Getting Started with Gouache: Learn the Basics, Build Confidence | Anne Butera | Skillshare

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Getting Started with Gouache: Learn the Basics, Build Confidence

teacher avatar Anne Butera, watercolor artist, pattern designer

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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

15 Lessons (2h 53m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. What is Gouache?

    • 4. Swatches

    • 5. Stripes

    • 6. Quilt Part 1

    • 7. Quilt Part 2

    • 8. Cloudy Sky

    • 9. Leaves Part 1

    • 10. Leaves Part 2

    • 11. Dandelion Part 1

    • 12. Dandelion Part 2

    • 13. Bird Part 1

    • 14. Bird Part 2

    • 15. On Your Own

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About This Class

Gouache is an opaque watercolor that is fun to use, but can be tricky when you’re getting started. In this class I’ll help you get acquainted with this medium.

We’ll start at the very beginning learning what gouache is and how to use it. Through a series of seven demonstrations I’ll show you how to build confidence and gain skills painting with gouache.


  • Handling the tubes. Squeezing paint onto your palette. Using a brush and water to take paint from the palette to your paper.
  • Learning how much water to use and how different amounts of water will create different effects with the paint.
  • Getting the feel for different brushes and using single brushes to create a variety of marks on your page.
  • Painting lines. Painting sections of a page and simple shapes. Painting wet beside wet.
  • Mixing and blending colors on the palette and on paper.
  • Painting large areas.
  • Reactivating and working with paint that has dried on the palette.
  • Painting one color over another dried color. Using lighter paint on top of darker paint (and vice-versa).
  • Painting details on top of painted areas with the tip of a round brush.
  • Working with and without a sketch.
  • Working from life, working from a photograph and working from your imagination.



I’ve chosen to paint seven demonstration pages that build in complexity to help you get a feel for the medium. Feel free to skip around and use the lessons that most speak to you. If you’re using gouache for the first time it’s a good idea to start with the least complex exercises first to avoid frustration.

  • Swatches – swatching your paint in a sketchbook is a great way to get a feel for the medium and to create a reference of colors for use later. 
  • Stripes – Painting stripes is a fun way to practice making marks and get a feel for painting large and small areas with a variety of brush sizes and shapes. 
  • Quilt – Creating a simple quilt-inspired page will help you get comfortable filling in areas with paint. In this lesson I also share color mixing and blending techniques. 
  • Sky – Painting a background, letting it dry and painting on top of it with a lighter color gives you a good feel for how gouache works to paint large areas and how lighter colors work painted over darker ones. 
  • Leaves – This exercise is a great way to learn about color mixing and gives a taste of painting finer details. 
  • Dandelion – Observing a live subject, simplifying a design and mixing matching colors are some of the main skills learned in this lesson. The dandelion painted in this demonstration is a fairly complex subject with multiple parts and you’ll also learn how to break down your subject and paint it piece by piece. Working with wet and dry paint and layering details are skills that will help you make any painting feel more finished and you’ll learn that here, too.
  • Bird – Being able to work from a photograph is a good skill to learn. (Link to the copyright free bird image is in the handout). In this lesson I demonstrate painting without an initial sketch. Color blending and making light marks with your brush help to create a realistic-looking bird, hinting at feathers without actually painting them individually. Being able to paint light over dark makes painting the designs on the feathers, shading on the beak and details of the eyes possible (which wouldn’t be the case if working with watercolor). 


Meet Your Teacher

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Anne Butera

watercolor artist, pattern designer

Top Teacher


The beginning of my story might sound similar to yours. When I was a child I loved to make things, but as I grew up I "learned" I wasn't good at art and stopped making it.

But that's not the end of my story.

As an adult I eventually realized something was missing from my life and I began to play with the idea of learning how to paint. I was encouraged by the example of other artists who had begun their creative journeys as adults with no formal training. Their stories gave me confidence to try.

When I started out learning how to paint I didn't know where to start. I learned by doing (and by failing and trying again). 

It's been a long road, but today I work as a watercolor artist.

My art has been featured in magazines an... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, I'm Anne Butera. I'm the artist behind the website and blog, My Giant Strawberry. I work primarily in watercolor and I love painting botanical. Today we're going to be talking about gouache because I'm completely self-taught and because when I first started working with gouache, that was baffled by how it worked. I had no feeling of the medium. I'm really excited today to share what I've learned with you. We're going to start at the very beginning talking about what this unique paint is, what the properties are. We'll work through progressively more complex exercises to help you get a feel for how this paint works. I'm excited to have you join me. If you're ready to begin learning about gouache, I'll see you in the next lesson. 2. Materials: All right. So first I'm going to show you the materials that you'll need, when you're painting with gouache. You're going to need some paint. My favorite brand is this Holbein Artists Gouache. Make sure that you get actual gouache, not acrylic gouache. Because that is more like acrylic. You can't re-wet you're dried paint. It's fun to paint with, but that's not the scope of this class today. I also have some paints, Winsor and Newton. Which I just don't like quite as much. It's personal preference. You can see with this tube, this is a great example. Sometimes the lids don't go on all the way and this lid I know doesn't go on all the way, because the tube is crushed for some reason at the part where the pink comes out. And so I can't get the palette cap on, or maybe it's the cap that squished. In any case, be careful with your caps and your tubes. If they don't screw on all the way, your paint can dry up inside the tube and then you're stuck. You'll need something to paint on. We're going to start out with this mixed media sketchbook. I really love these Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media books. I've used quite a few of them and the paper is just really lovely to work on. You need a palette for mixing your paint on. You can use whatever you have. You don't have to have this exact palette. You can see mine is a little bit stained. Something else you could use is a plate. I have these plastic plates that I bought a whole bunch of for a class I was teaching in person, and they're really great to use as palettes. You can mix on there. You can lay out your colors, so that's another option. You're going to need brushes. I like these Princeton velvet touch, long, round brushes. I used these in my water colors a lot, and they're really not that expensive. You'll need some water. Paper towels are always handy. And then I just wanted to show you these little containers. You can buy them in craft shops. And they're great if you want to mix a large amount of paint and store it and keep it wet. Gouache's great. It works like watercolor in that you can reactivate dry paint anytime with just more water. But if you want to keep it wet, this is a great option. In the next lesson we'll talk about what gouache is. See you there. 3. What is Gouache?: The first question you probably have is, what is gouache? Gouache is a type of watercolor, it comes in a tube like this. This is my favorite Hawaiian artists gouache. What's interesting about this paint is, it's a type of watercolor, but it's a lot more opaque than traditional watercolor. It comes in tubes, which was one of the things that was hard for me to get used to. I work primarily with pan watercolor paint and working with tube paints was a little bit different. I said that it's an opaque type of watercolor. Here's an example from my sketch book, a very opaque page. The fun thing about gouache is that you can paint light over dark, which is not something that you can do with watercolor. Watercolor, if you try and paint a lighter color over darker color, you're just going to get a tint, not a lightening. What's cool about gouache is that you can also get watercolor facts. These two pages I created with a more transparent look to them, and these were bits that I painted that ended up as fabric design and to this pillow was made out of that design, which is really fun. I wanted to show you another page from my sketchbook with gouache. If you've taken some of my other classes, I've painted with gouache in them. This is from defeat the blank page. You can see here is a very dark, opaque with some more areas of translucence, and here are lighter colors, these little white flowers painted over the dark blue. You could never do that with regular watercolor. This page, you can also see the variations of lights and darks and transparencies that you can get with gouache. Are you ready to dive in? In the next lesson, we'll get a feeling for our paints and start painting some swatches. I hope to see you there. 4. Swatches: The first thing I like to do whenever I'm trying out new supplies is to make swatches of the colors and it's fun to do that in the back on the last page of your sketchbook. Then you'll have a reference as to what those colors look like on the page because you don't always have a good idea just from what's on the tube and some paints like a Winsor and Newton have just a really small swatch of colors, so it's even harder. The other nice thing about making swatches is that you begin to get a feel for how paints work. I'm going to use these Holbein goulash colors. First before I start squeezing the tubes out, I'm going to just arrange them. For your own work, you can purchase a set. These came in a set that I bought online and they've also since then added some more colors to it. You don't have to have this many colors and you don't have to have these exact colors. It doesn't really matter. You have at least one of each of the primary, so red, yellow, and blue, that is really helpful. It's great to have some black and some white also. Those are great for mixing. You can see I've used quite a bit of the weight. Unlike with watercolor, you do use a lot of white. Let's see. I'm not sure if I'm going to actually paint swatches of the black and the white, definitely not the white. Let's see. Let's line them up or to arrange everything in the screen of the camera. This is Prussian blue is one of my absolute favorites, it's the dark beautiful color. It's also handy to have a pink and maybe a purple. Pink is a hard color to mix. Just mixing white and red doesn't always get you a good pink. Now, you can see that's one of the things that's frustrating for me about Bosch. Sometimes you get dried bits of paint on the tubes. I don't use two watercolors, so I'm sure it would act the same way with watercolors. Actually, if I open it away from my palette, I won't get braid where I'm working. Actually I should keep those handy so I can write the names on my page later. I'm just squeezing a small amount to start with. One of the things that was hard for me to get comfortable with gouache was squeezing out paint and then we'll now what I didn't like wasting big gauges of paint, and as I said, you can reactivate them with water. This one is getting a little dry in the tube, so it takes a lot more effort to squeeze out. I'll make sure to get this cap on nice tight. Again, you don't need to have this many colors and colors like green and orange and purple you can actually obviously paint and mix your own colors and this one's getting dried too. You can mix your own colors, so you don't really need to have them. Do whatever your budget allows. You can always add to your collection later. Chopping for art supplies such a fun thing. I'm going to skip that. Well, in my palette that's stained like that. That's not actually pink on there. Once I get all my colors squeezed out, the sepia is brown and you have squeezed from the black on that stain spot. Now we're ready to start our swatches. I'm going to rearrange things and I'll be right back. If you don't want to work in a sketchbook, that's okay too. Watercolor paper is great gouache because it holds up well, something like this. Fabriano, hot press paper is great, or whatever paper you have, it's best to have something a little bit on the thicker side. Watercolor paper or mixed media paper. I'm going to start by dipping my brush in the water. I'm getting it nice and damp. I'm going to just grab up some of the paint. Here in that well, in the palette, I'm mixing the water and the paint and now I'm just going to paint a swatch. Now I'm going to rinse out my brush and get ready for the next swatch and you can see I used a little less water there. But that's okay, I can mix some more on the paper. This is almost more like watercolor here because it's a more diluted paint mixture. More water, less paint. This is thicker paint, less water, and you can paint both ways with gouache, which is one of the great things about it. You can see the color is beautiful and opaque. Actually, I'm going to come back to this pink one and just paint a line of some thicker paint. That way you can see the two variations. Just continuing on with my paint. Now, if my water gets too, actually it's getting dark. After this next color in here. There's a little speck of another paint in there terribly, grab some yellow. You can make your swatches any shape that you want to. As you can see, they don't have to be neat. Move onto this green. Now, as I said, when I was squeezing it, this is a little more dry in the tube, I could feel it. I'm mixing it a little more to get it nicely workable. That you're getting a lot of brush strokes there. Study a little [inaudible] , that's okay. Moving on. I can see that has a bit of another color in it too. I move that way. That's very thick. Look gouache color and this one was another dry one. You can see. Actually I want to add a little more water. That worked out nicely, wetting it on the page. I'm going to change my water, I'll be right back. I not only changed my water out, I also rinsed up my brush thoroughly. That has a bit of a dry. You can use your gouache with more or less water depending on the look you want. I squeezed some black there, but I'm going to skip that and go onto another blue. I didn't do a good job for arranging my colors on the page here, but I'm just going to run with it. Here's my favorite Prussian blue. Not try it or why that one ended up in the space it did before that or after the purple, so you can see how deep and dark that is. So beautiful. I'm going to add a lot of paint on that brush. It's going to take a little while to rinse it off. You can also come to your paper towels and help get some of the extra color off. Skip to that blue. I'm going to put the sepia here. See what happened when I'm talking. Well, put the sepia here and then come back and get this blue. You can see, on the paper, how different these two blues are. Now, I'll come back to my black and paint a swatch of it. Here are my swatches gives me a feel of how the paints work with more water or less water. We'll let this dry and then go back and write to the names of the paint on the paper. That way I will be able to use this as a reference. I will meet you back in the next lesson. We'll do another exercise. 5. Stripes: For this lesson, I am going to be painting on some water color paper. Use whatever you have. This happens to be Fabriano hot press, watercolor paper. It is nice and smooth. You will want to have something fairly sturdy to work with and the first thing I am going to have us do now that we have swatched our colors is get a feel for how the paint works on the page by paintings and stripes. I am going to switch things around a bit here. Because I went to paint along ways. What I want you to do is think about a color palette. What color stripes do you want to use? If you want to have a little bit of everything, that is great. If you want to limit yourself to just warm colors are just cool colors, or maybe even just two different colors. Maybe I have a lot of blues and greens on here. I could just limit it to blues and green, whatever you would like for your stripes. I'm going to use and make switch. I must start out with a pointed round, this long round brush, but another great brush to use when you are painting stripes. Either an angled brush like this or a flat brush like this will give you a nice wide or in this case a little bit narrow or swath of color across your page. I may pick those up in a minute. I'm going to start off with this lime green color. Here is my stripe, and as you can see, it is going to get lighter as you go across the page and that just naturally happens as the pink gets used up from the brush. You can go back the other way and make that a little darker on the lighter end if that is what you prefer, but I am not going to do that. I am going to rinse my brush now. I am going to change colors and think I am going to change brushes already here I am. I am going to wet this brush and I cannot resist this Prussian blue. Get it nice and saturated on the brush. Now I am going to paint my stripe. This time I am going to gather up some more paint. You can see where it got added in, but I am going to mix it on the page. Strike number two go back to this brush. I am feeling in the mood for some orange. Now you can see that I am not mixing any colors yet. If you want to, at this point, great. If you do not, that is great too. I am just going to wait to mix colors until we do the next exercise. This just gives you a little more time to get used to working with the paint by itself. Now this one, this orange stripe is really skinny. I am going to go back actually, and paint another skinny orange stripe on the other side of the blue line. Now you can see my stripes are not even in actually. Here we go. I am going to paint you and another one. Liking the way this is turning out. Rinse your brush. How about some pink, still using the same brush. I am going to paint a wider swath and add more paint. We can see if you are familiar with watercolors at all. You can see how this is acting quite a bit like watercolor. Looking back at my Prussian blue stripe, I am seeing that it is getting kind of dull not quite as dark as I would like. I am going to go back and add more paint to that. I would normally turn my paper if I did not have a camera on, that came up a little bit off of where we were but I am not going to worry too much about that. I am just going to keep adding a little more color because I want this nice and dark. All right, that feels better to me. Next, let us go with this color green. I did not squeeze that much onto my palate. I feel like I am already using that up. Let us see, I am going to try and medium stripe. You can be a little more precise with your stripes if that is your deal. I am letting mine be a little wonky and not worrying too much. I was going to say, I am painting on a watercolor block, which I did not really tell you about. This one is actually coming apart, but it is glued on all four sides. This is a bunch of paper lined up together and then glued all the way round, that holds the paper nice and flat. It won't buckle. It also allows me to go from end to end without worrying about damaging the other papers underneath. I am going to press down for this one. Nice thing about round brushes is that you can get a number of different widths with just one brush using the same brush, I painted those very skinny stripes. I am feeling in the mood for more pink so that time just to skinny pink. I am going to paint a few of them. Let them be wonky in terms of width and where they are on the page and their darkness at the line. I am going to switch to this brush and get it nice and saturated. We want a nice wide line. I am going to take my time painting this line, going across and adding more. We go wider. How about a little wider? I am using a fair amount of water. You do not have to use quite as much water, and you can experiment and see what happens if you use less or more what does this need and think it needs more blue? Let me go with a different blue. How about a medium width not two of them in a row here. Smooth it out. How about some of this green, this cipher screen? I am going to add a little more paint to my palette here add a bit more Like a bit of wonkying in these lines. It really emphasizes the fact that it is hand painted I think this would make a beautiful fabric. Let's see. Painting some more orange, going to do a little wider, than the last stripe. There is a tiny bit of space left down at the bottom. I want to paint the skinny pink line here, and then I see that there is still some room at the top. I am going to go back and add a skinny pink line there too. Here is my finished striped piece on your own. You can use what other, whatever color palette you would like. You can also try something different. Let this dry completely and then go back and paint alternating stripes the other direction to create a plaid design or you can just leave it as is. In the next lesson, we will continue getting a feel for our paints and begin doing some color mixing. I will see you there. 6. Quilt Part 1: For this next exercise, we're working in the sketchbook again. I'm going to take us a step further. We're going to paint a quilt inspired page. I have drawn out my pattern already and I made a border around the edges of the page. I'm not going to be painting off the sides like we did with the stripes. I made up this design inspired by modern quilts. All rectangles and that a square, close to being a square. The next step is for me to decide what colors I want to use. Here are the paints they've dried on the palette. I'm going to squeeze a few more colors, determine what my palette is going to be and then we're also going to start mixing some paint. If you want to think about what quilt inspired design you want to paint and consider your color palette would be back in a minute and I'll get started on mine. For my quilt, I decided on a scheme of blue. I'll be mixing colors to squeeze more paint onto my palate. My three blues, I squeezed some more of them. I also want some accents of this bright green and I might even mix that. I also squeezed some of this Cyprus green. I know I love the way this looks when mixed with some white, so I have some white here. We'll just get started. I also grabbed another brush, this wide flat wash brush. It'll make painting large areas a little bit easier. If you don't have a brush like that, that's okay. Use whatever you have, it'll work fine. I have a few brushes picked out to choose from. I guess we'll get started. Actually I'm going to start with this. This is a round brush not as pointed as the other ones that I was using. I have a huge gaba of this Prussian blue. I wetted in my brush and now I'm picking up some of the color. We're going to start with a nice block of Prussian blue and it's okay if your lines are not perfectly straight. One of the things I like about modern quilts and improv quilts are the uneven lines. Of course, if you prefer, things that are more precise, do what makes you happy. You can see here on this square, I'm getting a variety of tones and you can have more opaque areas and more transparent areas. Gouaches versatile that way if you prefer to keep it nice and even in your color and your saturation, go ahead. I like this variation and this light spot right here. We'll dab that off with a paper towel, we'll paint over it. It's fine don't worry. We're going to try and pick up some of that color. I don't want to use too much water. I'm liking how that looks and what I could do is go paint other areas that I would like to have in this Prussian blue. The danger with that is having multiple areas on the page wet. You may accidentally smear them. Now one of the things that made me uncomfortable when I first started using gouache was the fact that mixing sometimes feels like wasting paint. Because to get your right color, you may have to keep adding more and more of one or the other. Here I'll show you some mixing. I'm going to wear this paint. I have some squeezed out fresh paint here and I'm going to paint a little swatch on the palate. Add more water, that's similar to working with watercolor. Now I want to pull in some of this white, so you can see how the color changes with the white. Try and pull off more of the paint onto my palate. Rinse my brush, grab more of the white. You could also squeeze white directly in that well and I could squeeze some white and some more of that Cyprus green in that spot to give me a larger amount of paint to work with. Now, the fact that the paint sticks to the brush always made me really uncomfortable. Because sometimes that paint becomes unusable, gets stuck up in there in the brush and eventually you have to wash it off. But try and get as much off as you can. I'm liking this, but I think it would be enhanced by this leaf green or is it leaf? Yes. Again, the colors don't matter as much. What I did just then was wiped off some of the paint because I had picked up some of the other color and I don't want that to get in the tube and contaminate the paint. That's more interesting, but I still think we need more white in there. I can see the white got contaminated too. I'll wipe that off. I like the color right there in the middle. My brush is well saturated. I'm going to come back here and paint this section. You can see, right now, I'm painting this wet green color right next to and touching the wet Prussian blue and those colors aren't bleeding. If I had more water in my mix, they would bleed. Just then I wet my brush so I can pull out the paint and make it go further. Now like there's unmixed quality, getting this other edge. When you're working on your own, feel free to move your paper around as much as you need to, to be comfortable working those edges. This is awkward, but don't want to move anything out of the view of the camera. Coming back and just neating things up. You can see a slight difference between these two squares. This one has more water in parts of it, is less saturated with paint and so there's transparent areas. This is much all opaque. Because my brush is so saturated with paint, it's really thick on there and I don't want to waste it. I'm going to paint a couple more squares with this color. I'm going to start with this corner. I'm going to add a little water. You can see already the quality of the paint is different with the added water. Cover up that splotch. The nice thing about the opaqueness of gouache is that you can cover up areas you don't like. Coming to my edge line, the right edge is hard. One more square with this color. I think I want this little narrow spot to be the same color. Again, if your lines are not straight, that's okay. Painting these squares gives you a feel for hogwash works on the page and the different effects you can get depending on how much paint you have on your brush, how much water you use. You can paint these with a fat brush and fewer strokes, or you can go back with a small brush and get all those little bits. I think this feels balanced. Now I'm going to wash this brush out, clean out my water, and then I'll come back and we'll continue painting. We've got clean water, my brush is clean, and that's one thing that's a little different from working with watercolors. Gouache tends to stick to the brush more, that requires a bit firmer washing. Thinking about my color layouts and where I want to take this next. I think I want to do a very light blue. I'm going to take a big gulp of white and put that over here, and then, I'm going, to pick up some blue. I'm going to use this turquoise blue. I like this, but it's not the color I had in mind, but I'm going to use this right now before I go and mix the other blue I had in mind. I want to put this one right here. You can see, the white makes your paint even more opaque looking, because white is a very opaque color. Here I am telling you, after I paint my first color, that you can paint colors all over but I don't want to do that, then I'm changing my mind and doing it anyway. Whatever flows for you, whatever makes the most sense in your work, work that way. Use the colors that speak most to you. Some artists follow very strict rules of color, but I think it's better to go with what your gut says. That will make sure that your art is the most authentic to who you are and how you feel. I did not mix quite as much of this color as I perhaps should have, but I think we'll have enough. Now a project like this does not really take that much paint, even though you're painting in some cases larger swats. In the case of this whole page, it's going to be entirely covered with color. I'm going to keep this square and just add some more white in there. Again, you can see, I did that again, don't want to mess up our white. Add little bit of water to help this flow a little better. That's a very light blue. I'm going to put this one right here, and I love how the two colors that are on the brush are coming out. When you have a round brush, you can point with the tip and get a really fine line, or you can paint with the side of the brush and get a much thicker line. In this case, I had had some of the darker blue higher up on the brush. I think I've used that all up and it's gone, but it was beautiful while it lasted. So what next? I'm going to move this out of the way. That went a little stray on that corner there, and I'm not going to worry too much because in the next square that I paint here, I will fix that little blip. I'll continue painting with another color in the next lesson. See you there. 7. Quilt Part 2: I'm going to go back to my Prussian blue, and I want this spot to be Prussian blue, nice and dark. Now I can see where I missed painting there. So I'll just paint over that white spot. Well, that's cool. I told you before, that gouache does not blind, like watercolor, but you can see it because that was wet in that corner. It's cleaning up a little bit. Which looks cool. If you really want to avoid that in your own painting. Be careful not to paint one area up against where there's wet paint, that has a lot of water. I'm going to switch from my round brush to my angled brush to make things easier. Then I'm just going to use the edge to paint my page because I can't turn my page. Gave me an edge I don't like actually. I'm just going to go over everything and smooth it out. I'm going to rinse my brush, rinse my water, and I'll be back in the next lesson and we'll continue painting. See you then. I've rinsed out my water, rinsed out my brushes, and I'm ready to move on to another color. Now looking at the page here, one of the things I see is that some of the tones are very similar. What gives a piece interest and movement is to vary your lights and your darks. So we have some very saturated dark colors here with the Prussian blue. Then this is a brighter, lighter color, this light blue. There's not a lot of contrast between those two blues, and there's not a lot of contrast between that minty color and this medium blue. I want to use a color with a bit more contrast, which will create interest. I think I want to come to this leaf green. Now, I remember from squeezing this out of the tube that is more dry in the tube. I'm going to pull some of this off and paint it over here. I don't have to do that, you can work directly from here. I'm thinking, ''Do I want to add any other colors to this?'' My thought is no, I like how bright it is. So be careful, I just set my hand on wet paint. Don't do that yourself. One of the dangers of working the whole page. Filling in that little white spot and come back up here. Here are my wonky lines. I showed you that big flat brush first thing, and then I haven't used it. We'll use it with the next color. I'm adding more water in here. Things blow a little. You can see because I'm using so much water, the page is buckling a little bit. I'm trying to be careful, but not too careful. All right, that's pretty whiny. You can add and trust your piece, but I like the smooth things a little bit. Okay. I'm going to put another band right here. Just put a little bit more water to help move things along. Because I want this line to be a contrasting color, I'm not going to add a lot of it, just these two squares. Okay, so we have a few more places to fill in. I think I'm going to use this cobalt blue, and I'm just going to set that brush aside right now. Finally, use this big wide flat brush. You can see that gives a more precise line. You have to have the right saturation of paint and water on your brush in order to fill in the space. A large brush like this takes a lot of water and paint. I like the texture that these brush lines are giving this square. I really love the way the cobalt looks against that leaf green. It's very dramatic. All right, so that's the square. I want another one right here, another of this color, all right. How about one more right here? I can move the water out of the way for a moment, so I can reach up here. Again, when you're working on your own, feel free to move the page as much as you need to. Also, it helps, make things less awkward, let your page dry a bit before you work, and move with the page up. I'm going to switch brushes just because it will be awkward to get this line. Try not to get too much paint on me. This brush isn't working that well either. It would be a lot easier if I could just turn my page. I think i got those edges. One more spot left, and I think I want to go dramatic. I'm going to take some orange and a little of the flame red. Actually I could've squeezed that over there, but I'll squeeze it here. Let's see, my other brushes have other paint on them, so I'm going to just mix over here. That is too red for what I have in mind. So I don't really want to still do red. What I'm going to do, is bring it to another spot of the palate. This is a good example of what I was saying about the feeling of wasting paint when you're mixing colors. Because it can take a lot of back and forth to get exactly the color that you want. Now, I'm going to go back, pull some more of that color. Our last square. Actually, I'm just going to squeeze a little bit of paint right onto the paper. I'm going to pull a little paint off with water. Now I'm going to go back and just smooth things out, tab it off a little bit. I like how this is almost an amber effect. This right edge is always giving me trouble just because I can't move my page. Okay, so here is my finished patchwork page. In the next lesson, we're going to do something different. I'll see you then. 8. Cloudy Sky: We're going to paint the sky for our next exercise. You'll probably notice that the palette looks a little messy, and here are some leaves. I'm filming these out of order. So we'll be doing this in the next lesson. Don't worry. Don't be confused. So I sketched out an edge. So we'll be painting just in this rectangle here. Do whatever you're comfortable with. I kind of like having a border on some of my pages. You can see this page is a little wavy. That's because on the other side is our quilt. For our sky, I'm going to first paint the blue of the sky. Then once that dries, we'll go back and paint some clouds. I'm going to take some of this turquoise blue and put that in this well, and I'm going to add a little bit of white. Since I'm reactivating dried paint, it's going to be a little more transparent. The white will make it a little more opaque again. Move my water out of the way. We're just going to fill up the page with color, adding a little more water when necessary, adding a little more paint. So this whole rectangle will be blue. Grab up some more of the paint. There's a little [inaudible] on there. That's okay. We'll smooth everything out as we go here. Because I have less paint than I would if I was using paint squeezed directly out of the tube, it's going to be a little more transparent even with that addition of white. Now I'm just evening things out a little bit with gentle strokes, trying to remove brush strokes. I'm going to take a little paint, add that in there, some of the turquoise and some of the white. Because I like that, but I want to go further. I'm just going to actually let it mix on the page, maybe more white actually than turquoise. Try not to lift up paint that we've already added in there. Make things a little wispy. I like mixing it, like this on the page. By going in the opposite direction, you add some texture. You can go this way too. A little more water and a little more white. We're going to come back and paint cloud with some white, but I like way this is feeling a bit wispy. This is actually on its side, because I wanted to paint with the sketch, but the other way around. But I'm not going to worry right now. So I like having a bit of variation, a bit of unevenness. We'll come back after this is dry and paint the clouds. Now that the blue part of the sky is completely dry, we can go back in and add some clouds. You can see there is some unevenness in this color, some of which is intentional, where I added some white and smeared it, and some is just the nature of painting on an uneven surface because it's a little bit wavy. But I'm not going to worry about that too much. If yours is uneven and it bothers you, you can go back in and paint another layer of color. I like this how it is, so I'm just going to leave it. Now it's up to you if you want your clouds to be white, if you want your clouds to be gray, if you want your clouds to have a tinge of color as if it's a sunset with pinks and yellows. I'm going to just start out with white. I'm just going to squeeze some white here in this empty well of my palette. I may add in some gray, which I still have black over here that I can use. I'm going to use a round brush, this is a size 12. You can use whatever size or shape you want. This is round but not super pointy. I'm going to start by wetting my brush, and then picking up some of the white paint. Now think about the composition of your page. Where you want to have clouds? How much of the space you want to fill with clouds before you start going. You don't have to plot it all out, but just get an idea. I'm going to work from the top town. So it's up to you what kind of cloud shape you want. I'm letting my paint be a little bit transparent in some areas. You can make it even more transparent by adding more water. Clouds are fun because they come in so many different shapes and sizes. That one I'm going to leave for now like that. You can see the main part of the paint on my palette is here, and I'm working from the diluted part on the side. So my brush isn't super filled with paint. I'm going to add actually a little bit more paint over here. Sometimes as a lighter color dries on a darker background, it almost gets absorbed into the other paint. So you may have to go back and add some more. Add another cloud here. Now, I'm just doing spirals with my brush. One just a little bit smaller. As you're working, you can always refine things. You can change the size and shape of your clouds. You can make them really odd looking. That one is fun, reminds me of a turtle. I like the uneven puffiness here. This one is a little more opaque. We can go back to this first cloud and just dab at it. Just trying, imitate. What else do we need? I think we need a big cloud over here. So I'm going make something bigger than these other clouds. That is a fun shape. I'm going to just go back in and add here and their some little, that some more. Our sky is very blue. If you want a different color, of blue for your sky, a darker blue or a lighter blue or even a gray sky could be really beautiful, it's entirely up to you. You can do a sunset sky. What else do we need? I think I need something over here. Maybe just a small, a wispy thing. Maybe this clouds can go off the edge. So in any of these clouds that are fading into the background, we can go back and add more paint or you can leave them more transparent, that's all up to you. You can make them really puffy or more wispy. As I said, you can incorporate all different colors until your clouds or you can use the paint and no more dry state on your brush or with more water. Just experiment and see how it's different. Your results are different when you have more or less water on your brush. This brush right now is pretty dry. Now, I'm going to grab up a little black. Not too much, and put it over there, rinse off my brush, and then slowly mix a little bit of that to make some gray. I'm going to go back into the bottoms of these clouds and add in a little gray and maybe adding a little more white too. It's all a process, which is one of the fun parts of it. If you want a little different look, you can add a little Prussian blue maybe and make a blue or gray. Make it blue or gray. Maybe dab it and a couple of more areas of your clouds. See. Again this whole process, is very flexible and it's really up to you the kind of clouds you want to paint. You can make them very realistic. You can make them, more stylized and you can continue to add layers and little of details until you're happy with the result. I think I need a little bit more white. Now the cool thing about clouds is that they are not at all even, and so you don't want them to look too uniform. The more uneven they are, the more interesting we are, but also the more they actually look like clouds. So just keep dabbing away until you're happy with how you're clouds look. I think this is good. So in the next lesson, we'll actually get to painting these leaves. I'll see you there. 9. Leaves Part 1: So for this next exercise, we're going to paint some leaves and I picked out some leaves. This is a really interesting dark geranium leaf with green edging. I have a bright chartreuse geranium leaf with red in the center. This pretty peony leaf that has little damaged area and has a nice shape. Red in the stem and some pretty veining. This beautiful dark begonia leaf with these pink sparkly spots on it. We'll use a little metallic paint to spice things up. Then finally, I did not pull this off of this plant because the poor little thing has only three leaves, and what's fun about these is the beautiful deep color, but also the shape. I'm going to sketch out an arrangement of leaves on my paper and then we'll be back to paint them. If you want to look around in your yard or in your home and find some leaves that you want to paint too, that would be great. I have my sketches laid out on the paper and we'll get started. We're going to be needing to mix some color, brownie color on this geranium leaf. Let's see, I'm going to take a bit of sepia and I'm just going to squeeze a small amount onto that. Well of the palette. I'm going to mix also a little bit of this olive green and a bit of this geranium red. Mixing green and red to form a brown is one of my favorite ways to do it. I'm going to take my brush, wet it, and then mix these colors together. No. That's nice, but I think I want a little more green. I'm going to paint the center part, the brown part over this leaf first, and then go back and put the green edge in. Am just spreading the paint. There's lots of paint on my brush right now. You're just spreading it around on the paper, not worrying too much about the edges of my sketch. Again like before, if you are painting on your own, be sure to turn your sketchbook or your paper to make it easier for you to paint. Here's my center. 10. Leaves Part 2: We're going to paint the oxalis leaf and that's a gorgeous purply color, so I'm going to take some of this violet. Actually, let's see. I'm going to squeeze a little bit on there and I also want to squeeze this Geranium red on there. We'll see how those two go together. Oh, that's beautiful. I think we can use a slight bit of darker color and then come back with another brush here and rub whoops, that's a little too much. Grab a little bit of the Prussian blue. Oh, that really darkened that a lot. Add a little more geranium. As I've mentioned before, there are lots of times when you are mixing your colors, there's a lot of back and forth. That is beautiful and it's so deep. I'll mix it a little more on the palette. That's coming out with the other colors. What we could do instead of having your brush that is pretty mixed up, grab another brush and paint with that because it doesn't have all of the other paint from the mixing. Using one brush to mix and one to paint is sometimes a good plan. This color is so beautiful. The reason I picked all these leaves, they have interesting colors, fairly simple shapes. The geraniums are a little bit more complex just because they have the wavy edge. On your own, if you want to paint Geraniums or another leaf that has a slightly more complicated shape, you can always simplify it. Instead of all the little bumps and waves paint it with a smoother edge. Also, one thing I didn't mention was the fact that when sketching out my leaves, I flattened them. As you can see for example this peony, they're more curved. I imagined it more opened up. Now the stem of the oxalis is more light. I'm going to take that beautiful winey color and I'm going to mix a little bit of brown with it. Oh, that's so nice. I'm just going to paint the stem. I actually missed some of the pencil mark. But that's okay because I can go back and erase it then. I'm going to pick up a little bit of the color. Our palette is looking so interesting. This next leaf, this is a dark greeny brown. I'm going to go crazy and I'm going to use that purple as my basis and squeeze a bit of this olive in there. I'm going to use the brush that already has green on it and we'll see what happens. Maybe that was a little too much of the olive. Add a little bit of geranium, perhaps a little bit more actually. Let me add a little bit of that Prussian blue in there. Oh yeah, there we go. That's a deep dark green color. I'm just going to fill in the shape on the page and I'm going to go with it where the colors merge out. That's okay. It adds a lot of interest to your leaf. As for the stem, the stem is a lighter color. I'm going to come back and use a different brush. I'm going to start with this. That's good. There's a little hair on my brush. Most likely a cat hair. I'm going to let these dry, and we'll come back to them and add some more details later. I'm going to finish up these leaves now that they're perfectly dry. Adding a little bit of detail, I'm going to take a small brush and using this dark color that we mixed, add a couple of veins to my Geranium. I don't want to do too much there. Now, I don't really have a purple. I'm adding some of the Prussian blue to that lighter purple color that we mixed. I just want a dark color so I'm just grabbing up some paint. Again, this paint is all dried. I'm just going to paint a couple of lines on our oxalis to emphasize the shape of the leaves. Now for the peony, going back to this green, I'm just going to take the green and paint a couple of veins, that was a hair, just along each of these lobes of the leaf. If you feel like adding a lot of details, you can go in and add more veining. You can see since that color was really similar to the color of the leaf it's blending in. I'm going to take some of this darker color and mix that in. We could also use some red. For this leaf, I said while I was painting that we could go back and add some more of the green. But I like the way it looks, like this. I'm just going to leave that. But I am going to paint some veining with this light color. You can see that it is showing up over that red color, which is the nice thing about gouache. It allows you to paint on top of a darker color. Lastly, we're going to paint some spots on this begonia leaf. Now, I mentioned about using some sparkly paint. I have some silver gouache, and this is the Royal Talens brand. I'm going to squeeze some of this onto my palette. Since these spots on the begonia are pinkish, I'm also going to squeeze a bit of the rose, just a little bit, and some white. I'll mix those together to make our spots. Let's see. You don't have to mix them entirely once you get the color that you like, just add a little bit more water. Looking at our leaf, there's spots all over the place. This leaf is getting a little sad after being off the plant for so long. I'm just going to wing it, and add spots wherever I like around the whole leaf, and vary the spots in size and shape. You don't want them to be too symmetrical or too regular. One thing I'm noticing, this metallic paint has a very distinctive smell. If that bothers you, you could open a window. The other gouache doesn't really smell, at least to my nose. The way I'm forming these spots is just dabbing the paint onto the page. But I'm avoiding the center, because if you look at the leaf, the spots avoid the center. I could go back and add some veins too here. Maybe I will go back with our little hairbrush. My fear is that they're not going to show up very well because this is the same color I used. So I'm going to go over here because I know I have that Prussian blue. Maybe I'll just add a little bit more Prussian blue there. This is a darker color. I can either go in and add all the different veins, but I'm just going to keep one central vein. I'm just going back and forth with my dots. If you notice the paint is too thin in any places, you can go back and add some more. This part is really fun. Just dab on the paint and if you want to even out any edges that look rough, go ahead and do that. This paint is pretty thick. So you're not going to see through to the green too much. If you find that you do, you can always go back and add another layer. Sometimes when you're painting a lighter color over a darker color, it can blend in a bit with the paint. If that happens, just add another layer. Now here at the bottom I'm just going to give it some smaller dots. Now you can go back and look around, see if there's anything that you think needs a couple more. I've noticed on the leaf that there's smaller dots along the edge of the leaf so I'm just going to add a few more of those around. I think that's good. One thing I'm seeing here is that these lines are disappearing a bit. So I'm going to go back. I'm just going to use this color. I think it will just appear as dark. In the next lesson, we'll continue along our botanical theme. See you there. 11. Dandelion Part 1: Are you ready for a bit of a challenge? The next thing I want to paint is a dandelion. Now I knew I wanted to paint a flower and I thought it would be fun to paint something that's a little non-traditional. So I went out and dug up a dandelion plant, and I got a few more examples of flowers in different stages. These are finished but not open up in a seed head. Then because a lot of these leaves are damaged, probably from the lawn mow, I went and found a leaf that was intact so we could study what this looks like. It's interesting when ever I'm painting a botanical subject because I get to really study it. I notice things that I wouldn't necessarily would notice before. Looking at this, this looks like a pine tree to me, the shape. So interesting. So I'm also noting the colors. There's this reddish pink color. The root, which I didn't get all of, but will paint a little bit more of it in our picture. The root is brown and tan. The leaves are a dark green. The stems are red and a lighter green. So you can see, these start out red and then they turn light green. Then the flowers, of course, are yellow but with a variety of different colors, and then also these green parts too. Now when you're an artist interpreting your subject, you can paint it however you like. I never exactly reproduce what I see. I always make some changes. Maybe it's just to arrange the leaves, maybe it's the number of leaves, maybe it's the number of flowers. That's all up to you. Like what we did with the leaves when we were painting that page of leaves. I flattened all of the leaves to make it easier to paint. You can do the same thing here. No, you don't have to paint a dandelion like I'm painting. Paint whatever you would most be inspired to paint. But that's what we're going to paint in this next lesson. I've sketched out my dandelion, and this one, I've given five leaves, four flowers, one that's entirely open. Now this is just a circle. That's because I want it to be a flower that's directed straight at the viewer. Then I have a side on flower, a bud and then a finished flower, and we've got the root. I'll move my sketchbook over. You don't have to do this in a sketchbook. Again, you can work on a single piece of paper if you'd like. I rinsed off my palette, but I left some of the paint in tact. I don't think I mentioned that before when I rinsed off my palette, that I chose to leave some of the paints here. Just be careful on how you direct the water if you're washing it in a sink or if you're using towels, you can just rub out the paint in certain areas, or you can keep working on the same palette, building more and more paint on there. If you keep your colors fairly clean, you can do that for a long time. I wanted to keep some of these main colors here, and then give us some space to mix colors too. So just setting up my workspace here. I will arrange everything. I've got my clean water. I've got some brushes up here which you can't see, but you'll see them when I grab them. Then on the side, I've got paints that I'll grab and squeeze as I need more in the palette. So the first thing I'm going to do is mix up some paints, and I know I need two colors of green, some brown, some red and some yellow. We haven't used yellow too much yet. I left this light green here because I knew we'd be wanting some. Now this olive green, it seems to be my favorite color to use. Even though we have some here, I'm going to squeeze a bit more over here, actually add a little bit more than that. I think I'm going to draw from these for the reds, and not squeeze any extra here. I'm going to squeeze a little more yellow in that spot. Then because I want to add some white to my yellow, I'm going to squeeze some white in here. Actually, I'm going to squeeze two spots of white. I'm going to make right here too because I want to make some tan, which I'll use brown and white to make. This is sepia, from the whole buying brand. Of course, you can mix your browns entirely yourself. I prefer red and green mixed together to make a brown. But again, it's all up to you. I may just leave this right now. I'm going to go back in and erase this big circle because I don't really want that to show through in the yellow flower, and I know I want the flower to look like. I think I'm going to start by painting the flowers, which is what I usually do when I'm working on my watercolor paintings too. So I'm going to grab up some of that yellow and add it to this well here, and grab some of that white. Mix those together. So I'm just going to start with this full flower, and I'm going to make it sketchy. Just using my brush to create a bunch of petals. Because if you look at a dandelion, there's lots of petals in there. I'm starting out with this light yellow. The yellow that I mixed some white with, that's going to be a background color. Then we're going to go in with more pure yellow and darken it up. We can always add more later. I'm going to maybe grab and put it in the center just to make it a little darker in the center. We can always go back and add more paint in details. But I think that's a good start. Then I'm going to go and paint this yellow bit from the side facing flower. We'll go back and add the green later. Now you do not need to start with a sketch. That's really up to you. If you're comfortable working without a sketch, that's great. Now those are really our only yellowy flowers. I know this is going to have a little tip of, I don't even know what you describe that color, I guess it's white, but it's an off white. So I'm going to rinse my brush a little bit and still leaving the yellow, grab up some of that white and paint that in there. Maybe add a little bit of yellow at the base. Just going to leave that for now. Most of the rest of this is going to be green, and I'm starting to think, well, we may need some more green, but I will see as we go. So I'm going to grab up some of the green that was already over here. Maybe some of this, add a little blueness to it. I'm going to grab some of this later color. Actually, maybe I'll work from this well. I work all over my palette. Because I know that's fun to go around mixing different colors. I'm going to grab some of this Prussian blue too. All right, that's a very dark green. Very interesting. Rinse my brush off a little bit. I think that light green is a little too dry to pull out enough of it. I'm going to just dab some there and incorporate a little bit of it into that dark color we have. Now we've got the five leaves. We can paint them in any order that we want. I try not to make it hard on myself in terms of worrying about hitting wet paint. Here I am. I'm just adding paint and then pulling it down the length of the leaf. These really pointed brushes allow me to get some nice points on these leaves here. Now if you study the dandelion leaves, they have lots of jagged edges. I didn't sketch all of those in my drawing. But I may add some in as we go along. Just if you pull the paint out with a tip, you get a nice jagged edge. Now it's also nice. You saw me pull some paint from the palette. This more peer of that olive green. You're going to get a variety of colors in your leaf that way. Just adding some extra little edges as you go. Now again, this is where your creative license comes out. You can add all the details you want. You can simplify things if you want. Now I want to stop here with the green. I'm going to switch brushes because if I look at the actual plant, you see that there's some red. I'm going to mix some red with a little bit of brown because that's how I see the color. Then I'm just going to come in here and add the bottom part of that leaf where it's more pinkish. I can go back in here if I want and neaten up my leaf or make it even messier. We are going to go back after this is dry and add a vein and I think I'm going to make that red. While we're on this part of the painting, I'm going to go in and paint the green parts of the flower. Now that's still wet and it's coming into this section a little bit. I think I need a little more of a lighter color here. I'm going to add some of that in. I like how it's all mixing. I'm going to rinse my brush a little bit because the parts that come down are more of a light green. I'm just going over to this well of color and picking up some the lighter color and going and making some little squiggles. You can add as few or as many as you want. We can go back later and add some details if you think it needs it. Adding some of those little squiggles down here while I still have that color on my brush. Then over here on the bud too. This is where you can have a lot of fun adding your own unique style. I like to put little flourishes to make it a little more fun. I think that's good with a light green. I'm going to go back with a little bit of darker green to paint in some parts here. I'm just using the brush and teasing some paint onto the paper. Why don't we paint that bud too? Sometimes I have more water on my brush and sometimes I have less non going into my tan section just because it was empty. I just got be careful not to mix into that green. I add a little more dark color here. Let's continue painting some leaves. Let's just be careful and paint over here. Again using the same technique as before with the leaf. Pulling the paint down into these tips of the leaf. Maybe I'll see that the paint is a little bit thicker here. I know that it's wet here in this well, so I can thin it out by grabbing paint up from there. I think it's nice to have some variation in your painting. But if you would like things to be completely uniform, go right ahead and do that. Then you can always go back and refine your shape as you go. I think some little details are smoothing out sections. The pain is really thick up here. You can pull some more of it down when that happens. We're coming towards the bottom of the leaf. I'm going to switch brushes again. Get a bit more of this reddish brown and just paint right down there. I'll continue with this dandelion in the next lesson. 12. Dandelion Part 2: I like how things are looking so far. I'm going to this one next. Maybe add a little bit more water to my brush and this well. If you have too much paint on your brush, you can always just pull it off with your palette. You can see now the paint is little thinner again. Change the tip of it. What you could do when you're working in a section like this is turn your paper or your sketchbook to make it easier to work. But instead, I'm going to leave it like this so it's easier for you to see and instead of pulling the paint down, I'm going to be pushing it up. The nice thing about dandelions is that they're kind of messy-looking plants and so if you're painting looks kind of messy, that just adds to the charm and makes it more authentic looking. I'm going to stop with the green here, switch to my red and pull some color down. You can see this is a bit more wet at this point because I keep adding water to that. I'm just kind of looking. I know I want to use this reddish color along with some green for the stems, but I will wait to paint those in a little bit. I just put my brush aside, over here. Then we have two more leaves to paint. Incorporate a little more of this light green. It's nice to have variations in color. Makes your painting more interesting. Because if you look at nature, nothing is perfectly symmetrical, nothing is perfectly uniform. Even things that seem like they may be symmetrical or uniform, if you look more closely, you'll see that they're not. Recreating that in your paintings actually makes things look more natural. We're getting close here. Just add a few more bits coming out and then switch brushes again. Now this looks like it is kind of a complex subject but once you break it down and do it bit by bit, you see that it's not so scary. These are kind of bleeding into one another. I'm going to push some of that up so it blends a little. One more leaf and then we'll work on the roots and the stems for our flowers. We'll go back and add some veins. Simplifying your subject like this in terms of limiting the number of leaves and the number of flowers, helps you to paint more complex subjects and keep it simpler. It's not as hard to tackle for a beginner. I did not count how many actual leaves there are on this dandelion. A lot more than five. It had more buds and we could go back in and add more buds if we wanted to. But keeping it simple is great. Is this my red brush? No, that's the wrong one. Got to keep your workspace organized or else you might get confused. Next, let's do the stem. Now this part here is kind of a darker brown. I'm grabbing some brown from there, even though there's brown here. I don't know why. Add a little bit of white to them. I'm just going to use somewhat thick paint and stroke it in like this. To paint that darker section. Then for the tan, add a little bit of water and then mix in some of the white and I think some yellow. I'm going to steal some yellow from over here. It might be a little bit too much. But if it's lightened up, put some water. I'm going to go back here. This is almost all water and then let these things blend. Now I'm going to paint a couple little squiggles here. The main taproot is coming down. You can just sort of play with the paint and places. Here our paint is working a little bit more like watercolor. Because you're using more water and kind of like that I'm going to try lifting a little bit more from down here, making it a little uneven looking. I like that. Now for our stems. If you look at the stem, as we saw before, it starts out sort of this pinkish red on the bottom and then it goes up into the light green. Since I have some of the tan on my brush already, let's see if this is the red that we used. I'm going to mix a little bit more. Pull in some brown, maybe just a tad of green. We're going to start at the bottom here. I'm not quite going to follow my line because I wanted it to fit between these. Actually, I'm not going to rinse off my brush. I'm going to leave it. I'm going to come back with a different brush. You can rinse off your brush if you want to, but if you have more brushes, you may as well use them and not waste your paint. Here I come down with my green. Lets them meet. Now there's kind of a stark line. We kind of draw it down. Stems can be easy to mess up. I'm going to rinse off a little bit and pick up some of this green because it's kind of thick. I'll lighten that up a bit and just blend it a little more. That's looking pretty good. I think with my green, let's pull this over here and add a little more yellow to it. We're going to start off a little bit lighter with this one, I skipped one, but that's okay. You can see the pencil line through the paint, which is okay. If it bothers you, you can erase your pencil line before you paint in there. I'm going to have this stem go behind the leaf, so I'm just going gently paint up to where the leaf is and around it and then have these colors merge. Now for the little bud, I may use more red the whole way. I might make this one red. Just dab in more color. I'm liking that. For our last flower, since it's getting crowded here, I'm going to paint the stem coming from behind. I missed this little spot, and then around like this. Now this is a little more difficult. Feel free to simplify things yourself, to make it easier on you. Again, turn your paper if you need to and be careful where you put your hand if your paper is wet. That's a big gap up there. Let's see if I can draw some down and maybe make the shape more uniform. Let's make the bottom part of this stem a little more wide to mix that up to match that top. All right, so here is our dandelion. I'll add a few more details to finish it off. They said I wanted to do some stems and I'm going to do those stems in red, mixed with a little bit of brown and a little bit of green. Well, that's more brown, that's more red. I can see this. It's still very wet right here. But the other paint is drying. I don't want to set my hand in any wet spots. To make this easier, I am going to change where I have my paper. Sometimes you have to turn it a few times to get comfortable. Just write down to where your red starts. Maybe make a little dot, not a dot. I don't know what you'd call that. Okay, this one. Hope you'll be able to see.That will go a little wide, that's okay. Continue to move my page. This time I'm going to go the opposite direction, a little bit down there, and the last one, it's wet here but we're going to work through it. A few more things to finish off the painting. I'm going to add some details here.Then let me use this brown to just add some details in some of our flowers here, and here, and here.That's still wet, but I like how that's mixing. All right, almost done. Let me come back and just smooth out the paint here because I still need dab it up a little. We're going to add a few little green bits at the edge here. Just to add a little more definition to our flower. Then, maybe add a little green to some yellow and add a little more color in here. Now, I'm going to take a tiny bit of orange and mix it with some yellow, and add that to our center. You can go back and add some of these other colors in. What you could do is go back and add a background, if you would like to. You could've also painted a background first if you wanted a background. Actually, I'm seeing a couple more places I'm going to add a little more detail. You can keep going for as long as you want to, adding more details. The great thing about Gouache is you can go back and add lighter colors on top. I'll rinse my brush up and I'll show you. If I wanted to add some more of a whitish color to the dandelion flowers, I could do that. Mixing a little more yellow, that looked a little more gray to me. Still looking here at some details and just going to define this space between these bits, so they look distinct. You can't tell that these are separate. You can just sort of add in some more paint to some spots to make him stand out. Okay, our dandelion is finished. In the next lesson we're going to tackle a bird. 13. Bird Part 1: We're nearing the end here, and I hope you're excited to paint a bird with me for this last exercise. I printed out a picture of an oriole, because there are so many beautiful orioles in my neighborhood right now. This photo I got from a royalty free site that artists can use for reference and I have a link in the handouts for you. You can choose a different bird, it's all up to you. Maybe this is even simpler than the dandelion but in some ways it's a little more complex. We're going to do this without a sketch. Why don't we just get started. Imagine the bird on the page here, and for my bird, I'm going to use some orange, and black, and white, and some yellow and red. Now, since my light orange got obscured by some red in a previous painting, I'm going to just squeeze some onto my palette and I did not wash my palette after we painted the dandelions. I'll be able to pick up red over here, and also some yellow. But I'm going to squeeze some more black in here. I know I'm going to need some white. There's some white here, I'll squeeze some next to that. Also, squeeze some by the black, because I know I'll be mixing those colors. I think I'm going to start with the orange parts of the bird. Just wetting my paint, and then I'm going to grab some of this red orange that we had mixed before. Just to get a basic shape of the head, I'm going to avoid the black areas and come in and paint those later. Just getting a basic shape down. You can, of course refine everything as we go. I'm going to add a little bit of yellow in here. To the bottom. In a way, this is almost like sketching with paint. Making the outline of the shape of the bird. Perhaps some more of this red. Because looking at my reference photo, it's more of a red orange by the head and there's a little bit of red orange down here and a little bit over here. Rinse my brush off a little bit and grab some more yellow. This bird has a pretty simple pattern and just a couple colors. Some birds have a lot more colors and a lot more pattern, and I'm just mixing on the page and leading my brush strokes almost reference some feathers without actually going in and painting feathers. I hope that makes sense. Maybe this looks a little strange right now, but we'll go in and paint the black and it will start to come together. I'm going to start with straight black. Then we'll add some lightness to that in a bit. Just painting this part of the bird, the black that comes in. The eyes in here, and this leads right into the beak. The beak can be a hard part to paint on the bird and have look right. If it doesn't turn out quite right the first time, don't worry, you will get the hang of it. Plus, if it looks a little quirky, that makes your painting more interesting. The black comes down a little bit here. Here's some feathers that blends in with the orange. Then up here were the wing overlaps the body here. Now this is a fairly dry brush, I'm going to wet it a little bit and come back and pick up some more paint. I'm just doing little brush strokes here and following along with the shape of the bird. Now, the tail, back here. Our brush is drying out. In the reference photo, you don't see all of the tail, so I'm just going to make it up. I'm going to come back in here and add a little darkness to the wing and the wing comes out over here. There are some white patterning, we'll come back with white to add that in. Add a little bit more color here. Now I'm going to paint the legs and feet, which are gray. I'm willing to come over here in this well, rinse out my brush nicely. Grab some of this white and the gray is almost a brownish gray so I'm going to grab a little bit of this brown too. See I'm always stealing color from here and there to do my mixes. It's really an organic process. I'm going to need a little bit more orange where the legs come down, so rub my brush here, lighten it up with some yellow. Here's the top of the leg where it meets the bird's body. Blend that in and it's light. Here's the other leg. Smooth out the shape here and integrate with a little lighter strokes. You can add a lot to give your bird's feathers more texture. I'm just using up the paint while it's on my brush. Coming back to my gray. Here is the bird's leg and again, you can't really see all of the foot. I'm just going to make that up a bit. Maybe take a little bit some darker color to add some claws. I'll finish the bird in the next lesson. See you there. 14. Bird Part 2: I'm just going to look back and see what other parts need attention. A little more orange coming into the wing here. I like how that's mixing with the black. There's some orange that doesn't make sense right here that I'm just going to smooth out. Add a little bit more dark color here. That's maybe a little too dark, but I can always blend. I'm liking how all these little feathery bits are looking. Now we're going to come back with some white. I'll wet my brush. Add a couple of spots of white. I want this to be fairly thick paint. I'm just going to paint the white patterning on the wing here and then there's a little bit on the tail. You can see this is a dry brush. I'm going to wet it a little bit to just smooth things out maybe a little bit just to mix it with a little black to get some gray here because we don't have much definition in the black parts in terms of feathering. We can go back and add a little more black to darken that if we need to. We also see some gray by the beak. I'm going to paint the line of the two parts of the beak here and then moving to another brush, I'm going to pick up some more black and just smooth that out because I want it to be a bit shiny looking. Smoothing out, moving back and forth between my more black brush to get the right amount of color here. I like that. Now for the eye so we can see the eye, I'm going to paint a little bit of a gray definition here for the eye. Then we're going to do a little bit of a white dot here. A gleam in the eye. Then coming back with our black. Make sure it's nice and dark within this circle. Then I'm going to add a little bit more black up above the eye. Again, you can always refine your painting as you go. That's very white, I remember. I think I will add more gray because I want a little more gray right here. Now, I'm going to come back with some orange and just blend this edge where the feathers change color from black to orange. I'm just going to blend it so it looks a little less stark. I'm going to blend that redder orange in with the other orange. Now, that's a strange shape but I'm going to get some lighter color here and continue to blend. I'm going to go back and forth a little bit to make things all flow nicely. Here, even as the paint is dispersed from my brush, the dry brush and the little bit of paint that's still on the paper gives you a nice texture. Add a little more water and then just blend up with that lighter color. I'm liking this a lot. I'm going to do a little bit more here with the eye. I lost my gray line a bit. Sometimes when your paint is still wet it'll just blow from one part to the other and you can just go back and fix it. Then we add a little more black. Here is my bird. You can continue to add more details, blend your colors. In the photo the branch was pretty wide. I don't want such a wide branch. I'm just taking my brush and I'm going to mix a few colors together to get something brown. I'm using my leftover paint from other things. Now I'm just speeding up the video here while I paint my branch. The branch really isn't the main part of this painting. Feel free to paint your branch if you want to or leave the branch out. It's entirely up to you. I'm going to let this dry and then I'll come back and paint the toes back in. Our branch is dry and I'm ready to come back and paint the feet. I know I used some of these colors in the branch. I want this to stand out more. I'm going to go back up the leg. I'm going to paint over some of where I've already painted to lighten that up and make it more distinct. Make it look lighter on top, darker on the bottom, come back paint some darker claws in here. Maybe just dark in the back of the leg a bit. Come back with a little lighter. We're done. I really hope you enjoyed painting with me in this class. I'll see you in the next lesson where we're going to talk about your project. 15. On Your Own: Now that I've taken you through progressively more complex exercises and demonstrated how Gouache works, I hope you're ready to begin working on your own. For your class project, simply paint any kind of page with Gouache. You can choose one of the examples that I created or choose something entirely of your own choosing. I do hope you'll share it with me and with the rest of the class by uploading a photo and a description in the class project section of this class. I'm looking forward to seeing what you create. If you want to create more with me, please follow me and you'll be able to stay up-to-date with all of my new classes. Thanks so much. Wishing you joy. Bye-bye.