ball pen? This is probably the easiest uni ball signal could just start adding little dots, different places. And sometimes I'll just, you know, do it random. You could do little stars in a different things like that with with the white pem. Another way you can do it is through the doctor Ph Martin's bleed proof white. So what I typically will do is I will just put a little bit of this in the lead. It's gonna put a little water in there. Then I'll just take some of this bleed proof white and put it in here. And it's really takes some practice to get the right consistency of this. But after a while, you'll get a good feel of what you want. That seems to be pretty good, then for splatters. I love splatters, so you're just going to tap your brush and it's gonna add these really funds splatters. It's different every time, and I love that you can also, with a bleed proof right white, add stars and add other details. It's a little bit harder to control with a big brush like this, so you may want a smaller brush. If you want more control, you can still use this bigger brush for everything and just add some little details and just see how it turns out how you like it. See, let's go ahead and move this around, Spike. Get the side here without getting my arm in the wet white paint just have some fun and this . I mean, this isn't meant to be a galaxy, but it's kind of a little many galaxy. Let's see if I could just get a few more little When you don't have as much paint on your brush, it will give you the smaller the smaller splatters. I am personally a splatters person. I love spotters. I love how unique it is. It never turns out the same. But if you want more control, use the unit ball signal. So isn't that fun? With just a few minutes and a little bit of time, we have a really fun background and, like in this one, ended up using the doctor pH Martin's bleed proof white actually letter over top of it as well. But again, you could use something like this pen, or you could even use black Black would still be able to be visible over this 6. Background 4: Stripes: this next background, we're going to create just three stripes on the page, and then that's where you'll put your lettering. I could have space this out better like I could have squeezed this in or squeeze that in. But I went ahead and posted this on Instagram anyways, and someone told me Shelly, I am just in love with this layout, and I think it's the the movement with the arrows that you get so feel free if you use this background to add in some different arrows and add that movement into your piece as well, or you can just keep a plane with the three stripes. So let's go ahead and create this look again. We're just gonna I'm gonna wet my brush and I'm just gonna use the same purple that I had used in the previous time. And I'm just going to bring it across again. CD. I ran out of water, so I just need to come back over that piece there at a little more water to my brush. The larger brushes will hold more water, so then you won't have that problem as much. But again, this doesn't have to be perfect I actually kind of like the imperfecta edges when you're doing this. You can also do these in different colors so you could do like three different colors, and that's really fun as well. And it's really the sky's the lim of how you want to design your piece. But you can feel free just to do exactly what we're doing right here. And just do these three stripes super simple. But it's really an easy way to add something that really helps your pieces to stand out and just to give them a little extra design element to it. Like I said, if you add the if you add the arrows in, that really adds a neat element of movement. That's a that's, ah, topic that we may cover in another class, but the movement of your piece and again, like I said, I don't feel like I need mine to be perfect. You can always pencil out if you want. Had a time like exactly where you want the's. Just make sure the pencil lines air really light because you can't erase them once the wire colors on their all right. So even with talking and describing to you while I'm doing it, which sometimes is a little challenging. I was able to just to do three stripes really quickly, really easily, and now we have a really nice background. You could do this color. You can also add two colors in each stripe, like there's so many different variations you could do with this. You can do it vertically instead of horizontally, and so have fun with this. Be creative, and I can't wait to see what you create. 7. Background 5: Circles: Can I just say I love watercolor circles. He's air so fun. People call them different things. Some people call them bubbles, but basically you allow them to blend into each other so they touch a little bit and it creates these beautiful blends. And it is so therapeutic. ISS so fun. So we're going to create this background. So with this, you want to just have the circles around the edges like a border, so you could have it around off were edges, if you want. I'm just gonna do the three like I show in this picture. And then what I did here is afterwards I splattered it with a little bit of gold and white pain. So that's something you can do is well at the end. But let's go ahead and just do our circles get you want to choose colors that are going to coordinate with each other. So I'm gonna go ahead and do a similar palette that I have on the sample. I'm gonna go ahead and keep it similar to that, and it keeps, um, reds and oranges and let's keep it real simple. Then I have some yellow from before that I'll use over there. So let's go ahead and get started. So make sure what your brushes, what? And then you're just going to start making circles now. I remember when I first started doing these, and I sent something to my sister and she's like, Oh my goodness, Shelley, are you like using a A some sort of pattern or like those looked like perfect circles? And honestly, I cant do perfect circles. So if I can do this, you can do this and they don't have to be perfect. That's what's so fun about it. So I just picked up some orange. You could see how the orange and the red are now blending. I'm going to want to make some interests. I'm gonna put another one over here. Did another orange one that's a little bit more. Just all orange. Let's do some yellow, see what that does, and we make this one a little bit bigger and see all those air kind of blending together. Oh my goodness, I love us. It's so therapeutic, and the main thing with this is again you just want to choose colors that will look nice when they blend together by really the sky salam that you be you you know, try experiment and see what things happen. You don't have to post everything that you make experiment and see what different paints do what different colors dio and then find what you like the best I just like to do random so you can see I'm just kind of trying toe make make it kind of its again the movement You want to kind of make it go and and on this one here, what I did is I didn't connect every single circle. So that's something that I'm going to go ahead and do again on this one. So I'm gonna go ahead and not connect this next one. But you can connect every single circle, if you would like. There's really no, Like I said no wrong or right, And I just accidentally splattered that. But you know what? I'm gonna go with it. It's not a problem. If I wanted, I could just make this circle a little bit bigger, going to go ahead and do that to kind of get those splatters out of the way. And that's the thing with watercolor. You can correct almost any mistake could make this one a little bit bigger to to kind of incorporate those splatters and done. So I don't want to get too far into the middle cause I want to leave space for my lettering . The's backgrounds make great thank you cards. They make great birthday cards people love any time you give them something hand made. I've made cards for, like, get well soon. Um, just encouragement cards are fun. So when you're making these backgrounds, they can be used for so many different things, and you can actually create this size this four by six, you can create into a postcard just by putting a few lines on the back. I've done that with my hopeful lettering challenge. I used some of the prompts and symptoms postcards to people so you could do so many different things. Look at that is not beautiful. Uh, I love it. I love how it blends And oh, I just love watercolor. And I just hope that you will learn to love it. You know, the better your paints and supplies. I think you know the better outcome that you'll get, but you can use anything you know, start with what you have. I started with $5 paint set from Michael's, and I've just gradually invested as I knew, I really loved it, and I was going to use it again. I'm just kind of adding different sizes, too. So if you notice like, I have some smaller ones, some bigger ones, and that adds variety to the eye as well, which is a good design element again, I don't need to be taking the pain out of my rush every single time. But I'm just kind of choosing to do that for my a particular design. But these colors blend well together. So wouldn't be a problem if I didn't do that. Okay, so we're pretty much done and you can see some of them have started to dry and you can speed up the process with a huge pool or a hair dryer. I'm gonna go ahead and do that. So look how beautiful this ended up being all sorts of different blends, and you could see this one is much brighter, and all you have to do to in order to make it brighter which just in watercolor terminology is more opaque, is just add more paint, so this is more transparent, has more water. You can see the different looks you could even get by adding more water, which is on the left, or adding more paint, which is on the right. And again, you can add some splatters on here if you want. But I'm just gonna choose to leave it like this for now. And later, when I choose to let her on this, I'll decide if I want to add splatters at that time. 8. Background 6: Sun and Grass: her next background is just gonna be a simple sun and grass. This was super super simple, but it just has a really neat effect. And so let's go ahead and get started. It's gonna wet my brush. And I have changed out my water. Gonna add some yellow to this orange I had in there before to kind of get a unique color. That's more water in there. And you can mix colors for unique blends. That will be another class. But I was just mixing from what I had before, and then you're just going to swipe your brush along the edge here in the corner. And if you need more water, you can just dip your brush a little more water. He wants some more pigment, some more paint, you know, step it back into the paint. Basically, you're just gonna put that in there? And then what I did for this one is I actually did a swipe of some darker colors, so I'm just gonna add a little bit of this orange color to the red to kind of get a lighter red. And then what you can do is just get a little bit of that on your rush and then just swipe it along the edge. Here, I just do a swipe and it what it will do is it will just kind of blend in with that yellow and have kind of like that other color effect in there. So then I'm just gonna take my yellow and you can make these as thin Orosz thick as you want thumb and just make your stripes. Sometimes I like to turn my paper around and what I like to do with this is just to do alternating long and short stripes. But you can do whatever you want. I think for interest, though, doing the short and the long is just kind of nice on the eye. Then what I like to do is sometimes just add color in there. So just dip. It was gonna dip the brush into that orange color, and then I'm just gonna had a dab into this yellow just kind of add some interest and to get some blending effects in these lines here. This is a fun way to do a son and to get some different interests with some different colors, and then you're just gonna let that dry and then you're gonna add the grass. So I'm just going to speed it up by using my he tool on this piece. I made this son much bigger than this one. And so the grass here is going to kind of over lap a little bit on the sun. What I could also do is I could just create a hill on this side since I did the sun kind of big. So I might just do that on this one and not make it exactly like this. And that's the thing with watercolor. And with art, there are no mistakes. They're happy accidents. Like Bob Ross says, right, Happy accidents. And so I don't think that what you did is a mistake just improvised, and I could still put the grass over top of that. But I think instead I'm going to put it like a hill over here on the side. I'm just gonna make it more of like a hill. You could make it kind of jagged. That's kind of what I did on that other one. Get a little more water, more paint. And I just like the messy look of a loose watercolor. That's my style, but you're gonna find your style over time. So I like this loose, messy style where it's not completely filled in. It's not completely done. And yeah, it just looks really pretty. And you can just kind of trying to get it to how you want it to look. If you want to add a little bit of extra pigment to that, you get some more paint. Maybe put a little bit on the edge, kind of like where there might be a shadow on there. And I'm just dabbing this. I'm not really. There's not really any specific technique, just dabbing, and then you'll just let that dry. And you have a really simple, pretty background that you can add some lettering, too, and you could add even the lettering. You could add it right here on the sun. You could put it a around this hill if you wanted, or like I did in this piece. I did overlap this son a little bit, and I just wrote, Smile on there. So you you do what you want to do, but now you have a very easy background that you can do for any peace that simple quick and it's beautiful 9. Background 7: Mountains: So for this next background, we're just gonna make a really simple mountain scene. This may seem complicated, but it is not. It really isn't. This is super simple. And so let's go ahead and get started. I think what I'm going to do with this one is instead of making the mountains so big, make them a little smaller slurs. More space for the lettering at the top. You know, you learn things as you go, and so you just decide. You know how you want to do things from here on out. Just go use some deep ultra marine blue. And for this technique in this background, we're going to do the lighter ones first and then the darker ones. So you want to start off with more water in your paint and let's just go ahead and do a few of the mountains. Basically, this is just like a triangle. You just think of a simple triangle and you just for this 1st 1 you just want to make it really light. You don't want Teoh have much pigment in your paint and just depending on how much room you want for your lettering, is how high you'll make your mountains and I just a little bit more paint. Basically, it's just a triangle, and you're just filling that in. And these were gonna most likely be just in the background, but still be able to see them a little bit. So I'm just going to three of these lighter ones and you can see that's kind of what I did in this. This one here. I had this one here, this one here and then that 3rd 1 some kind of doing the same thing. And you could see the second layer. I have three a swell. And then the third layer. I did three. So I did three on each layer. You can experiment with other things. I have heard that, you know, having an odd number of of objects in your painting is nice. Gives it a little more interest, but I don't think there's any. Like I said, there's no exact rules with our and with painting, you just you could just experiment increase. I'm gonna actually let this dry. You do want to try to let it dry in between, so I'm just going to speed this up and dry. This is The reason you want this dry is that it's like a layering effect and not as much of a blending effect. And I'm just gonna add the next layer in here and kind of try to keep the mountains a little bit parallel to each other. Like this line in this line. But you can do whatever you want without just gonna tell you what I'm doing here again. It's not a perfect point. I mean, like, this is my style. I mean, you can't have everything be perfect. Perfect. But that is not the style that I do, right. I'm going to make this kind of come down here and kind of nest inside of this one. You can see how each layer is getting a little bit darker. Do a another like bigger one. Here, you can feel free to copy this exact design, or you can feel free to experiment and do some different things with yours. Okay, I'm going to go ahead and dry this. Okay? Now, for this third layer, I'm going to get even more paint, and this is gonna be the darkest layer. So you definitely want to have more paint and really have a strong color for this last one . Eso I'm gonna go ahead and gonna put one right here, One right here, just a little bit higher. Do a bigger one right in here. I think I will just add one more big one on this side. This is different than my other one. And that's where like I said, it's really to me. It's really hard to duplicate any painting. They all turn out a little bit different. And that's actually cool. That's actually actually like that. They're all a little bit different. You can put a napkin or a paper towel underneath if you don't want to get something on the background of your table. Now that I did that, it looks kind of off center. So I'm gonna go ahead and make this one a little bit bigger, too. It just looked off balance. So I'm just gonna add this bigger one on this side to to kind of balance it out because it was like that one side was just seemed like it was dominating. So that's something to kind of consider a swell when you're doing your pieces. Okay, I think that's it's good and again. You could just, you know, copy what I did in this one and do this exactly. Or you can copy what I did here. You can Experian with your own. I really think no matter what you're gonna do, it's gonna turn out cool. You know, it's just gonna be meat. Let me just go ahead and dry this and then we'll add the final ink on top. So what I had done on here is I just added some ink in here, and I just felt like it really added it. Kind of a finished touch to it. I did it with a pen. Tell water rush and I filled this with ink and again all of my supplies and links to what I user in my watercolor and ink supplies class. So check that out. Or you could just use something like a micron. My go to micron sizes. 05 However, for this when I did use kind of a thicker line, and so you could just, you know, use any sort of marker that you wanted, Or if you want the thinner line, go for that too. And you just want to decide how you want thes toe overlap and which ones you want to be on top. I think I want this one to be on top, so just do that up like that. And these were just quick, easy motions. Um, you know, it's nothing like perfect. Just kind of coming through and just doing and you can almost like, just like I think I probably did that 1st 1 a little too thick, you know? But again, there's there's no no right or wrong. And so that's what's so awesome. Just kind of come here and here. It doesn't even have to be exactly over where the water colorists. But you can see I just did really simple movements. Um, I probably I mean, I could have left this bottom part a little more open down here. That would have had a neat look to it, too. But I like this is well, you can kind of see the difference in in those two and how I did that. Just a easy, easy way to create a fund background. You can do this with anything. You could do this with pine trees, this layering effect, where you start with a lighter color and then go to the darker color. So I hope you enjoyed this background and let's go on to the next. 10. Background 8: Ocean with Fish: for this one. We're gonna make a fun ocean background and do some fish. Now there's a couple ways you can do this. I think I actually painted the fish first, and then I did the background around it. But I think it's easier just to do a full background of the water and then to paint the fish over top. So let's go ahead and do it that way. Let's go ahead and get your next piece of paper and we're just going to take a blue. You can treat whatever blue or mixture blue you want kind of have this nice see color blue , and you're just going to do the whole background, the bigger brush you have. I just said that, um, the quicker it's gonna be, exit will hold more water, but I just want to show you how you can pretty much just do everything that I'm showing you with just one rush, and I add some more paint in there and make a little more is. It can also put water on the paper first to to make it a little bit easier. Either way works. I just tend to go right in. Sometimes I'll definitely do the water first just to be able to have that look. But, um, for here I'm just gonna put a piece of paper behind that just so I can get the edges without staining my backer, which I don't mind that it gets stained. It's not a big deal, but it is kind of nice just to not worry about about and for this particular one. I do want you to get all the edges so and you will need a little bit more paint and water because it's we're doing the whole thing. So just gonna take a little bit more. And because this is an ocean look and everything, I think it's kind of cool toe. Have some variety in the background. I'm not making it a flat wash. A flat wash just means it all looks the same. You can't see any variation in it, but I kind of like that. There's a little bit of variation because it's the ocean. It's not supposed to be just a single flat color. Okay, so once you get it all be dead, then you're gonna let it dry, can use a hair dryer or a heat tool to speed it up. Sometimes your paper will curl a little bit when you're using an expensive student grade watercolor paper like the kids in Excel. It even does that with professional paper, too. And I show you a trick on how to flatten your pieces in my water color and ink supplies class. So if you haven't discovered that trick it, just definitely check out that class and you'll. But you'll learn how to do that. So once you've let this drive again, it doesn't have to dry completely because you can get some blending. You know, I definitely got blending on this, and I liked it, and I just went with it. But I guess this time I just decided to do something a little bit different and not have as much blending. So you can definitely put a little bit of pencil down if you want first to sketch it out. But I'm just going to do it freehand and this. The fish shape is basically this crescent shape here, and then you're gonna add a triangle on the bottom, so it's just very simple, and I'm not getting complex at all. Just putting that little try and go on there and that's it. And people know they can see that. That's what this is. And then you can add different colors of blue. So I think I'll add another color and mix that in with this and try another color of blue do lighter colors. You could do darker colors, and again, you'll just want some interest. So you'll want to vary the shapes, shapes, sizes. So this one I'm making smaller. Typically you're not gonna want to just do it the same size of every single shape, and then you know very where its sittings. I'm just gonna leave that kind of pulling the watercolor kind of pools a little bit. I'm gonna leave that like that because I kind of like that. How it did that going to go ahead and add just a little one. Here it's again a Did another color blue. You just want to make sure the pain is more pigmented for the fish so that it really shows up on top of the background. And you can do this really with any object that you want to dio have a background that you paint and then you paint over top of it, and it's a really any effect tohave. I'm gonna go ahead and do similar to what I did on the other one. It's almost providing movement because each one kind of goes a little bit more to the right and just gonna go ahead and and stick with that again. If, like the finer details air harder for you, you can just really try toe, um, with this number six, get to the point of the end or use a smaller brush. Use the size to around to work around one for the details. If that's hard for you, then I'll dio just do one more here. And so there you have your fish. Now you can add details if you want, you could add like little bubbles for the fish. You could add little faces. You could go around them with Penn like with micron or something like that. I'm just dipping my brush in a different color and just putting it into places that are still wet to get a little bit more of a blended effect. You could do that, but I'm just gonna leave it like this really simple. And with this one since I added a new color. I'm just gonna come in with some more water and just kind of make him blend a little bit better here. But you can just even leave it like it waas and go with that. So this is a really simple, easy background. So fun. And as you can see here, I really didn't do much else to it. I just wrote Different is good in the side and it was done. But like I said, you can add more details. You can do a lot more other things to it if you would like it's really fund Experiment with the white unit ball pen and with the micron black ink pen. But this is beautiful just the way it is. 11. Background 9: Tree: This is a really fun technique to create a watercolor tree and see two different examples I have here. This one is a bunch of different colors of green and teal and just really pretty. And then this is again just a bunch of different colors of just green, and it's a really easy way to make a fun piece. And this is beautiful. I mean, I just I love the visual look of it, and so you just want toe pick what colors you want to dio. You could even do a rainbow tree and start with one color over here and go over. You could do any kind of color you want, and the thing with art is it doesn't have to be realistic. A lot of my pieces air not realistic, But that's what's fun about watercolor. So let's go ahead and get started. The first thing we'll need to do is start with a brown, so whatever brown you have our mixture of brown you want to use, let's go ahead and start with that. You also want to decide which side you want the trunk on. I think I'm just gonna go ahead and do it on the right side, you'll wet your brush and get your brown. I think I'm gonna use, like, a burnt number color and just come down and basically you're just doing vertical strokes. Me Just get a little more water. You're just coming down with vertical strokes. And I like to come to the edge here and then near the bottom. You're gonna come out and have, like, it's almost like a trunk that comes out. And so the super simple You should not feel like that, you know, like you can't do that. I mean, that's super simple. And now you're going to do the branches. So let me get some more of that color I was using. And you're gonna take the tip of your brush and you're just gonna do branches up and around and coming out at different places of the tree again. You want for interest? You want it to look like they're coming out from different places and branches are different, and they all have different thicknesses and sizes, so you don't have to feel like it has to be a certain thing or a certain way. And you're just bringing out different edges to this tree, different branches. So I think that's pretty good. And I'm just gonna smooth this in a little bit here, so just kind of a little bit smoother. And what you can do is you can just even do a little bit of a darker edge, like on one side to kind of be like a shadow. And that's kind of me. If it's already dried, you may need to then come back in and kind of blended out again. But that's the thing with watercolor. You you know there's options you don't want to over. You don't want to over, um, work a certain area because then the paper will start to wear down. But that's it. That's all we have to do for the main trunk and the tree. So simple, so easy. You could do this. All right, So now you're gonna let that dry, because what we're gonna do with these pieces is we're going to do different layers, and it's kind of like the mountains where we're gonna let it dry in between. Let's go ahead and get this stripe right so we can get the brush. What, and we're gonna start working. I'm just gonna use this green. I already had out one of the things that I did when I created these other two trees. I did it when I was creating my color mixing charts. And so I will create another class on that. But when you're doing mixing church, you're gonna have a lot of different colors already created. So that's a fun time to do these. And what I'm doing is I'm just randomly putting little circles. So these air small circles and just like we did with the circle background, you know, it's really easy just to take your brush and just bring it around the end. These circles don't have to be perfect, but again, it's it's really we know. Once you start to get more control of your brush, it's amazing home. How easy it is just to create this circle, a little more water there and a little bit more out of it. Some of these air touching the branches. Some of them are like at the edge of the branches. I'm just kind of doing random circles. There's no rhyme or reason to it right now. Okay, so I'm gonna go ahead and drive this and then we'll do the next layer. So I'm gonna take another color of green, gonna bring it in. And this is where it gets kind of fun to do. Different mixtures. If you don't have a bunch of different colors of one of green, you can do different mixtures. You know, just put a little bit of yellow in it, and it's going to be more of like a brighter green, you know, and you can just do different, different things. I'm just gonna do a few of these in this color. Then I'm going to do a mixture. There's so many different lettering phrases that go with the concept of a tree. But I just I think it's just so pretty once you finish the look. So let's go and do that. Let's go ahead and a little bit of yellow into the screen. Make it more of a bright green mist of drying. I'm just gonna grabbing some areas that I don't haven't done yet, and then I'll save a little bit of time. You'll notice in my classes and get it done. Type person I'm not. Ah, let's wait around for this or wait around. You know, I just like to get, you know, things done, and I like to have a finished piece without having to spend a ton of 10 of time. And that's one thing that I love to teach you to. Is all these little time saving things that you can do now? You can see how it's already starting to pop that same color with just a little bit of yellow. It really added a lot. Oh, I love that. Okay, so now let's go ahead and dry That will do the next layer and see my paper starting to crawl a little bit. That's OK. You can just kind of crow back the edges while you're working on it. And then, like I said in my watercolor and eat class, I teach you a trick to straighten out the edges. Once you're finished, right? So let's go ahead and do another layer again. I just want to remind you it's there's some overlapping and it gets really full after a while, just looking at some of these bright greens and here, thinking what? Like those? But you can see how sparse this is still compared to those so we still have a couple more layers to go. Let's go ahead and add this peacock blue and see what color blue or color green that gives us who starting to like that. I love the bright colors, but you I would say you bu you do you. And so you use the colors that our best for you. Go ahead and go with that for now and see how that looks. It's definitely a different color than the others, which is good. That's why I was, you know, I was going for. And like I said, I'm not going for perfect circles on this leaves or not perfect shape. They're not exactly the same. But if that's more your style, you can try to go for that, then I'm just kind of randomly putting this color around. So I'm not just doing a bunch of the same color in one spot. I'm doing approximately the same size, which eat with each leaf. But you can vary it up a little bit, too, because again, in nature there are no leaves that are just 100% all the same, perfectly the same. They're all different, so I love that you can kind of make him even extend a little bit further than even where the branches show just kind of showed the fullness of it. Okay, I think maybe one or two more layers and we'll be doing one thing that saves me a lot of time is using a heat tool, or you can use a hairdryer. That's why used in the beginning. And yet, if you want to just let it dry naturally, what you could do is work on several pieces at once, and then while one is drying, you're working on the other one. So I want to make this one a little bit more of a blue, and so there. I think that's kind of good, just kind of give a little bit of a pop of color that's different than the other ones. Can I just a little more water make a little more transparent? Transparent just means it's lighter. You can see through it a little bit better. Watercolor almost always dries lighter, so whatever you have in the beginning, just know that it will most likely dry a lighter color. So I'm just going around, and now I'm just trying to fill in the empty spots, and you're just going to find the spots that you think are needing, needing some love, needing some leaves, you're gonna put your circles in there. These are actually becoming a little bit bigger than my other ones for some reason, but it's all good. I think I might make this my last layers. So I'm just kind of trying toe, find any of the empty spots and just kind of fill those in. But you can go till you feel like it's it's finished. I don't think you wanna really over over do it just because then it loses kind of some of those layers. If you have too many things overlapping each other, I think I'm just about done. May put one right there. I think that's good. So basically, you have a finished piece now. Super, super simple, super easy. You could add some ink onto the trunk. You could, you know, add some ink onto the leaves. But I didn't do that, you know, I just left them playing and they're just so beautiful. I love this. Look, this is a great thing. You can even do an entire tree if you wanted to do the tree in the middle and then do one big tree instead of doing it on the side, or if you have a bigger piece of paper, you could do the entire tree, and that would be really pretty as well. So it's a really fun and easy background that you can do, so let's go on and finish this out with the 10th and final background. 12. Background 10: Flowers: My intent for this class was to kind of start with the easier ones and then to get more difficult as we want. And these are some of my favorites. I love these flowers thes watercolor ending flowers. But I just I saved him for last because it doesn't take just a little bit. Marks were adding some ink on their on top. You can use any ink pen you have. I do recommend the micron, and I like the size 05 for that. But I just want to show you a couple different color combinations. I love this one. The purple with e bright green so pretty and the contrast in colors really look well together. I mean, I love this one too, has different colors of red and orange and then just has the green stuns. So we're gonna go ahead and make this one here. But if you want, you could make this instead. And it's very simple. It's used this same concept of making these watercolor blobs and then using the ink over top, just go ahead and get another piece of paper out. The nice thing about watercolor is you never have to let your paint goto waste. So I have this policy here full of paint that I've been using this entire time. What I can do is I can just add water to this, reactivate it and use it again in this piece. So I'm gonna go ahead, add some some water to it. And that way I can use some of these same colors. We use this orange and it looks like there was some color still in my brush from before. But that's OK. If you want, you can just pick up the paint and then you know you can add more from your palate, make it a little brighter. But I think what's happening is there's a little bit of blue that's getting in there, but I think I'm just gonna go with it. Let's just go with it and to do some red here and you're just doing blobs. Can you pay a blob? Yes, you can. You can pay a blob. And that's the the fun and the beauty of this. You don't have to be like some rock star watercolorist. You know you can paint a blob and you can do it, so I'm gonna put this one this color in on both sides just to kind of tie it together with , um, you know, having both of those colors there Do another one right in here. So you can really pretty much do whatever colors you want. You can. Where, however, How maney over many. You want this one? Here I have 1234567712345 Tested five in this one. But I think I'm just gonna leave it like that. And then you can see I did. This stuns on I don't really want it to blend in together. So I'm gonna go ahead and dry at first. It's not just going to take a green and already have kind of a green started over there was gonna add a little bit more to it. And then basically, you'll just take your brush and just do a quick motion down like that and your shoes in the tip of your brush. Or you can use a smaller brush and you're just kind of coming down. This one's gonna come behind that flower that it's gonna come back out. This is gonna come down and then kind of down like that. So you can kind of do these however you want. They don't have to look perfect. Actually, it looks better when they're not perfect. Perfect. You know? And so just gonna add a little bit more And the ends here, just a have a little bit of interest they have something like that happens and you get too much. You can just always try to pick it up with the towel and add a little water. Pick it up. It's not a problem. All right, so that's pretty much that. And then what we're gonna do is we're just gonna put the ink on. I didn't put any ink on the stems. And I didn't put any leaves on the stumps either. One of the reasons is just to leave more space for the lettering. I'm just gonna use the micro No. Five gonna go ahead and make sure this green is dry just so I don't accidentally push my hand in it and smear it. Who by now you're starting to see that painting loose with watercolor can really produce a fun effect. It doesn't have to be perfect. It's super easy. Anyone can do it now. We're just gonna add a little bit of ink in this one background. And in future classes, I will go into even more ink and watercolor. But I want at least introduce it to you in this class. So what I like I love this flower design. And I just do this little like blob in the center and there's no exactness to it. And then I make believe here, and it doesn't even have to go around the color. Exactly. Some of the leaves can kind of, like be hiding behind the other ones. And so now you can see it's a little bit lopsided, So I'm gonna add a leaf that kind of hides behind there. I'm gonna add another leaf that's kind of hiding behind there. And then what you do from here is I just like to just kind of do some scribbles in the center and then just take my pen and just want a real quickly bring it out so that it's doing those extra marks there. And I like to do it on the edges a little bit stad interest. And there you go. There is your flower. Just a few little scribbles. If you can scribble, you can do this. So you're just kind of making the leaves again and coming up. Some of you know my story, but I never thought I had an artistic bone in my body until just simply last year. It was 2016. I was writing a book called Broken Kranz. Still Color, and I really felt like I was supposed to do the coloring pages. I wanted to hire someone, but I really just sensed I was supposed to do them. And so I sat down and I did research, and I learned how to do coloring pages. And I have an entire course on that hearing skill share how to create your own East easy, easy coloring book design. But that opened the door for me, for our and to realize. Oh my goodness, I can do this. You know, this is something I can do. And so I like to show you that you can do this like it doesn't have to be hard. It can be very easy. And so that's one of the things I love doing. Is breaking it down, showing you that it is definitely doable. I'm a researcher, I'm a learner and I am a teacher. So when I learned something, I always want to teach other people. So that's one thing I love about teaching here in skill share is I get to teach you what I have learned along the way and I'm continuing to learn every day I love ive been taking classes here in school. Shooter I I'm addicted. I love it because I am a a learner, learner, learner. But what I like to do again, Like I said, I want to break it down for you. And I want to show you that it is doable as possible. And you can just with a few squiggles, you could make some beautiful flowers, right? So we're almost done here with our flowers. How about that? We're done with this background with just a few watercolor blob's not even circles there blobs a few little stems. You're done, and now you can write whatever you want on this for lettering and have a beautiful piece that you can be proud of. So I hope that you have enjoyed thes 10 watercolor backgrounds, and now you have a skill that you can use and get creative with. You can just add different variations, toe all 10 of these ideas and have dozens and dozens and dozens of different ideas for backgrounds you can create. So let's do this. Tag me on Instagram. I would love to see your work. My instagram handle is at color my world beautiful. And thank you for joining me in this class. 13. Class Project: We have now completed 10 different watercolor backgrounds together, and your project for this class is to post a picture of your backgrounds that you created. If you just created one, or you can just share your favorite one that you created, take a picture. Show us in the project area. Just click the your project tab. You have to be currently on a computer or a browser and just click the your project tab. And there you will be able to upload your picture. And I'm so excited to see what you create. I hope that you experiment with different color combinations. You experiment with adding a little twist of your own. But I would love it, even if you just simply do the exact ones that I showed you and upload them because I love seeing you enjoy watercolor and all the colors available to you to create some really exciting watercolor backgrounds. So thank you so much for uploading your project. You inspire us when you upload your project, and it's so exciting for all of us to be able to see what you create 14. Next Steps: There you have it. We have created together 10 easy watercolor backgrounds anyone can create in just a few minutes. Teoh add pizazz and color to your lettering layouts. I hope you enjoy the class, and now you have a lot of ideas for ways you can just add simple, easy and quick backgrounds to your lettering. If you enjoy this class, I would really appreciate you simply taking a moment to post your review here on skill share. There should be a pop up at the top of your screen that says, Would you recommend this class to other students? Simply click yes and post a sentence or two about what you learned, what you appreciated or what you've gained from this class, and it would mean the world to me. It also helps to reach more people with his training. And so I appreciate you taking a moment to do that. I love watercolor. I love everything about it. I love how it blends. I love how it mixes. So look for more classes from me. Make sure to click the follow button here on skill shares so you'll be notified when I publish a new class and also joined me on Instagram. My handle is at color my world beautiful and I post daily art videos and many tutorials on Instagram on a daily basis. Again, My name is Shelly Hits and it has been my joy and my pleasure to take you through this class and to share my love of watercolor with you. I hope that you enjoyed it and that you will continue to make many, many more watercolor backgrounds in the days to come and I'll see you in the next class.