Balloon dog. A Loose Beginner's Watercolour Class with Jane Davies | Jane Davies | Skillshare

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Balloon dog. A Loose Beginner's Watercolour Class with Jane Davies

teacher avatar Jane Davies, Professional Artist and Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Sketching Out

    • 4. First Layer

    • 5. Second Layer

    • 6. Third Layer

    • 7. Taking Colour Out

    • 8. Flicking and Tidying

    • 9. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Let me show you how to paint this balloon dog in a loose, flowing wet on wet technique using just one colour 

Balloon Dog is going to be a really fun, simple class. It will allow me to show you how to build up multiple, wet on wet layers, quickly and confidently. Balloon Dog has nice round shapes, that aren’t intimidating. The finished painting will have you smiling and wanting to paint balloon dogs everywhere! 

If you’re just starting your watercolour journey and haven’t done my two earlier beginner classes, Simple Trees and Simple Butterflies, I’d suggest taking a look at those first


I will show you:

  • How to add three layers
  • How to work confidentially and quickly 
  • How to take colour out 
  • How to just have fun with the wet on wet technique!

You will be painting the humorous balloon dog and be amazed and inspired to add these easy techniques into your future artwork with confidence

Past reviews

"That’s the shortest and best class on Skillshare"

“Jane has immediately become my favourite SkillShare teacher! Her unique style and explanations of how and why are fantastic! Thank you, Jane!”

"A very enjoyable way to begin to learn the fun and skill of watercolour"

“Thank you sooooo much! I've been waiting for your class to start. I'm thrilled. Love you’re easy to follow style. As a beginner, it means a lot to me to be able to follow the lesson well. Looking forward to the next one.”

“Really find this new way to paint watercolors challenging and exciting to explore. The class is great for building or adding to techniques”

"I was so excited to find out Jane had started watercolour classes on Skillshare! I had the privilege to have a one to one session a while ago and was wanting to arrange another one but the pandemic, of course, meant it was not possible. As an amateur beginner, I only had exposure to YouTube videos and some online classes but the wet in wet techniques always remained a mystery to me. I didn’t appreciate how liberating and magical letting the watercolours run free on the paper would be! Thank you for this brilliant class Jane, really looking forward to the next one”

"I already adore Jane's work and this class couldn't be different. She has magical hands to bring beautiful images to life in watercolour, and this beginner's exercise is a great way to get rid of our fear to work with this medium. I had so much joy, it was relaxing and I got confident of using paint on wet without that feeling that "I'm gonna ruin everything."

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Meet Your Teacher

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Jane Davies

Professional Artist and Teacher


Let me tell you a bit about myself...

I’m an international selling artist specialising in painting pet portraits and wildlife. I live, paint, teach and walk my lovely spaniel in the beautiful South Downs National Park, England

Over the last ten years, I’ve taught myself the watercolour techniques you see today. Not having been to art school, finding my own way has been fun and sometimes daunting but has allowed me to develop my own unique style




In 2016 I began teaching my free flow methods to small groups of beginner artists. After a move in 2018, I was fortunat... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Welcome to this beginner's would cutoff where we'll be painting a balloon dog. He's going to be a bit of fun, but he will allow me to introduce you to adding multiple wet and wet layers quickly and confidently. Balloon Dog has very simple shapes that aren't too intimidating. If you're fitting unfamiliar with adding wet layers on top of one another. I've provided you with a template that balloon dog in resources pages. I'm feeling confident enough to draw him out as he has some unusual shapes. In this class, we will build up three layers in a really simple, fun way, which you're going to love. And we use just one color. I'll show you how to work quickly and confidently without the need of lots of fussing. By being bold with the amount of colour we use. In a third layer, I can show you how to add and take away color to build up that feeling of that squeaky Balloon Dog. This class will have you smiling and wanting to paint balloon dogs everywhere and all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes. I'm Jane Davis. I live paint, teach. I woke my lovely spaniel in the period full south downs National Park, England. Over the last ten years, I've taught myself the watercolor technique that you see today. Not having been to art school, finding my own Wayne has been fun and sometime don't drink. First allowed me to develop my own style. This has led me to teach others, either on a one-to-one basis or as part of a group. Wonderful studio in the heart of the self-doubt. I also run a successful commission-based business, painting PET portraits and wildlife art in my own home studio. In all my classes, you will follow along in real-time, or I can guide you to keep your work loose and fresh without over fussing. I'll be sharing lots of tips and tricks along the way too. If you'd like to learn more about me or my work, please pop over to my website at Jane Davis watercolors dot co WK. This can be found on my profile along with links to my Instagram and Facebook pages. I'm very active on my social media pages. I love sharing my art is special and stories with many ideas, works in progress and tells us Julio life. I really hope you will share all your paintings on the projects page. Has a love seeing them our species. And don't forget, I'm here to help if you get stuck or have any questions. I want you to experience that buzz of painting in his liberating wet on wet lose style. So come and join me. 2. Materials: So welcome to pollute. Ok. As I'm going to run to the colours and materials you Cantonese today. So I've chosen today or per pink, so you can choose any color you fancy. I was going for red coat when I found out for pink Otho. Yeah, gotta have for preparing. The color is completely up to you. It doesn't matter. We have a little stencil with which you can find in the Resources pages. It's quite nice to. Yeah, just a sketch round. I'll have my killed ten by ten melt, which is quite nice to mount your final piece, but obviously not necessary at all. We have blocking for 200 pound not watercolour paper. I wouldn't go any lighter than that. Although as you'll find, it's buckling of warping on you. So we do use quite a lot of water. We have a pencil and I have my three brushes today. I have I have my usual size ten. My little rigor, which you just did a a small brush. You don't have to have a rigor. And I've also got a little chisel brush. This is just for taking or tidying up the edges right at the very end service. It's a synthetic welfare than sable with just takes color article bit better. Pulse of water, going a bit of paper, towel, kitchen role, and a head y will be quite handy for this one because we do quite a lot of ways. Three lies here. The laser quite quick to do and the drying time is a little bit longer, so the hairdryer just speeds the process along. And I think that's all you need to know. Their painting. 3. Sketching Out: Okay, so I've got my little stints already to go around. Firstly, on my old scrappy mount, chunk into inside no, either keep any pits of ox you do on this on your final piece. And we will main piece is light. She can't get You don't really want to see me pencil marks on your final piece. And as we do multiple layers, it's quite hard to get any off that might be underneath the layers. I'm just gonna sketch round him. Start with, this is an old piece of wood color paper thinking might be the landscape at some point. Obviously didn't go very well. Ok, now he's got little marks here. And if you can see that on the camera, and that's where the joins that the balloon would base. It got nice. Apache put those on because what we're gonna do is strengthen those up. Let's say keep yeah, I'm compressing a bit harder to see. You can see Bob would keep these lines and psi is as light as you can. That way you can see them. Something like that. Okay. Just going to say I wouldn't do these pension lock is half as strong as I've done them better. I kind of want you to be able to save. 4. First Layer: So grab your big brush, load it up with water, and again, all wet on wet. So it's lots of water and we're going to go all over him. I would miss out in little weither, his nose or the type of a balloon. But the rest of it needs to be wet. And I show him, he set the table as well as we go around town and do that. Now, before I forget, we tried to be as careful as you can about staying in your inside the line, the outer lines. Because obviously the Peyton Peyton fine that the wetness. I don't you're always very good at doing the sister Rosa kid, staying within the lines, supplies. But say if you go over, don't worry too much because they can be tied to dump at the end. You want it nice and wet. You almost want it to the stage where it's sitting in puddles. You really do want to get wet. So really heat up and down. So you can you can see whether you've left any dry patches. I think I've got them all, so I'm gonna pick up a tube. And if you haven't tried painting out the tube, it would be a good time to try it because you need quite a lot of paint. If you've got plans can be quite hard. You're gonna have to do a lot of, lot of working to get enough paint on there. So what we're gonna do is simply, now this is a really, really easy exercise if you just do it quickly and try not to over foss and don't worry, it's all gonna move around. That, that's half the fun of it. We're just gonna go literary round. Is painting around, bound these shapes. Just going round the outside. I'm actually almost painting. Quite sure if it's a brushstroke that we want lots of paint because you've got to swiftly around in a minute, so it's got to find its way into the middle. Work quite quickly. Don't, don't worry, it's better to do it quickly and to do it, but it's not, it's not doesn't have to be precise. It just has to be on the outside. And hopefully not too much outside the lines. Soon as he's gotten more covered. And this is the fun bit. Poppaea, push down and you paint. He pick up, pick up a piece of paper and you just swim around. If you can see what that point moving around. Water. If you haven't got your paint, well, you paper wet enough. We haven't got enough paint. You can and can't pick up the Bosch drops and water in the vision is quite warm again and hit. So everything's drawing a little bit quicker. On the wall is wet. You can co-editing critical bit safe, safe incidence. This is moving a lot here and it's probably where I started is almost onto dry so I can become a paint again, proper. Pop a little bit more on there, and just pick a piece of paper up again, swirling around. So the idea is we're going to leave white or light Apaches in the middle. So don't choose her too much. You don't want it completely. Monotone. Ideas, a little bit darker on the edges and Pedro in inside. As I've laid my piece paper down, I can see I've got puddles on just sucking up so it's clean. You brush off, take the excess moisture or few Bosch and just, just just touched the paper. And if you've got new like here, this is, this is quite white. It doesn't matter because we're so joys of doing layers you can build upon that it doesn't matter. It'd be better to have it whiter than it is monotone here. Why at least almost washed into much. I'm very carefully, really, really carefully just taken a little bit out. You don't want to overfit or this the joy of it is it's just It does is he's ONE thing. If you were to try and fill too much and manipulate it, you'll lose at lovey sort of Washington's. So I'm not going to anymore to that on this first layer. So it needs to dry completely. So I would suggest clapping you hadron and giving a wi's over a word of caution, mind is still quite wet. Say let it dry a little bit so it gets that sort of tacky stage, then give it a blast. If you were to give her a good old hetro I now you'll find some of that pigment or end up over there and you'll get it all very monotone. So let it dry a little bit and I'm 2pi back for the next layer. 5. Second Layer: Okay, so my lucky Balloon Dog has enjoyed quite well or may have been it'll hasty with hair dry. So some of these monotone. So take my own advice, I should be a little more patient, but that it doesn't matter. Any marks you may have had. All God, this is a bit odd. Hair. Delays will suffer all these things down. So that's the joys of loops and multiple layers. We can kinda rectify anything that may have looked at lot Walton trying to swap it out at the time. So what we're gonna do is exactly the same as the first lab. We are going to write everything down aren't being really bad adjective going round my loins equal this. So hopefully you done a better job than I have tried to tried to ST id lines and we're going to get everything down. If he had dried your piece off. You may have may find the border would dry quite quickly. Just because you we've wound up piece paper. I tried to concentrate today and vice I my lines and talking is proving to be tricky. Okay? So you want to add this layer very gently. Don't want to disturb that first last year. You'd want to apply this carefully as you can. There's no hurry pedaling too much. They're just taking some of that out legacy that the bill puddle sitting there to have nice stretched paper, which I will show you a class B, you can stretch paper. So then it's, it's really nice and flax you don't have any sort of whooping and bubbling around, but it's a fun exercise. I don't want to make it to want to get a piece of stretched paper, it becomes little more important and useful clamp up. So these fun exercises and classes are nice just to stand a little bit more spontaneously. Ok, so it's exactly the same process. Lots of painfully Bosch. And we're gonna go all the way around again, all the way around. Your yellow lines. Give me suddenly I was again. Doesn't matter at all going to run, you can see all running here and that's exactly what you want. There's not much controlling this at the moment. The third layer would do a little bit more controlling us. Where the fun starts. You might even find that this stage, depending on your paints as a repaint, has their own sort of unique characters. But as you begin to lay your find exactly same amount of paint on your brush and exactly the same amount of water on your paper, your paint to widespread as much. So as you build up layers, you'll find your, your paint doesn't move as much in that. We sort of build up to some of the shadows and depth in paintings. But this is, we don't need to do my pet portraits. I tend to just work on sort of dark areas and leave leave the lighter areas paint spreads on its own accord into those who don't need to worry about that. Okay. I think I've covered all those, so hopefully paint down, cleaner or follow remember down and then pick up again and give a swirl around. So that k same thing. Say, it's hard for me to judge how you all she's going but you, you want to again do the outside edge is just to be dark and the insight to be lighter. See you want to just work and I've just made sure I covered that boy's head, I suppose. Because our left tips quite white. Light first layer. And it just keeps whizzing around. And as soon, as soon as you going, you've got that sort of darker agents, slightly darker. So a Dark Ages, slightly lighter inside and late flat. Again, it just needs to dry. So same process. Make sure and I will make sure I don't get to ego Mahindra and just let it dry a little bit before you, you have a blastula Hendra. I might do is actually do this. Tail, say with a clean brush to sweep up some, your paint should run up that tail. You tell can either be done right at the end along with the digital news or we can just add a little bit of color now. It makes him look a little bit more whole. Just sucking out. Let's just say that's puzzling a little bit. And say, try your hardest not to interfere too much with the paint. Just distillate doing things. They, everybody's paint relax slightly differently and different rates of flow and all sorts of things. For me to, to judge how yours is going. But it looks like, hey, and I will give it another blas illuminate, won't see steroid it, it'll weights. And then we will do the third layer. 6. Third Layer: Okay, so my second layer is nice and dry, so it's own with a third. So grab your big brush again, load up of water. And we're going to do almost as I say, we're wasting all down again. So bear in mind you say we've lost it with hedge while your paper's going to be wounds heal, it would dry quicker. Nice and wet again. I think a lot of that going on my second wash say you want to wet the tail down as well as time. Go and copy sale. Let Q is lovely. And once again, this one, you don't want it as wet. Say me saying He's lovely, make sure he's loving what you want it weight cannot not paddling as much maybe as the as the first two layers was. What we're gonna do is Sean just strengthen Uppsala, these dark areas and some of these joins and not actually going to be twiddling this time. So I pick up the paint. Now I want to start adding some some strength valleys joints. Hopefully you haven't done a too strong a pencil line like I have that centralized way so you can, hopefully you can see my join us and make us a bit more sense. But so I'm, I'm picking the paint out and back to dabbing now often that she painting. And this is just starting to strengthen the symptoms that were areas out. This will bleed into these other layers, but the other areas, you just want to work grounds, joints, VD, and any way you think you have some you may have certain areas may be a bit too light or a little bit too hot. You say a little bit, yeah, a little bit too light. So you want to sort of strengthen. Those are just tapping is no greater. Not brushing anything can just tap in the economy and put it underneath his belly. And saying just, just look at your own piece. Going to be slightly different at this stage because even just the fact we've overused probably different paints. Tail before he joins with Tails dot into joy already. He has he has colonise tile. Just, just working around the just strengthening up the darker areas nearby reminds through a balloon as it were. So we want the middle parts to be lighters, just keeps it nice and a rounded look. And this is how I would say my pet portraits, how I would build up layers to slowly working on darker areas of your head, different colors to play with, but just having the one collars keeps it a little bit simpler. You can kind of get an idea. I have to worry about college choices as well. Just to stabbing wound. You can see there's a big puddle and here's what we want to clean my brush often, suck up them in that set. Who he is to start to see now is enjoyed. A very gradual thing is not really very obvious. As I keep looking, keep watching because it's all gonna be spreading this. It really, really got to observe your work. I think one sort of blindly going on to panic about it, just keep an eye on it. I think there's some stand up. I think I would start to crouch and hopefully I haven't got my hidden underneath camera and get a little bit of white, little bit away from it. And so you can have a look as if as if he were observing it from a from the wall houseboat from a little bit further ways. You don't really see pictures very close up. Before I continue tapping away here, I think I'm almost there actually with that. And he's almost done. So I'm going to just show you. 7. Taking Colour Out: You lift up a little bit of color. Mainly mind hasn't worked too badly. I've got acquire noise, quite nice light areas in here. But if you've got a little bit losses gone, a little bit monotone and clean. You brush off. Take a little bit of excess moisture for almost want you Bhatia, same moisture level as you're painting. The jazz scene, not taken too much color out you just stroking. And again, it's not very obvious and can be done better a little bit further away if he can. And I don't want to take any more cholera as Higgs, that's already quite pale. Area here. There's a little bit him easily taking out the middle here. Currently we monitor and in that first layer didn't say, he'd say I'm just very carefully taken color out and that's how you can go do my pet portraits, wind will work. Just take little bits of color out, little bits of light out as I go. Not they'll probably only do about four, maybe five layers depending his or the black Labrador tends to be quite it could be up to six or seven layers that is just gradually working exactly as we're doing here. Really. Just adding, taking out and watching. I think mine is there. So we say taken colorized, just stroking required in also really dry bascially it's very dry. You actually take you will take color out and it also sort of soak it up and draw it so you're left, we'll be left with quarter hard, clean lines if I can do that. And you just run a bush of complete Lindsay, affect quite that. My paint is some paints will leave you quite a nasty hard edge if I do this and this current being quite softened, it should be a little bit in waste When you say can kinda out for not doing add lots of water because that will give me some blooming effects, or is it just a practice? This is a great deal like size to keep practicing and doing good. You can try all these techniques without too much worrying because he is Aneesh, few shakes and it's done quite quickly. So I think he's almost tidy this up in a minute when it's driver. And the grabbed my little rational Just gonna do his nose in a wet it down. In myth, which I'm just going to paint him in actually going to be anything posture than that tool fancier than that. It's partly how you can get a character in a balloon do actually, depending on the angles of them here you can draw, draw out your own sweet jangle ran a bit heavy head down with the not of the balloon, almost gives them a character as well. Who thought? And tail, head. It's higher or lower losses of this pieces. You don't have to follow my stance or he he wanted to do something different. Now this needs to dry before I can tidy it up. That I start to tidy up now, I won't just make a mess. So vive was get my brush and try and tie delete edges up, face. Painting the tail would then just keep running into the wetted area I'm trying to tie D. So if you if you're doing any little bits and pieces like that, it's best to let it completely dry and then work on it. So don't don't work on any mistakes while you paint to do wet. So I'm going to give them a little hair dry again. So he's nice and dry and we can tie the edges up and do a couple of spatters. 8. Flicking and Tidying: Okay, so he's all nice and dry. So I can do a couple of tricky bits and some a little bit of tidying. And we'll show you how to do that. So I'm going to pick a line that can flood AND brush, get some water in that water that pretty color. Okay, and so what I'm gonna do is just to, I'm just swapping out. Nothing more fancy than that really. Save you to do it when it was wet. You'd find all the color from the volume is dark money into these temporary meta kitchen. Don't use your old over here because you're, you end up marking your painting. And over here, is it just a matter of going round really and tidying? What might you watch me dorm? Correct. All my areas but I think you get reduced. So just go around and tidy. Countertop is say I've got lots of, lots of little bits I can carry on and go round, but are what make you watch me do that. What we will do is to flicks and they'd get you pick a brush. I would suggest that we did with butterflies. I would suggest trying this on a scrappy piece of paper hand off camera and just say you got your spouse about right. So either you get your finger on tippy brush, that's got the got a bare paint on it. And he just, just flick. She says, don't go too crazy with these. I would miss out the bottom area who might look a bit odd. That is, your balloon dog doesn't really say hopefully you haven't put the pencil marks here. You've gone very carefully around the pencil marks. You won't see those, you should just have a nice strength where you pay on the third layer, we've added the extra paint and strengthen those. Joins up. I will pop a little fleeing ground mount round, although he's not really ready for viewings or haven't tidied him, but hopefully you get a, a general just so here he's quite frankly isn't in the colors really good. So yeah, have a go at him and I hope you really enjoy doing him. 9. Final Thoughts: So I hope you enjoy painting balloon dog. He was a bit of fun, was 10x and hopefully made you smell or you were painting him. How do you boiling the paper fill is a great way of quickly covering the subject, isn't it? If you found that paint didn't move as much as you would have liked at Mobutu on unix code. Using just one color to build up the layers makes it easy to see how you gain the depth. Also, did you notice the paint didn't move as much by that third layer? Will you able to lift out the college gently to give you a feeling of light? It takes a bit of gin to practice, to learn how much pressure to apply. Don't forget, every patient will slightly differently. So we look forward to seeing you in the next class.