Creating swatches and patterns with Watercolors for Beginners | Suzanne Kurilla | Skillshare

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Creating swatches and patterns with Watercolors for Beginners

teacher avatar Suzanne Kurilla, Watercolor & Acrylic Artist

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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

3 Lessons (13m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Making a swatch chart

    • 3. Creating Swatches and Patterns

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About This Class


(I have a NEW updated version of this class, now available. "Intro to Watercolors". This 30min class has a lot more information and examples.)

In this class, you will learn the basic fundamentals of watercolor and techniques. I will take you step by step with blending colors and making your own experimental swatches. By making swatches you will see what the colors look like when dry but also this will give you the practice that you need to feel more comfortable with the medium. Watercolors can look different when completely dry that is why I recommend practicing with your palette. You can experiment with all kinds of wonderful abstract designs. I have included samples of cool tones & warm tones down below as references. 

Also, I will go over what supplies I used in the tutorial and what I recommend when starting out. This class is great for beginners and hobbyists. (I have more Watercolor classes you can check out as well.)

Supplies used

Winsor & Newton - watercolors, brush

Strathmore - watercolor paper, 140 lb. coldpress

Misc. - water, cloth or paper towel 

Wet on Wet Method - Sample

After taping down your watercolor paper, you can then apply water with your brush all over the paper and experiment with dropping the colors in the water. You will see them expand and create their own patterns and textures. I have an example of cool tones below.



Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Suzanne Kurilla

Watercolor & Acrylic Artist






    Some areas I specialize in are Watercolor & Acrylic Painting. I have worked with adults of various ages and artistic levels. I enjoy creating content and helping others on their creative journey.

You can find my work on Instagram and FREE mini-tutorials on YOUTUBE, ArtwithSuzanne!
Also, l have Art prints for purchase and more in my Society6 shop.  

Now on TikTok, mini tutorials, Artwithsuzanne. 

See full profile

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1. Intro : thank you for joining it. And for this tutorial I will go over the basics of watercolors for beginners. I will show the particular set that I have there and give you some pointers and tips. And if you don't have the same thing, that's totally fine. And like I said, I will go over how to make your own chart there and to make things a little bit easier on you, especially when you're first starting out a little bit of blending and seeing what works works well together. And also, in the end, how to make your very own larger swatch is and how to create a little bit of patterns and textures. 2. Making a swatch chart: and first stuff. I'm going to go through my set there. It's okay. If yours is a little bit different than mine, I'm just gonna show you real quick what exactly it is that I have. And there's a little bit of a color chart. There is a reference, but for beginners, I would recommend that, um, whatever set you purchased, you should write out all of the names of the colors and make little swatches yourself. So that way you can see everything and then you'll have a better reference. And that is a little tiny brush that came with mine. I recommend this set for beginners to it really wasn't that much money. I purchased it off Amazon, and there's just enough colors in there to get started. And then you have your little pans up top there to mix your colors with a little bit of water. So there's quite a few things there that were really nice in that particular kit. And you can see they're just a small little scrap sheet of my watercolor paper. I wrote down the names really tiny, and I'm just gonna go through and do swatches. And I also made this particular one small enough so I could actually put it in the little box there. So if I was traveling or you know, whatever, I could take it with me. That's just some an option. You can certainly make a bigger if you want in tow. And the actual colors were like a lemon yellow, a cadmium yellow, the cadmium red, crimson red, an ultra marine blue that they low blue of a ridean, which is like the blue green and a yellow Oakar staff green burn number and then the Chinese white. Do you think the white was the only one? I didn't swatch because you wouldn't be able to to see it on camera so you can get an idea there what everything looks like. And then on a separate sheet there, you can test out and blend your colors. You can put a little bit of water down first, and then I will show how I started with, like the lighter yellow. And then I got a little bit darker, a little bit darker as I went down the like little color range. There. Also, there was not a purple in mind, so that's something you can think of to like, if your kit didn't come with a violet or some sort of purple, you can experiment there. I mixed a little bit of the crimson and ultra Marine together, and it was okay is definitely not the brightest color in the world. But it will, um, you can make you do with that if you had to, or you could just per purchase another one. There's different things that you don't know until you start to make some lend. 3. Creating Swatches and Patterns : and for how to make your own swatches. There for some good practice, you can take just a small scrap sheet, and then you can make little blocks like I did there. And you could make a many as you want. I would make them, you know, like a decent size. Don't make them too small and you're gonna use some Put the water down first, and then I'm gonna show you how to drop the colors little by little. And if you're not a huge fan of the spotty, like speckled book, you could add a little bit more water and you can experiment with keeping more on top and fading out as you're coming down. There's lots of different things you can play around with. That was the cod medium yellow. And then I'm gonna use a little bit of the cadmium red, which is mind a little on the orangey side and watch it separate and create different patterns. Okay? And I think you get the idea. So as I move on down the line there, some of them are a little bit more on the stripey side, and you can stick with, like, warm tones or cool tones just to see how everything blends together or how it will react to you know each other. I know I mixed a little bit. I think it was 11 yellow and a little bit of the halo. No, I think it was the ultra marine blue. And just to see, like, what sort of green it would make. And it was it was pretty yucky. So things like that you can definitely experiment with and then, you know, you know which colors not to use and which ones look really good. So you can have fun with it and create your own patterns there and just make sure to leave a little bit of a white space. That way, all your colors won't run together. See, right there as I'm putting down the water, I didn't go right up against the other color, cause everything will blend together in the name it'll turn brown. Also, another tip is, if you have, like a big puddle there and you put down a little too much water. You can use your brush to suck up some of the the water that's there or you can use, like a little um a tiny tissue or a rag and just gently give it a little dap, right. - And as your colors dry, you can experiment with the second layer, if you would like, I'm going back in there with some of the lighter, um, yellow on top of the sap green and just a little bit of the meridian. And with my blue is there. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you enjoy this tutorial and be sure to check back for more.