From Everyday to Extraordinary: Paint a Lighthouse 3 ways in Watercolor | Ohn Mar Win | Skillshare

From Everyday to Extraordinary: Paint a Lighthouse 3 ways in Watercolor

Ohn Mar Win, Illustrator surface designer teacher

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7 Lessons (46m)
    • 1. Introduction

      0:45
    • 2. Some Lighthouse examples

      1:40
    • 3. Warm up exercise & considerations

      6:17
    • 4. Lighthouse 1 - watercolour & pen

      12:53
    • 5. Lighthouse 2 - watercolour & wax resist

      11:41
    • 6. 3 lighthouse

      9:03
    • 7. Final thoughts & Comfort Zones

      4:06

About This Class

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Lighthouses are beacons of light that have been warding sailers from treacherous coasts for centuries. As such they have become popular travel destinations across the world. In this Skillshare class we will explore three different techniques to create these iconic buildings. Using watercolour as a base we will enhance the sketch with:

- pen line ( I use Uniball brown gel pen/ Micron or similar)

- wax resist ( a standard household candle)

- collage ( any coloured paper or tissue paper)

All the video classes are easy to follow and suitable for beginners and more intermediate, with lots of helpful tips to create your lighthouse sketch. There is a fun warm up exercise that will help with the process which I urge everyone to try. Have fun with this class and explore these techniques further if you wish.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Welcome to this skill share class about creating three different lighthouses using three different techniques. First of all, I'm going to talk you through a really gentle but useful warm-up watercolor exercise. It will really help you loosen up, and then we will move on to a lovely watercolor and pen lighthouse. Then, we're going to explore some wax resist which creates some beautiful textural stripes for the lighthouse. Then finally, there are going to be lovely collage to create the iconic red stripes down the lighthouse. Please join me for this class. I promise it will be a very enjoyable experience. 2. Some Lighthouse examples: This is the first set of lighthouses that I painted in my sketchbook. The technique was applying the watercolors, some of it wet-on-wet and using a black line to highlight some of the edges, not all of them. Also add details like the top of this lighthouse here and Windows. These lighthouses are not so red and white stripes and more bill details. In this version, I've used a brown penny in the brick work here and also white gel pen to pick out some of the highlights in the light area at the top of this particular lighthouse. As as you can see, I haven't crew recreated the exactly, but it's a interpretation of various lighthouses. I may have mixed a few designs together to create something that I was pleased with. Eventually they did become a entire row of lighthouses, as you can see here. They were for a note card set that were published by a greeting card company. It's great to see then like this I will arrange them in a particular way, but they all join together because I've used a lot of red and gray and also the black line. We're hoping to create something similar in this class. 3. Warm up exercise & considerations: Now before we begin with the echo techniques classes, I thought it would be a good idea to have a fun warm up exercise where we loosen up and explore the paint. I often explore wet on wet experimentation because it's so spontaneous and freeing. You don't actually know what the outcome is going to be, which sometimes is really important. There is one last thing that I want to mention. I've done these videos quite a lot now and I want you to know that I do not rehearse these. What you see is me sharing a page of my sketchbook with you. There is very little editing. What happens is what you see and I'm not trying to cover up my mistakes and I'm just going with the flow. Please forgive some of the unpredictable nature of it. But this is how I work and I think in some ways it is great that I can share this with you and I am very grateful that you are there watching me and we're going through this process together. We're going to have a little play with this warm-up exercise. You're going to be using two brushes which are much bigger than what I normally use because we are just going to be having fun and I've mixed up some Payne's gray and blue ready, just so that you can see the effects that we're going to try and create or have fun with or experiment with and this literally is just experimentation. I'm just dipping my large brush in water. Quickly spreading that water on. I'm not doing it in a methodical manner. I'm just strapping it on and I can see quite a sheen on there, and just see what happens really. I got my ready mix Payne's gray and let's see what happens. I'm going to dip that big brush again and see what other effects are coming off that. As you can see, the paint is spreading and part of this, I do this exercise quite often, part of this is just letting go of outcomes. I know roughly what's going to happen. I think that water is already dried here, but you gain a better understanding of what's going to go on. I don't have an endgame, I'm just mucking about. It's really important to let go of what you think it should look like. For the purposes of the class, this is exactly where this play needs to be. It is not going to turn into anything. You can see all these effects that are happening and I'm just playing. I'm adding more water to certain areas, adding Payne's gray directly onto that, like there I haven't mixed that up. I've added directly to the water. I'm going to draw it out with this brush that's only got water on it and see what happens. It's really nice just to play like this to be really loose and carefree and this is just a normal sketchbook. Just book standard cartridge paper. It's not even watercolor paper and I'm going to quickly show you what else I've done. These are other experiments and as you can see, I am not trying to control, I'm just seeing what affects I can create. I really love this approach and I find it very freeing because I don't want to control the outcome. It is only through playing that I understand the paint better and I just constantly play and play and play. I'm not even going to let this dry. I'm just going to do some more. After applying the water with a large brush very randomly, I added some more Payne's gray using the same brush. Again, I'm not really trying to find any patterns, is I'm very random, that's the main point it has to be spontaneous. I cannot predict what's going to happen. There are a lot of variables that will affect the outcome like the paint or the wetness of the paper, just enjoy it. There is a method to this madness as you'll find out later but I don't want to reveal this at this stage because I don't want it to affect how you go about creating this. As you can see, I created that in literally a minute. A minute is not a long time to give to yourself to find out more about your creativity, about what your paint does, about what your paint brushes can do. I really hope you will explore your work in this manner. I'm just going to just see this behavior. I'm going to see what happens. I love the way it spreads out like that. Please try and do this exercise. Don't overthink, try to create just a page or two pages or three pages and what happens is what happens. I've turned that over. This is what I created literally for you two minutes ago and it spread up that way while I've turned over and again, the effects is created is lovely. Look at those delightful splotches at the bottom. They were completely random and unplanned. This approach may be challenging for some of you, but I do feel what you achieve will look spontaneous and authentic and you will learn a lot more about your creativity and your attitude to actual outcomes. Please give it a try. 4. Lighthouse 1 - watercolour & pen: I've got Pinterest icon on my iPad, I'm just scrolling through and selecting something I think would be interesting to paint. I really like this one. It's really simple with two white sections and a red one in the middle and also red details in the roof of that one. Let's go ahead and do that. I'm going to be using my sketchbook in portrait format because obviously, lighthouses are tall and thin. For the red parts of the lighthouse, I'm going to mixing up a slightly dark section for the bits that is in shadow, and then I think the lighter or my scarlet. I'll be using those two and fairly loosely. Starting at the top of the lighthouse, I'm going to go in. Remember that you have to try and fit in a whole lighthouse. I am not going to be trying to add every detail, but just put down what I think are the main points. It starts off that section there. We are going to be adding some black line so I'm going to leave a gap there for the glass part of the top of lighthouse and then the rest of the lighthouse comes down here in a band. Again, they got sold railings so I'm going to leave that for the pen work. I will be filling it in. Then there's a big section for the white and then about here I think is where the rest of the lighthouse starts. Let's fill that in. We are going to go back in, add a bit more water to this section to that it starts to spread out. Then it goes down to about here. There's sand here, which is really lovely. I might have to include that because I will not look at that, but I know it doesn't look like mark so let's go back in using more of the scarlet red paint. This will be the section that is more in the light. It's much thicker here. What I might do is just do a tiny guideline just to show me where it's going to end up. We can back fill this in with the black pen and it will become part of the design. Is not a problem but I'd rather get the proportions right at this stage. Going down. On this side it ends about here so I'm just going to leave a mark there to show me. Fill that in there. Now, we're going to fill in the white sections and they're not actually white if you look closely, its shades of gray. I'm going to mix up a tiny bit of Payne's gray and what I'm going to do also is to drop in some of the red that I already had because then it will help internally. Let's add it on this side here. Remember, there's going to be railings that I use. I do want to add extra water to that, that's just a bit too thick. There's a shadow under there, I'm going to add that section there. I know it's spread out but that's fine. Carrying on down here on the shadow side of the lighthouse, adding water just next to it so that it spreads out again. Don't worry if it's looking a bit shapeless because we are going to be adding pen detail to help with this. What I need to do now is dry it and then I'll go back in again. Now that it's dried off, I'm going to assess it again and bring the colors up a notch because it is obviously, lighthouses are very distinctive with their red coloring, but this is just a little bit too washed out. The mind might say, I'm going to add more red to the sides which are in shadow and that would just give it enough pop. Also, I'm looking at my reference again and I'm seeing other highlights ideas for all the roof. There's this happening and also where the railings go, there's a platform so I'm just going to add that here. Not too much detail because we're going to add the majority of the detail using black or brown pen. Again here, I'll just do the section next to it just there and water down the brush a bit. There we go, and give it more of a definite area. It ends about there. In my reference there is a beautiful blue sky behind it. Also here, there's sand and grass happening. I think what I might do, I don't know if this is going to work. I'd really like to just add the hint of that blue sky, wash out my brush, and if I put it in this area here, it will define where the edge of the lighthouse is. So I'm using like the negative space there. I'm just going to add a bit more water to make that spread out. I think that's all I need at the moment to help me with the next stage. I might do something similar just here actually. You can see that I've gone over, but just add some water to help it spread out. Also, the red part has decided to join in, but that looks like it could be good. Now, we've got some sand happening here. I'm going to use a very muted ocher color. No, nothing too bright, I don't think. I think this will be enough there. Just add a tiny bit more for the contrast here. Again, the blues decided to join in, but I think that could look really good. I'm all for happy accidents. I might add a bit more sand here because I can see that the doorway goes here and sand goes right up against it. Just to contrast with that ocher, I'm going to add a tiny bit of yellow here in the foreground just to contrast it. I need to draw it again. Before I start on the line work, I just want to quickly address this part where the sky meets the sand. In my reference, the grasses are covering up that section but I don't think I need to have too much grass there if at all. So I'm going to define this space using what I did before, where the sky shows you the edge of the sand. The sand dune is sleeping outward so I think that effect is happening if the grasses weren't there. Again, I am just taking what I think is going to work for me, I'm not trying to reproduce what I'm seeing exactly. That's good. I like that. Now, I think it's time to add the detail in the railings and in the glass section. Well, you can use a black micron, but for this particular bit I'm going to be using a brown uni-ball gel pen. Now, the patterning on this is like a zigzags so I'm just going to define the age of the glass here. This is the patterning that I'm seeing, which is lovely. I think the brown pen's working really well with the red. The platform is here and there is a railing, which I think I will include not all of it because I think it would spoil the simplicity of what I've got here at the moment. There will be a hint of railing here. I'm not going to add all of them, but enough information to say that there's railing. Now, the first window, the way I see it, I'm just going to plot out roughly where the top and the bottom of the window is just using two little dots as guidance. I'm not going to draw the window shape like a child would let say is out. What I'm going to do is fill in the darkest parts of the windows. That's good. There's a window here as well in the red section. I'm going to do exactly the same way. In the final section towards the bottom is the doorway and in my reference picture is partially hidden by the sand, but it doesn't read as a door. I'm going to actually do it so that you can properly see that it is a doorway and the entrance to this particular lighthouse. I think that will do for me. I'm wondering whether to include a little bit of grass because it might give it a setting to say it is set among-st the sand dunes and those grasses is holding these sand dunes together. I don't want to be introducing another color because I like it just as it is, but I might just add the grass using the pen. Not too much, just enough to give it a setting. Maybe a few tuffs up here, but it will be more in the distance say, a little bit smaller. Here, here. There we go. There's our first lighthouse done very simply in watercolor and brown gel pen. I'm really pleased to that. I'm wondering whether to just add a tiny patch of blue or leave it like that. I like it like that because the whole emphasis is on this top section, which has that lovely zigzag glass work so I'm going to leave it like that. 5. Lighthouse 2 - watercolour & wax resist: For my next technique, which will be wax resist, I wanted to find a lighthouse that had a lot of stripes in it. Found this version, which is perfect for what I want to do because I want to see lots of areas of red and white because the wax resist will really pick up on that. First of all, looking at my reference, I need to fill in just a basic framework so that I can put the wax down. I'll show you how in a minute. We have to put the pen work down because once the wax goes down, you can't actually do much with it. So, I'm just going to define the areas. Although I'm looking at the reference, I'm not adding every single detail that I see. Just enough information so that I can work out where to apply the wax candle and which parts I can apply paint to. The edge here, because I need to know where to apply the wax candle and that will be where the paint can't go. So that's just to tell me this is white, this is white, and then I'm going to add the stripes. I'm just using a basic candle that I've got lying about the house. Please try and use one that isn't colored. Otherwise, whatever color the wax is, it will come off on your page. Looking at my reference, it starts off with a red stripe. So, what I'm going to do is leave a gap for that. If you crouched down and look at it sideways, I'm going to apply the wax, hopefully in sections, and if you look from a certain angle, you will see where the wax is going down. I know you can't see anything but it will be revealed. Please trust me. I'm mixing up my red paint. I'm going to apply it a little bit thicker than I normally would just to show you how the wax resist is going to work. I'm going to apply it here and hopefully it's going to work. Can you see how I just did a very quick downward stroke and there we go. It's being revealed. Just water down the pain a tiny bit because we're going to define the rest of the lighthouse, which is on the slightly lighter side. Really, really like that. Now, I'm going to go in again using a much darker; now that I know where the actual stripes are, I'm going to go in again, mixing up the red with a tiny bit of Payne's gray, so that we're going to have more definition on this left-hand side. I've just gone over there. But you know what, apply the wax there. I like the way it's gone over, I might just see what else it does. That's the edge of the wax there, and I think that's just a bit too much red. I like the effect. I might just leave that actually. Right, go back to making that side of the lighthouse darker. There, there. That's what we want, and all the way down to here as well. This is also a very pretty red roof. Also, the very top roof of this lighthouse is red. I've just realized, this is the edge here of that bit of the lighthouse, and that would do that and the railing would come up to about here. Looking at it again, I've realized I haven't made the lighthouse fat enough. So, let's just start that now. I'm going in with quite a watery red, trying to blend it in with the edge of that lighthouse to make it just that little bit wider. I'm going to give it a bit of a dry using a hairdryer. Now, I'd like to go in again using a darker red to define the stripes further because I don't think that's quite happening at the moment, the definition isn't quite there. So, let's go in and just add a tiny bit more information and then I'm going to work on the top section. I'm going in with quite a deep red just to define the areas of the stripes and to make sure that the wax resist really stands out. For the top section, I'm going to be mixing up some Payne's gray with the red. I don't want to use just plain Payne's gray. I don't think that's going to work only. Let's apply that now up here, so the edge there is dark. Starting with the panel of glass on this side, it is really dark. I know it looks harsh, but that's what I'm seeing, and also there's a panel of glass here like that. Just define the edge a little bit more. This section underneath is very dark too. But, I'm only going to concentrate on this side. I'm not going to fill in the whole lot because I want to show that it's round by putting a suggestion of a shadow on one side and leaving the other side light. This is the platform that the railing would sit on. The house is looking a bit too white. I'm just going to add a tiny wash of that same Payne's gray that I'd mixed up with the red and it's got a window in it. I did apply wax to it and it's got this lovely textural quality on there. I'm going to define the edge of this house which is actually in shadow, so there's no wax there, so I'm able to apply it. This edge became too red. So, what I'm going to do is wet these areas and then lift it off using a bit of tissue because it's just looking a bit to pink. So, wet those areas and I'm going to lift it off. You can see that it's come off on the tissue as well. This particular lighthouse does not have windows on there, that I can see, on this side anyhow. But, I really want to include them because I think they just look so cute. I'm using a thin micron to add the outlines. This is the last section here and then there's actually the green patch of glass. So I might actually pretend and put a doorway there. The bottom of this lighthouse, there is a patch of green. I'm just going to add just the merest tiny hint of it in a very muted green. I want to add a tiny bit of yellow too there, I think and it also goes up to the house here. What's happening in the background is the grass goes off like that. Then there's a section of sea, and in the background there you can see some sort of a headland or another island in the background. So again, I'm going to use the Payne's gray and just add this island or another piece of land in the distance, and tiny patches of blue sky. Again, I want it to be muted. But I think I might add it to this bit here just to show the edge. This is where the warm-up exercise really comes in handy because the sky needs to be quite loose, but still defined. So please have fun here. Add in a drop there, because I've only just applied water. There, I think that will do. Balance that blue out. I'm going do the same on this side, continuing on from this red section that has spread out. So, I'm applying just a very watery wash, and I'm going to drop in a tiny drop of blue just here and wait for that to spread out. I'm going to draw that out to the edge of the page there. To echo that I think there is going to be a suggestion of sea here. What I might do, because I've realized this doorway is just hovering and I'm going to make this up because I can't see it in my reference. But I would like to add a little flight of steps. I'm just adding a few steps here because I think it would read better and also give a lovely contrast to the watercolor. Literally made that up. But, I thought it needed something because it was like there's a doorway and you're going to fall out the lighthouse. Also, I'm not happy with the edge of this house. I know I've applied wax resist on that. But I'm going to see if I can just define that area tiny bit more using grass to help along with that. It just needed just a little bit more of a contrast, and then the grass follows the lighthouse down like that. I'm just going to be adding definition to the lower boundaries of the house and the lighthouse by using contrast in the green color. Looking closely at the wax resist, you can see that because of the way, I couldn't see exactly where I was applying it and how it is going to react to the paint. But I think it creates a beautiful, beautiful effect, and it also creates movement and the texture is wonderful in that house. Even though it's not precise, I think, for the mood I was trying to create for this, it's turned out wonderful. 6. 3 lighthouse: I use standard red tissue paper that you can get in any craft store. I just cut up thin strips to see how it would fit within my moleskine sketchbooks. I suggest you make sure that the sections are going to fit and cut them to the right size, like I've done here. I used a sharp pair of scissors and a glue stick to help me get right into the corners, and you must make sure you stick it completely flat so that it doesn't buckle up too much when we apply the paint later on. Here is a thin Micron. You can use any black pen as long as it doesn't bleed because we are going to be applying watercolor, so try and get a permanent one. I'm looking at my reference very carefully in order to work out which part of this Langton room is relevant to my sketch. I don't want to be including everything, but at least have enough information to distinguish this particular lighthouse. This one has got this lovely old-fashioned leading in the window, which I will be including because it's so a distinctive. Then I'm moving onto the railings, which again, not all lighthouses have, so please look at your reference. Oh, there's a little bit that came away there but I think I got away with it. The railings are coming in now and I'm not going to be including all of them because I think it would make it too top heavy. I'm guided by my intuition, so please don't feel the need to include every detail because you don't need it for a sketch of this nature. Now comes the sides of the lighthouse. As you can see, I am drawing right over the collage tissue paper. Do be mindful as you work your way down that, the sides are not completely parallel to each other so that it does take on that distinctive lighthouse shape. With this collage technique, of course, you can add as many red stripes as you want and I do believe there are different colored lighthouses out there as well so it's your choice. Now we're moving on to the windows. In my reference, there actually isn't as many windows as I want to add. I just have a thing for them so please make up your own mind for your sketch how many windows you want to add. I just really think they're so cute. I've decided to use a white gel pen on the red areas and the black pen on the white areas just to add a bit more interest and contrast. As you can see, I'm staggering the windows. I'm not putting them exactly one below the other. It really is my interpretation of what I see in front of me and I'd like you to produce your own interpretation. Please don't do an exact version of what you see me producing. Find elements of lighthouses that interest you and add them to your sketch. I have mixed up a paint gray with one of the darker reds. It's a very watery wash because I'm not exactly sure how it's going to go on that tissue paper. Looks like it's holding very well, so I continue down this side of the lighthouse. This is going to be the shaded side. I do want to create the effect that it is cylindrical. I'm adding just that little bit more contrast in the white areas. I'm going in again with a slightly darker shade, a bit more paint gray there just to emphasize the shadow. Going to the top of the lighthouse. I'm using the same color just to fill in these glass sections and I'm adding water or more paint gray to create this effect. It's only a very subtle effect, but it does really help emphasize the roundness of the lighthouse. I'm looking at my reference again, and I see that it's on a large patch of grass, so I've used olive green. I'm just in a single sweeping stroke. I'm not going to be putting in too much detail at this stage. Looking at the reference, there is a little house for the keeper I expect, just right next door. I'm just going to draw that in using my Micron. Again, it doesn't have windows there, but that's the where I want my windows so I've drawn it in like that. Please do what you feel like doing. Now we've completed the main part of the lighthouse. I'm just assessing it and deciding if it needs anything else. I decided it didn't. I wanted to create quite a dramatic backdrop for this particular lighthouse because I thought it would contrast nicely with the white left side of the lighthouse. You can see where the warm-up exercise comes into play. I'm using a paint gray and taking water to draw it outwards and creating these effects. As you seen in a previous video, I'm using the clouds to act as the definition for the edge of the lighthouse. I wanted to go back in with a much darker color to create more drama. I added paints gray directly to the top there because it just creates a better mood. I add a bit more water to this section here and then I thought, actually I don't like it, even though it's quite a nice effect. I thought it was just a bit too much for that section, so I moped it up using a kitchen towel. Sometimes that happens and I wanted to show you. Moving on to the other side of the lighthouse. Again, that part of the lighthouse is just so lovely and I'm hoping that by adding a dark background, it will really emphasize it. Another reason I wanted to do a warm up exercise is these effects can't be created unless you've played around with it. It's very difficult to create unless you know kind of what you're doing. I urge you to do the warm-up exercise if you want to create more effective and creative clouds and skies behind your lighthouse. You'll seeing me stopping in just a little while after this because often you have to assess what's going on. I liked what was happening there, but I decided because of that red section at the bottom, it needed a lot darker background to show up the red section in front. That's why I've added that much deeper, bluey paint gray. I also go on to define the edge of that little house on the side. At this stage, I didn't know what I was going to do with the left-hand side and I thought maybe I could carry on with that slope that you can see forming. This is a decision that I made there and then when I assessed it, this is often how I work. It is very intuitive and it comes with experience because I'm trying to create balance between the left and the dark side and is there enough drama happening and does it read well? Is there enough information there? I do stop to assess it and then carry on. I can't make any firm decisions on the outset how it's going to turn out. I'm panning out now to show you the finished sketch that was created very quickly. As I said previously, I don't edit these videos very much. My final tip is to look at the contrast, areas of dark against the light and areas of light against the dark. That will make your lighthouse pop. 7. Final thoughts & Comfort Zones: I really hope you've enjoyed watching this video class and you've learned a few new things, and I've got a few more facts for you about lighthouses. It turns out that the USA has more lighthouses than any other country in the world, with the State of Michigan having more lighthouses then any state. If you would like to share your lighthouses on social media, please use the hashtag Oh Moscow share and I would love to see your work on social media and also please post in the class projects so that you can share it with the other students here. There's one last thing I wanted to share with you, and it's this: Everything you've ever wanted is just one step outside of your comfort zone. I do believe this is true. Sharing your work, creating the work first does take a lot of courage and I do commend and salute you for any artwork that you produce, and you post, and you share with me and the other students. On a deeper level, going outside your comfort zone, it does involve being a little bit awkward and a little bit uncomfortable because you're trying something new, but if you don't try something new, I don't think you could grow creatively as an artist. This is something that I have talked about before. If you've seen my first sketch root class, you know that I'm a self-taught water colorist. I still don't know how to watercolor. I don't feel. I still consider myself an amateur in some respects because I'm always exploring and I'm seeing how certain colors work, or don't work together. I like to use different textured papers, and different brushes still, and different pens, and as you can see from this class, I'm still exploring even after 20 years. Please try to see past your supposed mistakes because they are not mistakes. You're just exploring. You're an artist and you're a creative person. This is what we do. Ingenuity is about not being afraid to try new things and by challenging yourself. Do you discover more about yourself and your art? Every day, when I create a sketch book page, I can't predict what it will finally look like. I have a rough idea of what might happen but even for me, even after two and a half years being in that zone when I'm not entirely sure how it's going to work out is a little bit scary, especially if I'm doing it on time lapse. Even putting together a skill share class, I am outside of my comfort zone, because I don't actually like being in front of the camera and there's no guarantee that any of my classes will be successful or resonate with students, and I have to take that leap of faith and hope that folks will understand where my art comes from. If you've made it this far, I want to thank you and encourage you to take that small step, big or small outside of your comfort zone, because it gets that tiny bit easier every time that you do. I have to trust the process and relax and have faith [MUSIC] that what's created is something that's authentic and something that's personal to me. I hope you all have a wonderful time creating lighthouses and further your creativity. [MUSIC]