Experience Watercolours Frosty Winter Scene | Melinda Wilde | Skillshare

Experience Watercolours Frosty Winter Scene

Melinda Wilde, master teacher of watercolours

Experience Watercolours Frosty Winter Scene

Melinda Wilde, master teacher of watercolours

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9 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Introduction and Supplies

    • 2. Drawing

    • 3. Sky, Frosty Trees, Sun and Salt

    • 4. How to Make a Mess

    • 5. Foreground 3

    • 6. Trunks and Branches

    • 7. Grasses 5

    • 8. Shadows

    • 9. Tweek and Thanks

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About This Class

In this class you will learn a sky wash, distant frosty trees, get some great tips about creating branches and grasses. You'll also learn  about the importance of timing in watercolours and how to paint the sense of brilliant sunlit on a frosty day. We'll cover basic supplies and a few tricks to make the process easier. 


Meet Your Teacher

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Melinda Wilde

master teacher of watercolours


Teaching Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkRR5TW5Zy8zMz9BwiZ-E1g


FB: /MelindaWildeExperienceWatercolours


Hello, I'm Melinda. I've been in love with watercolours for 35 years. I've been teaching for over 30 and love watching my students when they realize yes, they can create in this marvelous medium. I live on Gabriola Island, Canada and love the God given beauty and inspiration this place provides. Pursuing my art was the perfect thing to do while co-raising 5 children who are now grown and gone. Teaching is my main mandate these days and I hope you'll join my first class and look forward to the many more to come!

Gabriola is a real gumboot community so I couldn't resist painting all ou... See full profile

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1. Introduction and Supplies: Hello and welcome to another session of experience watercolors. I'm Melinda wild. And today I'm going to show you some great techniques to create a beautiful, chilly but sunny winter scene. We'll cover sky wash and I'll show you how to make distant, frosty trees will explore undulating snow and long shadows. This class includes a lot of information about timing and watercolors in order to get some really cool effects. Supplies a pretty basic three colors, cobalt blue, violet, and Payne's gray. Although you can experiment with other combinations, of course, you'll need a board to tape your painting onto. Masking tape. A piece of good-quality watercolor paper. I like arches, a 140 pound cold pressed. The cold pressed is the important part as hot press makes it more challenging to get the effects that will be striving for a basic HB pencil, you will need a large brush, can be flat or around your choice. A smaller brush, that point's fairly well. Your absorbent reg, pretty basic. And of course a water bucket. Here. We go. Let's just put everything we need there. And let's see you not necessary, but if you like, you can speed things along with a blow dryer and you need a wee bit of salt, just regular table salt will work just fine. Also, if you want, you may decide to cut yourself a few strips, darkish paper, and you'll find out why in a few moments. Thanks so much for being here and let's get started. 2. Drawing : So the first thing we have to do with this is put in there lay of land. So with a HB pencil, I'm just going to very lightly sketch on a horizon. Couple things to think about. Try not to have it exactly in the middle. I like to put a little bit of a slope, swoop to it rather than having it straight across the page. We just wanna make sure that this shape here and this shape here are different. Okay, then we need to consider trees. You can do one of two things. You can just wing it and paint your trees in later. Or you can think ahead a little bit and decide where you want to put them. I have a couple methods for this. Sometimes I take my old paint brushes, excuse me, and I just lay them down. I think I might want trees. Problem with this is they roll around and it's a bit of a pain sometimes. So another thing you can do is I've cut out strips of dark papers and you can sit them down as well. And this way you have the option to move them around and decide, oops, just a second ago, and decide where you want them to be so, you know, you can slide them over. Well, this guy's not going to sit straight. There we are. So we can play around with this a little bit. I kind of like this, just three. Okay, well, let's say for sure I like this guy here. So I'm just going to take my pencil and lightly draw up side of him. So sometimes when you're putting a lot of trees, it's easy to lose track of what is a tree and what is your negative space in the background. So sometimes I just like to put a little x on them just to remind myself they're going to be painted dark anyway. So you're not going to see that x later. But you'll see what I mean. When you begin to get a whole bunch of stripes on your page, sometimes it's hard to differentiate between negative and positive space. In other words, the trees are your positive space and the background is your negative space. Think of, of this day, come a little lower. Now I want to watch, okay, see here, I've got Eenie Meenie Miney going on. I'm going to put my x's in here. And I do not want that, so I need to irregular eyes, my shapes or My Space division. So I think I'll put another guy right here. Notice I'm not worrying about making them perfectly straight because trees, you know, they're wow a little bit here and there, and it's actually much more interesting. Now, should I make this one, this one the same thickness is this one probably not. So I'm gonna go a little bit thicker, but not quite as thick as this guy. And just follow that up there. There we go. I kind of like that. I think three trees is plenty. I might stick a couple of little saplings in, but we can decide that later in the painting. So for now, I'll just put my little x's there. As you can see, like this could be a tree if I don't have my x's and I get a bit confused. So that's why the X's in there. Just to remind myself, what's a tree and what is negative space in the background? Alright, this exercise requires a 0 masking fluid. He yay. So let's get to paint. 3. Sky, Frosty Trees, Sun and Salt: So our first step is to moisten the whole sky area right down to the horizon. Then I'm gonna take cobalt. Now, we're just going to use three colors, as I mentioned earlier in this whole exercise. And I like cobalt because it's so lovely, wintery blue. So I'm gonna start up at the top with that. And work our way down, right down to the edge here. Pulling it all in. You want to have your original moistening be enough so that it doesn't striate. In other words, you don't see stripes as you, as you lay on your colour. If it begins to stripe, you know, it's getting a bit too dry. So all right, I'm going to just for fun and had a tiny bit of violet up here. And then here's a kinda cool thing we can do. While this is damp, this background. Let's just throw in if it mixture of violet and cobalt. Let's create some background trees. Now because this is wet onto wet, it sort of creates the trees for us. We just have to do this. And they make a nice forests back there. And then if we want to add something even more fun, just as the shine is leaving, which is a little bit early yet. So I'm just going to take the blow dryer to that for a boat. And maybe 15 seconds are not eaten. And it's still not, not quite dry enough. So I wanna talk about something else while we're waiting on that to dry. So thing about watercolors, everything's timing. So let's take a little bit of salt is regular table salt. And I want to create that look of brilliant sunlight in the winter where there's almost crystals of ice in the air. So we're just gonna put a tiny bit of salt here in there. And we'll just let that work. Well, we're playing around with other things. So one of the other things is going to take a clean, very thirsty brush. I'm gonna lift out that sunspot. Clean and thirsty. And you see how that takes the color back. Cleaning my brush, making it thirsty again. And you have to keep repeating this. Work at it a little bit. There we go. Then I'm gonna take my flat brush. Again. Very clean and super thirsty. And I'm just going to do this. And you see, because it's so thirsty, it will pick up the pigment. And we can get that. Look as if you had a camera and you were taking a picture into the winter sunlight, gonna clean that off again, I want to make sure it stays really clean. Make it super thirsty. And just keep working these because it's moist. It'll keep running back into the area that I've cleared until it gets to a point of dryness where it will stop moving. And then I think I want a little bit more of a circle there. So I'm going to take a tiny bit of tissue and just block the center. Here we go, make it a little more of a sun shape rather than a star shape. Very gently pressing you press too hard, you'll bruise your paper. Okay, so there's our son now, clean, thirsty, brush super thirsty. And we can start adding some of those striations in here. Clean it again. Every time you sweep, you gather up a little bit of pigment. So you need to clean your brushes every three or four or five strokes, just depending on how staining your cobalt is. There we go. Okay, now we can do this fun thing that I was talking about in the foreground here. Well, the closer battleground and taking water on my very thin brush, just a little bit of moisture. And I'm just going to paint in some tree shapes back here. See how that clear water separates the pigment. Just as the shine leaves is when you can get this effect. And then we can just blog side-to-side. Gotta clean your brochure often. And then just blob side-to-side. Your brush again. Just a little clear water on it. Loving side to side. And we'll create a frosty forests back there. It's like magic. So this all happens in our first step, which I know is a lot of information. And it's all about timing. Because if you put the salt onto soon, then you get big huge shapes. See the salt is beginning to work now. And we're getting small little crystal like shapes, which is what we want. So you wanna make sure the water, the paper is not super wet when you lay on your soul. And you need to wait till just as the Shines leaving before this technique will work. And even this technique you want to do when it's not super wet, otherwise you'll have to keep working and working and working at because a pigment will just keep running back into the wet paper. So what I recommend is that you try it on a little piece of paper just so you get an idea of timing before you try to do your big picture. There we go. Okay, and there we have our frosty forest and the background. I think it's time to go to the blow dryer. 4. How to Make a Mess: Because there's so much to do with timing in this piece. I just want to give you an example of too wet and show you how it might not work for you if you get them to wet. Okay. So here's our color put on there for sky, you can already see it's pretty juicy. Grabbing or violet. You see it's just running everywhere, which is lovely, but not maybe quite what we want. And then the main thing is when we go in with our clear water, it's not gonna do anything. I mean, it'll it'll work for a second, but then it just runs right back together. So waiting a little bit is better. So let's just try it again. Oh, and the other thing I wanted to show you is if you put salt on when it's too wet, either it will do nothing or it will create very large blooms, which is not quite what we're after. Okay, now let's try one and make it a little bit too dry. So here's our sky will arche. Okay, so now if we add salt to this and that's to dry, it will also do nothing, but we'll wait and see. And then we go in with her, violet. And you can see how it's a little bit too heavy and it's not fuzzing the way we want it to. So now when we go to paint her clear water on, if the timing is right, we get frosty trees. However, if we wait another minute or two and then paint into it, nothing happens. It will get wet. Middle look kinda cool for a minute, but as soon as it dries, there will be nothing going on. So I want to show you the really wet one that we did. And you can see the purple disappeared completely. The salt didn't do anything at all. So too wet, that's what you're going to get. Too dry. And this will happen. You just, nothing will happen in your background. Here's another thing that can happen when you have salt on to wet, you get these big blooms. Okay? So I really encourage you to practice a couple of different efforts. Super wet little drier, little drier. Just two experiments. So you feel really comfortable before you jump in. 5. Foreground 3: So now we're gonna do some foreground. And this is just easy peasy compared to the last step. So moisten the foreground area. Perhaps doesn't have to be quite as well as what you laid down in the sky. And I'm going to go back into the cobalt, which is our main color today. On a fairly thirsty brush, because this is moist already and we don't want it to run all over the place a little bit at running as good, but there we go. So let's lay in a few undulations here in the snow. We could add a tiny bit of violet. Just for fun. You can do this whole exercise without the violet though. I just happen to love violence. Ok. Easy peasy. Let's try that. 6. Trunks and Branches : Just before we get to painting the trees, I just want to suggest one little thing. If there's quite a differentiation between your background color and your white snow, which probably is especially if you put the violet in there. Take a clean thirsty brush, just give it a little scrub and blot. Because we're going to paint trees over top of this. And it will just make it a little bit less obvious. Where your background ends. You'll be, it'll be easier for you to cover your trees if you have a little less sharp line there. So just where you trees are. Clean, thirsty brush, that means moist but not pedaling moist and just scrub a little unblocked. And there we go. We've got a tree here too. So let's just scrub this edge a little bit involved. And again, when you blot, just press down ever so lightly just enough to pick up the moisture. You don't want to be bruising your paper. There we go. Okay, let's go to trees. So now we're going to introduce the third color of this that we're going to use today, which is Payne's gray. Here it is there. If you don't have Payne's gray, you can mix a lovely deep gray with ultramarine and burnt sienna. They're pretty common colors. You may have those but not Payne's gray and your palate, they'll work fine. You might even get away with Ivory Black. But at any rate, I have Payne's gray. It's kind of a bluey deep gray. So I'm going to use that starting with my big fat brush because I'm gonna do a big factory. But one thing I am going to do is take my smaller brush with some clear water on it and rate where the sun would be shining onto that tree and kind of obliterating the shape of the tree. I'm just going to add some moisture right to that area. Okay. Then let's take our Payne's gray, start down here and work our way up. Again. I'm not super worried about it being perfectly straight. I'm just trying to follow those lines. On the bottom. Don't have a go straight across. It's in the snow and it's kind of sunk down deep. So probably have a kind of a angled edge down at the bottom. Okay. Now we're going to get up into that moisture. I'm just going to stop painting on that side. And I'm going to run the other side are right up off the page and fill it in up above where the sun is shining. Okay, and see it's running into that moisture, so we're getting a softer edge. I'm going to take my other clean thirsty brush and just soften that right through that area where the sunlight would be shining on that tree. Pull it up a little more. And actually I think what I'm gonna do is use my big fat brush, clean it out, make it a little thirsty on my reg. And just pull it through an area where the sun will be just kind of obliterating the edge of that tree. Here we go. Okay, now let's try another one. Might just stick with my big fat brush because I kinda like how fast it works. Okay. Again, making the bottom not flat across because we're not on pavement here. We're on an undulating Hill, wandering up here. Wandering down here. Now again, perhaps there'll be a little bit of sun cast on this side. So I'm just leaving that section right. They're going to complete my very, very quickly down here. And I'm gonna take my clean thirsty brush here and start within the pigment and just place clear water to complete the shape of the tree. And again, we have that sense of the sun is shining on it and it just obliterating that shape for eyes just a tiny bit. Just shift this a little better. Says kind of a wonky thing here. So maybe I'm just going to put a little branch on there. Alright, let's do our third tree trunk. And at the bottom, coming up through there. Starting at the top a little bit fatter. Don't want the same width as the other one. And again, I'm just going to stop there for a sec where the sun might be shining on it. Run up the shows. Quickly grab my brush, clean and thirsty. Start within the pigment and just pull it right through that area there. You want a little bit of pigment on this part of the tree where the sun is shining but not a whole lot, as much as, as on the shadow side. So there we go. We get that sense that these trees are in the sun. All right, time for more branches. Okay, just an FYI. I dried this before we're going to continue with the branches. And I just want to talk to you a little bit about making branches. I like to use the Chinese brushstroke method, which is a brush perpendicular to the page. So I like to rest my wrist and my fist. And I'm just going to give you an, a little example here. You want to brush that point's fairly well. It doesn't matter how big it is as long as it comes to a decent point. And the thing about this is when it's perpendicular, you can get a very fine line. We can press down a little more and get a fatter line. And if you just wiggle around and then lifted as you get towards the end of your branch, then you get these lovely, relaxed branch he shapes. Here. Yeah. Okay, so let's try to put some on our painting. Sticking with the Payne's gray. And what I recommend is start where your least intimidated if you know you want to put a big branch coming right up through here, but you feel a little nervous about it. Start on this background tree into a branch there. First, get a little practice in. Okay, let's put a little branch here starting in the middle of the tree. Another reason I dried it so that we can see this darker branch in the tree. And we kinda wiggle, wiggle flick. Sometimes it's good to have them go right off the page. Makes for a little better composition. And maybe we'll have you come here. Because this one is behind this guy. We're going to put a branch there. It's going to have to stop. And then start again. Don't hesitate to heavy branches crossover one another. Makes a little more interesting. I'm trying to put my brush on the side a bit so you can see because if I have my hand right over top, you can't really see what's going on here. Those don't really connect. So I'm just going to run that guy there, make a third one. There we go. All right. You little tree. You can come right across here because you are in front of this guy. I think fewer branches might be better. And this is kind of a quiet Christmas snowy scene and we don't want too much activity, but this guy definitely needs a branch. So gonna put quite a lot of moisture on my brush coil, lot of pigment. Let's do a big branch here. Starting with my brush, press down quite strongly. We're going along, we're going along. And then having it get thinner and thinner. As I lift up. Perhaps we put one over here, just a little guy. And then maybe one coming from behind the tree so we won't bring it into the trunk. I'll start it here. Don't move. You can see that I'm going to move this over a little bit better. So we'll start here. And I'll put my hand up here so hopefully you can see what's going on. And we'll just have this going behind him, come up to the edge of the trunk as if he's coming out from around the corner. I think that is enough branches. So now it's time for some grasses. 7. Grasses 5: Grasses are super easy. The thing to remember is not to get, and I'm just going to show you an example of what not to do. Try not to get the floral spray thing happening. Ok. You want your branches or your grasses to be random. So up and over have m cross one another. Makes it much more interesting than if you do this. Okay? All right, I'm just gonna stick with the Payne's gray and here's a good spot to put them where they're a little undulations like this suggests a bit of a dividend, the snow, and maybe that's where some grasses would be growing out. You can get a lot of these techniques in my cozy winter cottage class or my winter wonderland class also. But this one's just a little quicker than those. I just really wanted to share with you. For this Christmas season. Maybe just a couple here. Alright, time for shadows. 8. Shadows : Okay, let's talk shadows. Because our light source is here. The different trees are going to have different angled shadows. If our light source had been way over here, then yes, all are shadows might be running one way, but because we're in the middle, kind of are like source or shadows are going to run different angles. So this guy shadow is going to run probably at an angle like that. This guy shadow, it's going to run probably like that. And like so. Okay. Just so you're aware of where we're going to place a shadow. It's a good idea to visualize that before you begin with shadows because channels can be a little bit scary. People get really intimidated when they go to painting shadows because, well, you've made a nice painting, you don't want to blow it. Okay, so let's have a go. I'm gonna use my big fat brush and we're using cobalt blue. Gotta get the Payne's gray out of their back to our cobalt. Not super heavy shadows are transparent. So Let's get some color on, but not a huge amount, but also not too wimpy. And sometimes I like to connect my shadow to the object that's casting it. So I'll show you that in just a second. So this guy here, let's put the shadow on and remember the ground is undulating, so the shadow should not be completely, completely flat. It's gonna move around. There we go. And sometimes I like to run that shadow, shadow color up into the object that's casting it just suddenly connect a little more. It bled a little bit here because the pains graze quite dark. I'm okay with that. But That's one reason for not connecting it to your object and then pulling it all down, or you may end up with a paints grey shadow. So start more or less at the base of your subject and run your shadow and then add a little bit of blue up into there. Okay, let's try this guy and see your, you are starting there. And again, we wanted to undulate a little. Disappear literally the income right down here. And this guy get the base in. You can use a smaller brush for this if you're more comfortable. By all means. You know, we do. Now we mustn't forget that the grass is also cast shadows. So let's take a little of that. Cobalt blue again, start off with these guys their way back there. A little less intimidating perhaps. And again, the shadows are going to run. And we go. These guys are a bit bigger. So we go and just start at the base of each one of those little grasses and just keep them undulating. That's the big trick. Here. This is already a cast shadow, so there's not going to be a whole lot going on in there. There we go. And again, I'm going to run some of that blew up into my trunks. And another little tip I wanted to show you. If your trunks are quite wide and they're just not. They just need a little something. You can take some Payne's gray and you brush very, very dry. Hold your brush sideways. Just stumble across here. To suggest a roundness new tree. Here we go. It's not going to show where the tree is really dark. But in some of the lighter areas and can just get a roundness happening. 9. Tweek and Thanks : Okay, I want to show you a couple of tricky little things that can be done. First of all, hopefully that's dry enough. These shadow or these grasses ending right where the shadow begins, not the best composition, better idea to have a few grasses within the shadow as well. Grasses, which I didn't mention before, the way they grow, start at the bottom and work to the top. If you rest your wrist, then you have the trajectory of your stroke that we'll live to brush off the page and you'll get a nice find tips on them. Now, right here, it looks like I stuck my wrist in my painting and there's a bit of Payne's gray here. I don't know how that happened. So let's just fix it. We'll make a few grasses there. There we go. Take the viewer's eye away from my boo, boo. But because we made grasses, then we need to create some shadows. So cleaning out my brush, adding the cobalt again and starting at the base of these guys. And I'm just going to run and you shadows of their heroic go. All right, I think that is the end of our painting. I sure enjoyed painting this with you. Thank you for joining me and creating this lovely, sunny, cool winter scene. Hope you enjoyed yourself and hope you learned a few things. I'd love to see your projects and the project section. So have a go and do upload them. And I'm happy to give you critique. Thanks again for joining me and Mary Merry Christmas to everyone.