Creating landscapes : painting night skies with watercolor | Sarah Van Der Linden | Skillshare

Creating landscapes : painting night skies with watercolor

Sarah Van Der Linden, watercolor artist & nature enthusiast

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10 Lessons (1h 4m)
    • 1. Intro

      1:05
    • 2. Supplies

      3:17
    • 3. Trying your blues

      5:15
    • 4. Painting the sky

      13:02
    • 5. Painting the stars

      11:43
    • 6. Painting the moon

      8:34
    • 7. Painting a landscape (1)

      8:44
    • 8. Painting a landscape (2)

      5:51
    • 9. painting a landscape (3)

      5:40
    • 10. Project time

      1:03

About This Class

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Hello everyone!

I'm so happy to welcome you in this class about painting skies with watercolor. This class will be focusing on night skies and on how to paint skies than can be part of a landscape.

My name is Sarah and I'm a watercolor artist from France. I really love painting landscapes and creating atmospheres inspired by what I see around me.

In this fun class, you will learn:

  • what supplies to use
  • 8 different techniques that you can use to paint skies :

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  • how to add stars in your sky
  • how to paint the moon
  • 3 step by step paintings :

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I will walk you through my entire process, and at the end of this class, you will be able to implement these techniques to paint your own night skies with watercolor.

This class is great for beginners, or anyone who want to explore and discover new techniques, or just want to have fun painting skies!

If you're interested in learning how to paint landscapes with watercolor, you can also check my other classes about pine trees, skies, hills and colorful tiny landscapes!

Transcripts

1. Intro: Hello everyone and welcome. I'm so excited to share with you today is this new class, about venting next guys with water color.Oh, my name is Sarah and I'm an artist living in the French countryside. All my inspiration comes from the natural world, and landscapes are my favorite subject.There are a dozen ways to bend to sky. In this class, I will share with you different techniques so that we can start creating your own.I will talk about the color blue.Show you different ways to bend the night sky and create pictures. Six ways to create styles.Our two Bender rule.And we plan to get, there are three liter landscapes from start to finish. At the end of this class, you will have all the tools you need to replicate the [inaudible].So grab rush your water color pallets,And let's get started. 2. Supplies: First, I'm going to show you what supplies we need for this class. In this class, we are going to experiment and play with different techniques, so I'm going to use a lot of things. My goal is to give you options, so I will use everything I have at home. First, you will need some watercolor paper. It's important to use a 300 gram per square meter. The brand does not matter at all. You can use this Canson, it's a great paper if you are a beginner, or you can use what you have. I really like this paper. It's called Fontaine by Clairefontaine, and it's a cold pressed paper. It's the paper I am using the most these days. You will also need some blue paint. Gather all the blues you have at home because we are going to try them all. You can use watercolor in tubes, like these ones, or you can use watercolor in a band set. I will also use a palette. Then you will need a few brushes of various sizes, a medium one and a few small ones. Since we are going to use some masking fluid, I recommend that you take an old brush because masking fluid can ruin a brush very quickly. We will also use an aqua brush, like this one, filled with clear water. I don't use it to paint at all. I just use it to add some clean water to my paintings. We will also use a toothbrush, this is an old one I use mostly for painting, of course a jar of water and some paper towel. Then we will use a few different things, some gel pens, if you have some. It can be silver, gold, or white. We will also use some kitchen salt, some white ink, it needs to be very opaque, some blue ink, this is some gold ink, some liquid watercolor, a blue would be perfect, and finally, I will be using this Caran D'Ache Neocolor one. This is a permanent wax pastel. It's pretty great to draw them on because it's water resistant. Finally, you will need some masking tape. That's it. 3. Trying your blues: Now, what I invite you to do is gather all the supplies you have and try them all to see how they look on the paper. I'm going to show you all the different blues I have and first I will start with my watercolors, and I'm going to add them in my palettes. This is some indigo, some Pythalo blue, some Prussian blue, I think it's already on my palette. This is some turquoise green and finally some cobalt blue. You can also use some Ptyens gray. Now, let me show you how all these colors are when they're on the paper. I'm starting with my Prussian blue, I'm going to add a bit of water in my palette and I will start with a very concentrated paint to have a very dark blue. Then I will add some water to create a gradient. Now I can see how the color looks when it's diluted. This one is my Prussian blue. Now I'm going to do the same for all my other blues. This is my Indigo, I'm starting with a very concentrated bents and then I will add some water to dilute it a bit. You can see that this blue is way darker than the first one. This is the Indigo. The next one is a Pythalo blue. This one is brighter than the other two, I'm going to add some water. Now, let's try the cobalt. Finally, the Ptyens gray, it's also a dark color so I can use it for the sky too. The turquoise green is not a classic color for a sky but I like to use it to add a bit of light in my skies. Now, I want to show you the blue ink and the blue liquid water color that I talked about in the supplies video. This one is the blue ink. I will do the same thing. First, I'm using it pure, and then I will add some water. Finally, some liquid water color from Ecoline and you can see that the shade of blue is pretty much the same than the ink. This is how it looks when it's pure, and now I'm going to dilute it a bit. I suggest that you do that with everything you have, try all your blues to see how they look and which ones you prefer. 4. Painting the sky: Like I said earlier, my goal in this class is to give you options. First, I'm going to show you different ways to paint the background of the sky, then I will show you how you can add some stars, and finally, how you can paint the moon, but first, let's start with the sky. Let's begin. You can choose to use only one color, one dark blue, and paint the whole sky with it. I will use some indigo for this one, and I'm starting at the top with very concentrated paints, because I want to have a really, really dark blue. I want to create a gradient, so I'm not going to load my brush with paint again, and instead I will use water, some clean water. I'm going to add more and more water towards the bottom. I don't want to obtain a perfect and clean gradient. Instead, I want to have something a little bit messy where there is some textures. I'm going to add a bit more dark paints and I'm moving back and forth with my brush, and I will add a bit more water at the bottom, and that's it for this one. For the second one, we are going to use the wet on wet technique. I'm going to use my Acura brush and wet all my paper and make sure that all the area is really, really wet. Now, I will try my tan blue this time, so I load my brush with paints and I'm dabbing at the paper. It's not because you are painting the sky that you have to paint everywhere. You can also leave some white space and just add some paints here and there. I'm not going to add some blue everywhere, I will just add a few drops at the bottom. I really want to have some white space and the blue will create a beautiful texture on my paper. I will now add a few more drops of this dark blue, you can see that this one is very different from the first one. It's almost as if there were clothes in my sky. For the third one, I'm going to add also water, but only at the end. I will use a different blue, and I'm going to start painting at the top. Just as we did earlier, I will add my darker blue at the top. My paint is way more concentrated, and then I will add a bit of water when I'm painting down. I'm adding a few more darker paints at the top, and with my Acura brush again, I will add some clean water at the bottom to create some texture. Now, I'm adding a few more drops. That's it. This white-space can be great if, for instance, you want to paint some trees at the bottom or some mountains. It will create a bit of depth and add sunlight. You can also do the same thing, but with two colors. Instead of adding water at the end, we will add another blue. This time, I will start with my turquoise, and I'm going to create the shape of the cloud in the middle of my page. I will clean my brush and take another blue, a darker one, and I will start painting at the bottom, just below the turquoise, and then at the top, because I want the two colors to blend a bit. You need to be quick because you don't want the turquoise to start drying, and that's why I'm starting by this area, and only after that, I will paint the rest of my sky. I'm adding a bit more indigo at the very bottom and then at the top. To finish, I will add a few darker drops to create some contrasts. Using two colors can be pretty great to create some depth in your sky. We can also do as we did here, but this time with one blue and one Nikki watercolor. I'm starting again with my darker blue. Let's say I will use my Prussian blue again, and I'm painting at the top. Now, I will use my liquid watercolor. I don't want my paint to start drying, so I'm going to add a bit more watercolor at the bottom, and then I clean my brush, and I'm adding my liquid watercolor. The blue will be a bit more saturated at the bottom, and it creates a nice contrast between the dark blue and the liquid watercolor. The other thing you can do is use a waveform wet technique, but with two colors. I'm going to add my paper with my Acura brush. I will start again with my turquoise, and I will just create a random shape in the middle. Since the paper is wet, the paint is going to spread, so don't add too much of that turquoise. Now, I'm going to take another blue and add it around this turquoise. It's a bit like painting clouds, just create a round and random shape at the top and at the bottom, and make sure that your turquoise doesn't start to dry. I'm trying not to let too much white space, but just a tiny bit here and there. I will add a few more drops of my turquoise here and there because I think it's a bit too pale and it doesn't contrast enough with my other blue. That's it for this one. The sky is lighter than here because I left that white space at the top and at the bottom. For the next one, I will use a few drops of my blue ink, but first, I will paint all my sky with some dark watercolor. Now, I will add a few drops of my blue ink, and with my brush am just adding there in my sky. I know you can't see towards the difference between the two blues in the video, but when it will be dry, I think it will be easier. Finally, for the last one, we are going to add water only at the end and create a shape in our sky. I will use the cobalt blue this time, and I start by painting in the middle. Now, I will add some indigo around the shape I just created. You can use any blue as long as it's darker than the first one, and make sure that it's not drying too fast because we have to add water at the end. With my Acura brush, I will add some water on all the white space on my paper, so everywhere where it's white, you add some water. I want the water to push the paint, so I will add a few more drops to make sure of that. I will add some more cobalt because I think it's too pale, and that's it for the last one. You can see that you can obtain different results depending on whether you wet your paper first or not, or if you had water at the end or in the middle, or if you mix your blues. 5. Painting the stars: Now I want to show you different ways to paint stars in your sky. First, I will use some masking fluid, and with it I will use an old brush, a brush I really don't care about because masking fluid can really ruin it very quickly. Since I'm going to do some splatters, I will protect my paper. I dip my brush in the masking fluid and then I'm just tapping with my finger on top of my brush to create some splatters. It's pretty great because it creates a random pattern. Just do this until you are happy with what you created. You can put stars everywhere in your sky or just at a few places, your choice. Now I have to wait until the masking fluid is dry, and then we'll be able to paint the sky. You will be able to tell when it's dry because the gray of the masking fluid turns darker. I'm going to remove my paper and I will paint the sky. I will use a large brush and some dark blue, and like we did in the previous video, I'm just going to paint this entire area. I will also add a few drops of a darker blue to add some contrasts. Now, you will need to let the whole sky dry before removing the masking fluid. It needs to be perfectly dry. For the next one, we will use kitchen salt. Again, I will start by painting all my sky with a dark blue, and before my blue starts to dry, I will add some kitchen salt. I'm taking just a few grains and I'm sprinkling them on my blue paint. Don't add too much salt, just a few grains is enough and then you have to wait until it's dry to see the results. Now I'm just going to paint my three next squares in blue and then we will paint the stars when the squares will be dry. I'm going to speed up a bit the video. Now that all my backgrounds are dry, I'm going to use some white ink for this one. I want to splatter some drops, so I will protect my paper again. I'm shaking a bit my ink before opening it. I'm taking my fine brush and I'm dipping it the ink, and then I'm just tapping with my finger on the brush to create some splatters. It's exactly the same movement that we did earlier with the masking fluid. Just keep adding some drops until you are happy with the pattern. It's great to have some small and big stars, and you can achieve this just by varying the amount of ink you put on your brush. Now, I'm adding a few more stars at the bottom, and that's it for this one. For the next one, I'm going to use a gel pen. It can be silver, white or gold. For the purpose of this exercise, I'm going to use a silver one because we didn't try it yet. I'm just drawing some dots with my pen on the sky. Try to create a random pattern. I think it's tougher with a pen because you are more in control than when you create splatters with a brush. As always, you don't need to add some styles everywhere in your sky. It can be to a few spots and try to draw some bigger dots and some smaller ones to create some differences and add interests. If you want, you can also combine the silver pen with a gold pen or the silver pen with the white pen. There is no rules do as you like. Downside of the pen is that it's harder to create a random pattern. But you can also combine it with the white ink, just as we did earlier, and mix the two together if you like. For the next one, I'm going to use some gold ink and this time we are going to create some splatters with a toothbrush. Shake a bit your ink first and make sure it's really liquid. Don't forget to protect the areas where you don't want to ask platters because with a toothbrush, it can go pretty much everywhere. I'm opening my ink. I will use the ink that is already in the gap, and we just add a bit of water because my ink is not liquid enough. What I will do with my toothbrush is that I'm going to dip it in the ink, and then I'm just doing these movements on the other side, of course, and it will create some splatters. Let me show you. I'm dipping my toothbrush and now with my finger, I can create some platters and you can see that it's pretty easy. Now, let me show you one last way to create some stars. I'm going to paint again the whole area with my blue. Before it starts to dry, I will use my fan brush and some water, and then we create some splatters again. The water is going to spread on the paint, so don't add too much, just a few tiny drops. This was the last one. Now, I'm going to show you how to remove the masking fluid. To do so, I'm going to use a piece of plastic. This is a piece of microwave plastic wrap. I will wrap it around my finger, and then I'm just scratching to remove the masking fluid. We now can see the stars appear in the sky. I'm also going to remove the salt. I'm still using my piece of plastic. Now you have six different ways to paint some stars. Of course, feel free to combine and mix all these techniques. 6. Painting the moon: We saw how to paint the sky, how to paint some stars. Now, I'm going to show you how to paint the moon. The first thing you can do is suggest that the moon is in the sky by leaving a round white shape. I'm going to show you two ways to achieve these results. The first one is to use the wet and wet technique again. I'm going to wet my paper completely with my aqua brush. Now I will take a brush that is not too big, and I'm going to load it with some dark blue. I'm going to paint a circle, a large one, because the paint is going to spread. I will take a bigger brush and some blue again and I will keep painting with some circular lines around my moon. You can use one blue, you can use two different blues, just as you wish. Remember to carefully avoid the white circle. This is one way of doing it. I'm going to show you another possibility. This time we're starting by painting the sky in blue and we are going to add water only at the end. I use a big brush and I'm starting by drawing a circle. Then I'm going to paint all my sky in a dark blue. You have to be quick because you don't want the paint to dry too much. The area where the moon is needs to remain a bit wet, so paint quickly. Now I will take my aqua brush and I will add water in the center. You can see that where the water is touching the paint, it's creating a lovely texture. That's it. Now I'm going to show you the permanent wax pastel I'll talk about in the supplies video. I will use the inside of my masking tape and I will put it on my paper. Then I'm just going to draw a circle and fill it [inaudible]. You can add a lot because the pastel can be a bit dry. You are not able to see anything yet, but if I take my brush and some blue paints and that I start painting, you will see that the paint does not cover the pastel. It create a lovely effects and you can suggest a moon with some clouds over it. This is another way to suggest that there is a moon in the sky. So now that you have your skies with some white space, you can decide to leave them like this and suggest that there is a moon, but without details. Or you can paint over it and add a few details. That's what I'm going to show you now. I'm using the inside of my masking tape to draw a circle with my pencil. Using my aqua brush, I'm going to wet the circle. Then I'm taking my fine brush and my pens gray that's already on my palette, and I'm going to add a few drops to add some texture on my moon. I'm using the wet on wet technique again. The paint is going to spread and don't add too much pens gray, just a few drops here and there and wait for the moon to dry to see the results. If you want to create some darker spots, you can add just a tiny bit more concentrated paint. That's it for the first one. Now I am going to do the same thing but with gall ink. I'm drawing my circle and then I will wet the area with my aqua brush. Then with a small brush and my ink, I will add a few drops on the water. Remember that your ink needs to be a bit liquid, otherwise it won't spread enough. To finish, I'm going to show you a third way to paint the moon. This time it will be a darker run. Again, I will use my masking tape to draw around. I will use some pens gray first. I'm going to paint the old circle. Before it dries, I will take some white ink and a fine brush again and I will add a few drops on my gray. If you prefer to have a pale moon, you can add a lot of whites, but if you prefer a dark moon, you can just add a few tiny drops here and there, but not too much. It depends on the fill you want to have at the end. Now you have multiple possibilities to paint the moon. You can let some white space as we did here. You can try the permanent wax pastel and after that, you can add a more detailed one in this white space. In the next video, we are going to start painting actual landscapes to put these techniques into practice. 7. Painting a landscape (1): Now that you have a lot of different techniques to paint the night sky, I am going to show you how to paint three landscapes from start to finish to put these techniques into practice. First, you have to choose a sky, how you want to paint the background. Then you decide if you want to add some styles or not. Finally, if you want to bend the moon and how detailed you want your moon to be. For this first landscape, I'm going to use this technique with a masking fluid to [inaudible] the stars. Then we'll be adding our sky. First I'm taking my masking fluid and remember to use a node brush. I'm deeping it in my masking fluid and I'm going to create some splatters. I won't put styles everywhere in my sky. But I will create a line to add some movements in my sky. Of course, I will have to wait until all my masking fluid is dry. Now, that my stars are dry. I'm going to start painting the sky. I will use two different blues. I'm starting with this one. This is my fellow blue and I will paint on top of my stars. Now, I will add a darker blue. This is my indigo, and I will add it around my first blue. The goal is at the two blues blend a bit where they are touching. It will help to add some contrasts to your sky. Now, with my aqua brush, I'm going to add some water at the bottom and at the top to create some texture around my sky. I'm going to add some water to the very bottom of the paper so that my blue can blend and spread on the page. Now I'm going to do the same thing at the top. I'm adding some clear water. I will add also a few drops and now to finish, I will add some blue ink. I'm noticing that my paint has started to dry. First, I will add a bit more watercolor. Now, I will take a smaller brush and ink, and I will add a few drops it run there on the stars. Now, I will let my sky dry and then we will add some elements at the bottom. Now that my sky is dry I will remove the masking fluid. I'm still using a piece of microwave plastic wrap around my finger and I'm carefully removing the masking fluids. You can see that the stars are appearing. Perfect. Now we can see the stars in our sky. To finish this landscape, and we'll add a few pine trees at the bottom. I will use some green, but feel free to use any color you want. I'm taking a medium brush. I will start first by drawing a line for the trunk. Then I will add the fourier edge. Let's paint another one. Same thing. First, I'm drawing a line for the trunk, and then I'm adding some fourier edge. I will use the same green, but a bit darker now to paint a subtree and the right, and this time it will be a bigger one. Now, I will take a different green. This is an olive green, and I will do the same thing. My goal is to add more pine trees, to have a line at the bottom and creating a forest of pine trees under my sky. I keep adding trees until you are happy with the results. You have to bend quickly because you don't want you first pine trees to start drying. The goal is at the two different greens blend a bit together. Finally, I will add a few blue pine trees and I switch my brush for a smaller one. This is exactly the same process. Again, I draw a line for the trunk first and then I'm adding the fourier edge. I'm using my indigo, the same blue I used for my sky. The goal is to connect the sky and the pine trees because it's so dark and light landscape. I will add another one on the right. This time, I will take my medium brush again and I'm still using my dark blue to pin the fourier edge. I'm just going to paint a cleaner line at the top. That's why I took smaller brush again. That's it for this first landscape. 8. Painting a landscape (2): For the second landscape, I want to paint the sky with the moon, so I'm going to use the wet on wet technique and leave some white space in the middle. First, I will wet my paper, this time I'm using a bigger brush and some clean water. Now, I'm taking a medium brush and this time I will use some turquoise, first, I'm drawing a circle, a pretty large one, to leave a lot of whitespace for the paint to spread and then with a circular movements, I'm adding a few lines. Now, I'm taking a bigger brush and some indigo this time and I will add some more lines. I'm carefully expanding my sky. Remember that the paint will spread so you won't be able to see the results just right now. I really like the movement it's creating in the sky. Now, I will add a bit more saturated indigo at the bottom of the sky and if you lose the wrong shape of the moon, if you think it's not round enough, you can use a paper towel and remove a bit of blue paint to create a circle again. When your happy with your sky, let it dry and then we will add some wild herbs at the bottom. Now, I will add some herbs at the bottom, and I will use some green paints again, use whatever one you want, I'm using a round medium brush again and some olive green. To create the herbs, just paint some lines with your tip of your brush, you can vary the sizes and the direction where the herbs are going, the goal is to create something a bit crazy. So with small lines, big lines and paint some lines at the bottom too. Now, I'm taking a different green and I will repeat the same process. I am painting a few lines again and the goal is that the two greens blender bits. Now I'm adding a bit more green at the bottom and if you're not comfortable using a medium brush, you can, of course, use a smaller one. Now, I will use a very, very fine brush and some olive green again and I will add a few more herbs. I'm starting on the left, remember to create something a bit crazy. Herbs are not growing in the same direction they are growing everywhere. Finally, I will add the same blue I use in my sky, the indigo, to paint a few herbs too, it's the same thing we did for the previous landscape, the goal is to connect the sky with the rest of the painting. You don't have to add indigo everywhere if you don't want to but creating a few lines and a few herbs would be perfect. Now, to finish, I will add a bit of water at the bottom with my aqua brush. I'm adding a line of water at the very bottom to create a bit of texture, and that's it. 9. painting a landscape (3): For the third landscape, I want to combine two techniques. I will use two blues and I will create a gradient and add water at the end. I will start painting at the top with my darkest color. It will be my indigo. I want this part of the painting to be the darkest. I will add some more saturated indigo at the top. Now, I will take a different blue that will be my Prussian blue. I will continue painting just under my indigo. I will add a few drops to help the two blues blend. Again, I wanted it to be darker at the top so I will add a few more drops of my Prussian blue. Now, before it dries, I will take my aqua brush and start wetting my paper at the bottom first. Then I will add water just under my blue paint. Now, I will add a few more drops. You can also use the aqua brush to drag a bit of blue into your water. Now I will wait until my blue is fully dry. Now that my sky is fully dry, I will add some styles at the top. I'm going to protect the bottom of my paper and I will use some white ink. I'm using a small brush, dipping it into my ink and now I'm creating some platters on my sky. I want most of the stars to be at the top. I will be adding way more ink there. I want to create some bigger stars at the top. I'm tapping harder on my brush and the one at the bottom will be smaller so I'm more gentle with my finger. Just a few more stars. To finish, I will add some mountains at the bottom. I will use a medium brush and some green again. This is some sap green, and I will bend the silhouette of the mountains. It's just a curvy line. Then I'm adding some water at the bottom. To match the colors of my sky, I will add some indigo on my mountains. I took a smaller brush and I'm just adding some blue on the left. The blue will create a shadow and add some volume to my mountains. To create a bit of texture, I will add a few drops of water with my aqua brush. That's it for this one. I suggest that you wait for the white ink to dry before removing your masking tape. 10. Project time: There are 1,000 ways to paint the sky, and this class was about giving you ideas and different options to start creating your own. Your project would be to create one night sky using the techniques we learned in this class. I would love to see what you create, so please share your landscapes with me and upload them in the Project section. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the Discussion board of this class. If you're interested in learning more about painting landscapes, you can check my other classes about pine trees, hills, and skies. If you want to be notified when I publish a new class, please click the "Follow" button below this video. Thank you so much for joining me in this class, and have fun painting night skies with water color. Bye.