How to Paint Toads: Eastern Narrowmouth Toad | Joy Neasley | Skillshare

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How to Paint Toads: Eastern Narrowmouth Toad

teacher avatar Joy Neasley, Watercolor Wildlife & Nature Artist

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (1h 28m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Foundation Layers: Highlights

    • 4. Foundation Layers: Darks

    • 5. Building Layers: Part 1

    • 6. Building Layers: Part 2

    • 7. Building Layers: Part 3

    • 8. Building Layers: Part 4

    • 9. Watercolor Glaze

    • 10. The Illusion of Details part 1

    • 11. The Illusion is Details Part 2

    • 12. You Did It!

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About This Class

Welcome.  Whether for school, enjoyment, or professional artwork sketching and painting opens the eyes and heart to the world around you. Watercolor is an amazing medium.  This course is perfect for the beginner with a very basic knowledge of watercolor technique and color mixing.  And is also perfect for the intermediate watercolor student.  Whether painting in your nature journal or creating a fine art painting or illustration, you will enjoy painting this little toad.  

A reference photo and a pre-sketched underpainting sketch is attached to this class in the project and resources section to help you get started and follow along in the class.

Grab a journal and let's get started.

  • Introduction
  • Supplies
  • Foundation Layers: Highlights
  • Foundation Layers: Darks
  • Building Layers: Part 1
  • Building Layers: Part 2 
  • Building Layers: Part 3
  • Building Layers: Part 4
  • Watercolor Glaze
  • The Illusion of Details part 1
  • The Illusion is Details Part 2
  • You Did It!


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Joy Neasley

Watercolor Wildlife & Nature Artist


Watercolor Wildlife and Nature Artist (full-time), and photographer (part-time).


 Currently based out of Tennessee, Joy Neasley is a watercolor artist specializing in Tennessee wildlife and nature.  She enjoys painting in the outdoor natural sunlight with a small pallette of quality watercolor paints, white gouache, and 100% cotton, archival HP watercolor paper.  

     Many ask if she has painted all her life.  The answer is no.  Born in East Texas, as a teenager Joy would often disappear to a nearby farm field to read, write, and draw.  By the time she was 19, Joy let drawing take a backseat to motherhood and family life.  It was not until 2009 that she began drawing again.  From 2009 she focused on... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, My name is Joy. I'm a water color, wildlife and nature artist. I love watercolor. It's an amazing medium. You can get anywhere from abstract to surface design to doodles perfect for nature journaling, which is what I love to do most. However, I also have a project going on right now. I'm trying to paint as much of the wildlife in Tennessee native to Tennessee as I can. One of those little animals is Eastern narrow mouth Toad. It's only about an inch inch and 1/4 big, and today we're gonna learn how to paint it. Welcome. Come and join me. There are P D EFS and a JPEG image of the reference photo for you to get started. View the supply video and we'll get get going. Grab your supplies. Let's go. 2. Supplies: preparing for this class. I went to the Nashville Zoo and I did manage to get a few reference photos of our barn swallows. However, they weren't that great. Uh, camera equipment I have does not do well in my life. I m the barn. These guys we're in was a bit dark, so I'll include the two reference photos with this class in the reference or the section at the bottom. I believe it's on right attached and what I did. Waas. I went online and I searched Burnell anatomy. The I took the reference photos that I took and came up with the bodies. I elongated this one a little bit to stand him up right a little more, and I turned their faces towards me, and I used my research online for that. I also watched YouTube videos on, uh, barn owls. I watched videos on Instagram. I did some search of photos and made sure that I got their little apple shaped face is just right. Also, their feet were challenging, and I might tweet those a little bit. As we go, I'm gonna also attach the sketch that I've done here. It's very loose sketch of my barn owls the way I've done them, so that you if you're not great at drawing yet you still need to work on your drawing skills. You can just use a light box with print out the image that I attached to the class, and he's a light box or window to transfer it, trace it over to your paper. Now, I had some problems sketching and didn't want to waste my quality paper, which I'll show you in a minute and, uh, use tracing paper. And I wanted this to be 11 by 14. And tracing paper you get at the local discount store is not going Teoh the large enough. So I picked this up. I believe it was a Dairies are drama, but you could get a role of tracing paper. This one's 12 inches wide. Get him in varying links at professional art stores. Also get him online, and I trade. I sketched it all out, and I didn't tracing paper because I wanted to use my light box that I have here. I got this one off Amazon. I'm not sure the name of it it doesn't have it on it. I looked but what this does it comes with a little cord that you either plug in or attached to your computer, and it'll light up in three different three different, uh, strengths. I usually put it at the highest. Andi, I'll use. Put this over it. And then I used my stone hander, my arches hot pressed paper, 100% cotton rag. He's out of the way and I trace it over. You'll see here that I came up with the sketch, completed the sketch. I also turned around and tweak to the feet a little more. This is the sketch that is included with this class for you to use if you so desire. Now you can also go online and research out of the own observations. Watch videos go to a zoo. Maybe you have a friend with a farm. You can go see your own barn owls. It's always good to observe in person. For this, I'm gonna use winds or Newton professional watercolor paints and one out of my Scotsman, because I'm out of it over here in my Windsor Newton profession. So one would be mostly using the sepia the wrong burn number in the Romberg seen us for this. I'll also use a white wash if you want to pick up a small tube that on, I think that covers it for the paint's. I measured this out to be in 11 by 14. That's size I wanted the only other item you're gonna need. IHS a board or piece of foam core board to take this down, too. And you're gonna take it down. And with painters, Teoh artists, painters tape, for in my case, I use masking tape, and I just stick to my clothes a few times so that it won't tear up my painting. And then I'm going. Teoh, take this down so that my water colors do not wrinkle my page. Now this is 100 and £40 hot press 300 gs, my thinkers paper, but it's still if you end up using a very wet Washington Swink, which I do, especially when I glaze over towards the end. We'll see you do that I to make absolutely sure that were taped down, so let me see. I think that's pretty much everything you're gonna need for this class. Come back in a few minutes and we will get started. Can't wait to get these foreign else Go on your perfect for the fall season. See in a minute. 3. Foundation Layers: Highlights: Okay, hopefully have traced your frog out or drawn it out and we're going to start mixing. We have burnt number. I'm deluding it quite a bit here, and I'm going to add that to the areas of where our lightest highlights are in the brownish areas on our eastern narrow mouth. And then I also kind of Darkman a little bit on the darker areas to just cover that area while I'm there. Thes first layers are mapping out our colors. I'm going to start with my highlights on this one and get that started. You'll see here. I'm starting with my highlights on the Brown's. Now I'll do my highlights in the black and gray areas after I do the darkest darks, so this layer should not take too long. But you do need to make sure it drives before you start. The dark's in the next lesson. I have sketched this out. Now your frog or toad, Eastern narrow mouth toad. You were going to want to use a kneaded eraser or a very softy racer and lighten the lines a little bit. I've left mine dark so that you can see them. However it works, the highlights and areas work better when you can not worry about your lying showing through them, so make sure they're very light. If you drew them a little darker, just lighten them up. A kneaded eraser will lift it off if you have a gummy kneaded eraser. If you don't, I use a uh I think it's Patel mental clicky racer with, and they have very soft erasures in them, so it doesn't tear the paper damage the surface of the paper at all. Now, even though these air highlights you need to paint in the direction of his skin and the direction of the layers, for instance, the center of the body where it goes across from his hind side to his nose. Take note of that because that will be where your strokes go up a touch and your strokes will go down on the on each side, even though the far side we don't see a little bit of it. The flattened area. So you're gonna want to kind of go sideways on for your strokes here so that we give a little little bit of a flattened area to the top there. Now, even though that won't show much in this layer. I always paint in the directions that give me shape or texture by way, fur or feathers. Um, in this case, we have skin and warts on the toads have warts. This one has a few smaller ones, so I will paint in the direction of that to kind of give the shape a start that saves us a lot of work later. Now I'm not doing a very wet based on this. A lot of people love to start out with a real wet on wet, tight base layers to their paintings. And I do do that sometimes. However, for this frog I'm using just a little bit of water enough to dilute it, and I'm painting wet on dry, as you can see here and the reason why, as I want a little more control, this painting is just five by seven. It's not a large painting, so I'm gonna need the detail to show a little more with a little bit drier brush rather than what on wet. I always work more wet in the beginning and then get drier and drier as I go with the water . So just fill in the brown spots. As I've said on here, there's not too many of them, and you'll start seeing a little bit of shape come out. Um, and then we're gonna move into the darkest darks in the next lesson. So I'll see you then. 4. Foundation Layers: Darks: there's a lot of detail. So life assumed into this one a little more, and we're going to start painting the darkest darks. I'm using a mixture of black. It's basically some sepia mixed with, I believe, and Dini thrown blue. You can use any blue you have, and I've also added a little scarlet red to it, which you can also use any red you have. The mixture of those three should come up dark. If it looks a little light, just add a little more sepia to it that looks a little brown. Add some more blue to it. You just mix until you get a good mixture of black. And in this case, it doesn't even have to be black black. At this point, we're just mapping out our frog or toad. Yeah, or but I'm going to start with the darkest darks here. Or this is the layer for the darkest darks. And when I say that, I'm not saying we should get this black, black, black, really deep black at this point because most likely, it's not going to watercolor dries lighter. It takes quite a few layers to get a deep black. However, this is gonna map out those dark areas for this eastern, narrow mouth tote. We're gonna work. Make sure when we work with the eyes that we're getting. Thea, um, pupils. I believe it is nice and dark. And don't forget to leave a little space for the highlight. I think I went into the highlight. A little highlight area just a little bit on mine. But by doing this, we're going to start getting out the area of our focus. I always prefer the most detail where I want the I of the person observing my artwork to bay. That will be where the focus is much like with a camera. You take a picture, you want to focus on where you want everybody to see now with ease, wildlife, I always like that to be the face and the eyes in particular because we just naturally look at the ice. So by taking the greatest care in that area, we will have a more realistic picture in the end. And I have less detail as I move farther from the focus area. Then I dio the focus area. And the reason why is because that also draws the eye to the focus area. When you take a picture, are you looking at something it? If you stare at it, you will notice that as you get into your Peru, feel vision. Things are not is detailed. Same with the camera photo. Everything gets fuzzier slightly a little at a time, the further and further away it gets from that focal area. Also, it gets fuzzier when things are farther behind your focus area or if they're in front of your focus area. Have you ever taken a picture where you're photographing somebody and there's a flower, something at the bottom that's closer to you and it comes out blurry. The background also comes out blurry. That's because your focus area is where it's drawing your eye to, and that's what we're going to try to accomplish here now, with these darkest darks were mapping them out. We're getting also painting in direction. If you notice this line is not a line, you rarely see me paint a line. What you see is me paint above and below the line in little dots or jagged areas, and that creates your three D look rather than a straight line, which would give you more of a cartoon. Look to your image. Now, the first layer. No matter what you do, it's gonna have that illustrative cartoon book. However, as we go and build up the layers, we're going to create texture. We're gonna create depth, shadow, richness and vibrancy and the colors we're gonna create shape as we build it all up in watercolor. Every layer counts. I'm gonna speed this. Well, this is sped up just a little bit. I'm gonna let you follow along between this and your reference photo and just work on those darkest areas. Don't worry about the gray in between right now. We'll do that later. And I wouldn't worry about the shadows either. Just map out your eastern, narrow mouth toad and you're gonna see him start coming toe life a little here. So have fun. And I will touch base with you in a few minutes after this layer has completely dried. Which means it is no longer cool to the touch. There's no sheen to it. When you look at it from the side, it'll be 100% dry. And then we will begin building on this layer to the next If you don't wait for it to dry, you're going to get a muddy mixture of colors rather than the rich, vibrant colors were looking for, so I'll see you in a minute. 5. Building Layers: Part 1: I love this stage says. We start to build. He's gone, take shape. He's gonna come to life. Now I'm mixing a little bit of burnt number here with some of my white wash, just a little white wash. The reason for that is I've noticed it, the look and the texture of this eastern, narrow mouth toad. It just looks like it needed it in this area. So as I go over, I'm going to do with the more paint on the brush, the areas that are a little darker in this section and then as the paint. Before I put my add more to, it diminishes. I would use the lighter Teoh, go closer into the highlighted areas, and I'm also painting again along the shape of this frog and his skin. And I'm doing that so that we gradually we'll have a rounded potbelly on this little guy. Now, as you notice these narrow mouth Eastern Norma frogs, her toads, I should say all frogs or toads notes feel around all toads and frogs, but not all frogs or toads. But if you look Eastern narrow mouse have more of a turtle face and a big potbelly and they all have that little fold that goes across the top of their head. So those some features that we want to bring out, so that when people look at this, if somebody that knows frogs looks at this painting, they can say that is an eastern, narrow mouth toad. So I have a few friends that if they looked at this, they would point out things that I did wrong. So I want to make sure those identifying features air in there. Now if you noticed there's some areas where there's a little brown and we're going to be building up layers. But I want to add these little brown areas now so that I can start building up and it'll start bringing out the shape as you notice. Right now, he looks like he's looking towards us, and that's because I haven't filled in shadow and things like that get him to look a little closer to, um, the direction he's supposed to be looking. So it'll all turn out in the long run now for this layer and all the other layers that were building up. We're going to slowly even out the tonal values we start with the lightest lights and the darkest darks. And then, as we look at our reference photo, we're going to start filling it in and slowly bringing those tones together toward they all blend together and create a nice even tone across the whole toad. The whole image. This past spring I heard a few of these up a Dunbar Cave in Clarksville, Tennessee, and I was so amazed how loud their screams were for such little guys. Is there only an inch to an inch and 1/4 big full girl that I went toothy nature center, a dumber cave, and I had to ask, What is that screaming out there? And they told me what it waas, and I was amazed at how loud such a little guy could be. As you see here, I'm painting in the direction that I'm seeing the skin lay in the reference photo. I'm also adding darker tone to the areas to create roundness and leaving those highlights right now alone. I will paint over those a little bit later, Um, Teoh, bring Aumento more even tones with the other colors, but for now, I'm trying to create the round of some Peyton in the direction of the skin, paying attention to dark, the darker areas of the paintings in the lighter areas of the painting. All this goes together now, in a minute, you're also going to see me paint the eye. For that. I am going to be using a little sepia mixed with my birth number and a touch very slight touch of my black mixture to get the color of the eye. And right now I'm just going to do it. That color I know the reference photo has specs and highlights in there. I'll work on that and further layers, so enjoy adding thes. You'll see me go here in a minute, also with some of the black, to start bringing out some of those areas. My black mixture and I add, as you can see right now, I am adding a little bit of the for number. To get those darker colors, I will go in. Add that into the black, too, as we go, and that will very the black a little bit. You don't want a solid black and one color. There's different hues in it, just like all the other colors, so we're gonna use it now. These eyes look really dark and off right now because the tones air off. We'll even out later. So have fun finished this section. We're gonna let this one completely drive when we're done, and then I'm going to go back and start working on the gray areas in the next lesson. See you soon. 6. Building Layers: Part 2: we have definitely entered the ugly duckling stage of this painting. And I call that the middle stages. Evening out the tones. You see me over here mixing black, I'm going to make it more of a grayish black here, Um, you'll see me go back and add number sepia. Well, burn number sepia. A little bit of, uh, in the Nathan blue and a little scarlet red. And you see me continue to mix those until I get a shade that I'm looking for. And then I'm going to start defining the details around the face a little bit. I'm getting it closer. You'll see what I mean here in a minute by the ugly duckling phase of this painting. As we go along this section, here we go. I'm getting it just right here. I'm creating a little watery section off to the side that's a little more diluted and, um, using my reference photo here to make sure that I'm getting the eye right here and that little lip that we need for the identification of the Eastern narrow math toad. I'm also using a number two about 1/4 inch flat brush, and I'm using that to get some of these details. Sometimes I will splay the ends of it a little bit to kind of spread the bristles out. So it's not a solid line. This helps me create the shadowy look on the lip and around the face because those aren't lines. What that is is, uh, shadows creating the illusion of a line. So that's what we want to Dio got his nose here. He has nostrils. He she am not sure which it iss. Also, we need to start creating depth here. So I'm going to start defining the black a little more, starting to add a touch in the shadows by way of changing their, um, Hugh, but changing it a little darker, not quite as diluted. That's all gonna create shape to get our details straight. Here you see me making sure the eyes around it, and if you look around the eye, there's a little lip before it goes into the skin, it's not flat. So that's what I'm creating here, using shadows along the edges with this flat brush. I'm going to come back here in a minute and add the people and you'll see that I kind of cover up My highlight. That's okay. I'm gonna go back and fix that with the white wash, if you can prevent that. Do, uh, keep your highlight in there without having to pay. Did, in sexually the best option. But often times I get a little carried away and I end up going back with white washed to fix that. Okay, I'm making sure I get under his neck to get that three d look. And I'm not being precise right now with the wrinkles in the skin or the wards. I'm just creating definition here with the darker areas and adding what appear to be lines , but aren't to give it direction. And if you notice I changed the direction of my flat brush to match the direction, say down the side, it's going up under. I'm going to change the direction of my brush because I still want to follow those guidelines. I want to follow that to give the illusion and every one of these little tidbits of information I'm giving you by way of ah, following the skin following the regal's using your brush to create the direction. Um, with all of our brushes every one of these little tidbits add up to creating a fairly realistic image when you're finished a realistic painting. Now I like to keep my paintings a little painterly, so I guess it's the way I want to say it. And that's because I want people to know this is art. This is not a photograph. I'm pretty good at taking photographs, um, as a photographer, and I don't want this to appear that way. If I wanted a photograph, I would personally, he's one of my photographs. I'm wanting a piece of art here that someone can appreciate. It's pleasing to the eye, and at the same time it provides a fun way to learn the animals around you to express your personality and your deck, or if you love animals or the forest or the wild. If you have a favorite pet, and by keeping this painterly, it just keeps it's something special. And that's what comes across in my commission pieces that people value. OK, I'm still working on the face here, adding little did tidbits using more deluded black to create the gray, adding a touch more blue is necessary. I tend to go with a medium blue rather than a dark blue for the gray. When I'm wanting it more black, I go with a dark blue. This can seem a little tedious. You notice. I'm adding a touch of birth number around the eyes to give some shadow. I want to make sure I'm starting to get some of those shadows in. This isn't by all means, nowhere near finished. We're probably, at the end of this lesson, going to be about 50% finished, so we still have half are painting to go. And even though we're starting to see definitions that ugly duckling face, you have to push through it because it's when you push through it. You're going to see this painting come to life if you quit now, because in your opinion it doesn't look good. You're not going to get the satisfaction of seeing the amazing results. This little knows I'm trying to make sure I get the direction writes. I'm throwing in a few highlights here with the whitewash that I will continue to go over in the further layers. You'll see me go back and forth with that because I want to make sure that I'm getting the shape right by using the shadows in the direction of the brush for this toad. Okay, now for the gray, that silvery grey in the reference photo I'm using a kind of almost light cool blue. And I'm blip blending it in with the black where I'm getting almost, uh, turquoise, sea tinted black. And I'm using that for my like, greif that silvery Now it's gonna come out dark. At first, we're gonna go over these areas with a little whitewashing back over with the same mixture , and thats eventually going to give us what we want making sure I define those feet a little more slowly building it up. You'll see me go back and forth with the highlights on these because I want the dark in the highlights to kind of blend in. But I want TEM separate also, I'm not sure that made much sense. I'm wanting them to show through, but I go back and forth on it because I need those darks to create the shadow. And again, we're not using lines to create those shadows. I'm using upward strokes and downward strokes and a rounded type fashion to get thes toes. I'm going to the same around the folds, on its legs and around the potbelly and around that flap across his face. As I do this, you see me slowly going and adding that little turquoise and gray to these areas to build up the folds in the legs and to add depth behind the leg, where the body and the leg kind of come together as he sits. You see my little mixture has a touch of blue, too, but it's not a dark blue. It's a turquoise sea looking blue. Silver is hard to obtain and watercolor, but we can give the illusion of it. Getting these folds with this brush and we just keep dabbing and and if you afraid you messed up, just keep going. I promise you, this will come together trying to make sure I get that little hump and over and his back, the area that's flat. Granted, I'm not focusing right now on the warts and the things like that. I'll bring that out in the details later towards the last 25% of the painting. Yeah, we go to get this little dimension in around his neck along the side, around his knee. I wanted to find that knee now here and see me at a little white wash for the highlighted areas within the brown sections and on his knee and on his face to start bringing out some of the features these air it will bring out. As you see it will make up his feature start popping where you can see them now. I'm also going to mix a little bit of this whitewash with a touch of the burnt sienna. I'm sorry that was burnt number and just a hair of the Scarlet Lake. And that's going to give me a slight change in this brown to start creating shadows with because if you look at the reference photo, it's not just a tan ish brown color. There's a touch of red and areas of it very slight. So I'm adding some scarlet lake to this. Um, if you don't have scarlet like you could also add one of the pink here reds just very lightly. Just a hair, because those reds will darken your color fast. They're very strong. A pigment in them. Same with blues loser. The same way. Okay, this layer is finished here, so I'll see you in a few minutes for the next layer. When this is completely dry 7. Building Layers: Part 3: Welcome back. You should be starting to see a nice little toad forming. We're going, Teoh, in this layer enhance the darks. Samore especially starting to form shape. I'm using a detailed ah quadruple zero brush. The reason why is we're gonna be working on the darks. And if you look in the silvery grey and darker areas of the blacker areas of this toad, any reference photo, you'll see that there's a lot of detail in there. So while I'm not trying to put all the detail in here, I'd rather have the illusion of detail in my paintings. I do need to sort of scribble in some of the darker areas before we add more the lighter areas. You should start seeing areas for highlight a little easier. Remember, as we paint these edges, if you paint in the direction you're going, it was reflect in the end painting. Even though this is not our final layer, you notice when I'm doing curves I'm painting in the direction of the curve The strokes air in the direction of the curve. I'm also here going to add a little dark to the bottom of the I. I don't want a solid black people in his I I would like just a hair along the bottom, and we'll add a few more layers to that to create depth and roundness to his Ike's. Right now it looks a little flat. We've got his nose and his face starting to look a little rounder, adding in his little nostrils here and details to get his face. Now this is gonna turn out pretty dark here as we continue to go. But through the next few rounds it'll get lighter, darker, lighter, darker as we go. So you'll see it's still in that ugly duckling phase. But you're starting to see an actual toad come to life. Here are tonal values. They're gonna be way out of whack here, adding, all these darks, though even out a little more in the next layer, trying to get some of these details on this face to start coming out. We're not adding detail as much as we're just adding some shadows here for the Dark's, the detail will pop out as we go our final details, or what's going to make this whole painting pop towards the end, making sure we get under hiss uh, mouth and his neck here. Okay, one way. Paint something closer to us or down below. It helps to have it shadowed, darker and that that is farther away from us. We want lighter, even though it's the same color. You want a lighter shade of it that will give the illusion. It's further away from you, right, and you won't have such a flat painting. And that's what I'm doing on his underside here. The under side that's facing towards us is getting darker, and we can't see the under side that's facing away from us. But at the top, we can see some of the brown and along the top there that is facing away from us as it comes around, so that in our end, product is going to be lighter versus the darker. That's closest to us. I'm not drawing lines here for these dark areas. I'm scribbling in little short strokes, and I want any dark, harsh lines that are going toe look fake. In the end, these broken lines will give the illusion of detail, and technically we're not even painting lines. You're painting up next to what it issue want, highlighted and The reason for that is that the lines a little harsher, closer to the highlights and softer further away from them, that also will enhance your realism towards the end of this painting. Continue to paint. You'll see me go around his down under across his back leg. I'm also going to define out his feet in this layer his legs. When I get when you get to the hind leg, you will see that the roundness depends on your stroke and you shut your shadowing and your broken lines follow along as I do mine and you'll be able Teoh work on yours. You may want to watch it first and then go back and paint, but I just keep in mind just because there's a lot of appearance of detail. We're just adding scribbles here, and your scribbles should be in the direction that you're wanting the skin to fold or wrap around or, um, curve under, so have fun. We'll go back and forth on this one. We have a few more layers to go, so I'll see you again in the next layer 8. Building Layers: Part 4: Welcome back. We're going to start by mixing some of the life of colors here. I'm going to begin with a layer that's mixed with Sienna. Believe it's burnt Sienna and a little bit of birth number hint of just very light and of scarlet, red, scarlet, red and a little bit of the Let's see here a little bit of the yellow Oakar. Just a hint, maybe a touch more. And then I'm going to add some white wash to this to give the look that I'm looking for to match our reference photo. So I'm gonna mix this up real good. And here we go. I'm starting now. This is gonna be a tad yellow. Er, this will get closer to the color we're looking for as we paint and as it dries. So our frog is gonna look a little dark at this point. Don't worry about that. It's got gonna even out in the long run, painting in the direction of the highlights and the bumps on his skin. Not worried about shadows right now. We'll deal with that in a little bit. Remember, this layer will dry lighter and we will shade it a little more in a bit. So don't be afraid if the color here is just a tad off. A lot of people think that water color you can't change things as you paint. You can't correct things you can. It's just a matter of patients and knowing how the water color works and how layering works with all the different color values. So as we build up, we're going to get there. You can see he's already coming. The life he's still in the ugly duckling stage is trying to be careful at the top here. I want it lighter than the bottom portion in our finished product because this is the side that's going down on the other side. It's the brown coming through on this side and, ah, the way the reference photo is taken, we can see a hint of that other side. We want to make sure it looks like it's further from us, so that side will be a little more out of focused and a tad lighter. Working on shaping his back care with the lighter colors I'm painting in the direction you notice kind of downwards will curve swoop up on my strokes here I'm doing a little curve swooped down with my strokes, trying to make sure that I add them on the end. Here I am, curving the brush with my wrist, as I put lay it on, creating those little folds in his skin with the direction of the paint. Now I do not have a lot of water in this pain. I wanted a tad thicker. Do want enough water, though, that it spreads easily but doesn't dilute the color too much. The goal with this white washes to get those highlights in there with it to get the texture of the skin I'm looking for. I love White Wash. Mixed with a little water color for my, uh, wildlife portrait's. It just ends texture that you can't get with straight water color. Okay, his underside here bit, making sure to curve thes down as I go get this low colored bumps. I'm not sure I don't say wards. They're not warts. The little colored splotches he's got throughout the lower portion. Now, when we get finished with this layer, I plan to do a Clearwater glaze or Clearwater Wash. However, you want to say that, um, to start bringing these colors together before we move on any further, getting his little toes, starting to put some highlights and his legs to create the roundness. There again, I'm also using the direction of my angle flat brush to help with the curvature of his limbs , working around the eye, trying to use the highlights in the shadows of this color toe. Bring out the shape of the I starting to see his face come to life. Here. We have to remember we're going from Hiss hind down to the center of his face and down to his nose. That's where you see the center of him, everything from their curves off to each side. So when we're looking at this painting, be sure to take note of that, because the way our reference photo, he's a little off center. We probably has three or four more layers to go here, so I'm still just applying direction here, making sure I'm getting the lighter color in the areas it should be. I'm not so worried about the bright highlight yet what it does in a little bit. I do want to create direction with some of these little, uh, design black and great designed. He has gone down his face. Use that to help me create the shape of his face. Now I'm using almost dry water on dry technique here. Um, I do have a little bit of water mixed in there to help it spread, but it's almost dry on dry here for the tech make. And that's because of the detail he has that I need to simulate. And if we use too much, went on what all that will fade together. If you look the reference photo, those air harder lines, they're not soft lines went on what would create soft lines. We need a little bit harder lines in his pattern on his body here, so that's what I'm trying to accomplish. His eyes are starting to round out a bit. Gotta remember, eyes around. They're not flat. So when you're painting the pupils, you don't want to just paint a solid black circle. You want to paint the first layer down and then each subsequent layer. Add the black in the darker areas of the pupil, but not the lighter areas and that black. That ad should become a smaller and smaller area with each layer is turtle like little face here. I love these little guys. They're only an inch to an inch and 1/4 in real size. So we've really blown this up to create a five by seven drawing painting here who let this completely dry and I'll be back in just a minute. 9. Watercolor Glaze: glazing or on over laying wash will, um, bring all this together. I'm gonna use a large angled brush. And I'm going to use, in this case mostly water with a hint of scarlet lake very, very light to bring out a little of the underlying red tones and to bring the tonal value together for the whole toad for painting. And as you see, I'm using a little more in this area and angling rather than washing. But the rest of this toad will actually be a Glaser overlying wash. What that does is it brings together the tone. It adds vibrancy. It creates depth and you'll see right here I did a little too much water optimally. You just want to go over this with one quick brush in the direction of the skin on this frog. However, I did use a little too much water, Some soaking up a little, Um, preferably, Like I said, you don't want to go over an area more than once. So here you see me following the lines of the frog, the roundness of his belly and his legs, his face, Even his I I did separately. If he noticed so this will bring it all together. This will take a little time to dry. It's a quick process. Um, when we get finished with this, we're going to start adding details, and this frog is really going to come alive off the paper. Our toad, I think I said once all frogs, all toads and frogs, but not all frogs or toads. So enjoy this little Eastern narrow mouth and I'll see you in just a few minutes. 10. The Illusion of Details part 1: Okay, We're getting into the details in this layer. Also gonna do a little more wash here in a minute. Tryto get the skin to look. I'm a little more, uh, give it some more depth and bring it all together a little better. So I'm going to start here with the black around the eyes defining it because each layer the black dark ends it. It takes quite a few layers to get a dark black and watercolor on 100% cotton paper. I'm using a triple zero and a quadruple zero detail brush here, and I'm softening the edges a little bit with my fingers working on some of that bottle. Look on the bottom of the and the back of the eastern narrow mouth toad. So I'm going to continue this and just start with shadows. I also want to begin adding shadows. This layer, you'll see me kind of scribble in with the brush some shadows. One of the benefits of this model pattern on the toad. This that we can use sort of a scribble look to get it to get that model book on its skin. So I'm going to continue this all the little crevices. I'm going to start adding shadows start bringing the matter a little more. The next layer will do the lighter color with the details. We're really close here. Um, this will probably be the next to the last lesson. They'll be one more. It was just a little more detail here. I love this part. It's very meditative therapeutic to just sit here and look at it. And if it gets to where it looks too detailed, which I actually did do we'll just add a touch of a wash over it, or over the areas that need it to bring out that look we're going for. Also, I wanted a little more wet on wet on the back. If you notice in our reference photo the back and in the areas where the tan or beige use or the tope color, you will see that they're not is detailed. It's a little fuzzier there because that's not where our focus is in the camera. When this reference photo was taken, it's also not focus. We want people to see on our painting, so use a little wet on wet um, not too wet, just lightly wet and what will do with that is create a little bit more fuzzy or look on the back rather than the harsher details that we will have on the bottom. Okay, just keep going. With these little details, you can follow me or looked your reference photo and follow it. I'm just dotting thumb on at this point, getting them going and just watching this frog come to life. This frog just a little dark. Like I said, we have our lighter color coming in next. So I'll see you as soon as this Once you're finished with the dark details. 11. The Illusion is Details Part 2: the final stage. The final lesson and your toad is almost complete here. We're just adding a few details. I'm starting with the highlights using some straight white wash. And then I'm gonna dilute it down a little bit because it was too stark, too bright. But we're gonna add highlights. Increase a little bit here, the dots and details in the dark areas also, but mostly we're adding highlights. This time. I am using a lot of wash. I always end with quash and usually a quadruple zero brush. A detail brush you can see here. I'm working on the side, trying to get those highlights in there a little bit. You got to see me. Just follow through with the highlights. Follow through with the details that I'm adding. It's a basically dealing with the mixture of black and white wash. Those are the two colors we're gonna use right now. I'm gonna make sure I also add the details in the eyes and highlight around the eyes to draw them out and around the mouth to give frame to the face. While these highlights are really going to touch, give you the final touch on your painting then we'll go back with just a few darks where they need to be touched up before we end. So enjoy this. I'll see you in the conclusion. Ah, hope you post your progress. I hope you post your project. I'd love to see your toads when you're finished. 12. You Did It!: Congratulations. You're done. Your toad eastern, narrow mouth toad is finished and you're ready to frame it firmly behind glass in a man. Or if you did it in a sketchbook or journal, I hope you keep it and keep to remember by. Remember if it didn't turn out quite the way you like. All you have to do is practice water painting with water. Color and drawing are learned skills. It just takes time. I try to post a many classes as I can't each month, usually anywhere from 1 to 4. And for you to practice. If you have any questions, you can message me in the discussion section and post two projects. You're finished, project and your progress. If you're having trouble, I'd love to answer any of your questions.