Dynamic Watercolor Skies - Part 1: Striking Sky | Rachael Mae | Skillshare

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Dynamic Watercolor Skies - Part 1: Striking Sky

teacher avatar Rachael Mae, Watercolor Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

10 Lessons (1h 30m)
    • 1. Welcome to Class!

    • 2. Materials Needed

    • 3. Basic Watercolor Techniques

    • 4. Let's Practice - Drawing Lightning

    • 5. Let's Practice - Painting Waves

    • 6. Striking Sky - Part 1: The Outline

    • 7. Striking Sky - Part 2: The Sky

    • 8. Striking Sky - Part 3: The Ocean Waves

    • 9. Striking Sky - Part 4: Finishing Touches

    • 10. Class Project

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About This Class

If you’re anything like me, the sky is perhaps one of the most fascinating things on this planet. It can be calm and serene, ferocious and powerful, beautiful and dynamic. Because of these qualities, I find myself drawn to paint the sky in all of these moods and my chosen medium for this is watercolor. I have been painting with watercolors for several years and am so excited to pass on some of what I've learned with all of you!*

In a series of classes, I will share my knowledge on how to paint dynamic watercolor skies, ranging from lightning out at sea to the Milky Way shining over mountains. You do not need to have used watercolors before - part 1 of this class can be completed by beginners. Anyone who is willing to learn and create is welcome.

We’ll start by going over necessary materials, discussing a few basic techniques, and then diving into the subject matter.

Materials needed:

  • 100% Cotton Watercolor paper (Arches or BeePaper are my preferred brands)**
  • Any brand of watercolor paints you have!
  • Masking Fluid and/or a white gel pen, or white ink!
  • Round Brushes. I’ll be using size 2, 8, and 12 from multiple brands
  • Watercolor palette (or a porcelain plate!)
  • Masking tape or washi tape
  • Pencil (and eraser) and paper
  • Paper towel or old rag
  • Two containers of water

Basic Techniques:

  • Wet-on-wet
  • Wet-on-dry
  • Gradients
  • Lifting
  • Masking fluid

Practice Before we Begin:

  • Drawing lightning
  • Painting waves

* I highly suggest you watch this class on a laptop/computer or a tablet, aka something with a large screen! That way you will be able to see all the small details. :)

** You do not need to use 100% cotton watercolor paper, but I highly recommend it in order to achieve similar effects

Meet Your Teacher

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Rachael Mae

Watercolor Artist


Hello everyone, my name is Rachael! I am a self-taught watercolor artist based in the USA who enjoys painting dynamic, colorful skies, galaxies, and landscapes. When I'm not painting, I'm either riding my horse, petting my cat, or reading a book. I hope you'll join me in my love of watercolor painting, and I look forward to what you'll create!  

If you'd like to see more of my work, feel free to follow my Instagram and Facebook pages, @proximae.artistry! :)

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1. Welcome to Class!: Hi everyone. My name is Rachel and I am a self-taught watercolor artist based in the US. You may also know me as approximate artistry on Instagram. My love of watercolor began back in 2018. Although to be honest, I actually disliked the medium When I first began. I wasn't used to how the watercolors would dance across the page. But I soon discovered that that it has a perfect medium for creating galaxies and vibrant skies, including sunsets and stormy skies. So as I've accumulated knowledge over the year, based on trial and error, I wanted to share a little bit of what I've learned with all of you. So in part one of this class, I planned for there to be three parts to this class. We're going to cover how to paint a stormy sky with a lightening strike over and ocean. And we'll also learn how to paint waves, just like these. So I truly hope that you'll enjoy this skill share class. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook. And I hope that we can grow our love of watercolor skies together. Although this class is for anyone. So from the beginner who's just picking up a paint brush for the first time to the season, to artists looking to sharpen up some skills. I think that anyone will be able to enjoy this class. I truly enjoyed creating it. And I really hope that you enjoy creating with me and learning along and painting along with me. So without further ado, let's get started. 2. Materials Needed: Alright everyone, now we're going to be going over what materials will need to complete this class. You'll want a paper towel or an old rag. Some water, two cups of water. You'll notice I have an eyedropper and one of them to drop water onto my paints. You'll also want your watercolor paints. I have several brands here. Smith, 7-layer and art philosophy CO. But at T Brand is fine. Don't forget your watercolor brushes. I have asides to 812 here all round. You're masking fluid. Whitening or a white gel pen, either will be fine. You'll need a pencil and eraser. Several sheets of watercolor paper, and a piece of computer paper would be good to. Don't forget your watercolor palette. And finally, some tape to create clean borders. 3. Basic Watercolor Techniques: Alright everyone, so before we get into the actual painting and our class project, we're gonna go over a few watercolor techniques, including one on wet, when I'm dry, a little bit of lifting a gradient and also how to use masking fluid. So if you are already a watercolor artist or are familiar with these techniques, you can feel free to skip this part, or you can follow along or watch for your viewing pleasure is totally up to you. But if you already know how to do this, then you feel free to skip this part and you'll be totally fine. You will know what's, you'll still know what's happening later on. So before we can begin, we obviously have to start mixing our paints. So this is a palette from art philosophy company is called currents. It's basically all the colors that you need for painting the ocean and things associated with the ocean. So it's full of blues and greens, which are my favorite colors. So this is one of my favorite palettes. This video obviously is not sponsored by them, is just discussion class, but this is a really next palate. It's one of my favorites. A really good tip and something that I like to have or something these eye dropper hours. They're really nice for just dropping some water onto your paints to just kinda wake them up. So we're gonna do that here. Just going to drop a few drops on. You can wait a few minutes or you can go right into the paints and just kinda, Oh, wait them all up, went out. So we're gonna move on to our first technique, which is the what on what technique? You gotta pick up my brush right up here. Went choose any color you would like. But before you begin, what you're gonna do is apply clean water to your paper. Because the wet on wet technique requires you to have water on your paper first. And when you put water in your paper, you don't want a puddle it on. You shouldn't see puddles. If you kind of move yourself around, you should just be able to see a glare. So I lift up my paper. You can see that there's a little bit of a shine, which is just what you want. You just want your paper damp. Essentially. It's very dry where I am right now, so the moisture is disappearing from this paper, so I had to apply again. Now you're just gonna take a little bit of any color you want and drop it in. And you can see the pigment in the paint moving around on the paper. It's spreading into the places that you put the water on beforehand. This is a great way to create very, very soft, soft movements, soft clouds. Any sort of softness in your painting? It's all blurry at all, dry. Very soft, with no hard edges. Depending on your watercolor paints, the brand of them. You might see your paint spreading more, or you might see them spreading less. So this is kind of a middle of the wrong kind of thing. Watercolors spread across your water, anything that's what you're watercolor paints and pigments will spread into. So the beauty of watercolor paints is that sometimes you have to let go of control. So that's what this one on what technique is really used for letting go of control and just letting the paints do what they want, will use this for the sky and portion of our watercolor project of our lightning sky. So if your paint has spread a little bit too much, what you can do is gently dab your brush off on your paper towel or rag until it's just damp. So your brushes now thirsty. And what you can do is go over here, debit OFF, kinda rub into a list a little bit. This brush needs to be a little bit more wet. And you can see clean off your brush in-between each thing so you don't in-between each swipe, so you don't add more pigment to the paper. So what we can see here is that when I'm doing this, it has lifted a portion of the paint off your pH. So this is used a lot of times when I'm doing pieces and I need some more highlights, or I need to take away paint from a place that I didn't want it. So if you the paint spread too much and I didn't want the paint to go that way. I can easily get a damped brash and just generally run along the side and lift up that color and dab it off. You can see that that pigment has come off onto the paper towel now. So make sure you clean your brush frequently while you're lifting. Otherwise you'll leave paint behind rather than taking it away. So that's why I cleaned off my brush in between every single swipe across the paper. So moving on. Now we're going to do the what I'm dry technique, which is basically the opposite or more like it goes hand in hand with the white on white technique. But instead of applying water to the paper first, we're just going to dip our paintbrush into your activated paints. Let's choose a different color this time, let's choose this nice green color and you're just going to paint across the page. So this creates hard edges. When this dries, these edges will not be soft, like it has dried up here. So these will be hard is, is kind of what you would think of when you think of painting. Your brush needs to have a, needs to be wet and it needs to have paint. But you can create all kinds of different strokes. The wet and dry technique is what we'll be using to paint the ocean. This will be what we use to paint our ocean waves essentially. Now while that's drying, we're going to leave that alone and we're gonna move on to creating a gradient. Gradients can be done in multiple ways. And while watercolor is traditionally always working from light to dark, I start my gradients with more pigment and then move from dark to light. So it's not very typical. But it's what I found has been easiest for me. So maybe it'll be easiest for you to, you never know. So what we're gonna do is load up our brush would more pigment and we're going to apply it to the paper. Let's choose this nice blue color this time. So I'm slowly going back and forth and see how my strokes, I'm every single stroke there's less and less pigment. We've started very dark over here and now are spreading out. So this will naturally happen. I'm going to clean off my brush, get rid of some of that pigment before this dries go back in with a slightly wet brush. And you can continue to take and pull, pull some more until it fades. And that's how I create my gradients. Well, let's use this technique for the base layer of our ocean. Alright. Lastly, we're moving onto masking fluid. To use masking fluid. You can apply this to any portion of the paper and you basically any parts of the page where you don't want pain. It's pretty cool so it repels water. My masking fluid has a very fine applicator. I bought this because I knew that I would be using it most often, this fine tip, but you can also UA and that hasn't dried it Dr. Kind of like rubber. So that's what you're the noise that you're hearing See some of it has dried in my cap here. I'll work on getting that out later. But you can also use a toothpick. I wouldn't advise using a paint brush into the masking fluid. The paintbrush, if you do, you have to clean it right away. Otherwise, it'll dry up all gunky, kinda like this. So we're going to see if we can get that back on. You have to be really careful with making sure that this is sealed otherwise that will happen. So clearly the last time I used it, I didn't quite sealed up enough. But for example's sake, we're going to just start off with a blob or circle and our masking fluid area. See if we can squeeze some of it out. There we go. And I'm applying pressure as I do this. We're just kinda, kinda make a Blab doesn't need to be beautiful. There we go. There. Let me just kinda clean the tip and makes sure you seal it right away. Your mascot fluid doesn't dry inside because once it's dry, it's pretty useless. And you're not gonna be able to reactivate it again, not like watercolour paint. So again, never use one of your favorite brushes with applying masking fluid because you might ruin it. Use a toothpick, use the applicator. Any other tool you could even use, like the end of a brush. I've done that before. So and now we need to wait for this to dry. Some masking fluids will change color when they dry. This one kind of turns like a greenish color. It's already starting to do that now. Once this is dry, we'll come back and I'm going to show you how to use this. Alright, everybody, welcome back. For me, it's been about 1015 minutes for you guys spend no time at all. So our masking fluid has dried, is you can see it has turned a little bit more green than when it first started with Lisa has for me not sure how well, that'll show up on the camera. But I accidentally touched it before it was dry just to see if it was dry, clearly wasn't. So we have a little bit of a wrinkle in the middle there, which is totally okay. But be careful while you're waiting for it to dry. Make sure is pretty much done before you poke at it. So now that it's dry, it will completely repel water. So we're going to grab some paint. And what you can do once you've grabbed what up your brush, grab some paint, and just have some fun and apply right over so you can see how the water is repelled from the top of the masking fluid. Let's grab another color. Let's just have some fun. Wake this up a little bit, grabbed a really vibrant green, will let those two paints and mix as I apply over this a blob. So have some fun with this clay with some color combinations and let go, just enjoy the process. So now comes a little bit more waiting. You need to wait for your paint to dry. So who knows how long it'll take? But I will see you in a moment. Okay. So again, welcome back. Ooh. My massing fluid is now completely dry and the paint is also dry. So what I'm gonna do, I use the back of one of my brushes here. This is a Princeton glacier series of leaf round too. But it has a nice kind of dull edge on the back here. So I use this to remove the massing fluid. This part is pretty fun. You can use the back of over pressure brushes. You can use an eraser or you can use your fingers, but you need to be gentle to rough. You might tear your paper. So I kind of gently move back and forth removing the massing fluid. It kind of again, it's kind of like a rubbery definitely feels like rubber. Not sure how else to describe it. But gently moving back and forth. And you can see as it comes away where the masking fluid cover the paper. The paper is still the same color isn't the beginning. I've also found that some masking fluid brands don't work with some brands of paper. So you just more or less have to experiment. Make sure that you practice with the masking fluid and your paint in your paper before you begin your student project. Just so that you know, if the massing fluid has a tendency to tear, I do know that sometimes the longer you leave missing fluid on, like if you leave it on for a couple of days, you might find that it tears the paper more. So be sure not to leave your paint project for too long. There we go. I'm just gonna throw that away. But you can see some of this because I touched it and master of masking fluid. So there's a little bit of some green patches. Hopefully that won't happen to you. But where I left it alone, you can see that here the paper is completely dry, devoid of any of the paint that we applied. So completely repelled the paint and the water. And it stayed the same color underneath it, so cool it can be used for all kinds of techniques. We're going to use this in our class project for the actual lightning strike. So the main bolt of lightning will be using masking fluid to create. So I hope that you enjoyed learning just a couple of these different Water techniques that I use a lot in my own paintings, but you can use these and apply them to all kinds of things. So thank you and we'll see you in the next part of the skill share class. 4. Let's Practice - Drawing Lightning: Hey everybody, welcome to the next section of our skill share class part1 of dynamic watercolor skies. Before we move on to actually painting and starting the student project. This section is all about practicing drawing, lightening, and painting ocean waves before we begin, just so that we get a little bit of practice before we dive in. So we're going to start off with a drawing lightning. You simply need a pencil and paper for this part. So this is just a piece of computer paper that I grabbed from my printer. And just regular number two pencil, and the pencil is fine. You can even use a pen, basically any writing utensil. So one drawing lightening, it's important to remember that lightening is completely random. Lending itself is a discharge of electricity from storm clouds to the ground. So we won't get too much into the science here, but here's a kind of a quick explanation. During storms, a lot of positive and negative energy gets built up in. Those charges get built up in the air. And initially, the air acts as an insulator, meaning the electricity cannot travel on it like a wire. When enough of these opposite charges, positive and negative build up between the clouds, the air can't prevent the discharge any longer. And all of a sudden there's a rapid discharge of electricity, which is the lightning itself. Lining will always try to find the easiest and fastest way to the ground, which is why it'll hit a skyscraper over a person. You'll always see things, lightning strike something higher up than something low to the ground. And the reason why lightening might kind of fork and branch. And this is just kind of a crude lightning bolt here. But the reason why it forks and branches, because the lightening is trying to find its path of least resistance. And when it does, it will follow the rest of the discharge will follow that path to the ground or to whatever object is connected to the ground like a skyscraper. From there, you can see that a lot of times in pictures, the main Bolt that hits the ground is often the lightest, are the brightest, which I think is pretty cool. Sorry to go off sciencey on all of you, but I think the origin, I guess, of lightening is pretty cool. I'm a scientist myself, so I can get easily sucked into these things. When we go to start practicing lightning, make sure that you have some reference photos in front of you. I like to have on Pinterest open, I have an iPad that I put on my desk that I can just look or you can look on your computer, you can look on your phone. But even just typing in a lightening into Google can help you get an idea for what lightning bolts will look like. So what I'm first going to do, we're just going to Draw a box here to keep myself and this is for composition purchase purposes. So what I'm first going to do is just kind of draw my main bolt. Nice and light lightning is random. So keep your grip nice and loose on the pencil. You don't need to get too precise. I hold my pencil about like halfway up when I'm drawing lightning to keep things loose. There's my main bolt. So it goes from the sky, which is up here, to the ground. From there, once you have your main bowl, I like to add some kind of loose branches. Again, this doesn't need to be perfect. Lightening is random, that's trying to find its way to the ground. And keeping a loose grip on your pencil isn't the best way to do this. There's a good fork. So this is our main bolt. And along here I'll just kind of scribble along with it. There's our main bolt. So let's practice another one. Again, giving ourselves a new box here. Try not to think too much when you're doing this. Lightening is a random act of nature. Always trying to find its way to the ground, or lightning will actually jump in-between clouds. Keeping my loose grip on my pencil. Just kinda shaking it away. You often in pictures you won't see you lightning that's perfectly straight. There's not a whole lot of straight lines enlightening. It's very jagged. Let's do one more. We'll have it coming from this side. If you're really lucky, you can watch a storm as you're taking this class. And then you get to see some real fork lightening in the sky. Lightning is both beautiful and terrifying. One of those feats of nature that is really quite an amazing. So feel free to practice with as much lightening is you want. It's fairly simple to just make sure to keep your loot grip nice and loose. Don't get too too tight in your hand. You need to be able to create natural moving J Good lines from the sky to the ground. And once you're comfortable with lightning, then we can move on to the next part. 5. Let's Practice - Painting Waves: Alright everyone, welcome to the next part, but they let's practice. Before we get into our student project, we're gonna be going over how to paint in practice, ocean waves, how to paint those. So I'm gonna go ahead and using our use my masking tape here. When I taped down minds kinda scrap piece of paper. This is a three by six piece of watercolor paper by B Paper Company. And go ahead and fast-forward through this section of me taping this down. Okay. Now that that's done, I didn't need to make sure that my borders were perfect or anything. But basically this is a nice bookmark size, this section of the size that I use for the bookmarks that I sell in my Etsy shop. So not only will you have the class project at the end of this, but you'll have a cute little bookmark full of ocean waves as well. I'm going to be using the colors deep sea, blue whale, and maybe a little bit of blue ocean and bluefin from the art philosophy, coal, watercolor, currents, confections palette. So I'm gonna go ahead and wake up. Some of those paints might wake up a few others as well. And the first thing I'm going to do is take my size 12 blacks all their brush. And I'm going to apply water to the whole bookmark or a scrap piece of paper that you might have. We're gonna be using the wet on wet technique first. So I'm applying clean water, make sure your waters clean for this part, otherwise it might be tinge with another color. Also, make sure your brush is clean. If it's got any leftover paint. You might be seeing pop up while you're applying water. Because the first thing we're going to start off with is a little bit of a wet on wet technique and applying a gradient from the bottom to the top. So I'm gonna stick with the same brush. I'm going to get a little bit of the colored deep sea, which is kind of like an indigo color. So if you have indigo paint, feel free to use that. Or even a Prussian blue would be totally fine. Any sort of dark, cool toned blue is totally fine. Because it's going to be darkest at the bottom and slowly fade away. The goal here is to kind of make some ocean waves that look like they're fading off into the distance. So we're gonna go ahead and start applying. And you can already see the pigments start to move. Swipe your brush back and forth. This natural movement across the page will help it make it look like we've got a misty ocean scene. And sometimes when you're doing this, you can see some of the some of your paint and pigment kind of traveling up the sides. So I don't really want that to be happening. It's okay if it does. But I'm just going to lift that color up with a damp brush. Now I'm just going to gently swipe across here, help that fade line. From the top. I'm going to take a little bit of the same color. Because this can be kind of like our cloudy sky swipe back and forth. Basically, we want this middle section to stay nice and light. I'm gonna go ahead and fast forward some of this part. And just go ahead and let you guys watch to see what I'm doing. Okay? Now, we're gonna go ahead and let this dry a lot. The first layer dry. And then we'll move on to actually painting the waves with the wet and dry technique. Okay, so my first layer is completely dry. Now, there's nothing Dan for anything on this page on this paper. So now we're going to start in. You can use any sort of size Ron brush that needs to be relatively small. If it's not small, it should have a fine tip. So you'll see me go back and forth between this size eight in a size two for this project or in for this process. So making sure our brushes ready to go, we're going to load up some pigment. And it's going to be nice and dark. So I'm going to mix some of this deep sea color with a little bit of, I believe it's called ocean or yes, ocean. So get a little bit of this deep sea and a little bit of ocean. And to test the color to make sure it's something that you want. I have a lot of these scrap sheets lying around. You can see that I use this for another project. But you can just kinda swipe that brush across. And that's pretty much color that I'd like to use. So we're going to stick with that. I am right handed. So I always start with the details on the left side of my painting and work from left to right. If you're left-handed, it would be best to start over on the right side and work to the left so that way your hand doesn't get in the way in smudge your painting as you go along. So just a tip that I'd like to share with you guys since I didn't think that through. And first basically in some of my first paintings and had paint smudged all over my hand. So again, make sure you work in a way that you don't get in your own way. I'll write my brushes loaded and ready to go. And I'm going to start those wet and dry technique, start painting some of my first waves. So the easiest way I have found this process to be described, or basically the thing that makes sense in my head is that you're not painting waves, but rather you're painting layers and layers of mountains because waves have this shape to them that look like your painting, mountains. So I'm going to kind of create some of my biggest swells which will be closest to you. And this is over many, many layers. So I'm constantly cleaning my brush, dipping it back into the paint, and reapplying those layers and they might not look like anything yet. But that's okay. They will eventually. So don't get discouraged if they don't look like they're forming anything halfway through. So I'm practicing painting my little mountain range here and the water. Your biggest darkest waves will be closest in the foreground, which is what I'm doing here. These waves overlap. Water ebbs and flows, and they aren't perfect either. And they don't often look like anything until you get the whole picture complete. So I'm gonna go ahead and kind of just speedups and most process. Your waves should get smaller and smaller as you get farther away into the horizon. Again, just like withdrawn lightening, try not to think too much while you're doing us. Just let yourself relax. And paint. Which you see me doing pretty much this whole time, is taking new paint, applying it to the paper, and then cleaning off my brush. Applying water so that the paint will naturally spread. And that you'll create some natural gradients happening. Again. Waves overlap, ebb and flow, that's the nature of them. So you're controlling to recreate the illusion of the waves blending together. So again, I just cleaned off my brush. I'm just applying some water, grabbing some pigment and letting that pigment go and do its own thing. Constantly going back over some of these, all the waves and applying new details to help bring out some of the color. Now you can see as we're further along that the waves are starting to take shape. You can see some of the bigger swells in the foreground. And now I'm going to start to switch my brush. Refer to the size two, pretty small. You can also use a size four, r six here you have it. I just prefer to use a size two. This is one of my favorite brushes. So I'm gonna go ahead and start to add in some of the smaller details and the background here, as well as adding in more details in the foreground. Still using the same color, kind of a mix of deep sea and ocean I've been using. I might add in a little bit of blue fin as well, but we'll see what I do. Sometimes I just let things naturally happened. So if your gut is telling you to use this color or a different colour, try it out. See what happens. Try to listen to yourself and listen to your creative little voice in your head that tells you to do things. And if you don't end up not liking it in the end, you can always do it again. That's the beautiful thing of art. You can try as much as you please. So I'm gonna go ahead and kinda speed things up just a little bit and let you listen to the nice music and watch the painting process. Okay? So what I'm going to do now, because I've lost a little bit of my softness. Along with the horizon line here. You can see that some of this wave right here has a little bit of a hard edge. I don't really want that. So what I'm going to do is take my a larger brush, get some clean water or mostly clean water. You definitely don't want to use water that's dark like this. It's clean as yet. Now I've made this brush is just damp now. And I'm just going to run it. Needed actually a little bit more water. Should be just wet and you don't want soaking wet. And then run it along the top here, along the horizon line. And adding water along here will help to soften these edges. Keep going with this water. Softening those edges along the horizon. And I'm very gently somewhere rush, don't press hard. Region. And now we want to keep all those lines gone. Now, you can continue adding water all the way up into your horizon. Extending this water up to the top. So from the horizon line to the top will help prevent any further hard edges from occurring. There we go. So by doing that, you're It's beginning to reactivate the paint that you've already put down. And it starts to soften all along here. It's very subtle, but it definitely helps to soften up the horizon line, which is what I was going with. And if you so choose, you could, on that layer, you could darken the sky if you want it, I'm going to leave it. But you can feel free to do that however, however you want, basically. But it's definitely taken a little bit more shape here. And some of the waves, I'm pretty happy where, where this is, but you can feel free to keep adding details. However, when your gut says that you should stop, he definitely listen to your gut. You don't want to keep going and overwork here paste, then you might regret it. So always listened to that little voice in your head that says it's time to stop or lets, you know it's not going the way you want and you can always take a break and come back to it. You never wanna make yourself work or get too upset over a piece. And I'm speaking from experience here because I've done that. But just know when to walk away. I'm going to wait for this to dry and then I'm going to peel off the tape. Are let's practice piece is now dry. So I'm actually going to take, and this is totally optional. But I'm gonna take my size eight Jelly Roll pan, wake it up a little bit. Here we go. And I'm just going to add a few little highlights to my wave. Sometimes it just helps it make a little bit more complete. So we're imagining the light coming to us from the horizon. Your little highlights are going to be right along the TAC piece of your ways. And again, hold this nice and loose just like we did with our pencil while we practice lightning. Just kind of add very lightly, a few little highlights. Keep it random. Read along your waves. Following the crest. Maybe just a few dots here and there. Now we've got a few highlights. And for me, this really kind of adds the finishing touch, the piece. So let's go ahead. And one of the most satisfying parts here, laughter tape nine, you've got yourself a little wave. Ocean bookmark. 6. Striking Sky - Part 1: The Outline: Alright everyone, now we're gonna move on to the main portion of the course, the class project, where we're going to create a five by seven piece. That's how big this piece of paper is. Five by seven inches. We're gonna create our main piece. So I'm gonna go ahead and put down my masking tape to create some nice borders. And then I will be back in a moment just going to speed this along. Okay, so our tape has been laid down, so we'll have nice clean borders at the end. What I'm going to do now, my pencil. And i'm going to create the outline for our piece. So I have a ruler right over here. You can use any straight edge. Sometimes I use a piece of paper even. And I'm just going to kind of create the horizon line for us. So I do it about, and this is maybe a third of the way up the paper. And I would say they're very lightly. Go read across. So very, very little line. I'm not sure if you'll be able to see it on the screen, but I'll make sure to point it out and the final edit of the video. So we've got a horizon line. What we do next is our lightning strike. So I always do it in pencil first and then I will cover it with masking fluid. So just I would suggest doing and pencil if you feel confident enough to go for it and just use the masking fluid minus a fine applicator tip. But you could also use a toothpick to apply your masking fluid. So for this piece, I'm thinking of having my lightning coming in off of the side. So I'm gonna do that. I'm going to create the main bolt and holding that pencil nice and loose right on the end. And now we're going to draw that in. Keep your bolt nice and loose. Very jagged. And what's going to hit the water over here? I'm going to create some of the forks. Anyway, go see if I can zoom in a little bit. So you can see it very lightly. I will try to dark in that in the final edit of the video cell. Okay, so we have our lightening drawn and our horizon line. Our next step is to apply the masking fluids. So I'm gonna get that open and then will start. Sure. There's the gunk. When I always do is test to make sure that flow is okay on either a scrap sheet or along the tape. So I'm just gonna do that here. You never want to tap or shake your masking fluid because it'll get bubbles into the applicator. And you don't necessarily want those bubbles. We want a nice smooth flow, so there's some bubbles I must have shaken out at some point. Here we go. But other than that it's coming out nice. So before I continue, I am going to find my eraser and just lighten this up even more so that we can't see it at the end. Ok, so I found my kneaded eraser. And I'm gonna take this eraser very lightly. Just press along. You probably won't even be able to see my lightening strike in the video anymore. We want it to be that light so that when we take away or masking fluid, nobody can see the pencil mark. So I can still I can barely see where my lightening is. And that's good enough for me. You can also kind of do this on along your horizon line as well. You can use a regular eraser to, I just prefer to use the needed one because I can just tap Edit and there's no eraser shavings. But you can easily use a regular eraser and just blow away or wipe away the shavings. That's no big deal at all. Use whatever is available to you. Okay. So now we're gonna go into my masking fluid. I'm going to try to follow my pencil line as best as I can, make sure that it's flowing first, they Rio. Start. Okay, if there's a few bubbles. Okay. So have it a little bit of issues with my fine tip applicator. I think I might have fixed it. So I'm going to go ahead and use my masking fluid to outline my lightning bolt. And hopefully things will go well, we're gonna get started on the script sheet. So my applicator drift a little bit. So what I'm going to do is wait for that to dry and then I'll scrape it out before I begin painting, wiping off masking fluid. That's what it is pretty difficult. So I'm just going to wait for it to dry. Obviously, my applicator is going on the fritz for some reason, but hopefully yours won't be doing this. Sometimes this happens. So just some gentle taps to get it going. And remember I'm not shaking. Shaking the masking fluid will create a lot of bubbles. Here we go. So there's our bolt to wait for that to dry. And then once this is dry, we'll start moving on to our next part where we will be painting the sky. See you then. 7. Striking Sky - Part 2: The Sky: And everyone on to part two of the painting are striking sky. We're gonna be focusing on the sky and going to wet my brush with simply in water. This is the size 12 that I am using. And then I wet the whole portion of the sky. The masking fluid is dry. Worry about that and moving around. However, when I'm wetting the paper that is near or on the masking fluid and being very light so that nothing like the motions of my brush don't remove the masking fluid. So just keep that in mind. Make sure it's dry. Make sure your movements are nice and light. So I'm not going to worry about painting the ocean just yet. So I'm creating a nice straight line as I can. It's okay, that's not perfect. We can come back and fix it up. So wedded the whole sky portion with nice clean water. And I've mixed up my paint over here. We have indigo by Daniel Smith, and this is Payne's gray by seven-layer. So two different brands feel free to use whatever brands are available to you and whatever colors are available to you. I'm just going for a stormy vibe and my piece because of our lightning. So I'm using indigo and Payne's gray. I'm gonna go in with my darker mix of Payne's gray. And I'm going to start painting the clouds. Team, just dabbing my Russian. Now, even as I'm painting the clouds, I am being careful not to put too much paint where the lightning strike is because the lightening strike will light up the sky. So you can see here I left it kind of white and I'll smooth it in with my brush in a moment. It's okay if you get a little bit like I got there. But overall, you want the lightning strike to be bright. The bright portion of the clouds cleaned off my brush a little bit. Now I kinda want to use my light gray here, sort of dragging the color down. Because of its storming. It's most likely raining. And it's okay to blend some of that. And then we'll come back and layer more colors into keeping the light area around the lightning nice and light. And you can bring this right down to the horizon line. And I want it storming outside. Sometimes you can't really see where the clouds end and the rain begins. So that's why I'm blurring the edges here with a slightly wet brush. And we're going to kind of blend in around the lightening strike to still making sure. So this is a little dark here, so I'm going to clean off my brush and I'm gonna lift a little bit of that color. And I'll do that again now my brushes damp. There we go. Okay. So I wanna darken this up before things get too dry. They'll have to make some more of my gray. And we're going to add in some darker portions of the cloud here. Don't think too much when you're doing this. Just add color. Let the paint move around, do its thing. Now for a little bit of a rain effect, I'm cleaning my brush. Makes sure that it's just damp. Can now we're going to start dragging some of this dark color down. And you do it all in one motion. Kind of blend that out. You can even get a little bit of the dark stuff. And swipe. That'll help give us a little bit of an illusion of rain. Now I am going to add a little bit of blue highlights into the sky using indigo. And I'm going to add it into the clouds. So pick up, I'm going to test the color to see if it's something that I want. And that's pretty dark. Add some of that to the clouds. Just for a little bit of some highlights. He has clouds aren't typically all one color. Feel free to dab that and give your clouds and little bit of depth. Make sure to avoid the lightening strike keep that nice and bright. Here we go. We're going to clean off my brush. And I'm gonna do a little bit of full lifting around the lightening strike. So cleaning it off, make sure it's damp, not wet. Your brush needs to be thirsty for this. And we're gonna lift around some of our masking fluid just to brighten it up. And there we go. Okay, so I want to darken up some of these colors, but a lot of this has already started to drop. So what I'm going to do is wait for this layer to dry completely. And then I will whet my brush again and create another layer. So I wait for this to dry. Okay, so our first layer is completely dry. Now I'm going to take a brush with some clean water. And I'm going to what, the entire sky portion of the painting. Again. You might notice that your colors might wake up a little bit. That's okay. Just keep using the clean water for everyone horizon. Nice thin layer of water. So I went up the whole piece again. And some of the patent did wake up and move around, but that's alright. It created a much softer look on the lightning actually. So I'm going to darken up my clouds here. I've mixed some more Payne's gray. And I'm going to dab it in. Darken things up here. Make sure to keep that bright around your lightning. And I'm gonna dip that cloud a little lower. There we go. Still dabbing and my color, maximum light around the lightning, you can just let the paint spread out naturally. My cloud is dips nice and low here. Cleaning up no brush. I'm gonna pull some of this paint down to create some more rain. Don't try to take some indigo. I've mixed a little bit more indigo too. And I'm going to add that in. Again just for some different colors happening in the clouds. These strong claws are dark, dark and a little bit scary. Cleaning out my brush. Make sure it's just wet. And we're going to smooth some of these edges through here. Just gently going along and blending things. Here. I'm gonna take a little bit more of this pins gray that I'm mixed. And I'm just going to darken the rain portion of our sky. Just a bit too much. Make sure to still keep little lightning nice and bright. Cs we're pulling the paint this way to create the illusion that the rain, and since this is a powerful storm, it, it can produce something this intense. And the lightning, I'm pulling it sideways so that it looks like it's moving through the clouds in through the sky. I'm going to create a couple of little highlights in the cloud by lifting some paint. So I have my damped brush. Create just lift hearing there, create some various highlights. There could be lightning happening up in the sky to, You never know. Make sure to clean off your brush in between. Here we hope they're going to do one more thing. I'm going to darken the sky one last time just because I know that the colors are going to shift and lie in as they drive, dropping in some color, keeping it nice and light around the actual bolt. We need it to be give, give the illusion that it's bright around the lightening bolt. Here we go. And then it's illuminating the rain around it. So light strokes as you do this. And now we're just going to wait for this to dry. And then we can move on to the next part, which would be painting the ocean waves. All right, see you in the next part. 8. Striking Sky - Part 3: The Ocean Waves: Alright everyone, we're on to part three of our class project, and now we're going to paint the ocean. So look just like the main color of the sky was the Payne's gray. Now we're going to have the main color of our water, BR indigo blue. So I've gotten new water. You might have to change your water halfway through. It's always good to make sure you have clean water otherwise, your colors will get muddied and mixed together. So I'm going to pick up my darker mix of indigo drop of water to it just to make sure that it stays awake. And I'm going to start from the bottom. Because we want to create a gradient for our ocean. And along the bottom should be the darkest color. So I'm starting to move up. Now what I'm gonna do is clean off my brush quickly. Start to drag this up. Here, wake. Clean it off again and get some more water if you need to. Drag it right up to our horizon line. Now is when you can go in for a little bit more of your darker mix and a little bit more color to this. Going back and forth. As you move up. It doesn't need to be a perfect gradient. You can see some strikes Nez perfectly okay? Because most of this is going to be covered by our wet and dry technique as we paint the waves themselves. So there's a gradient here at the bottom is just a base layer. And it's okay that it's not perfectly smooth all the way up to you. You can see it cuts, go dark and then suddenly gets bright. That is perfectly ok. Most of this will be covered up by our waves, so it doesn't have to be perfect. And I'm going to wait for this to dry. And then we're gonna move on to the painting of the waves on the wet and dry technique. Okay, so this layer is dry, our base gradient. And now I'm going to go in and start painting weights. So I'm using my size eight right now, but I'll probably go back and forth between my size eight and my size to set that right there. The biggest waves will be closest to you. So I'm gonna go ahead to stop my color click. And that's nice and dark. And now I'm gonna go constantly back and forth between the painting, the water, bringing the water and smoothing things out. So I'm gonna go ahead and paint the first or maybe another. They all don't have to be like little mountains like we've talked about before. Remember to keep things light. Some random tests will be done in many layers. I'm going to go ahead and speed up this video for you. You can just listen to the music to people off. Okay, remember that as you get farther out into the horizon, you're wave, this will become smaller and lighter. For the waves back here will not be as large and will be harder to see compared to the ones up front. So I've made sure to use the low bit more diluted, the notion of indigo rather than the dark. You can aid them dab, OK your brush, and move it quick along the paper to create a little bit of texture. So you get it wet, went a little bit of payment, debit off on your paper towel, and then move nice and quick. And this is cold press paper, so it'll create nice texture. Now around with a lightning strike is I'm going to try to keep some of the area nice and bright. But we'll go back in a little bit later and add some highlights. And you can even use a little bit of the darker, darker colors to create some texture just for some variation. Even when the waves are far away, Some will be a little larger than others. Don't forget to create variation. Nature is random. Then those usually lots of variation waves. No wave is the same as another one. And that's going to take some of this light just kind of create some shadows on the back. Okay. Okay. Yeah. So the portion this portion right here took me a long time. I think about a half hour for myself, not for you, of course, because I will have sped it up. But remember many layers and you can create your many mountain range, which is your waves. It gives the illusion of waves. Overlapping. Create nice and broad strokes, keep everything loose just like a wave would be. And you can overwork this. So be sure that when you think it looks okay, step back, take a look and then re-evaluate whether you think you need to move on or whether you think it's done for now, I think that this is done. So I'm going to leave this part right here and move on to the next part, which will be heading the finishing touches to the piece. 9. Striking Sky - Part 4: Finishing Touches: So on to part four of our class project with a striking sky. The next step is to just add finishing touches to the piece. So what I'm going to do is you remove the mass fluid that we've used to create our lightning. So I'm using the back of my brush and next it all edge. And I'm gently going to scrape along and remove that mask and fluid to reveal the white page underneath. So I'm gonna start at the bottom and work our way up. Okay, let's clean this up. Alright, so the mass can fluid has been removed, revealing the white lightning bolt underneath. But now when I'm willing to do just to add a little bit of highlights to our piece is pull out my number eight dwelling or pen. You can also use white ink. I know spin views the pen for fees sake. So sometimes at the end I like to add a few extra little forks off the lightening, so I'm gonna go ahead and do that now. Just some little ones. Plus to add some more jagged edges to the piece. And again, you can do this with white ink to so use whatever is available to you. Or if you're happy with how your lightning looks, then you don't have to do this. You can skip this. You can go overboard with your lightning, so be careful not to overdo it. So I'm happy with how that looks. Now, I'm going to add some highlights to the waves because the lightning will create enough of a flash of light or it will start to highlight, clock some of these crest. So right along the crest of the wave, nice and loose. You just going to add two white. And I've kept this area nice and bright because this is where the lightning is struck. So I didn't add very much in dark pigment along there. But either way, there will still be light reflected off a lot of these waves. Especially along the side where the lightning is from, this storming, storming, see, there we go. So pieces done. The last step is just to remove the tape. So we're gonna do a tape PL, which sometimes is the most satisfying part. And there we have our peace. 10. Class Project: Hello everyone. I truly hope that you enjoyed watching the skill share class and painting along with me. Thank you for taking time out of your day to watch this. And I just wanted to say, don't forget to upload your student projects. At the end. There's a little spot in Scotia for you to upload your project and I cannot wait to see what you guys have created. So don't forget to upload your project. And until next time I planned on producing two more of these classes in this dynamic skies series. So galaxies and sunsets are becoming too soon. So thank you again, and I hope you have a wonderful day. Bye.