Easy Color Theory for Watercolor: a beginner's guide | Luli Reis | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Easy Color Theory for Watercolor: a beginner's guide

teacher avatar Luli Reis, #ArteQueFloresce

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

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

8 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. The color wheel

    • 4. Class project

    • 5. Color schemes

    • 6. Hue, value & saturation

    • 7. Mixing neutral colors

    • 8. Final thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Colors can be intimidating sometimes, can't them? A simple color can change the whole vibe of a painting for good – and for bad. But fear no more! In this class we're gonna break down the basics of color theory so it becomes easy and fun to understand. Also, you will create your own color wheel as a project for this class!


Color Theory is a really useful tool when working in areas such as fine arts, illustration, design and marketing. Please keep in mind that I will be sharing my own subjective experience and also giving some tips and tricks I learned along the way of my watercolor journey. This class is focused on watercolor medias and its visual appeal. It is intended for beginners and anyone who is curious about color mixing.


What we will cover:

  • The color wheel and its colors;
  • What are primary, secondary and tertiary colors;
  • Warm/cool colors;
  • Color Schemes – Analogous, Complementary and Triadic colors
  • Hue, Value & Saturation.


Don’t hesitate in commenting and sharing your project the class, so me and your classmates could see and comment!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Luli Reis



Hello! I'm Luli, a self-taught watercolor artist, illustrator and pattern designer from Brazil!

Art has been in my life since i was a child. I would spend my days drawing and paiting in any surface i could find (even my living room's white walls -oops).  I paint exclusive watercolor pieces and also create patterns based. My biggest inspiration is nature and the small thing that often go unnoticed. My absolute favorite theme to paint are plants, specially flowers.


Founder of the movement #ArteQueFloresce (trans.#BloomingArt) on instagram. This movement has as its objetive to create a big inspirational network and bloom art in the hearts of people.


Here's a bit of my work:

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi, guys. My name is Louis and welcome to my very first skew. Sure Class E. I am self dog collar artists and freelance illustrator based Brazil and my favorite thing to bring our blends. And I have a very special spot for flowers in my heart. So look forward for more classes on the steam in this class. We're going to learn how to make our own Call her for you. Also, I am going to talk about some important subjects in color theory, such as what are primary callers? What are secondary colors and what are your cherry callers? Waas, hue, saturation and value. I will also talk about some important color schemes and share a few tips I learned along my watercolor journey. Let's jump into it, and in the next video, I'll talk about all the supplies we're going to need for this class. 2. Supplies: in this video, I'm going to go through our least off supplies we're going to need. Just remember, you don't have to use the exact same supplies that I'm using in this video. You use whatever you have in hand first, what are color paper? I'm going to use Honey Mill Turner 300 GSM cold pressed 100% cotton paper. If you use any other kind of paper, you won't achieve the expected result. Watercolor paper is made to handle lots of water paint. Precious. It's important to focus on a brush with soft bristle so it can hold a good amount of water and pink. I am going to use his own dog number four Synthetic brush watercolor paints. We're going to use only three colors for this class. Yellow, blue and red minor from wings. Aaron. You tone and Cottman a surface to mix your colors. There are tons of different types of pallets, from plastic to ceramic, but here's a little tip. You can just use a ceramic plate, a water container, the bigger the better, a tower or some paper towels. Most times, I prefer using an old towel to dry out my brush but sometimes a paper towel comes in handy . Oh, and you're also going to need the pencil any razor, and he will do know that we're all set. Let's get to it. 3. The color wheel: So what is the color wheel? It's the color circle based on red, yellow and blue that help us to better understand how callers work. There are three categories of colors based on the collar rule. Primary colors. Red, yellow and blue. They are the tree pigments that can't be makes from any other color combination. All other colors derived from TheStreet. Secondary colors orange, green and purple. There, the colors that you get when you mix two primary colors so red and yellow, orange, yellow and blue, green, blue and red. Purple ter cherry collars. Thes air The colors you get when you makes a primary color with a secondary caller, for example, orange and yellow. That's why they have a two word name, such as Yellow orange. In the next video, we're going to get started on our class project. 4. Class project: Okay, let's get this started. Prepare all your supplies. Paper brush, primary colors, water tall. Bend to any razor. What you are going to do is draw a circle and divided into 12 equal parts here, um, using a plate because it's way easier like this. Remember, it does not need to be perfect to lay down the primary callers leaving tree blank spaces between them. You can create the Grady int our paint of flat wish. - So let's take a bit of this yellow and laid it in our palate. Now I am going to try and take the same around of red two makes of this yellow. Now I have this beautiful orange, and I'm going to lay down on my paper right in the centre between my yellow and my red. - I'm going to mix the yellow with some blue, So I achieved green. I am going to put it in the center between my yellow and blue, mixing red and blue. We're going achieve purple. I find purple, the hardest color to mix between all the secondary colors. But if you have a little patience, you will achieve the color you wish to the tip here is always mixing the darker colors list so the water is clear when you are mixing the lighter colors. So start mixing with the yellows than the reds. And then the blues way have our primary and our secondary callers. You know, where we let's makes the search area. We're going to make a secondary color. We've their closest primary. So here I'm taking the orange and mixing with yellow so it turns into a beautiful yellow orange and I'm going to lay down in my wheel after I'm done. If that I'm gonna take my l A when mixed with a little bit of green. So we create yellow green and I'm going to lay down in my will in between yellow and green . No way. I'm going to do the same things with all my other colors red, blue, green and purple. And I'm gonna makes them together until I get the caller I wish to. So if it makes orange and red, I'll get red orange If a mix green and blue, I get blue green. If I makes red and purple, I get red, purple and if I makes blue and purple, I get blue, purple So there you have your primary secondary and third cherry callers in a beautiful color, you have done yourself Congratulations. 5. Color schemes: in this video, we're going to cover warm and cool callers and treat different color schemes. Analogous, complementary and try attic. Warm callers are those that have kind of a yellowish undertone there often associated with energy and action. These are a few examples off warm callers. Cool callers have a more bluish undertone, mostly associated with calm peace. Serenity. Here are a few examples off cool colors. These are very important concepts to take in consideration when creating an art piece, because they can help you decide which caller were expressed to put more feeling into your art. Let's apply the warm, cool theory until our caller well, caller is about perception. Each person has a different point of view, so may classify a collar as warm and some ehskoo. But if we roughly draw line in the middle off our collar, well, we can divide it into warm and cool callers. Now we're going to talk a little bit off color schemes. The 1st 1 we're going to talk about is the analogous callers came. The scheme is formed by any tree callers that are side by side in the color you, for example, dese normally one color dominates and the other balances the painting. The complementary colors came, is formed by two callers. There are directly opposite in the color wheel, such as orange and blue. The sharp contrast between them really makes them pop, so be careful not to overuse this scheme. The Triad IQ color scheme is basically when you use three callers that are equally spaced around the wheel. If you think of it, the primaries are. Try Attic colors King. It tends to create very dynamic color palettes because it creates contrast but also harmony . Here's a tip. I like to keep a pallet sketchbook where I keep all my collar pellets. Sometimes I create them, and sometimes I look at pictures and try to recreate the colors into my sketchbook. It's very helpful when you are feeling kind off uninspired so you can reach for a collar pilot that catches your eye inside it 6. Hue, value & saturation: in this video, I'll go through the definitions off you saturation and value. Hugh is basically the caller itself. In its pure form, value refers to lightness or darkness off a collar. It indicates the quantity of light reflected. You concede here with these red radiant from white to black. This is especially important in watercolor. Adding darkness is simple, but due to the transparency of water caller, you can't go lighter once you went dark. This is why is interesting to play in your artwork beforehand. Saturation saturation refers to the Hugh dominance in the collar and finds its brilliance and intensity. Here. You can see that the closer the colors are to the center, the more do they get. If you want to de saturate any you, you can add its complementary to the color here, marrying a little bit of green to this red. So it makes it more do. Adding just a tiny bit already makes difference. I find it very useful when painting nature 7. Mixing neutral colors: tip. If you make the same amount of the three primary colors, you achieve a neutral gray color. It's hard to find the perfect mixture off the tree callers in the first attempt, but keep trying until you're satisfied with the color you achieved. And if you add a little more off one of the primaries, you give it a little color twist I'm doing here. If blue creating a bluish gray but you can do it with any, call it, really, my friend is very useful in painting shadows and more unusual areas. 8. Final thoughts: so that's it. I hope you found this class very helpful. And I really hope you had fun. Don't hesitating sharing your project with class. So we were classmates. And also you can see it can't comment and can feelings fired by it. If you have any questions or any suggestions, please get in, touch me via email or my instagram account or even commenting the blue Thank you very much and I will see you.