Getting to Know Your Paint: Watercolor, Gouache, and Acryla Gouache | Dylan Mierzwinski | Skillshare

Getting to Know Your Paint: Watercolor, Gouache, and Acryla Gouache

Dylan Mierzwinski, Illustrator & Lover of Flowers

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33 Lessons (3h 53m)
    • 1. Class Intro

      0:59
    • 2. Class Project

      0:58
    • 3. Materials

      3:49
    • 4. My Top Tips

      11:48
    • 5. Watercolor Overview

      4:22
    • 6. WC Exercise: Paper

      10:22
    • 7. WC Exercise: Small Brush / Large Brush

      3:41
    • 8. WC Exercise: Improvised / Planned

      12:17
    • 9. WC Exercise: Soft / Bold

      9:28
    • 10. WC Exercise: Monochromatic / Colorful

      5:12
    • 11. WC Exercise: Wet on Wet / Wet on Dry

      8:49
    • 12. WC Exercise: Separate / Together

      13:46
    • 13. WC Exercise: Details

      10:09
    • 14. Gouache Overview

      3:26
    • 15. G Exercise: Paper

      6:39
    • 16. G Exercise: Watery / Thick

      4:41
    • 17. G Exercise: Layering

      3:43
    • 18. G Exercise: Small Brush / Large Brush

      12:40
    • 19. G Exercise: Wet on Wet / Wet on Dry

      8:52
    • 20. G Exercise: Improvised / Planned

      13:44
    • 21. G Exercise: Separate / Together

      11:10
    • 22. G Exercise: Brush / Drawing Tool

      7:36
    • 23. G Exercise: Details

      2:32
    • 24. Acryla Gouache Overview

      3:35
    • 25. AG Exercise: Paper

      11:08
    • 26. AG Exercise: Watery / Thick

      3:44
    • 27. AG Exercise: Layering

      2:33
    • 28. AG Exercise: Small Brush / Large Brush

      7:52
    • 29. AG Exercise: Wet on Wet / Wet on Dry

      4:23
    • 30. AG Exercise: Improvised / Planned

      11:24
    • 31. AG Exercise: Brush / Drawing Tool

      8:30
    • 32. AG Exercise: Details

      6:06
    • 33. Thankyou

      2:35
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About This Class

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This class is all about finding YOUR particular joy with using PAINT! Sharing all of the golden nuggets I’ve learned along my journey of learning how to paint, we’ll do a basic overview of watercolor, gouache, and acryla gouache, followed by a series of exercises for each paint to break down different ways to use and enjoy them, so you can find your very favorites and repeat them over and over again. Friendly for beginners and experienced painters feeling stuck in a sticky paint rut.

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Transcripts

1. Class Intro: Hey, I'm Dylan Mierzwinski, an illustrator living in Phoenix, Arizona. In the summer of 2017, I decided to learn to paint. But after buying all the fancy supplies and watching a lot of great classes and doing the exact same arm movements as my instructors, I wasn't getting the results that I wanted and I really wasn't enjoying the time I was spending painting. This class is a love letter in a field guide to that, Dylan, that needed a bit more help to figure it out. We're going to do a basic overview of watercolor, gouache, and acrylic gouache. Then we're going to go through some exercises that help break down and show the various ways that you can use this paint. This class is not about rules, it's about joy and finding the things that you love best about paint, so that you can do them over and over and over again. Let's get those brushes swirling. 2. Class Project: For your class project, I'd like you to walk through the exercises I show in the following lessons with your paint or paints of choosing. Even though I'm covering three different paints here, by no means should you feel like you need to have all of them to succeed. This is about exploring what you have or filling in the blanks of what you might be interested in, not going bankrupt to buying a bunch of supplies. On the computer, from the 'My Project' tab, there's a sidebar where you can download the class resources. These includes a description of each exercise, a list of materials, and some reference photos for you to practice from. When you're ready, upload your artwork to the project area for all of us to see. By the way, don't forget to upload both the class cover, which shows a nice preview of your work when students are scrolling through the project gallery, but also upload images and texts to the body of the project, so we can see your glorious work and read about your process. 3. Materials: Let's talk materials. Don't forget there's a list of materials in the class resource section, and I have a lot of stuff here, but you don't have to have all of these. It's just fun for art supply geeks to show and share what they have and I know it's fun for you guys just to see what I've got and of course this is by no means an exhaustive list. There's so many tools out there and things that you can buy and explore, but this is just a look at what I've got. First, you'll need some paint. I'll talk more about these in each paint overview, but I'll be using cured watercolor by Windsor&Newton and Daniel Smith, as well as tubes from the same brands. I also have some liquid water colors and inks from Dr. Ph. Martin's. For gouache I've got tubes of Windsor, Newton and Holbein gouache and my acrylic gouache I'm using tubes of Holbein. For paper, I'll mostly be using blocks or separate sheets torn from pads. But paper also comes in sketchbooks of various sizes and qualities. As far as paint brushes go, I honestly couldn't tell a huge difference in brushes for a really long time. So definitely don't feel like you need to buy top $ brushes when you're learning. It's a super personal thing, but I mostly use round brushes and various sizes because they have a nice point but also can cover larger areas. I also have some flat and angled brushes for different strokes. One thing I can tell you is I recently tried Peggy Deans' studio round brushes. And even though I'm Peggy's friend and I would vouch for her any day. I can tell you these are truly a great brush. I hadn't noticed the difference and then I picked these up and what I noticed right away is they have a really nice snaps. So the point comes back really nice. Which is the nice thing about synthetic brushes is they seem to have a bit better snap to them. Not that natural hair brushes don't, but it's just one of those things. So if you're looking for a great brush at not a huge price and it's good for the environment checkout Peggy's stuff because I really like them. You'll need some water. You can do a single jar or you can have two.One for cool colors and one for warm colors. The second is definitely a better practice. But I have this really sweet painting mug by Alexia Marcelle Abbegg. And there's a little groove right for a paintbrush in it. And it's just a treasure. I really enjoyed painting with this, so I usually just use one and it's small, so I have to get up a lot and change the water, but that's okay. You'll need something to mix your paint on and there are tons of pallets and paper palettes that you can buy to do so. Foldable water color palettes have mixing areas built in and for very little money, you can get plastic wall dishes that you can wash and reuse. I also like larger trays and plates for a bit more freedom with mixing and spreading out. These smaller stack-able ceramic dishes are lovely for mixing larger amounts of a watercolor heel. And you can even use ceramic dinner plates. Just be sure to dedicate them as painting dishes as you wouldn't want to eat on them after. You'll want some paper towel which you can use for longer than a single session or you can dedicate a towel to do the job full time. These are super important for helping to control how much water you've got on your brush. You'll want some pens and some mark makers for adding details, increase sketching. I've got a pencil and colored pencils and NID pen and ink, some archival ink pens and a white gel pen. And the last few items are a spray bottle for keeping paint moist, tape for keeping loose sheets of paper still, a bone folder for separating paper on watercolor blocks. You can use other flat objects too. A quick sidebar for separating sheets, slip the bone folder or end of a paint brush handle into the opening at the top of the block and slowly slide the bone folder along the edges and corners until the whole sheet is free. And lastly, a handy tool that my friend Mary gave me is this little silicon tool that's awesome for mixing paints, specifically acrylic wash without precious paint getting wasted in the process. 4. My Top Tips: Let's go over some tips that I've learned along the way. When I first started painting, I was using the super bright rainbow colors and they were not doing it for me. When I looked at my Pinterest board of watercolor paintings I liked, I found that I actually liked more natural earth tones and darker colors. Once I started using those, I started liking painting a whole lot more. I think it's great to find a few colors that you love right out of the tube, but it's also really nice to find some mixes that you really love. I can't recommend highly enough to take the time to make color charts for you to reference when you're painting. Not only does it take the guesswork out of color mixing while you're working, but making them gives you lots of practice in mixing paint up. Here are some ways to make color charts. My favorite charts are ones that show how all my colors mix with each other. I'm going to be showing you an example that uses less paints just for the sake of time, but first you're going to want to decide how many paints you want to use. Then you're going to add one. I'm going to do three paints,so the number that I'm going to work with is four. By the way, if you're doing a bigger exploration, then you're going to want as big of a sheet of paper as possible or to tape together smaller sheets. Next, take your piece of paper and measure the width, then divide it by your number. In my case, I'll be dividing five inches by four, which is an inch and a quarter, and I'll write that number down. Next, do the same with the height of your paper. The height of mine is also five inches, so I get an inch and a quarter for that side too and these numbers are going to be how far apart you want a space each line. I'm going to measure and make dots every inch and a quarter in both directions and then draw lines where my dots are. Now I have enough spaces to test the paint. I'm first going to swatch out each color going along the top and bottom, taking care to keep them in the same order. Then starting with the first color, I'll mix the paint on the palette. Then I'm going to grab a bit of the second color and start mixing them until I see a new color emerge. This will go in the coordinating spot. Next, I'm going to take more of the second color and mix it in and add that to this well down here. You can see that this gives us two mixes from the same set of colors. One that errs on the side of the first color and one that errs on the side of the second color. I'll keep going until my chart is full, taking care to leave spaces where two of the same color would be mixed together. Since two of the same color mixing together obviously makes the same color. Another way to make a color chart is to further explore all the shades that can be found between a single mix of colors. To do this, pick two colors to mix and paint a swatch of each on opposite sides of the page. You can totally measure and mark this like the other color chart, but sometimes it's nice to just go for it. Starting on whichever side you want, mix up a good amount of the first color. Grab a touch of your second color and mix it into the first. Since this is a more gradual exploration, we really want to add tiny bits of paint at a time, just enough to notice the shift in color. Swatch it down and continue to add and mix more of the second color, swatching as you go until you end up with the second color. Now the next time that you're on the hunt for a color, you can mix it on the first try. There are some days when I sit down to paint and I just don't really have a lot of ideas for what I want to paint or I'm intimidated by the blank page. I think it's great to have a motif that you can have as a home base to warm up for your painting session. My go-to is leaves. I love the way I get to use the brush and the final look of the motif is always pleasing to me. Some other motifs are circles, brushstrokes, and plain swatches of color. At the end of 2017, I gifted myself with a ticket to a workshop that Carolyn Gavin and Helen Dardik we're teaching about painting. This is one of the tips that Carolyn Gavin gave that really stuck with me. She said that when you're painting, they're going to be many times when you get a few stems in or a few brushstrokes in and you conclude that you failed, you've ruined it, the painting is done. She encouraged us to work through those feelings because oftentimes it's not that the painting is ruined, it's just that it's unfinished. See it through. Don't get a few flowers in and then call it crap. Finish the painting and then call it crap. But do finish the painting, that's the important part. Just push through, finish it and see where it leads you. This one might seem obvious, but there have been plenty of times when I have sat down to paint and then was like a little mere about my painting. Then once I came back after it was dry, I really loved it. Especially with watercolor, which as long as there is water on the page, the watercolor is mixing, the colors are blending together, it's spreading out, it's moving around and even gouache which isn't as mixy and movy as watercolors, it tends to flatten out. It gets a little smoother, it lightens a little bit. Even if the paint doesn't change a tonne, something about seeing it dry just makes it feel so finished as opposed to when it's wet. Let that paint dry and see how it looks. I was teaching my friend Tiffany. I went to her house and we had a little painting night. We were doing watercolors. She had painted this leaf that she thought was just really ugly and bland and I told her to leave it. Meanwhile she went to work on a flower and she just stabbed away at it and painted, and painted and painted. She thought that the flower looked better while she was painting it. But then once everything dried, it was the leaf she loved for all of its little colors that came to be. It was the flower that she didn't love anymore because it was overdone. Just let things dry and see how they look. In my experience, I enjoy art making so much more when I don't have to make a bunch of decisions at one time. If I have to pay attention to paint consistency, how much paint is on my brush, and pick out composition and pick out colors, it just becomes a bit intimidating for me. If you are the same, just take some time to do a color study first, you can do this with paint, colored pencils or markers, or you can do it digitally in Illustrator, Photoshop, or Procreate. It's not rare for me to work out a full composition and color palette before actually sitting down to render it and paint. However, if part of the joy of painting for you is the improbable of it, the exploration and not knowing where you're going, then you don't have to make a color study at all. It depends on what you like and what you're trying to get out of the painting. Similar to my last tip, if I have to figure out composition and color at the same time, it's a little bit too much for me. I just like to pencil in some lines. That way I can just calmly know that I've got an idea of where things are going and I can just focus on painting. You can use regular graphite or colored pencils that go with the colors you'll be using so the lines are less noticeable. Also a quick note about lines. Don't worry so much about seeing lines underneath the painting. For me, I think it's nice because you get a little taste of the true process that happened as an artist. If you do things digitally, then you can always clean them up later. Don't stress too much about them, especially if they make the whole process of painting better for you, then it's a small price to pay. I use paints in all different ways for all different reasons. I love that watercolor lets me improvise and be loose, but I don't particularly love using it for my illustration work. Gouache is more blobby and I love the feel of it oozing from the brush. It does provide me with results that I can use in my illustration work. Acrylic gouache usually gives me solitude as I tend to paint one color at a time and sink into it. Maybe you'll love the swirl of the brush or the feel of mixing colors, or the actual artwork that you're making from this whole process. But again, pay attention to what you like and don't like and come up with solutions for ways to get around that. Like I said earlier, if I have to pick out color and composition and actually paint at once, that makes the whole process feel very stressful to me. I do a lot of planning ahead of time and that makes painting more fun for me. You are a unique individual and so I can't tell you what you're going to love best and hate most. You're the one that's going to have to do that exploring. If you find a technique or a brushstroke or a color that you really like, make sure you make a note of it right away. There have been many times when I'm painting and I think, I'll remember what that color mix was and then 10 minutes later, I have literally no idea. You can see in this painting here, that I have swatched out and written the color mixes right at the bottom so that I have those when I was ready to go. I think it's helpful to ask yourself in the beginning whether you are painting to give yourself pieces to use digitally, or if you're painting to create fine pieces of art that are finished when you're done painting. This will inform some of your decisions. For example, if you know that everything you're painting is going to go through the computer, then you can worry a little bit less about nailing the color choices, composition is less important because you can change things around. You can paint things separately and then combine them later and you can also clean up mistakes a lot easier. If you, however, are just looking to build a sketchbook of beautiful paintings or make gifts for people, then you're probably going to be a little bit more careful about making sure that you're nailing the paints and the composition right out of the gate. Just do yourself a favor and ask yourself that question. This gouache painting I did was to be a standalone piece of work. I took care to choose my color palette and plan my composition. These leaves were painted for a digital pattern I wanted to make, so I picked whatever color I wanted, knowing I could alter it later. I also didn't have to worry about composition at all, just creating the shapes. In the intro, I talked about how when I wanted to learn how to paint, I watched the classes and I bought the supplies, and I felt like I was following my instructors instructions exactly, and yet the results that I was getting were very different and that was frustrating. But the painters that we love, the ones that make us want to do this, have been practicing and putting in the hours for years. The expertise really lies in the minutiae with painting, it's in the details. It's about knowing how much paint is on your brush, and how much water and how colors mix together and timing. Those things just come from a lot of painting. If we want to be great painters and we want to hone our joy, we're going to have to do a lot of it. The first few good watercolor paintings I ever painted felt so precious and rare and like strikes of luck that I didn't ever really explore with them. Once they were done, I was scared to touch them again. To get over this, I started painting things multiple times. You can see here that I have studies where I'm painting the same thing over and over, each time giving myself something new to try. This made me less afraid of making mistakes. By the end of each one, I felt more comfortable painting this subject. I am giving you the permission that you do not need to do whatever the hell you want with your paint. If you like watercolors that are vibrant and bold then layer the paint on. If you prefer gouache that's a little watery and more loose then go ahead and thin it out. If you're like me and you can't make more than one decision at once then sister just lean into it and get some pencil lines down there. It's totally okay to use these supplies how you want to make the art that you love. Let's jump into watercolors. 5. Watercolor Overview: Of all three paints, watercolor is the one that I use primarily as therapy and enjoyment of painting, as opposed to having usable pieces for my portfolio. Although you think it's beautiful, it just really doesn't match my style and favorite type of work to produce professionally. But I do enjoy using it, so I use it when I feel like it. Watercolor is a paint made of pigment and a binder, which is pretty much the thing that makes it goopy and not just a powdery mess. You can buy it in tubes like this or in cured pellets like this. Cured just means it's been exposed to the air and has dried. In either case, you're going to use water to activate and use the paint. You can cure your own paint into a palette like I've done here, which gives you control of exactly which colors you want to use or buy pallets with already cured paints. I prefer cured water color palettes to squeezing fresh out of the tube because they are travel-friendly, it's really easy to just sit down and start painting, and when I squeeze it out of the tube, I'm much more likely to use a little bit too much and waste it. Watercolor is unique to me and that water truly becomes its own element in the painting along with the paint. More water with your paint results in lighter colors as more of the paper can show through where there's less pigment. Where there's less water results in more pigment and a thicker application. More water also gives the paint more movement in time to interact and mix, while less water gives you more control of where the paint is going. This play between the water and the actual watercolor itself is really the magic of the watercolor. The way that the colors get to mix on the page while the water is on there or even just the ways that the different amounts of water dry and the effects they create, just makes for a really fun experience. Since water is the way we make colors lighter and due to its transparent nature, it makes sense when you're painting to go from light to dark as it's harder to go backwards, enlighten an area you darkened. Water is really lovely for its mixability and its luminosity. It can be soft with water being used to blur the edges of shapes, or defined with layers being built up to create clear forms. When you look at a tube of watercolor, it will list the pigments used to make that color. The letter in the mix tells you which pigment, like Y for yellow. And the number tells you which flavor of that pigment you're getting. A list of letters and numbers means the paint is a mix of various pigments. There are two schools of thought when it comes to picking paint for your palette. Traditionally, paints that are pure pigments, meaning they just have a single letter and number combination on the back, are easier to mix into clear color mixes. Whereas colors with lots of pigments in them are going to give you more chances for something to interact strangely, and mixing mud. Think of buying mixed food seasonings versus single herbs and spices. You have more control if you're mixing salt, pepper and rosemary yourself versus trying to use an Italian mix that already has some of those flavors and adding to it. Many seasoned watercolors have palettes of six to 12 colors only. They masterfully mix every color they need from a carefully chosen set of warm and cool colors. This is great. It's definitely a more economical way to work and you truly can mix any color on the rainbow. When I first started with watercolor, that's what I did. I bought six pure pigment paints and was like, great. I'm just going to learn how to mix all of these. But watercolor mixing is an art in itself. For me, since I was such a clumsy beginner trying to mix a purple that I liked was really difficult. And that's not only because I was a beginner, but because red and blue pigments are very strong and being able to get a mix is kind of hard. So in those instances, it's really nice to have some tubes that are already mixed into the colors that you like. Which brings us to the second school of thought, which is to just pick out tubes of color that you're really drawn to and excited to paint with. Under sea green is one of my favorite colors now to use. It's not a pure pigment. So if I try to mix it with other colors, I'm going to get some unexpected results, but it brings me so much joy straight from my palette that I don't mind. You may be limited in the amount of colors you can mix in the long run but if those colors are bringing you that much joy when you're painting, so what, who cares? Just do what you want. Next, we're gonna take a look at some exercises that are going to help us explore our watercolor and some of the things I just talked about. 6. WC Exercise: Paper : Let's start by talking about Cold Press and Hot Press paper. Cold Press paper has more texture than Hot Press, you can think of it like an iron. If you are going to use the heat to iron something that's going to make it really flat and smooth. If you don't have heat, you're going to get some texture. Here I have some. This is just on one sheet from a Canson XL Watercolor Pad. I have the big one and I just teared it down into smaller size sheets to use. This is probably my favorite paper to use, even though it's cold press and you get some texture, it's still very smooth for the brush to move across which I really enjoy. I also have this watercolor block from Blick, it's also cold press, it's the exact same weight. It's a 140 pound, just like the Canson. For some reason, and I got this just to show you that not all paper is created equal. It's sold the same as the Canson XL, and yet when I feel this, I can feel that it's rougher. You can find cold press that has more texture and cold press that has less texture. I also have this piece of handmade paper from Format Press. It's really beautiful, I bought a stack like this from them and I included this in the materials list, but I did check and she's currently sold out of her paper. If you can find handmade paper online.This, I don't know if it would technically be Cold Press since it's handmade, but it fits into that because it's got so much texture. I'll show you what that does. Then I have a block from Arches and this is Hot Press. I do want to mention though, so this Hot Press paper, it's got virtually no visual texture to it, it looks very flat. However, when I run my hand across it I do feel more truthiness than I do even with the Cold Pressed Canson papers. That's why it's so important to try out different things because you never know what you'll want to use. I guess we'll start with Hot Pressed. For these exercises I'm just going to paint some leaves. I've got my water, the water is a bit out of frame, but I've got it up here in the top-left. My paint, I'm going to be using my travel palette, I listed all the colors in the materials. This is going to be off screen because I'm going to be mixing on this palette here. I'll be taking colors from there. For this first one, I'm just going to do some leaves. Usually when I get started, I have this spray bottle and I'll just spray all my colors to get everything moving. One of my favorite colors from Winsor Newton and Daniel Smith has one too, is this Perylene Green. It is just a really rich, beautiful color. I'm using a size 10 brush, and I'm just going to go ahead and start doing my leaves. What I'm doing is I'm starting off really light, I'm just using the tip of my brush and then pressing down and then lifting up again to get that point back. Earlier when I was talking about Peggy Dean's brushes in the snap, that's what I'm talking about. This is her number 10 studio round. It's really easy for me to lift back up and get that point exactly how I want it, and that's something that I really like. This paper is really nice and smooth. The reason leaves are my go to is I can go randomly in any direction that I think of and it still looks like something. I have a hard time just making something ugly or something that is unusable, but leaves always look pretty to me. That is the Hot Press. It's pretty smooth, pretty nice. Next I'm going to go ahead and move to the Canson XL. I've just got this tiny little guy grabbing more paint go a little darker. I'm always making sure that my brush is really wet. It's one thing for your paint, whether your paint is going to have a lot of water in it or not. For me it always seems to work better when at least my brush is nice and wet. I'm just going to race along here and do the same thing. I'm not noticing a huge difference between this and the Arches. Considering the arches, both Hot Press and Cold Press are pretty pricey. I mean, it's really great that I can find this quality paper for not too much. As you can see I'm getting pretty similar results here. Really smooth application, the brush is going down really nicely. I want to show you this Blick Cold Press. I bought like three blocks of this at once. I was like, "Cool I'll just buy a bunch of blocks and I know I love Cold Press paper." Then I found that it was way rougher than I was expecting. Okay, so already, it's lucky that that happened already. The brush was unable to push down and make it as clean of a shape because of how grooved this Cold Press paper is. I'm going to try and get even more, I'm going to really try to load up my brush to see if I can combat that. Even with a lot of water, I'm getting a lot of texture around the edges here, that I wasn't getting with the Canson Cold Press. You might love that, I mean, you might really enjoy the texture that's being created here. That's just one of the reasons why it's so important to, try things out and see what you like. I personally don't like this. I hate the feeling of a dry brush, I really like to feel like the paint is ever flowing. Papers like this are not my favorite, especially when I bought it because I thought it was going to be like my other Cold Press. Cold Press is more textured so I should have known. That's the effect I'm getting, I'll bring in, this guy as you can see; same paint, same technique, and a totally different look. I want to show you the super textured paper. I know I just said that I like my paint to feel like it's ever flowing, but this handmade paper is so beautiful and I bought it knowing it would be very textured, and so I'm not going to fight that as much on this. Already I had a pretty wet brush and you can see that line isn't very. You can see that I am really needing to load up with water and go slowly in order to fill all the grooves. It's such a pretty texture. I'm really loading my brush up over here and it's doing what it wants. I'm able to fill it in better if I go over it multiple times with the tip of my brush, get a more solid line. It's nice the predictability of it though, not knowing how it's going to end up. You can see that just the paper that you choose to use, is going to make a big difference. Not only does it make a difference in the final piece and how it looks, but it makes a difference to like for the feel of your hand. Like painting on this felt totally different than painting on one of these. I definitely encourage you to try out different types of papers. 7. WC Exercise: Small Brush / Large Brush: The next thing we are going to test out is using a small brush versus using a large brush. I'm going to grab for my large one, I'm going to use this Princeton size 16, and for my small one, I'll use a size four. You can see the difference. Size four is much smaller, size 16 a lot bigger. I mean just trying to think through this, obviously, the size 16, we're going to need more paint and water because of how long the bristles are, it's going to hold a lot more. It also means I can probably paint with it longer. The size four smaller, so I'll probably have to load up my brush more, but I can also get some nicer details. I'm just going to paint some roses to test this out. I'm going to use my permanent rose color fitting, and then mix it with a little bit of perylene maroon just to deepen it. I'm going to start with my small rose. Roses are nice because you don't have to be an excellent painter to pull off a rose. What I'm doing is I'm just kind of using the side of my brush here and making long strokes that connect. This time I just dipped into my water and didn't even dip into my paint. You can see I'm getting kind of a lighter shape. We'll do another small one down here. I'm just kind of making those small inner folds. Got some water. Now I'll switch my large brush. All ready, there's something that I love with watercolor about a big loaded brush. I just like the feel of it. That's the kind of stuff like I said, you want to look out for. The subtle things that you really enjoy. I don't know if you saw that, but I completely went over those little spots I made in the middle. That's okay because watercolors are also about improvising. From that tests alone, I mean, I just love what a big brush can do. I love that I can make these tiny little marks, but then also really fan out and make these bigger shapes. Maybe you enjoyed, just not having as much paint on your brush and have it in being able to make smaller details, but both of them resulted in nice roses. It's really one of those things to test out if you have a preference. 8. WC Exercise: Improvised / Planned: For this next part, we're going to take a look at improving our piece versus planning it out. For this first part, I'm going to use the other side of this block and that we did these leaves on. I flipped it upside down just because I'm left-handed and I want to make sure I'm not putting my hand over other things. I already know that I've learned that I do not like improv painting, so I'm already a little bit nervous about this doing it on camera, but it's okay because it's really fine to not be great all the time at what you're doing. It's good to explore. It's good to be out of your comfort zone. I'm just mixing up some yellows and golds, and I'm going to improv some spray roses. I'm just going to get in and start painting. Right now what I'm looking at is, well, first, right now I'm just looking at the immediate shapes that I'm painting. I like it to be a little bit more abstract, but I still want it to look like a rose, maybe I'll draw just a tiny bud up here. But when I'm looking at placement, I'm trying to imagine where leaves would be going and all of that. That's what I'm thinking about. Maybe this one down here is more open than the others. See how the watercolors following literally wherever there is water. That's what they do. That's why they're so great. Now, I'm going to go ahead and try and add some leaves in. I'm going to grab some yellow, green, which is just I kept when I first started, I kept trying to use yellow, green right out of the box, and it just didn't do anything for me. But if I mix some burnt umber and with that, it becomes a really beautiful deep green. Now I'm going to first work on the main stem that connects everything. You can see that I need time to areas touch. You're basically taking two separate little puddles of water and making it one. So that water is going to go wherever it can. This is actually not turning out too bad. Normally, my improv paintings are a mess. I don't know if it's just my own brain are not practicing enough, but I really have a hard time making things work like this. Maybe it worked because I did one stem. But at the same time, that it is part of the fun of it is getting to see that, oh, it looks like I can improv, and then that becomes fun because I didn't think I could do this and now these roses that I wasn't expecting have come to be. Just one more leaf here. Notice how I'm leaving white-space. White in the middle of the roses and I'm not worrying too much about everything connecting. That's one of the things that I found that makes water color look better, because watercolor's depending so much on what's happening behind the color, the pages coming through. It makes sense to be intentional about that and to use this as our lighter values. Maybe where the light is hitting the rose, or where the lightest colors are and then I can also go back and create more contrast, and dab that in the middle where these would be darker. You can see that it was more dry here, so when I laid down that painted didn't move as much. But this paint was still wet and so as soon as I put that down it started to spread out, so that wasn't too bad. I'm going to move this aside. I don't want to rip it from the block until this is dry because it's just too good of a chance that I'm going to do it too fast and splatter the paint and my hand's going to land in it. I'm just going to go ahead and move it. I'll bring over this little piece. I'm going to do essentially, a similar design, but this time I'm going to plan it out a little bit more first and I'm going to see which one I like better. We'll do it more at an angle. I'm drawing very lightly. As I said earlier, I don't mind some lines underneath my painting, but I don't want them to be super dark. But I'm drawing out where the stems are going to go and where the leaves are going to come out from. Maybe I'll do big open rose right here, going for the shoot. Smaller one over here. I think one of the nice things about watercolor is you can make things look like flowers without them having to look exactly like flowers. If you're not great at drawing, making a stem of roses isn't as scary as trying to draw one out. Whereas I just happened to be more comfortable with drawing, and so for me it calms me down a lot to have that. I'm also able to layer better. You'll see when I paint this out that I've got some leaves going behind the flowers. For me, it's just nice to be able to leave that space right when I'm drawing. You can see I just have some light lines, got leaves here, whole blooms, and I'm going to go ahead and paint those. I'm going to go back into my rose in perylene maroon mix. Drawing first also means that I get to paint a little bit slower, which is much more comfortable for me. Right now, this red is all one color, and I'll make a little bit more variation. I added in some of the gold into this one up here. I think what I really need is more water and less pigment. When I'm making my stem, I let it touch these flowers and bleed into there. I really like that unexpected bleeding. I like when those colors mix. It's one of the joys of watercolor and so I don't mind things becoming a little muddy. Drawing these out too, gives me a bit more confidence with how to make the shape and knowing that the shape is already going to, it'll look nice. This one I left just a tiny sliver of white-space, it's represent that ridge down the middle. What I'm doing with my colors over here is I'm just going back and forth between erring on the side of more brown and erring on the side of more green. Because those subtle color shifts are really special and in watercolor. You'll see that, you can get similar things with quash, but it really, it's what makes watercolor watercolor. That blood a little bit more than I wanted, but that's okay. It's fine. I'm going to take care to not disturb some of the white-space that I created over here. Here's my improved one, a bit more dry, and here is my planned one not so dry. I really like what I was able to do with the leaves here by having them layered. But I don't hate what I did with the improv. But as far as being able to calmly paint, I definitely improv. I prefer having some lines drawn and being able to follow that first. 9. WC Exercise: Soft / Bold: The next thing we are going to take a look at is painting really softly with watercolor versus painting really boldly with watercolor. I kind of isolated these as separate things, but you never have to keep them separate. You can paint soft and bold, but I think it's nice to, like I said, isolate them to see which one we like better. I have this small skin journal that I have used only for exploring color mixing. You can see I have all types of charts in here for wash and for water color. But the one that I'm looking at most as I made this chart that shows how all of the watercolors in my current palette mix together. It's really nice to look at, like I said in reference. I'm going to pick out some colors for this. For our soft and bold exploration. I think I want to use a purple. What purple do I want? I like this mix between permanent rose and cerulean blue deep. I think that's what I'm going to use. Then maybe I'll use some Davies gray for a lighter color too. See it's easy as that. Now, I don't have to spend a bunch of time troubleshooting and my water is getting pretty messy. I haven't changed it out, so I might see some color blending there, but that's okay. I'm going to grab some permanent rose and some cerulean blue. I get that really pretty purple. Let's see if I put more pink and that's nice. As I discovered in the last exercise, I like things to be a bit more planned. I'm just going to draw a few lines for me to follow. I'm going to do a single stem of flowers, but I'm going to have one stem be the light blue, and one be dark or bold. You need to define what bold and soft mean to you. For me, I'm talking primarily about the value of the color. One of them, I'm going to use a lot more water and have much softer colors. But I also the amount of colors and how they're blending in the bold one, I'm probably going to do a bit more bold, dropping bold colors and to see how they mix. We're going to start bringing some of my beloved under sea green into the mix, which I can thank my friend Mary for. I'll post her Instagram handle. She sent me a care package of some extra art supplies she had including some tubes of paint and then she made her own dot chart for me to try out some paint colors and the undersea green was on there and I really enjoyed it. I have a pretty good amount. I'd say 50-50 paint and water mix. I'm going to put that on the bold side. Then I'm going to rinse my brush out mostly. I have a much lighter color and I'm going to come over to the soft side and do that over here. When I first started painting with watercolors, I didn't really like lighter colors. I kept trying to use watercolors, super heavy, which is how I found gouache because I found that guy was trying to use watercolor like gouache. But once I found gouache and was able to kind of get all my boldness out. I started to really appreciate the lighter colors that watercolor can paint. I really enjoy that I can lay down what looks like, just very watery paint but then it dries in there is color there. Another thing that has changed since I started painting is some watercolors granulate more than others, so they will kind of create their own texture. I hated granulating watercolors when I first started. But then again, once I found gouache which is has no granulation, that's very smooth, I started to appreciate the granulation in watercolor. This softer on this side, and then I'm also going to wash out the color I was using. I mix the color over here, but I'm just going to bring a little bit over here with a lot of water. You can see the color of my water has muddy this a little bit, but I don't mind. It's just to test it out. This is going to be like a closed peony ball. I'm just sort of using the edge of my brush as a drawing tool to create some of that shape. You can see this color has turned into a total neutral because that purple paint mixed with the greenish water paint water that I'm using. For my soft side, I'm just going to let that be for a minute to see how that dries even though it doesn't look like much. But that's okay. The test here is to see whether we enjoy these lighter values and starting with those are just going right out of the gray super strong. What I'm doing up here is I'm trying to get more paint. It was very watery and I want this side to be bolder. On this side I'm going to start with this dark inside and maybe do some other drawing of the leaves. This time instead of coming back with just water like I did down there, I actually dipped back into the permanent rose to pick up more paint. Even though we want this side to be bold, I still want to leave these white spaces in here because again, it's that play between the paper and the paint that makes watercolor really special. I'm going to leave that, I'm going to grab a little bit of Payne's gray to reach in this, and really make this center area of dark since we're trying to go bold. Now I want these leaves to be just the really smacky face color. Again, I'm making sure that my watery mixes over here have lots of paint in them because I want that pigment to be coming through. I wish I had done nicer color over here if it weren't this neutral, it might be a better representation of this. But I mean, you'll be doing your own exercises, which is good. But what is nice is in here where all these really light values are, I can appreciate the changing of the colors more. There seems to be more texture. But I mean, these bold ones I love really bold. I prefer bold to soft, but you can't see as much of the texture happening as you can in here in this lighter gouache of the undersea green. Play around with trying to stick to lighter values and then trying to be a little bit more bolder with your color to see if you have a preference there. 10. WC Exercise: Monochromatic / Colorful: For this next sets of exercise, which is sort of similar to the last one, we're going to play with a monochromatic leaf and a super colorful leaf. I'm going to use my powerline green for the monochromatic one, just like I did in the beginning. Just because the powerline green is just one of my favorites. But I'm going to work a little harder to have a difference in value. So just because I'm using a single color doesn't mean that the leaf has to become flat. You can see, I've got some bleeding on my palette over here, but that's okay. Yao Cheng, who is just a really lovely watercolors artists. In some of her work, she talks about how that's what she likes about watercolors, the unexpected, picking up colors that you didn't necessarily mean to. So I'm going to start. I've got a really light wash of this powerline green. I've got a lot of water on my brush. I'm going to go ahead and just make a stem. This time, instead of dumping back into that super watery paint, I'm going right into the paint with my watery brush.This time I'm going into the water, and so I'm getting some really nice alternating here. Again, even though it's one color, it doesn't mean it has to be boring. What I'm doing is, I just picked up some paint on the end of my brush, and I'm going to dabbed in here where these are coming together. The dabbing introduces more color. It floods that area of water with more pigment to make it a bit darker. It's nice to have a bit more contrasts.This just dried really quickly. So it could be this hot press paper is just soaking it up. Maybe it's drier, and phoenix today, it's hard to tell. Its going to add some more in there. I'm going to do one more leaf, but I want it to be really light. So there's a monochromatic which I really love. I think it's beautiful being able to see such a variation with just one single paint. But this time, I'm going to go back to my pale-green and burnt umber green. I'm going to start using that as my base, but this time as I add leaves, I'm going to dip into totally different colors, and see what we come up with. So maybe this one, this leaf right here will be green. But this time I touched right into my [inaudible] without rinsing any color. This time I'm rinsing my brush and I'm going to grab a bit of quinacridone gold, which is one of my very favorite colors. Grabbing some blue, mixing that in. I think I'm in the minority by liking the monochromatic. I think it's very common, and makes a lot of sense that people prefer a lot of color in watercolor, because one of the things they do so well is blend. I will say, I maybe, and we'll get to this in one of the next exercises where we're working on wet-on-wet versus wet-on-dry. But in this one down here, even when things started to mix, since it was one color, it was a bit clearer. It's easier for me to see what's going on. Whereas this one, the difference in color, and everything blending together is muddying that. But at the same time, the texture, and the color blends we're getting are really pretty. Again, it's going to be one of those things where maybe you prefer this like crazy mixture of color which is totally cool. Or maybe you like being able to see better what's going on, and stick to a monochromatic. Again, they're not mutually exclusive, you could paint a watercolor painting that has a lot of monochromatic leafs. But then, maybe the rows right in the center has a ton of colors coming together. But go ahead and play around with just not cleaning off your brush and dipping into other paints and bringing them in, and seeing how they mix together. 11. WC Exercise: Wet on Wet / Wet on Dry: For this next line, we are going to explore wet on wet versus wet layering with wet on dry. With wet on wet, you're going to be working a bit faster because the paint has to be wet and it's drying every second. With wet on dry you have to wait things for things to dry and you're layering them up. Again, you can use a combination of these, but it's fun to break them up to see if there's one you prefer. On the right-hand side over here, I'm going to do wet on dry and I'm going to do wet on wet on the left. I'm actually going to start with the wet on dry because I'll need that layer to dry before I can add to it. I just want to do a little rose with some leaves around it. Since are going to be building up, I don't have to worry about. I have pretty dark paint here. I can probably go a little bit lighter. I'm going to leave that and let that dry. I'm going to work on a wet on wet one over here. Just like wet on dry is especially, is just what we saw. We had no water laid down and the paint went exactly where we told it to go because we were laying down water and paint at the same time. Over here, I'm going to actually just take blink water. I'm going to try and draw a row shape out. Again since the water being wet is so important, I need to move a little bit faster. Now what I'm going to do with that water down, is I'm going to start dropping in some color. As you may expect, that paint is going to have the freedom to go as far as the water goes, blend and do what it wants. I can continue to add in color. While this is still wet, I'm just going in every few minutes and dropping in some more color where I feel like it. You'll get different effects based on how wet the paper is. This is all down here is really wet. If I drop stuff in, it's going to keep moving. Whereas on this rose over here, this has dried for a little bit. If I were to go in and add that, it's not going to spread around and move as much. One thing that's missing here is there's not a lot of contrast. That's all just one big deep color. I'm just going to take some water and make some big outside leaves. This isn't a beautiful rose anymore. It looks like a flower, but it's a mess. It's still giving me a chance to explore. It's really important to note. Don't be hard on yourself. I know that's so much easier said than done. I'm hard on myself all the time. Painting is a great lesson and letting things be since all wet and it keep blending. When it's wet you can see it. I'm getting a lot of really nice play in here where these things are blending together and I'm getting some mixes that I wouldn't necessarily be able to mix on my own. I don't think I want to add anything more right now because it's just it's a mess. I think it's illustrating the point. Whereas over here we're starting to get some things that are drying. I'm now go ahead and show you what it's like to layer. These leaves down here dry, mostly they're, tiny bit damp but mostly dry. Now if I wanted to come in and start adding, some darker values, can mix up a darker green. Now since this is dry, I don't have to worry about the color exploding everywhere. It's just going where I tell it to. I can add some of the texture back into the leaf. We can use the tip of my brush to draw with this out of the way. Maybe I'll do really light. You can go in there and you can see that I now get these nice layers of paint, but they're not all blending together. Similarly in the rose, I want to add in some nicer color. This part is still wet right here, so I would see a little bit of wet on wet blending here, but right here, if I wanted there to be more shadow, I can come in and do that with this paint, without it all blending together. Even though it's not all blending together, it's still creating a really beautiful watercolor experience. Don't look at this and just say, "Oh, obviously layering is better" just because this paint, this rose didn't turn out to nicely. You get a really good sense of the differences between them. This one, we have a lot of blending. We've got a lot of color changing, a lot of shifting. We've got here where this is drying, where there are different amounts of water. Those unexpected and things that you can't control are, really lovely. In this one, we don't have those areas of blending as much, but I'm easier. I'm able to tell better that it's a rose we've got, really beautiful contrast between light and dark. I was able to control the contrast a lot better when I was layering versus when I was doing wet on wet. Maybe you'll experience something totally different. 12. WC Exercise: Separate / Together: For this exercise, we're going to take a look at painting things separately versus painting them together. So I'm going to switch from my size 16 back to my studio round from the pigeon letters, that's a number ten. And I'm just going to work over on the left side painting separate blooms of wild flowers. Again, earlier in my tips I mentioned that asking yourself if you're going to be using this digitally or if it's a fine piece of art will help inform this, but you might find, especially if you're using them digitally, that you love wet on wet techniques and you love all that blending, but you don't necessarily love all blending together and you want more control. So in this way, you can paint separate blooms and still get some of those techniques you love without having to deal with everything blending altogether. I'm going to improve this which is against what I usually do, but I really want to show you that it's okay to not know where it's going and to maybe make mistakes and how things turn out fine anyway. You can tell I love painting leaves. I just love how quickly you can create that effect and how it looks so nice. For these, I'm going to do little. See I'm kind of swirling my brush to get a different technique, and then I can come in with water and soften some of those edges. Again, I'm leaving whites pace because just a big blob of watercolor isn't as pretty as you'd think. I didn't leave myself enough room to paint a stem separately, so maybe this one will just have a few leaves coming off of it. What I like about painting things separately is obviously the relief from having to worry about composition. It allows me to really focus more on the shapes that I'm painting. And since I'm still pretty new at painting, it's always good to have that practice. I want these leaves to be a little different, a little rougher. Shaped, a little bit like the flower. Every time I'm coming back to my palette, I'm deciding whether I want a slightly different color or to draw from the same one. This time I added some more golden. And I'm noticing that all my values are kind of looking the same, so I'm going to lighten this one up a little to see if that's better. The nice thing about wild flowers is you don't really, almost any little blob you can make with your watercolors are going to look like some kind of wild flower. Again, I'm going to turn this over so that my left hand doesn't accidentally clumsy on through that paint. The other nice thing about painting them separately is it gives you more room to explore what stem shape you want and just really have more control over what that leaf is going to look like. I really like that wild flowers look a little, Doctor [inaudible] and have kind of weird jagged edges, and so I'm really relying on the movement of my brush and the edge of my brush to help me create those shapes. Now that this is dry, do you see how just. It looks flat. It doesn't look very vibrant. I'm going to grab more paint and come in here and just darken some of the areas. This is our wet and dry technique. So there are our separate watercolors. Now this block that I just grabbed is the black one, that is a bit rougher. So even though this one I was using is the hot press, which is very smooth. I'm doing the same exercise except this time I'm going to paint them altogether, but the paper is different, so I just want to note that if I dislike this more or if I like it more, it could be because of the paper or it could be because of the technique. But this time I'm just going to go ahead and try and paint some of those same flowers. But I'm going to do it together in a bouquet and let them touch and interact. Again, I'm more comfortable with planning things out, but I'm kind of right now, just feel in the improving. I'm just going into it and not totally knowing how it's going to turn out and so I'm going to ride that wave. There are other days when I'm not feeling like this at all and so I won't, I'll plan it all out and the whole point of this class is to pay attention to what you like. Because if you're liking what you're doing, there's a better chance that you're going to keep doing it. Starting to fall into, I don't know, I just think that my composition skills are weak. Just as I'm planning and part of it is I already have three colors down here and that's more colorful than I usually like. I'm voicing that to say that some of that doubt just started to set in. I can feel like all I've ruined this, I don't like this. This isn't the direction I wanted to go in, but I'm going to keep going. I didn't love before I put these stems down, I couldn't see how these things would be connected and I didn't love how many colors there are. I still think there's a lot of colors, but I'm happy. I like it more than when I was feeling like I didn't like it and so it's important to finish. I think if we look at just the flowers I made, I think I did a better job. I just like the shapes of the flowers more whereas here there's less obvious of all of those stems and everything. I know I liked both, but it's nice having a finished piece that's altogether but part of me is super excited to bring these into the computer and be able to just arrange these endlessly how ever I want. 13. WC Exercise: Details: So the last thing that I want to talk about with watercolor is some ways that you can add details. One of the ways is by layering more paints, so it's what we did here with this wet on dry. You can go in once everything is dry and start to add in more details. They don't have to be thick pink strokes, you can use your brush as you would a pen. I can go in here and just start to draw out what I was picturing when I was painting all of these areas. This can just further help the eye understand what it's looking at. It's always helpful to understand where the center of the flower is, and so that's a nice way to use the brush to go back in. Down here I'll do the same thing. I'm going to grab my smaller four brush, and I'm going to go right into my perylene green and just pick up a lot of paint. Then I can go in here. This is what practice will bring. I'm trying to make sure that I don't have too much paint and water on my brush that's going to make a big blob at the beginning. I can use the very tip of my brush to add in some nice detail there. I can also go along the stem, maybe add some back here. So you can always add more details and layers of paint after things are dry. Maybe I'll draw with a totally different color and that gives me a different result. So you can see here I used the shade that was the same hue as the flower, and then down here I use the different one. So you can use your brush like that and then just like, I know I'm repeating myself but, this is a really lovely way to add details it's just to go in and to add more layers, so maybe I'll do that in here just few more strokes of. Now, that flower just with those few strokes are so much more defined and we have more interesting contrasts than we had before. Remember this guy from earlier, this wet on wet atrocity? It just doesn't have much contrast now, the way that it dried, and so I would want to go in, and define the center better, then I can start to create those shapes again. So layering is a super helpful technique. But you don't have to use paint at all, you can also use pens. This is I love my pilot V5s and V7s. The way the ink comes out of the pen is lovely to me, but they're not archival, which means that any water that touches these is going to turn it into an inky mess. But sometimes I still use them, especially on top of dry things like this, so I would just go in and add any details I want. Again, you don't have to use a black pen, you could use colored pens, which will give you a totally different result. I can also use white pens, these white gel pens, these are Uni-ball Signos and they're the best ones I found. I kept trying to use jelly roller ones and they just weren't doing it for me, got these and they're lovely. Unless you're using them on camera and trying to prove a point, in which case they are not. Maybe this pink color is too light. What's going on? Guess I should have tested it before I got into it. Let's see if we can see a better one, there we go. If you accidentally got a little paint happy, you can always go in and add some white lines. I see I did that on this flower right here. But one of my favorite ways is using a nib and ink. so I just have some Higgins archival ink here and a simple starter calligraphy nib set. I'm just going to take the lid off of this and dip in, going to brush off any of the excess. Then I can get in here. It's the same idea as using a pen, but there's something about the scratchiness and the unpredictability of the thick and thin that I really think compliments water color well. I get a quality of line that I don't quite get from other pens. Again, you don't have to use black ink, you can find archival inks in all sorts of colors. So yeah, those are inks and then last thing is, I'm going to get my brush back out for two things. For one, you can make just little expressive lines that are really great or expressive marks, so sometimes doing little dots helps give something a bit more energy. But also some of my favorite are to just come in, I've got a lot of water, a lot of paint on my brush, definitely not a dry brush and I'm just going to go in here and I'm going to add these little flicks and they just sort of add a bit of energy, they add a bit of character. They also help me emphasize the direction of where this is going, so that's a nice way to add some last details. Then the very last one is very fun, I'm just going to load up my brush. I'm using Payne's gray for this, but you can use anything. I'm loading up my brush with a lot of paint and water, I'm going to grab a second brush and I'm going to make some splatters just by tapping this. You can see that, that just gives really lovely little speckled texture. That was a pretty small brush, but you can also do it with larger brushes. You could also, I'm going to put some wet paint down, and then I'm going to do that again, I'm going to do some splattering. Wherever those splatters touch the wet paper, over time they're going to start spreading out. You can add splatters while your paint is still wet, and start to get these really interesting marks in there. If you wanted to control better where the splatters are going, you could lay down some masking fluid around this shape and then just speckle on top of it. But look at how those are blending together, that's beautiful. These even look like they could be a little flowers and they're really just blobs of paint and water. There you have it. There are some ways to break down and explore your watercolors. You can take a look at different types of paper like we did, so this finely dried, this very textured paper. Look at the beautiful texture and the edge quality we get there versus this Canson paper, which even though it's cold press is pretty smooth. Then we have this other cold press block, which you can see gave me kind of an in-between that not super textured paper and the smoother paper. There are papers, we explored what it's like to improve. So over here I improved these roses and I planned these ones. What else did we do? We worked with small brushes and big brushes. We did some wet on wet mixing and some wet on dry. We tried painting things separately and painting them together and we tried going soft and bold and monochromatic and colorful. So take some time exploring these and come up with some explorations of your own, because these are by no means unexhaustive list of ways to explore watercolor. 14. Gouache Overview: Gouache is opaque watercolor. It mixes with water in the same way watercolor does, but instead of being super luminous and light, it's flat, matte, and opaque. You can thin it out with water to get a more watercolor effect. If you're asking yourself then why wouldn't someone just use watercolors? In my opinion, even thinned out gouache, just seems to pack more of a punch pigment wise than watercolor. It just doesn't have all of the granulating and separating textures that watercolor does. It comes in tubes and even though it can be reanimated with water, I don't recommend trying to cure it in a palette like watercolors. The paint tends to dry and crack, and even with a lot of water and love, it will never come back to its super creamy and opaque consistency. Even though gouache doesn't do great with being cured, it's still nice that a pallet with dried paint on it can be mostly reanimated and supplemented, leaving less paint to waste. The pigments are listed on the tube just like watercolor, with the letter indicating the pigment, and the number indicating the flavor of that pigment. The beauty of gouache really is its flatness. That matte, opaque feel. It's almost like there's a sticker on the page. It's really velvety. Illustrators love it because we can mix and paint big, bold, flat areas that are easy to scan in, and clean up, and the paint is easy to layer. With all three paints we're talking about in this class, but especially gouache, and acrylic gouache, you can think of water as your speed, and the paint as your color. Finding the balance of speed and glide, with how much color and opaqueness you want, can take some time. Which is why practice is so key. Every swipe on the side of your glass, every dab onto the paper towel, every time you go back into the paint, you're changing that relationship between the water and the paint, and therefore the glide and the opaqueness of your color. So don't be surprised if a lot of the painting, the time you actually spent painting, is actually spent on just keeping your palette going and keeping your colors mixed as opposed to just putting down paint onto the paper. Now, as I said, you can use these paints however you want, but the consistency that I love best with gouache, is when it's just a touch thinner than you might think it needs to be. It's still creamy and glidy and gives you that really nice opaque color. But it just seems to flow a little bit better, and tends to be less streaky that way. Some colors are just streaky. Opera rose and deep green can be streaky for me. Like I said, it could just be that there's too little water in the mix, but sometimes adding in a little bit of white, will add another layer of flatness and opaqueness to the paint. We're going to go over layering in the gouache exercise section. But, in general, unless you want the colors blending, that you're painting with, you want to make sure you're layers are bone dry before you start layering paint on top of them. Remember, gouache is reanimated with water. So if you're wet brush, with paint, starts to rub that first layer too much, you'll start picking up the color beneath, and therefore lose some of the opaqueness from your top layer. Using thicker paint as you build up the layers, also will help hold on to that opaqueness as water is the thing that thins out the paint and gives it more opacity. The same brushes you use for watercolor, can be used for gouache, and only need to be cleaned with warm water and mild soap if you feel it's necessary. Unlike watercolor, I think mixing colors with gouache is a bit easier. So I would recommend starting with a set of gouache tubes that have all the basic colors in it. 15. G Exercise: Paper: Let's go ahead and jump right into gouache. The first thing we're going to test out are the different qualities of paper. I have my Arches hot press in front of me, which is my smooth paper. I've got some colors squeezed out onto my palette and I am just going to paint some flower heads. I think there's a tendency to want to use gouache a little too thick because psychologically we're like, "This is opaque, it should be thicker." Which is true and you can totally use it as thick as you want. But what I love about gouache is it gives you a thick opaque coning even if it's the thinned out with water. You can see I'm getting a really smooth application. You can see already the difference from our watercolor exercises, where before I was getting a lot of variation between the value and the paint. Now I'm getting, even with these which is more of watery gouache, I'm still getting a nice, really pretty solid application. That's the hot press. Now I've got this little, I know this is tiny but this is the paper I'm going to be painting on most, so you'll get to see it a lot. But this is just a tiny piece of my Canson XL. I'm going to do few more flowers swatches. It's still pretty smooth. As my brush dries, I get a little bit of texture here, but it's still smooth and even, which is really nice. Now I've got my Blick cold press block. This as just torn from a sheet that I used earlier, since I'm just going to paint a few swatches on it, I don't need a whole sheet. Let's see how this reacts. I have the same consistency of gouache that I've been using. A nice, not too watery, but definitely watery and you can see that all of that texture is coming through. I just dipped my brush into my water and got a much more watery coverage up here, but it gave me less texture then what ended up being almost looking like a dry brush texture down here. I can tolerate this with watercolor, but I really don't like it with gouache watercolor. Part of the fun is all of the texture and the things you can't control. But with gouache, I really enjoy a smoother application. This doesn't really count as cold press or hot press. It's not watercolor paper, but it's a binder board from Kunst and Papier. It's just this really simple paper, it's not too thick and yet there is something about it that is just the best to paint with gouache. I just wanted to show you and I'm not sure any of this is going to come across in the video, because again, it's a lot about the feel of what's happening beneath my hand. But I'm going to go ahead and go in here and it just seems to go down like butter. It goes down really opaque and even. Like I said, it's just the feel. You're allowed to just pay attention to what feels good to your hand and honor that. I'm going to mix up this is a thicker. Even when it's thicker, it doesn't give me any dry brush. It just seems to glide really, really nicely. I really recommend if you don't mind painting in books, or if you were looking for a book to paint in and you really like gouache, these Kunst and Papier ones are really nice. I really enjoyed the texture of them. Then the other cool thing about gouache that we can't do with watercolor, is we can paint on colored paper because it's opaque. If I were to paint on this with watercolor, it'd be very hard to see. This isn't even a painting paper, this is just a piece of card stock that I found and thought I would just use for this demo. But I'm going to load up some paint and you can see that we get a really nice bold look right on that paper. That can produce some really interesting results if you are making cards, homemade cards, or you just want a different look behind. You don't want white to come through, you want a different color to come through, then this is a nice way to do that. So you can experiment with some color paper. But my favorite, like I said, I'm going to paint mostly with the Canson XL. The Blick block is just a little bit too textured for me, but the Canson had a nice coverage without being too textured. 16. G Exercise: Watery / Thick: For this exercise, we're going to take a look at watery and thick gouache. I think that this is a really important exercise because when I was looking online and trying to learn, it seemed like all of the tutorials I found, the paint was being used in a very thick opaque use, which is fine and that's great, that's what the paint is for, but you can also use it a bit more watery, and it just feels different, it flows a lot more differently. I'm just going to go ahead and draw an orange. You can see that I'm using a lot of water. The paint is spreading really easily in cleanly, but I'm getting a little bit of that wash texture. Not as much as with watercolor, the gouache is still working for me to flatten out and everything. But I was able to cover that area pretty quickly and get a really nice pretty coverage. On the other side, I'm going to do a thicker one. I'm going to dry my brush off a little bit on my towel, grab some painting and get going. Already you can see, I've got less water in there, so I've got less glide. I'm just going to go ahead and go in here and keep filling it out. Instead of getting more water like last time, I just dipped in the water to spread that out, I'm actually going in for more paint. Obviously, it takes a bit longer to get a thicker application, but you might really enjoy it, or you might enjoy both. Using the same colors, you can see, I got a much more saturated orange by laying it on really thick, but I also had to use more paint, then it took longer, just one of those things. I'm going to go ahead and lay a little leaf on top of this. Even with the watery coverage, I was still able to cover a good part of that orange. You can see that it's coming through a little bit where the gouache got thinner. But even with a watery gouache, I was able to still hold on to that opacity. For the leaf over here, I'm going to, again go thicker. Like I said during the watercolor exercises, it's one thing for your paint to have more or less water mixed into it, but I always want a wet brush going into it, that always makes applications smoother. That orange wasn't all the way dry under there, so I picked up a little bit of it when I went through that, but I'm not worried about it. Explore with different amounts of water to see if you have a preference for paint consistency. 17. G Exercise: Layering: So this next exercise is simple but it's really the magic of gouache is that you can layer and layer and layer. However, remember these swatches, I painted them earlier to let them dry. I think they might still be a tiny bit damp, but I'll be able to make my point. But remember they still can be reanimated with water. So with my wet brush, I'm just going to vary gently, I'm not even pushing down, just gently. And you can see that even just that little bit of movement has reactivated that paint and so the idea with layering and like I said, I just painted this a few minutes before recording but if I were going to do layers, maybe I would use a hairdryer to make sure it was really really dry or go in with really thick layers on top. But the idea is you still want glide, you still need some water but you're going to build up the paint a little bit more thick in order to get coverage on top of these dark layers. I'm just going to give my palate a little spray, it's kind of to drying out a bit. So I'm going to take my flesh tints and some white and I've got a pretty watery mix right now. Go in and just get some paint and I'm just going to do some marks. So all I did here was change the pressure with which I was pushing down and you can see that if I go too light, I get a little bit of that dry texture and if I push down a little bit more then I get something a bit more solid. Again, I want to be careful with my movement. I need my brush to be wet so that it glides, but not so wet that it picks up too much paint from beneath. So I'll try and those are pretty good run. Got a nice solid line and at the end I went off the edge to see how different the color was and I am covering a very light color on top of black and so, it's not going to look perfect in one coat, or at least for me, I'm not to the point where it looks perfect in one coat, but it is nice that you can layer light on dark and then once that dries, I could go ahead and add another coat. Like maybe I'll do that to this one which has some black showing through. And you can see that with a second coat, I was able to totally cover that. And the nice thing about doing a single coat, is it's kind of a layer of protection between you and that background. So now when I go over this, I've got a better chance of getting something opaque without picking up that background. So that's the harder of the two, but it is nice that you can also layer light colors on dark or dark colors on light without them being shifted too much by the color beneath them. So I've got a super hot opera pink over here and you can see that I'm getting not too much color variation between where it's just on top of the paper versus where it's on top of the paint. And so like I said, this is a simple exercise, but take some time to do this because this is really where gouache gets fun. When you can start building up layers of paint. 18. G Exercise: Small Brush / Large Brush: For this next exercise, we're going to explore how it feels to use a smaller brush and how it feels to use a larger brush. For this I'm using a reference photo of some vintage tins and so I'm just going to make some lines where those tins are going to be for me to follow. You can see, well, if you can see my lines, there really nothing special. But they do so much for my eye to be able to follow so that I don't make this big blob of a weird shape and even if they are weird, that's the character of your hand and believe it or not, that goes a long way in an illustration. Just seeing a human hand behind it. I've got two tins painted out and I'm going to go ahead and start with a smaller brush. For my small I will use, I don't think I quite want to use a two. I guess I will, after all that, just to show my point and first I'm going to do the fill to this background shape and even though this isn't the time, we're exploring watery and thick wash, I mean, anytime you're painting, you can be playing with it. Since this pink that I'm doing is filling in the background of the tin. I'm going more watery because it's just a big flat area on white paper and so I just know the color is going to be true and vibrant and also it means that it'll be a bit easier to layer on top of later, if it's thinner now and even with gouache, when you get a little bit of a wash going, it just is really pretty to see the subtle variation and the color and so I enjoy both the watery gouache and a thick gouache. But for my background's going a bit more watery, is best for me and this is Opera Pink. You can see it's a beautiful bright pink. I usually don't use it just out of the gate like this. I'm mixing a little bit of white but today I was filling it. You can see even though I'm using a small brush, it's not taking me years and years to fill the space. Not only because the watery gouache mix like I talked about, but you can see that my brush is able to fan out and make some pretty big shapes. So maybe you'll enjoy the control mixed with the ease of being able to fill a space or maybe you'll be annoyed by it. I'm more of a big brush user, unless I'm doing details. A small brush just seems like it takes so long sometimes, but then again, sometimes it's nice to just have a big area to fill and just take your time to do it and if you're wondering why I left this white space open when we can layer, just because I can layer in gouache, doesn't mean that I always want to. You saw from the example that black, when I was layering over the black, I was able to get a pretty good code, but I don't want to have to do that all the time if I can plan ahead and leave some blank paper open then I will. But if I can't, then it's nice to know that I can probably find a way to get in there and layer it and make it work. I'm using a pretty watery mixture here and you can see that the gouache is really doing the work to stay a single color, whereas watercolor works harder to show that variation. I have some blue leftover on my palette from before, and I'm going to try and reanimate it a bit here. I also think I just don't enjoy working that small. I'm so used to working digitally where I can resize things that it's just really not necessary for me to ever have to work this small, can just work bigger and size it down. But it's good practice and it's nice to feel a little bit more in control of where the shapes are going. I'll probably stop soon just because you get the point, I don't want to waste your time on camera for you can see that with a tiny brush I was able to fill the area and do some small detail work. But now on a tin of the same size, I'm going to go out to a size six. I went from a two to a six. Yeah, and for me, like I've said, I'm more comfortable of a drawer than an improviser and so for me, when I paint, drawing obviously takes a little bit longer and so when I'm painting, I find that I do like to move faster because drawing is my slow art and so for me using a bigger brush and sacrificing some of the tiny details. I prefer that just because I enjoy the movement with moving fast and making shapes that are imperfect. Because also when I'm drawing, I'm more apt to try and get it just right and erase and redraw. Still using a pretty watery mix. This Opera Pink seems to spread better with more water. Opera Pink is one of the colors that I have trouble with because it tends to look streaky on me, but when it's lot more watery, it's really pretty and vibrant and painterly. Little exercises are good like this to, just to practice, brush control and shapes. When I watch videos on Instagram of Helen Dardik painting, I'm really surprised and amazed at the control she has, especially when going around curves. It seems like her brush never flicks or tries to do any annoying tricks and that all can be attributed to her years and years of practice. Even though I'm able to get less detail with the bigger brush, I feel like I'm just able to lock on to that better paint ratio more quickly with a bigger brush than with a smaller one. It's like I can't quite get a feel for all the paint that's in there otherwise. Again, doing a little bit of layering here, getting these vibrant colors on top of each other and I'll stop there. 19. G Exercise: Wet on Wet / Wet on Dry: For this next exercise, we're going to take a look at wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry. So we've seen a bit of wet-on-dry already in the layering lesson and in the last one, even when we're doing the vintage tins. But I'm just going to show you a little bit more, obviously the differences. On the right-hand side, I'm going to paint a plant and this is going to be my wet-on-dry. So I'm going to do it first so that it's got time to dry. When I just laid down that stroke, I got a tiny bit of texture there, which told me I don't have enough water. So I just went right into my water to grab more, and again, it's not to water down the paint, it's to wet my brush. I'll use just a balance of how much water you've got and how much paint. Then I'll do the pod. This plant is in the same green color down here. We're going to let that be, let it dry, and come back to it in a minute, and in this very small corner that I left for myself over here, I'm going to start to paint the same plant. But instead of using this single color, I'm going to grab other colors while I'm painting and mix things on top. So now instead of just that green, I'm also picking up some leaf green and getting some blending. You can see I just put down this layer of paint and I'm just going to go right over it with some leaf green. Maybe this time I'll pick up a little bit of my flesh color and see how that looks. You can see that even though it's not as powerful as with watercolor, we're getting a little bit of mixing there, even on their own. They are sort of blending and bleeding into each other. We'll grab some orange. So you can see that by working while the paint is still wet, everything's going to blend together whether through me doing it with my brush or just the wetness being there. While these are still wet, I'm going to come in here, a little bit of white. You can see that when it's wet, even coming on top with lighter colors doesn't give me the layering effect that I had here because these were dry, so they were less likely to interact. Now when I come in with light colors, they're blending with what's still wet there. Which makes them a little less powerful. But the results we get are really pretty paint mixes. Maybe I'll come in here with a different green, and so we get some interesting colorwork there. On this one, we haven't given it a ton of time to dry. But that's okay. We're going to check on it anyway. I'm going to mix up some paint. Now I have a much brighter orange color. You can see my strokes are better defined, more opaque, less blending, and a really nice way to add interest. We can just continue to layer, and I make it a little wet-on-wet action from that darker ocher paint that I laid down right beneath it. You can see the difference there. Wet-on-wet, we get a nice blendy, a little bit dreamier effect and on wet-on-dry, we get a more defined stroke. 20. G Exercise: Improvised / Planned: For this next exercise, we are going to take a look at improving our painting versus planning it out. So for this, I think I want to do a little envelope with flowers coming out of the side, and so I'm going to start with the flowers. I'm going to take my opera pink and mix in some white and it makes this really pretty like barbie pink. What I'm thinking about when I'm doing this is again, even though Guash can layer, I still like to try to leave space and think of where things are going to be so I don't have two layer. Then doing the same flower shape, but it's just what's coming out right now so, I'm not going to fight it. Now I want to start thinking about where the envelope is, I probably want some to come down and hang out over the opening. I think that layering would look really nice and get some balance on this other side of some green. I'm using a watery blend of Guash here, but as I've said a few times now, even watery Guash just packs a bit more punch than watercolor. So it's not bad for improve, and now the envelope, let's see maybe it's right here, might be too small. That's probably my biggest hustle with improve is not getting my scale quite down. I'm going to use some water to help me move this, and this is the arches hot press, and I haven't used it enough with gush to know, but I find that the arches hot press creates a texture really quickly that looks like I'm overworking the paper, even when I feel like I haven't overworked the paper that much. So that may just be a quality of the paper or it could be that I am working at more than I think I am using too much water. I'm getting some variation in color. But again, since this is like one big area, I don't mind that it looks a little washier. If i really wanted it to be solid, I could work harder to get a thicker paint in water ratio, but I like this. I want to do a little bit of work to make it look like these are coming out of here more. I was just painting this. So if I go down here, I might get I guess it was okay. A bit of a watery mix but, got a massive greens going down here, but that's okay. Maybe I'll have one poking out of this side. So it wasn't too bad improving that. It's definitely something that could be usable. How about on this other side? Take some time to plan a little bit more. I'm going to draw, and I think this time I want to use the negative space of where this would dip down, and then I'll also have the separate flap in the back, and this time maybe I'll put a bigger flower here like around flower, switch up my flower shapes. So again, I'm not doing a fabulous drawing over here. I'm really just calling myself by making sure that I'm planning for how I'm going to use the space. So a little bit more planned. Let's see how that works out. I mix up my barbie pink again. It's so funny. I would say in eighth grade, I was really into black and pink. I was going through a little bit of a punk phase, as punk As Dylan can get and but after that pink was no longer like after that year, pink left to my life and I had a thing against it, and it wasn't until painting and becoming an illustrator that I started trying it out again. There's something really powerful about a great pink, and I'm using it for flowers right now. But I think what I love about it is it doesn't have to be a feminine color, it is just the bold color, and even if it was just a feminine color, that's fine too. It's okay to be girly. I will say the thing that I liked about the improve one versus this one is, I was a bit more gestural with the flowers, with these ones, I'm using my brush as a drawing tool more than just blogging down the shapes, which is fine but they just look, I think they looked a little bit more free before, and maybe I'll do a rows here and I'll do it watercolors style leaving white space. That got too thin I don't like that. So I'm going to go over it. Going to go over it because I can now a bolder color. Let's start adding in our green. When greenery comes into, okay that's when it really takes off for me. I'm still going to try and be gestural like I was earlier, and just generally follow my guidelines of where I wanted these to go. It's getting a bit watery on me, and mix in some more pain. It is nice better having this area figured out on the other one. I had a mess of greenery because I just started putting it down and then painted in the envelope. I think I mentioned that the blue I'm using on here is dried from yesterday. So I said in the Guash overview that you shouldn't cure your Guash because it cracks and dries, but that you can still use it off your palate, and this is what I meant. I'm still having to supplement it with other paint to really get the consistency I like. But I'm still able to use it it's not lost. When we get to the acrylic wash you'll see that that's not the case. So it's just nice feeling less wasteful. But you can see I'm having to go back and scrub with my brush a lot to get the blue going. Spread this out a little bit I'm getting that texture on the paper again that I don't love. Again, either that's me working it too much or it's just the nature of the paper, and maybe I should use my Canson paper or books that I really like to paint in, and I'm going to leave some white space between this bottom part of the envelope and the top just to help to find that, and so it isn't just this one big block of blue behind there. So I'm going to just leave that little bit of white space. Also helps emphasize the opening of the envelope where stuff is coming out of. I'm going pretty fast because I'm on camera. I don't want to waste your time, but had I gone slower with this planned one, I could have had a really clean, it wouldn't have to look as as painterly unless you want it to look painterly so there you have it. On this one that i planned I was able to plan better for the composition. But on the improve one, I like the marks that I made more so play around with improving and planning your painting out. 21. G Exercise: Separate / Together: In this exercise, we are going to explore a painting things separately versus painting them together. This is the same exact thinking of when we did this earlier with watercolor. This, if you are looking to be a fine art painter, then you probably won't ever paint things separately unless you're going to get into collage or something. But if you are an illustrator like I am, then it's really great to paint things separately because you are just leaving yourself a ton of options for later. So I'm going to paint some flowers. This one instead of leaving white space, I'm going to fill it in completely. Then I can add detail later with more paint do somewhat on dry, or add with pen and ink. Also when I paint things separately for digital use, I'd be able to go in there and clean that up. I didn't really mean to muddy those like I did. It's nice of course not having to worry as much about composition and more look at the shapes that I'm making. To keep things interesting I don't want all my flowers to have straight up and down stems. I will paint them around each other like this. To give me something new to aim to arc belief around. One of my favorite ways to make a really pretty light green is to take any green and mix it with the flesh tent gives that really pretty mint cg color. It's also a nice way of working because I can really fill the page. I can utilize all these spaces and even if they don't look great together on the page, I know that they will when I arrange them. I need a little bit of yellow. I always need a little bit of yellow. Always trying to find how best to utilize the space I'm working in can always rotate. When you are painting things separately for use later, make sure you give yourself lots of options and a size. So I've got one big round flower here, some medium-sized, and I want to make sure I've got some small ones too. There's some separate blooms. I'm going to stop there. Let's take a look at what that would look like altogether. To save paper, I'm going to use this one that I started earlier and just paint on this side of it. I'm going to take those same style of Bloom's and instead of painting them separately, I'm going to arrange them right on the paper. Let's start with the biggest one. Make sure that I've got room for them. That's really flat right now, but we can go back and later to add detail either with wet on wet or I'm sorry, wet on dry or using other tools. For now I'm just not going to worry about it too much. I'm going to keep on going with my composition. One thing that has helped me get better with bouquets is making real bouquets from fresh flowers. It gives me a better sense of how the flowers stems fit together and where they shoot out from. Trader Joe's always has my favorite flowers for the best price. So I'll usually pick up a small bunch there and bring him home and take pictures and paint them from life and it's really good practice. We have pretty flowers in the house. Trying to decide if I want any green leaves in here, but I think I want all the dark green to just come from these songs leave that for now. I need to get that again. This other one I did, these all green leaves, add in some of those. I'm going to stop there. I think I have illustrated the differences here. Sure I'd be able to use these digitally and combine them in any way that I want. But here I get some interaction that I wouldn't get from them being separate. Some little places where things overlap, which is nice. So there are definitely benefits to both. So go ahead and try to paint something separately and then paint it together. 22. G Exercise: Brush / Drawing Tool: The last exercise I want to show you with gouache before we get into adding details, is this idea of using your brush as a brush and using it as a drawing tool. So I'm going to make a bouquet, on this side, and first I'm going to use my brush as a drawing tool. And so I'm going to outline and create contours of the shapes that I'm going to paint. And it's not that this ends in a very different results. It's that it feels different when you're working on it. And so depending on your brain and your comfort level with your art, using your brush as a more familiar drawing tool first may feel better. I'm drawing out all the centers of some daisies, I'm trying to think of where negative space from their petals would be. I do have a reference photo that I'm looking at that will be available on the class resources. I'm going to do before filling those, then I'm going to do the same thing with these petals. Before I've even filled anything in I've started to create a composition that feels good. I don't feel stressed out doing this. I've got I'm following somebody else reference photo right now. So ideally, I would want to have my own because then I can use it however I want but just for practice, it's nice to have an image to go off of. So you can see I'm really for this whole process just using the tip of my brush and I'm not really using the shaft of it and the bristles to their full glory. This way of working is nice too, because then you have options of what you want to fill in and what you want to leave out. Maybe you'll decide that some of these should be filled in, but some should stay outlines and, so now that I've done that, I can go in and fill. I'm not going to fill mine in perfectly I kind of like that look, where there's enough shapes there that my brain isn't confused. It doesn't look like a mess but it doesn't have to be perfectly flatly filled in either. I'm going to in and fill these centers. Remember this is just the first layer so it's possible that I can let all this dry and then come in with totally different colors and layer on top. That's using my brush as a drawing tool and now I'm going to use same brush, same colors, and same reference photo but instead of drawing, I'm really going to utilize the bristles of my brush more to create my shapes. I'm not really using the head of it, I'm filling it right away with the sides of my brush. I mean, I can still use my tip to fine, fine shapes that I need, but then fill it in. It's good practice to get used to the shapes your brush can make so it's kind of nice doing this exercise to see. Without drawing things out, can you get the shapes that you need? Can you kind of blob them down there? And this is also a nice way to paint a little bit more expressively, to just let your brush kind of get the idea across. In a Mardi onto the petals. I'm going to do the same kind of thing where I'm going to kind of let each stroke represent the petals that I'm putting down. And I'm going to hold my brush differently and change the direction based on where those petals are coming from. I mixed the little blue into my yellow there on accident, but that's fine. Life is just too short to get hung up on those little things. So you can see the style we're getting is very different with this than with the drawing tool and neither is right or wrong, better or worse but one might call to you more. Or one might feel right in certain situations, but the other feels, right, and others. There you have it so experiment with using your brush as a drawing tool and with using it just as the brush. 23. G Exercise: Details: Let's talk about adding details to our work. We've already covered the main way, which is layering, doing some wet on dry work. You can do it with a big brush and you bake layers, so i can go in and add one big stroke here to add a little detail, a little bit of interests, or I can use my brush to add tiny details, lines. I can also do little expressive marks. Utilizing the wet on dry technique, especially with gouache, is a great way to go about it. You don't have to use colors. I can get some of my black gouache and do some details just with my brush. Some detail that way, but I don't have to use a brush at all. I can get my pen and nib back out. I can go in and create some interesting marks that way and add things that weren't in there before. I could add another leaf all together, and then I also have my white gel pen. If I wanted to I could just get in there and add some white details. The nice thing with gouache is to add details on top, you can just keep layering paint or you can use other drawing tools. 24. Acryla Gouache Overview: And now we're to acrylic gouache, which is actually a lot easier to explain now that we've covered watercolor and regular gouache. Acrylic gouache is just like regular gouache in that you use water to mix and apply it, and it's matte, flat and opaque. But unlike regular gouache, once it's dry, it's dry. This means you have to cater to it a bit more on your palette while you're working, but it also means that layering over and over and over until you're happy is a walk in the park. Well, once you've practiced your paint and water ratios, of course. Practice, practice, practice. If you're wondering what's the difference then between acrylic gouache and regular acrylics? I googled this same thing, I was also wondering, and it seems like acrylic paints actually are a little bit more transparent than acrylic gouache. I thought that it was that acrylics are shiny but you can get acrylics in matte or shiny. So it's really just that. I think acrylic gouache is masterful and that really beautiful, thin but opaque layer. The acrylic gouache that I use is by Holbein and it comes in tubes with the color information being listed on the front. Like regular gouache, I find it easier to mix pleasing colors from acrylic gouache. So I don't pay much attention to the pigments as much as I do with watercolor. The color on the tube is rarely indicative of the true hue. So I recommend, as with any paints that you own, swatching them out for reference. This also makes creating color palettes a bit easier. Since acrylic gouache dries all the way and I live in a hot climate, I have to really be careful with how much paint I'm using and that I'm not wasting it because it's drying out too fast. I'm able to combat this with a spray bottle and trying to use single colors at a time. I bought this stay wet palette. It's Sta-Wet. It's in the class resources, and it's a palette that has a sponge in it that you get wet and then you put paint on top of it and it's supposed to help your paint stay wetter longer. I bought it and then I actually haven't used it because my spray bottle and kind of sticking to a limited palette or one color at a time has really worked for me. But that's an option if you're worried about wasting your paints. As with gouache, acrylic gouache can be thinned out and used in permanent gouache or very thick for bold and opaque layers. The creamy consistency that I prefer with acrylic gouache I find these easiest to maintain in these palettes that have the little wells because all the paint stays in one area. It's really easy to just mix more water in and then that way if I have it out on a pallet it's really easy for it to spread out and dry super quickly. So these seem to do the trick. As far as brushes go, I use the same brands and types of watercolor brushes that I use for acrylic gouache. But I do recommend dedicating a few just to acrylic gouache because, as we've talked about, once it dries, it's dry. And if you've got like a coveted watercolor brush that you love, it'd be so sad if you've got dry paint in that thing. I'm super bad about this. I mixed all of my brushes. They just kind of go in here and I keep them in there. But I do tend to wash my brushes super thoroughly when I'm done and I just wash them with hot water. Warm hot water, that seems to do it. I don't even use soap. So no worries there, but you also don't want to let them sit too long and have a bunch of paint dried to your bristles. Again, I think acrylic gouache is super easy to mix and so you can buy a set of tubes. I started off by just picking out the ones that I thought I liked. And either way, it's been really enjoyable to paint with. 25. AG Exercise: Paper: Let's jump into our Acryla Gouache exercises, which some of these are going to be similar to regular gouache but I still want to walk through them in case you're interested or you just want to see how the paint looks on the paper. I have switched from my butcher tray to this small well palette and what I'm going to do is I'm going to mix up six colors that I want to use and have them at the ready. Because again, if I let everything spread out too quickly, it's going to dry and I can't reanimate this paint. By keeping it all contained, I'm able to control that a little bit better. I also have some pallet paper down here, which is a plastic coated sheet of paper that is disposable when you're done, which is nice because it can be hard to clean the Acryla Gouache off the pallet depending on how long you let it sit, and also just having an area where I can swatch things out and mix colors further is nice. I also have this tool that I showed in the materials that it's just this little mixer tool that my friend Mary gave me. It is rubber or silicone at the end, so it's non-porous, which means I'm not going to waste any paint mixing with it like with a brush. What I did is I went through my color chart and I already picked out the six colors that I'm going to mix and I got out the colors that I need to mix those, and so I'm just going to go ahead and get going. I would describe Acryla Gouache as coming out of the tube a little creamier than regular gouache. You can see I put my two colors right in there and now I'm just going to take my tool and mix them up. I put a little bit too much ivory in there, and I want it to be more gold. I've got a towel down here that I use specifically to wipe Acryla Gouache on. I don't want to use my everyday painting towel because the Acryla Gouache will clog the fibers and make it non-absorbent. Mix that up and that's more of the color I was looking for. Then after I'm done mixing, I take my spray bottle and I give it one spray. I'll need to adjust while I'm painting because my brush is going to have water on it, but this at least gives me a good starting spot for that color. That first mix was olive and ivory white, this next one is coral red and flesh. With my color chart, I could see which side the color was airing on. But it's also easy to just eyeball it. Once you start mixing, it's easy to tell whether you've hit your color or not. The next one is just going to be just the orange-red out of the tube. This orange is so lovely and bright and I'm not going to mix it, I'm just going to spray some water on top of it. Next one is ultramarine and ash blue. A question that I get a lot is whether you can use all these paints together, Watercolor Gouache and Acryla Gouache and you sure can. In fact, Helen Dardik, I've talked about her a lot and Carolyn Gavin, they both regularly combine their paints. I don't because, like I've talked about before, I don't use all of these paints for my illustration work. I don't really have a need to mix watercolor and gouache. However, the Acryla Gouache, I'm so worried of all the time about it drying out, I really just don't mix them is what I'm getting at. I tend to use them separately, but that doesn't mean that you have to. You can totally use them together in one piece and in fact, if you don't know Helen Dardik's work, I would go take a look at her Instagram because she's got really great examples of what it looks like to mix all of them, to have big, flat, opaque areas and then also variation and beautiful color blends and everything. It's just my illustration style is a little bit more flat and doesn't have that much color variation. I've got my blue. Next, I just need some ivory and I might mix that with a tiny bit of beige. This is because it makes it a tiny bit darker, not significantly, but I just like to use it as sometimes a background color and I like there to be some color but not too much. Mix those, and honestly I don't usually mix this many colors at once. The way that I really like to work is I will work out an illustration, I transfer it onto my paper either by tracing on a window or just drawing right on my paper and then I will paint and color in the illustration one color at a time, and so I usually just do this. I'll mix one, paint that on, mixed the next, paint that on and so on and so forth. The last color I need is rose and ivory, so I'm looking for a hot pink here. I just want a little bit of ivory because I have a hard time personally getting the rose to not be streaky and just a little bit of ivory goes a long way to help smooth that out, while still keeping the color bright and hot. Now that I've got my colors all mixed up, let's go ahead and take a look at our hot press paper. I'm just going to make some leaves and now that I'm going in here with the brush for the first time, the paint is still a bit thick, so I might carry some water over, and get it just so it's a little bit more liquidy, and now I can go in and make my leaves. I'm working really thick right now and I think I would prefer to work a little bit thinner because I like being able to control the point of my shape and right now I'm not able to as much, that's a little better. It could be my brush too. Like I said, I'm pretty bad at mixing and using all my brushes. But since I'm using Acryla Gouache right now, I'm going to be pretty careful about rinsing them regularly as I go, that's better. That's the hot press, nice and smooth. Let's try some of our cans and cold press. I'm going to use a tiny little piece again, I'll switch colors, so I can rinse my brush. Grab some of this bright orange. That's really nice, I got a nice consistency here. You can see it's watery, it's gliding, but it's so thick and opaque, and pretty. That's the cold press, I really liked that, that felt good. Let's try the rougher cold press, the blick one. Knowing from my other exercise is that this is going to be rougher I'm trying to get a thinner paint consistency, but I'm actually getting a better coverage than I was with the regular gouache, and it could just be that I mix this one a little bit differently and everything, but I am noticing that it seems to fill in those grooves a little bit better, but I do still get some of that texture around the edge, which I prefer this balance more than what we were doing earlier with regular gouache. Just like I showed you in gouache, we can paint on darker things, with Acryla Gouache since it isn't going to be reanimated, I found this craft cover journal, it's just this journal that I found at Michael's or something, and I can actually paint on top of it and design the cover, because my paints are nice and opaque, because I chose just the worst color to do on top of brown, but it's still going down solidly, let me switch. It's going down solidly and it'll dry all the way and I won't have to worry when I'm handling it, accidentally taking paint off. Just like with regular gouache, you can explore some darker backgrounds and some different materials and the Acryla Gouache will adhere to it for you. 26. AG Exercise: Watery / Thick: Next we're going to take a look at watery and thick. For this, I'm going to paint some perfume bottles, and since I am going to thin out this paint quit a bit I'm actually going to move it over to my palette, because I really want to be able to thin it out. Again, even when it's thinned out, we get a really nice burst of color. Just like with our regular gouache, we're getting a nice vibrant wash here. So you can see I've got a very washy, streaky texture there, but still vibrant and pink. Then on this one, I can pick up more paint and this time we'll do around perfume bottle, here and there. So you can see, I'm getting a much more even coverage. It's going down really nice and smooth. So again, I'm using the same mix of colors. But in one I applied more paint and as this dries, right now, do you see all the color variation right there? That's because that area is drying right now and parts are drying faster than other parts. But as it dries completely, I'll see a bit more uniformity in the color, not totally there's still the integrity of the brushstrokes in there, whereas this one save for this area right here is already mostly dry and you can see we hold on to that washy quality. So go ahead and play around with thick acrylic wash, and thin acrylic wash. 27. AG Exercise: Layering: Next we're going to take a look at some layering. I painted these before I let them dry. I'm just going to take some of my ivory here that I've mixed up and I'm not going to add any more water to it because I've got a pretty good consistency in here. I'm going to go ahead and do some painting. The difference here is that I can scrub over this as much as I want and I'm not going to pick up that black paint that's behind there. You can see that as I was scrubbing, I was revealing more of the black paint, but when I went off the edge, none of it came with me. So this is really nice because I can really start to build up layers of opacity, because I don't have to worry about picking up the paint that went before. I think it's much easier with acrylic wash to fully cover and layer your paint. Illustrator, I think her name is Rebecca Green, she uses acrylic wash and she uses it the thickest I've ever seen anybody use it. It looks almost like she's having a dry brush, but because of that, she gets really thick, perfectly opaque layers that she can layer over and over again in her illustrations. Up here I'm just going to take some of my orange. You can see as I go off the side that the color stays almost exactly the same. I'm getting really nice coverage on top of that. The pink isn't showing through and changing the color It's not clear where I fall off the edge there. This is a simple experiment here, but it's a big idea. This idea of getting things and layering them on top of each other. You can see here that I just dabbed that orange on top of the beige, on top of the black and where the orange is on top of the beige, It's a little bit clearer in color and where it's over the black, it showed through a little bit. Which means that my orange mix right now is a bit transparent, and I'll want to do more layers. Every time I layer on top of it, I'll be able to see a little bit better. Go ahead and play around with light on dark and dark on light. 28. AG Exercise: Small Brush / Large Brush: For this next experiment, just like we've done with the other two paints, we're going to check out a small brush versus a big brush. For this, I'm going to use a size two and a size 10. I have some light circles drawn here and I'm just going to try and do little improper riff here, starting with my small brush. Since I'm using a smaller brush and there are less bristles to keep the paint wet, I'm going to keep rinsing it pretty often, keeping it clean so that I don't get paint stuck and dried in those bristles. If you're using multiple paints to go through these exercises like I am, you probably won't have to do the small brush, big brush each time. You'll probably get a pretty good idea of what your preference is, but if you are trying out watercolor and gouache or watercolor and acrylic gouache. I would try the small brush and large brush for each of those because the types of paints are so different. You might notice that you actually like a smaller brush for gouache, but a bigger brush for watercolor. Just like before, I just don't love, I feel like when I'm working really small I can truly create the detail that I want and everything just ends up looking like little blobs. Maybe you'll love it and think it's the greatest thing, which is why it's important to not just watch me go through these, but why your own practice is going to be so informative. You can see that I'm not using the paint fully opaquely and because of that we're getting some nice overlap where you can still see the colors beneath. This blue is really thick. Something about when I work small everything just feels really cartoony and immatureish. I really just enjoy working a bit larger. All of these exercises, even though the point of this exercise is paying attention to the brush, I'm still having to work out a composition and everything. You're practicing a lot of stuff even though we're isolating and practicing these few things at a time. I'll just add one more, Peekaboo of leaves over here and then move on to the big one. Cool. I'm just really making sure I'm rinsing my brush well. I'm rubbing and rotating it against the side to really make sure I'm scrubbing out any paint that's in there. I'm going to switch to my number 10. Yeah, you'll be able to tell just getting this brush in my hand, I already just feel more ready to paint. I like that I can use my brush more as a brush and less as a drawing tool. You need to figure out a way of these ones. I'm working one color at a time here, but feel free to do what feels right. My gold here is still wet, so I'm getting a tiny bit of wet on wet technique as I interact and drag these over each other. I'll try and cover these up to put this flower here. A few blue leaves just to top it all off. It's got a little lopsided, but there's a great exercise because I can feel I have a strong preference for a larger brush. You go ahead and do your own exercise and see what you find with small brushes and large brushes. 29. AG Exercise: Wet on Wet / Wet on Dry: Now we're going to try a little wet on wet and wet on dry. I painted this yesterday. I don't have a green mixed up today, so I'm not going to have a matching wet one, but that's okay. I'm going to let this sit and will come to it later for wet on dry. Over on this side I'm going to work on a little wet on wet. I'm going to trace out the same shapes. There's a few different ways to go about wet on wet; you can lay down one color like I have here and then go in and grab more and bring it in or you can bring it in as you're laying the paint down and defining the shape. As I'm drawing out this leaf, I'm going to come in with more orange and build the whole leaf out with those two colors. So, you can try those things out. I like to put some down and then come in with another color. It's just nice because you get more interesting blends. Not everything is as uniform, it depends on your style. So, I can start creating some dynamic and interesting color blends while everything's well. The acrylic gouache, just to show you, I didn't show you what the gouache, but I'll show you the acrylic gouache. It can get wet and behave like water color and, so if I just drop that paint where I was just working, you can see I'm getting more blend happening on its own there. So, that's one is wet. Now I'm going to work on this upside down because I want it to be on up-close on the camera and I don't want to put my my fist in there but, I'm going to come over here and remember, I can come in here with just a wet brush and I'm not going to disturb that paint. All I did was make that area of the paper wet and dry it a little bit. That is not from that paint. I just wiped it with this paper towel and since it was wet, I got some paint on there. I'm going to take my lighter pink here, just like with my regular gouache, you see I get some clean, clear lines. Drying my brush back out because if it's too wet, then this paint gets really thin and I want it to have some staying power. Just like with regular gouache, you can mix while everything's wet and get some more dynamic colors or you can wait till things are dry and layer on top of it, just like that. 30. AG Exercise: Improvised / Planned: Now, let's take a look at improvising versus planning. Again, we're not going to see anything crazy different from the other ones, but I still want to walk through this. Because I think it's an important distinction and you'll feel it when you're doing it, whether if you're enjoying it or not. I'm just going to go into it. I have a lot of really thick paint on my brush right now, but you can see in the bit of dry brush that I'm getting. So far today, during these exercises, I haven't really worried too much about going off the page and overall composition, because I'm just trying to show the main ideas. Getting pretty blobby with these, and the result of that is creating this. There's not a lot of variation in the overall painting, it just feels very one touch, but that's what happens to me when I'm in probing. I'm not able to use all my best judgment on that stuff. My skills are always really silly when I try to improve, but who knows sometimes adding details is all that's needed to bring it back to life. This one is a lot of foliage. That's fine. Not great, but I'm already, I'm going to cut this off and I'm going to try to plan it and see if I can do a little better. I'm still going for the radial that I was improved, but I'm already having much more success planning it out first, then improving. If you find that you have really good improvisation skills, just know that there is a lady in Phoenix, Arizona, that is jealous of you, because I just don't really think I've said that a lot during this class and I probably sound really negative. I'm very proud of what I've been able to learn and do, but I mean, that's just the nature of it. We all have limitations, we all see things differently, we all understand things differently. Each time I do it, I know I get better, but part of the fun for me of painting is having something at the end that I'm really excited about, and I just tend to be less excited about the things that I improve than the things that I plan. I hope this gets picked up in the camera. There are tiny little flex in the brush and that's the paint, some leftover paints starting to dry. I'm going to switch my water. Let's try this again. I think I can get away with not mixing more color, but we'll see this corollary pink over here is getting pretty thin. You can see that the quality of my shapes has improved, from when I improved. I have thick and thin parts there not just blobby blobs. I'm actually going to take some of this hot pink, and while these are still wet, I'm just going to do a little wet on wet. Now, I'm going to take just damp brush, I'm going to put those together more. I don't want to blend them all the way, I want to see the streaks of color. This brush maybe just a touch too big. I say that because some of my shapes are looking a bit clumsy. It's because I've got this big old brush sweeping over them. But if you're looking for a way to loosen up and get a little messier than increasing your brush size may be the trick. That's how I had a little breakthrough in watercolor, I kept using smaller brushes. Then once I bought the size 16, I could feel just how exciting it felt to have it really loaded with paint and be able to paint and paint and paint made of a vast difference for me. You'll get to know some of these colors like this orange, I can use this orange pretty watery and still get a very vibrant pop of color. It might not cover when it's that watery, but it's very vibrant, which is really nice. As usual, the planning means that I can have better interaction between shapes that are in front of them behind others. When I'm improving, I just layer and fill in gaps. I really think as much about everything interacting. Of course my scale is a bit better on this one, the vase looks like it could actually hold these flowers. I think what's comforting about acrylic wash is if you end up laying paint down too thin or you need to fix something, having it not reanimate really makes cleaning things up a lot easier. You don't have to worry about picking up paint or disturbing the layers beneath it. You can just paint and cover and paint and cover. I'll stop there. That's enough. Just like before, I know that I prefer more planned, but go ahead and improve a painting and then go ahead and plan one and see what you like more. 31. AG Exercise: Brush / Drawing Tool: For this last exercise, before we get into the details, I want to go over again, but this time with the acrylic wash, using your brush as a brush and using your brush as a drawing tool. But this time instead of using it as a drawing tool and filling with the same color, I'm going to actually use this blue to outline the whole thing and then I'm going to color it in with different colors. I'm just doing it because I want to see how it looks and since this once it dries, dries all the way, I'm just interested to see the layering that happens. I'm actually looking at one of my past illustrations to follow along here for this. I'm not worrying too much about the line width. You can see it's thickened areas and thin and others. I kind of like that characteristic of the brush. So I'm going to let that dry and while I do on the other side, I'm going to fill this in differently. So I am going to fill it in as I go instead of using the brushes as a pen. So you can see now, I'm really using the various angles and shapes of my brush to create these leaves and what I'm looking at when I'm doing this is I'm paying attention to the white space between the leaves because I want the plant to look full. But if it's so full that everything just looks like a blob, then what's the point? It's got to be some airiness and some separation there. Now, I'm going to color this with the same color as I did on the other side and we'll see how much of this blue we let show through. I used a darker color on purpose because I wanted to see if I liked having that bit of outline showing and the overlap between the two layers of paint. I'm going to need more pink and I didn't mix the pink with my tool this time because I'm just going in the groove and I know I'm about to use this color so no paint is going to be lost. I use less white this time and less ivory in the mix and the result is, I get a really pretty color of pink, but it has some transparency and I can see through to that blue. If I instead mix in more ivory, I'm going to get a slightly lighter color and something that covers more, as you can see. I enjoy the look of this with the lines that are laid down first and then the coloring happening second. Since probably the lime is addictive to use where it looks artsy to me. Imagine you could come up with really cool colors that overlay each other. But hadn't done this in blue, I bet it would look really cool on black. Having like thick, bold black lines that get covered by color. Yeah. So using the brush as a pen for me resulted in probably a better composition, a better layout of shapes. But using the brush, I was able to not have those outlines and still create some interesting shapes. So go ahead and play around with using your brushes as a brush and using them as a drawing tool. 32. AG Exercise: Details: Let's talk details, there's probably not going to be anything that surprises you here. I'm going to show some wet on dry, so obviously just layering more paint. That's what Gaussian acrylic washer great for. Maybe I'll grab some beige and ivory mix. I'm going to go in here and kind of paint a design. Nice having the colors all mixed up with acrylic squash because I have to do less catering to my palette and I can just kind of let things happen. Remember I didn't show it here, but just like I showed with other paints, you can paint things separately. If you're an illustrator, you can paint a bunch of perfume bottles and then another paper paint a bunch of decorations, and then combine them later in Photoshop or Illustrator and have a bunch of options. You can see I did some light on dark there to create some detail. We can also do thicker areas of paint. Let's say, I want to do some highlights. I can go on here, add highlight, then I can also put a little bit of black on my palette. Take a darker pink and a bit of shadow down here. Layering with paint is always great. You can also just take the black and use my brush as a pen. Again, I just don't have to worry at all about accidentally picking up some of that paint from below. Then of course I've got my trusty pens and ink. I'm going to grab these guys are probably dry enough now to add some details. The details are nice you can see, so this paint wasn't dry all the way and I can feel that my nib carved through there. Details just really, because this color is vibrant, it's beautiful as is. But when you add details, you really just complete the whole thing. You give the eye somewhere to go and somewhere to look. One thing I have been neglecting to share because I just don't do it myself, is you can use a dry brush as well to create some texture. I just dried off my brush. It's a smaller one and I've got no water on it and I'm going to go right. I'm going to go right into the black paint, is really trying to make sure everything's dry. I don't want it to be nice and smooth. What I can do is I can dry brush some texture in here. Another nice thing if you're working digitally you can do, you can make some dry textures in black. Then you would be able to bring these into Photoshop. You could actually use those as textures on top of your paint and change the color of them. A dry brush is definitely a viable option. You can see that even though this isn't an excellent illustration or anything, but even just adding a few lines and some texture just gives it way more interested. It makes it look like it's a more fun and interesting piece to look at. It gives our eyes something more to follow. All the directions of these lines are going to inform how the eye moves around. Taking the time to add details whether it's layering and more paint or using pen and ink is going to be very helpful. That's acrylic wash. 33. Thankyou: Thank you so much for taking this class. I truly, truly hope that if you are like me and you're just feeling like, everybody is painting better than you and you can't figure it out, that you find some things in this class that you can really enjoy and you'll look forward to and it gets you painting more. Because again, it's the practice that's key. There are two things I want to share really quickly before we go. The first is that I've done a lot of my learning about painting from classes like this, watching other people on a screen paint. I can tell you now for certain that after making one, that sometimes the paints look different coming through the camera than they look in real life. Sometimes where it looks like a painter just has the perfect consistency of flat map paint, it might just be the camera doing a little bit more justice. Helen [inaudible] is one of my favorite painters to watch her videos of, because I love watching her paint consistency and this is happening to me where it just looked absolutely perfect. But then I would see still shots of her work and in the still shots I was able to see like the varying washes and just a little bit more character of that paint. If yours isn't matching up how mine looks, it could be a little bit of that camera. The second thing I want to bring up is all of your favorite painters, the most talented people we can think of, they didn't get that way overnight. They did it by practicing and no amount of success or followers or pages painted, is going to mean that you are happy and love what you do every single day. Sometimes if you feel bad painting, or you feel like you're not good at it. Just last week I experienced a mini meltdown where suddenly, regardless of all the successes that I've been able to have so far in my illustration career, I just totally didn't believe in myself. It was just a passing feeling and it wasn't true, it was all fine. But in those moments it was really rocky and it was really painful. I reached out to creative friends and I went for a walk and I'd drink some water and it passed and I started painting and again. If you run into those walls, those resistancy walls, don't take it as an indication that you're in the wrong field. It's part of it, that's part of the art journey is facing that resistance and moving through it. If you like what you did here today, then you can follow me on Skillshare to be alerted of all new classes, that I do and if you're looking for more day-to-day, social interaction, then you can give me a follow on Instagram. Thank you.