Abstract Watercolor Painting- Backgrounds | Chris V | Skillshare

Abstract Watercolor Painting- Backgrounds

Chris V, Artist, Designer, Maker

Abstract Watercolor Painting- Backgrounds

Chris V, Artist, Designer, Maker

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7 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Tools & Materials

    • 3. Rough Strokes

    • 4. Blended Strokes

    • 5. Crossed Strokes

    • 6. Easy Special Effects

    • 7. Outro

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About This Class


Hi there, and welcome to Abstract Watercolor Painting- Backgrounds! So happy you're here!  This time I’m teaching an all new concept. Abstract watercolor painting with a focus on beautiful textured backgrounds. This is a free class for those of you who want to engage something fun and meaningful while you are home during this crazy, unexpected time of uncertainty.  Art is a healer and known to relieve stress, so it's potentially a great antidote to what you are dealing with right now. 

Painting with watercolors can be very freeing, especially when done with no agenda, goal or expectations. This process is meant to be a no pressure, non-accuracy technique to allow you to completely relax and let the paint flow. There is no wrong way to do this!!! It's often that when you're not striving for perfection, you can let go and find your unique style, favorite colors, and preferred technique.

I’ll paint 3 different backgrounds in 3 different ways, but there is so much more you can do with this project! I’ll show you what tools and materials I use in this class, My favorite techniques and some fun extras. But I encourage you to use whatever you have with you right now.

This method is perfect for creating backgrounds for social media posts, covers, greeting cards, or simply for stress management. My hope is that you will just have fun and let your creativity come out in anyway it wants to.

So grab your art stash and meet me in the next video to get started. See you there!

Chris V.  ;-)

Meet Your Teacher

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Chris V

Artist, Designer, Maker



I'm Chris V., the creative behind OctopusConnection.com, the online wonderland, where I've brought together all my illustration, blog posts and other fun projects.  Watercolor and illustration has been a life long passion for me, and I'm so excited to be sharing my knowledge, tips and tricks with you in my classes.

I'm happy to invite you into my studio and share with you all of the little things I've learned along my creative journey.  I have a no pressure learning environment, so share any project, question or comment without the threat of feeling like it's not good enough.  We all have to start somewhere.  I did!


Is art your happy place? Mine too!!! So I've produced over 20+ classes t... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, I'm Chris Fee, and I'm so happy to welcome you into my studio once again. This time I'm teaching an all new concept abstract watercolor painting with focus on beautiful textured backgrounds. This process is meant to be a no pressure, non accuracy technique that will allow you to completely relax and let the pain flow. It's often when you're not striving for perfection that you can let go and find your unique style, favorite colors and preferred techniques. I'll paint three different backgrounds in three different ways, but there's so much more you could do with this project. I'll show you what tools and materials I'm using in this class, my favorite techniques and some fun extras. But I encourage you to use whatever you have with you right now. This method is perfect for creating backgrounds for social media posts, covers, greeting cars or simply for stress management. My hope is that you will just have fun and let your creativity come out in any way it wants to. So grab your art stash and meet me in the next video to get started. Abstract watercolor painting backgrounds See there 2. Tools & Materials: So I just grabbed a few quick art supplies like a large and flat brush. A large and small round brush. Um, this is very open ended, though you could use so many different things. I've got this extra pad for testing colors. I'll show you in the next video. I've got a ah Windsor Newton watercolor pan set any Windsor Newton watercolor tube set, all probably working with a tube set, most of this class and then for paper. I've got 100 £40 cold press paper by fluid. Cold pressures means it's absorb and hold lots of water, but you can use anything you like board or whatnot. You can use a brush as you like. You can use, um, just paper towels for brushes. I want this to be very easy, a recycled cup for water and paper towels to step up my brushes with and other things you'll see in the next video. And I will see you there 3. Rough Strokes: so I'm going to dive right in. Uh, I've chosen to kind of a peachy orange color to to paint this painting with, but I wanted to show you this little sketch pad that I always keep by my work table where I paint because I don't know if you guys get this, but I get fear of a blank page. At times. I don't want to mess up my precious papers, so I get stuck and this little pad is just plain old sketch paper. I don't have to worry about screwing it up and see how it's buckling under the water. It's not really met for for water coloring, but I contest ideas on it and it works like a charm. All I have to do is just throw some paint down or to sketch something really quick and it gets my juices flowing. And next thing I know, I'm ready to paint on my cold press paper. So I just want to show you that little tip. Now I am ready. I like what I did with that. The colors on that previous little sheet and I'm gonna start by wedding, the paper and when I kind of keep the colors in the center. Um, I encourage you to pick whatever colors that makes you feel good. Whatever colors you feel like painting. Maybe it's paint colors in your home. Maybe it's something that inspired you on social media. Just don't be too thoughtful about this. Just pick a color and enjoy putting it down on the paper. I am going to go ahead and actually mix my color right on the paper because I really want this to be very random. I want this to be accidental. I want this to kind of do its own thing, and and that's the whole purpose of this exercise is to not worry about how it actually comes out and not have too strong of a plan in mind. Just lay down the paint and enjoy watching it flow. Um, mixed the colors you can if you if you're not comfortable without, of course, mix your colors in in the art pan. But I just want to give you guys this option because it is quite fun to watch the colors sort of spread and blend, and then when they stay a little bit separate, it kind of creates an interesting effective of layering. So I'm going to go ahead and rinse my brush out and let this dry, and they're gonna go in for another layer. So all this paint is still a little bit wet on conceit, kind of glistening in the light. You can see that there are, Ah, the P is kind of pooling around the outside. I love to just tilt the paper and again, just watch the paint sort of flow around. Um, I'm going to go ahead and take my brush and smooth this out and create more brush strokes at the top and the bottom. I want it really rough on the top of the bottom just to show some really rough strokes on this particular piece. And now that it has dried, I'm going to go ahead and go in with another layer of paint that's a little bit darker. Um, just to add sports, um, depth to this one. I want a lot of texture on it. I'm gonna go ahead and mix it in my pan, and I want a little bit more. Oh, yeah, it's a little more orange. Okay, great. Just a little more red and then go down and see how that looks. And you can see I'm just randomly swiping my paper. I'm not trying to make this look pretty. I'm just putting paint down on paper and you can see I've changed to my smaller flat brush . It's gonna allow me to have a little bit more control. Um, and now that if I add some water, I'm gonna be able to, um, move that pain around the paper a little bit more. So I've decided to take my larger brush. And you know, you can change from brush to brush to brush. There's no it's really a very open technique. Do whatever you feel like. I just wanted to add a lot of more water and this big brushes. So, uh, perfect for that. It very quickly gets the peace really wet. And you can see now it's it's got a lot more lights and darks. It's got a lot more brushstroke texture. So we're building. So now that has dried again. You can see that starting to buckle because I got the paper really wet, but with a little bit of twisting and and just curving, just being careful not to crease your paper. You can get it pretty flat again. And then I always put it underneath a book if I need to, so that it turns out really, really flat at the end. But you can see we've come out with some beautiful brush texture. I am happy with this one. And I will see you in the next video to start a new one. 4. Blended Strokes: So for this next painting, I'm going to go ahead and again, dive into the paint, but mostly water. Getting this paper nice and wet. And I'm starting out with a purple violet color. To be honest, I'm not living the purple. I think I'm gonna try more of a blue tone. Get more of this blue on here groups and I am dropping a hair from my brushes. Get that out of there. And I'm just gonna rinse this brush out. Um, always good to rinse your brushes after every use, just to keep the paint from drying on and ruin your brush. And I'm going to switch to this smaller flat brush, which is a little softer, and I can't just grab a lot more more this paint with it, And I'm just gonna lead down a lot of more blue. I'm not sure that's quite the effect I want either. So I'm gonna rinse my brush out again, and I'm gonna go with this. Green is called a variety and green. It's not super light, and it's not super dark, especially if you keep it wet. But I like the tone in it. And with the blue it'll kind of have a teal look to it, I think. Yeah, I'm liking this a lot better. It just goes with my mood right now. I like this. Ah, this shade to you. See, you can see how I pick my colors and often times it's quite random. I'm going to go and switch over. Now that this is dry to a larger round brush, you can see I've been keeping my strokes in circular motions. This pain, he's gonna have a whole different textures in the last. And I wanted to feel very swirly and very soft how the paint comes together, but still plenty of texture so and continuing. Continuing with these circular brushstrokes, um, around brush lands very nicely to a circular motion It didn't, and just keeping a darker and darker in the center and lightning as I go out will be a nice effect. And it's just gonna add a little bit more blue to that. See how it's looking a little more teal, I like that color a lot, and I'm just going to go ahead and soften the edges with a little bit of water just to blend so the lines aren't quite so harsh, but I still want to leave some just I want some texture, but not too many harsh lines. And water is perfect for smoothing those lines out. Now, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret because I'm super impatient. I got this paint blow dryer from paper source. It has ah, switch on the bottom and just plugs into the outlet. And it's essentially a blow dryer, uh, which I could have used my blow dryer from the bathroom. But I love the convenience of having this one sitting on my our table all the time that I could just grab and use concede it's all done and we are ready for the next painting. 5. Crossed Strokes: So once again, I'm going to start right in with some color, and this time I'm going to choose a gray scale. So I'm gonna be painting with some black paint and watering that down. This time I've decided to create a crisscross pattern with my brush strokes. And I'm hoping you can see that this possibilities for this project is really endless. I hope that you feel free to use your creativity in this, or you're very welcome to follow along. But there are lots of other ways of doing this and creating patterns in your brush strokes . So I'm just going to be layering and layering and letting it dry and layering a little more . Um, that's the plan here. I'm just gonna be adding water and then paint and then water and then paint. Um, so I want to make sure this plenty of brushstroke in character. So I'm just adding a little bit of water to this. And now that that has dried, I'm going to be adding another layer so you can see I have some nice sort of square and rectangle shapes in the center, not regular ones, But you can kind of see a pattern there. Now I'm going in with some darker lines. I'm just gonna keep dropping paint into the wet stripes that I'm painting until I feel like I've got enough. And then we can just stop it that I think you can stand back at some point. Say, I think I'm finished. So that's what I'm waiting for. We're almost there now that that's a dried I love this light and dark. That was You could see the layering in this. I'm just gonna add a little bit more nearly done with this one. It's a very quick process, really, or you can spend hours on it. It's really up to you. It's all about the relax ation and getting lost in the process. I hope you've enjoyed this one, and I will see you in the next video to talk about some special effects 6. Easy Special Effects: So I just wanted to bring you back in for three additional very easy effects. Some you may have already done others. Maybe not. So, um, I'm just want to take a moment to show you how you can add additional texture additional. Look, I'm just gonna quickly wet the center of my painting with a darker orange for contrast. And once I've gotten that nice and wet and them center, I want to take the end of my brush and I'm going to run it through the paint. Now, this is definitely more dramatic with a white background rather than painted. But I still are going to get a bunch of lines in my paint, which is going to show it really well in photographs. It's just gonna add a little something more and of just gonna I kind of pull some of the paint off. This brush is a little bit of water in it, so I'm just gonna pull some of the the pain. Often you can see as I bring it close up, how is added some detail, and as it dries, it will intensify Another thing I could do to add a little more drama is to dip the end of the brush in the paint and actually put some painted lines across this piece kind of like in the horizontal direction. I could crisscross it, but I like I like the contrast between the up and down strokes in the background and this paint going horizontally across. Another effect I love is to dip my paper towel in my paint water and then dip it in my paint and then dab my painting with it. That's another really great technique you can actually do on a whole nother painting, too. But I just wanted to add a little bit more to make this painting a little more interesting . Just a little bit. Just a slight bit of texture can see how that's dabbed up in several places. But again, you could spend a lot more time on that technique and get some really interesting results all on its own. I like that a lot. I think it's pretty cool the next what I'd like to show you is to dab the paper towel in the paint water once again and this time pulled the paint up so the water is going to remove the paint wherever I'm dabbing this paper towel, and I just want a little bit more contrast in the center of this painting. Not much, just enough that you can see it's already pulled quite a bit of pain out. So that's kind of fun now on this one and do something completely different again. This method is more dramatic, with the plain white background and then adding pain on top. But I think it will still be a lot of fun and out a lot of texture. So I'm gonna again, what? The center of this painting with, of course, some paint. And I've got some Celtic salt Celtic Sea salt that I am just dumping onto this painting and what's up? What that's gonna do is wherever the salt lands, it's going to also pull the paint up off. So if there's darker paint around, it will create a contrast, because where the salt is going to get a lot lighter. So I'm just gonna add dad pain. You could see me dabbing paint wherever the salt is located on the painting, and that's looking like it's gonna have a nice effect. I just want to add some more of this, um, Celtic salt you can use table salt to, but I'd like to use that kind. It's just again bigger Granules, so it gives you just a more dramatic effect. But table salt also works very nicely. And once it's dry, which now you know, I've used my dryer on it. You can take your finger, an eraser or some paper and scrub off these Granules of salt, which have dried onto the paper and underneath. You'll see how they have pulled the paint and left a nice, grungy light texture behind it. I'm just gonna dump that in my trash can and I'll give you a close up here. You can see how that's added to the look of the painting. I love that. That's very fun. So I hope you can use some of this, um, and have some fun with it. 7. Outro: I'm so glad you decided to stop by and spend some time with me in my studio. I hope you enjoyed this process. And most of all, I hope you had fun and found some relaxation. I enjoyed showing you different ways of painting with watercolors. How a mixed color on paper as well. Some simple effects. Abstract painting is perfect for those who are looking for stress relief to jump start your creativity and to help you discover your own unique art style by paying attention and making no of your favorite colors, brushes and techniques, you're encouraged to be really inventive with your work or welcome to follow along with me in the videos. Either way, I can't wait to see your work in the project gallery. Get ready to make beautiful artwork you can use for social media posts, greeting cards, wall art or just because I'd also be so grateful for your review so I can keep improving my classes. And if you hit the follow button under the class title, you received updates on my upcoming classes. But now it's your turn. Abstract painting backgrounds. You got this