Easy Watercolour Misty Morning Seascape - Step by Step | Emily Curtis | Skillshare

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Easy Watercolour Misty Morning Seascape - Step by Step

teacher avatar Emily Curtis, Artist/Painter

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. About the Class

    • 2. Art Supplies

    • 3. Choosing the Colours

    • 4. Simplified Colour Chart

    • 5. Background

    • 6. Water Part 1

    • 7. Water Part 2

    • 8. Painting the Birds

    • 9. Class Project

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About This Class

Have you ever wanted to capture the movement of the sea? This class is all about how to do just that.

In this class you’ll learn an easy process for painting a cool, misty morning seascape using watercolours. I’ll guide you step-by-step from choosing the colours to producing the finished piece. By the end of this class you’ll have your very own sea waves painting and all the techniques you’ll need to recreate the piece in any colours you like.

In this class you will learn:

  • How to select colours for painting waves
  • How to mix a simplified colour chart using just 2 paints
  • The step-by-step process of a watercolour seascape

This class is suitable for all skill levels from beginner to professional as everything is laid out easily for you to follow along.

If you like this class, please leave a review to help me improve.

Happy Painting!

E xx

Meet Your Teacher

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Emily Curtis




Hi there! I'm Emily Curtis.

I'm a full-time artist who specialises in acrylic and watercolour painting. I produce work which portrays atmosphere and emotion, often inspired by moments in nature and urban life.

My love of painting began as a child when I was mesmerised by the colours in the fields surrounding my home. I spent hours watching sunsets and soon became obsessed with recreating the beauty of the world on paper. Now, I use my art to prolong the moments that often feel too fleeting to be observed in everyday life.

I followed my passion into adulthood and gained a Fine Art Foundation Diploma from the University of Arts London. My art has also been seen in magazines such as 'World of Int... See full profile

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1. About the Class: Hello, my name's Emily curtis. I'm a full-time artist based in the UK, and I specialize in acrylic and watercolor painting. Today, I'm going to show you how to paint a lovely, misty morning seascape. You don't need to have any prior knowledge of watercolors for this class. As I'm going to walk you through all the techniques step-by-step. First, we'll talk through the art supplies required and any replacements you can use. Then I'll show you how to mix all the colors and we'll make a color chart will also be making a simplified version of the same color chart for those of you using a limited color palette. In the main section of the class, I'll walk you through how to paint the piece step-by-step until we reach the final product. Let's begin. 2. Art Supplies: I'm going to start by going over all the art supplies will be using in this class and any replacements you can use. First up, we have watercolors. You don't have to have this exact set, just use whatever you've got. We'll also be using watercolor paper. I'm using 300 GSM paper. It can be bought in paths like this. And you want to secure that paper to the table using tape. I recommend using scotch tape. Then you'll be needing a water bowl and a tissue to wash and dry your brushes. We'll be using two brushes in this class. One is a square brush and this is about a centimeter wide. And the other is appointed brush in size five. If you don't have a pointed brush, just use a small brush that you can use for details. 3. Choosing the Colours: Before we start on the main painting, I'm going to show you all the colors will be using and how to mix them. You don't have to use the same colors as me. Just use what you've got or experiment by painting the piece with completely different colors. In this class, I'll be using throughly in blue, Windsor blue, Prussian blue, indigo, and burnt umber. You could actually painted this whole piece with just Prussian blue and burnt umber, which I'll show you how to do in the next lesson. We'll be using two colors in the background. First, a light grayish blue mixed from Cerulean Blue. And I really wish I'd stop using this color because I always feel like I'm pronouncing the name wrong and burnt umber. You'll see a lot of me using burnt umber to dock in blue in this class. This works because they are complimentary colors, IE, they are on opposite sides of the color wheel. Mixing a color with a little bit of its complimentary color is a great way to darken it without having to use black. This works because they cancel each other out. The problem with using black paint is that it can often overpower the other colors in your painting and leave them looking grey. If you mix together equal ratios of complimentary colors, you can make your own black. The second color I'm using in the background is a slightly darker gray blue mixed from Windsor blue and burnt umber. I'm also using two colours to paint the water. One is the same gray blue we just mixed in the background, made from Windsor blue and burnt umber. Just slightly more saturated so that it's more intense. Then I'm mixing a darker blue for the shadows from Prussian blue and burnt umber. I want to paint the birds with a very dark most black blue. So for this, I'm using indigo and then mixing in burnt umber. And here we have all the colors will be using to paint the final project. In the next lesson, we'll cover how to make the same color chart by using just Prussian blue and burnt umber. 4. Simplified Colour Chart: In the last lesson, we use the wide range of blues that some paint pellets might not have. So now I'm going to show you how to mix all of the colors for this painting using just two paints. I'm using Prussian blue and burnt umber. But really you just need any blue and the brown. I've placed the original color chart below so that we have a comparison to look at. Then I'm going to be mixing Prussian blue and burnt umber in varying quantities to match each of the colors as close as possible. As blue is the dominant colour in my painting. I will be starting with blue as the base to all my colors and then darkening it with brown. Here, I started filling out my color square and then noticed that the paint was to greenish, indicating the Died mixed in too much brown. So I went back in and I did more blue. Pay attention to how much water you're adding to your paints. When using a limited palette, varying the intensity of your colors is going to help keep up the contrast in your painting. I want this shade to be darker and more gray than the one before. So I'm going to add more brown and less water. I want this last shade to be really dark, almost black. So I'm going to build up the intensity by using a lot of pigment with limited water. Also making sure to use equal parts, blue and brown, so that they cancel each other out and make black. Here, you can see we can make a similar color chart to the original one by only using two colors. I recommend keeping your color chart close to you when painting The final piece so that you can reference it throughout the class. 5. Background: Now we're ready to start on the final piece. First, I'm mixing up my base color, which is a grayish blue. And then painting this all over my paper with a square brush. You can use the wet on wet technique to do this. If you're worried about it becoming streaky, we're only using a light wash of this color though, so it should dry evenly. I'd just like to note that blue is quite a hard color to capture on camera accurately. The camera makes this piece appear very gray, particularly using the same colors as I am. Then you'll probably find that it has a bit more of a turquoise tinge in real life. I like to finish the base by going over it with horizontal brushstrokes. This way, any unevenness that might appear in the paint will blend into the movement of the waves. Now we're going to mix up a darker blue. While the paper is still wet, we're going to start painting the shape of the waves using horizontal brush strokes with a square brush leaves some gaps in between your brushstrokes to show whether light is hitting the top of the waves. Nothing needs to be exact at the moment. Trying to keep your brushstrokes relaxed. The wet base will help everything Blair at the edges to keep a soft look going throughout the piece. You'll notice I'm not putting a harsh line across my painting for the horizon. Instead, I'm just making my brush strokes smaller until they peter out. Fixes because we're painting a misty scene. So we don't want a lot of sharp lines because things in the distance just fade off into the mist. Once you're happy with the background, leave the piece to dry before starting on the next lesson. 6. Water Part 1: Now the piece is dry. We can start painting the water. We're going to mix up the grayish blue from last lesson again and start painting in the shadows. Make sure your paint is quite watered down because right now we're just working on the mid tones will be painting in the darkest sections. In Part Two. I've kept this section of video at normal speed so you can see the movement I'm using with my square brush. As you can see, I'm just skimming my brush over the top of the paper, following where the shadows have naturally settled in the background. I'm varying the angle of my brush as well. So we get some thick and some thinnest strokes. I'm painting using gentle side-to-side motions with my brush. Trying to keep your strokes and nice and relaxed. We're painting water, so we want to capture a sense of movement. I'm leaving fewer gaps between my strokes the closer I get to the bottom of my painting. In this painting, the foreground is darker than the background because things in the distance of fading off into the mist, whereas we can see things at the front quite clearly. Now, I'm going back over my brush strokes with a clean brush and blending out some of the edges. This will create smooth transitions between areas of light and shadows. Instead of making it look like the shadows are sitting heavily on top of the painting. As you can see, by blending out some of the shadows, we've managed to capture a sense of soft movement in the water. Once you're happy with the look, leave the piece to dry, and then move on to part two. 7. Water Part 2: Now the piece is dry. We can start adding the darkest shadows. To do this, we're going to mix up our darkest color. I recommend switching over to a smaller brush so that you can have more control when choosing where to place your shadows. I'm using my pointed brush, using the same side-to-side movements as I did with my square brush. I'm now going to paint in the shadows. I'm going over some of my brush strokes with a clean square brush to soften up the edges, just like in the last lesson. This will help to capture a sense of movement in the water. Still try to keep your brushstrokes quite free. There's no need for perfection when painting water, the key is to capture the atmosphere. I've marked this class as suitable for beginners, but it might still take you a few tries to get the results. You are happy with. Water can be quite difficult to paint because it's so abstract and make sure that the shadows in the distance are blended out well. Because things in the distance are going to be softened by the mist. Be careful not to add in too many shadows because we still want areas of light to shine through where the sun is hitting the top of the waves. Once you're happy with the way the water looks, let your work dry before moving on to the next lesson. 8. Painting the Birds: Now we're ready to add the birds. This step is optional, however, because water is so abstract, I like to give the viewers something that, that I can focus on. Today. I'm using birds, but you could put in something else like a boat. I'm mixing up my black and then using my pointed brush to paint in the birds. Keep the pressure on your brush very light. Just use the very tip of the brush. I find that it's best to start by painting the head and body of the bird. This way you can decide on the size of the bird and the direction of flight. Then you just have to paint the wings to fit. Don't worry about getting the birds exactly right. We're only painting them as silhouettes, so they don't have to be perfect. We're not making a nature documentary or anything. Actually, this would be a great time to insult my terrible David Attenborough impression, but I will spare you the torture. Put in as many birds as you like. And when you're done, leave your work to dry. 9. Class Project: Here is the finished piece, up-close feel class project. Try creating your own watercolor sunset by following along with my instructions. Don't forget to post your results down below as I'd love to see them. And if you post your results on Instagram, do tag me so I can feed to you on my stories. Do leave a review as it helps me out a lot. And if there's anything you want me to do a class on, let me know you can find more of my work on Instagram at E dot dot curtis, And on my website, www. Emily hyphen curtis.com. I hope you enjoyed this course and I'll see you in the next one.