Inspired Watercolor Prep Course | Diane Flick | Skillshare

Inspired Watercolor Prep Course

Diane Flick, Artist & Art Teacher

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11 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. 01 Introduction

    • 2. 02 Materials

    • 3. 03 Mixing

    • 4. 04 Wet into Wet 1

    • 5. 05 Wet into Wet 2

    • 6. 06 Blending Edge

    • 7. 07 Shadow Blending

    • 8. 08 Textures

    • 9. 09 Thin Lines 1

    • 10. 10 Thin Lines 2

    • 11. 11 Recap


About This Class


In this course, you'll learn a variety of techniques to paint with watercolor in order to create different effects. You will learn how to achieve different subtle blends, fine lines, and the mottled texture required for the 'Inspired Watercolor for Beginners' course. It is meant for the complete novice equipped with basic art materials.  It is also meant to be a concise, efficient class that offers lots of great information in a small amount of time.

You will be carefully supported and guided through the entire process, from discussing which materials you will need, to how to hold your brush, how much color or water to apply and how to manipulate it on paper, onto avoiding common missteps that may lead to frustration. 

When we are finished, you will walk away with a new set of skills you can use in many watercolor paintings, and specifically, to use in the 'Inspired Watercolor for Beginners' seashell painting class.

Supplies you will need:

  • Watercolor mixing tray
  • Jar of water
  • Watercolor tube paints (only one darker color needed for this course, a set of 10-12 colors is ideal for the next class, Inspired Watercolor for Beginners)
  • Brushes: Round watercolor brush size 8 / Fine liner size 0
  • Cold press watercolor paper (140#)
  • Test strips of watercolor paper
  • Tape and a board
  • Sponge or towel


1. 01 Introduction: Hi there. Welcome to the prep course for inspired watercolor for beginners. My name is Diane. I've been teaching art for 12 years and making art my whole life. And today we're going to explore some techniques that are going to be necessary to make this beautiful painting in the inspired watercolor for beginners. Course what we're gonna do in this short course, the prep course is gonna look something like this. It's just a series of practice techniques that we're going to use to make the seashells later on the techniques. We're gonna practice our wet into wet, and that is a technique that looks something like one of these where you have water first and then paint. We use that for thes shadows on the shells as well as some of the softer colors in the shells were going to do some fine lines, like these texture on the top show and the very thin lines on the middle show. We're just gonna practice that with a very tiny brush. We're also going to do sicker blended lines like on the bottom shell. Here, you'll see that on the techniques card, and finally we learn how to blend edges to make very soft edges, and we're going to use that several times in the sea shells painting. So this class is appropriate for people who never or very rarely painted with watercolor before. If you've ever been frustrated with watercolor and would like to learn how to control it and use it a little bit more, it is not a class designed for watercolor artists who are looking for more of a challenge. I hope you enjoy it. 2. 02 Materials: So we're just gonna talk about the materials you need for this techniques class. They're very similar to the ones you used for the mixing class. We need a water color mixing. Trey, you need a jar of water. You need your watercolor paints. Tubes are the my preferred method. We're only gonna really use one color for this class. So you just want to pick a brighter color. Don't use yellow, but any of the other colors air Fine. Only because yellow doesn't show up that well you're going to need to brush is one larger one. This is the same one we use for the mixing class. It's about half the width of my pinky finger, and the brushes usually have a little number up at the top of the wooden part. If you find the numbers you would want about a size eight round brush which looks like this , it's tapered at the tip. Usually was a fine point. You'll also need a really tiny skinny brush. This one just have Ah, nice. Fine point on it. Um, zero. A size one. Anything that's just really skinny and fine is is great. A scrap of watercolor paper taped to a piece of board and some test strips for testing your color and the towel or sponge to soak up your extra water. 3. 03 Mixing: So now we're going to just mix a really bright color. So to do that, you can do the dip and scrape that we did in the mixing class. You want to fill this up about 3/4 of the way so that we have plenty of color, and then we're gonna use this color to make a lighter version of the same color. So we'll end up with just two colors. Just do a simple color. One color squeeze out of the tube is perfectly fine. This coat this class is not about matching colors. It's about painting techniques. So I'm going to use Dark Red since it's gonna show up really nicely on film and I really like red. Then I squeeze quite a bit of it into their because I really want to have a nice break color. So I'm gonna mix it all around, get rid of any lumps, lots of lumps, air stuck on the brush. I'm gonna really get rid of those. There's a lot stuck on the bridge. Well, I'm going to scrape it to get them all off and then go back and make some more, and I'm going to test it I just want to make sure you have a nice dark color that is nice and dark. Soak it up. Now, I'm just gonna take one brush full of that and scrape it into another cup and add a bunch of water. So I have a nice light version of the same thing. Mix that up, scrape test, and that's probably a little too light. We do want to be able to see it, so I'm gonna add some more darker red parents touch, get more color. So I rinse in touch, remember, because I don't want to add water to my dark color that will make my dark color lighter. That's getting better. I'm gonna add a little bit more. We just want to make sure the two colors are very far apart. We don't want them toe look alike, but we do want to be able to really see that light color, too. Then that looks pretty good. 4. 04 Wet into Wet 1: So now we're just going to explore the techniques that are gonna be necessary for us to make this painting in the watercolor seashells class. The first technique we're gonna do is called wet into wet, and we're gonna pull some color off after putting the color in. So this if you can see on each of these shelves there, the base color is a very, very light yellow. So that's where we're going to use. This technique is just the first coat of light yellow. So for this, we're gonna use our light color that we just mixed. Get a nice big brush full of paint and paint in just an area. Doesn't have to be a circle. It could be a square. Whatever shape you want, rinse touch, and then you can you can either pick up your border, leave it flat whatever you want, but you're gonna take your clean, dry brush or the brush that you just touched on the towel and just wipe right through that color, and you can do it again if you need to. What we're trying to achieve is kind of ah, lighter area on the right side of the shape we just painted in 5. 05 Wet into Wet 2: another way to do this is where you paint an area of water. First, touch your sponge. If there's excess water, just tell your board and look at it in the lights. You can see the shiny water and touch the drip. Then grab Cem color and drop it in, and you can see that you can use that as a vehicle to believe the color around. I live in the same thing. We're gonna just tilt the board, touch any big drips, rinse touch again. I am wiped through a section on the right. The reason we're doing that is because there's a highlight on each one of these See shows. So what the wiping is so that we can achieve that highlight, and you can just do it as much as you need to What you don't want to do with wiping or brushing and any time and watercolor is over and over and over and over again, because it will weaken your paper eventually, and it might start to rip. So do it as little as you can to achieve the effect you want 6. 06 Blending Edge: next, We're going to do what into it with blending and edge. And this is what we're going to do to get these shadows in there, which will actually be one of the last steps in the painting. But I want to show it to you now, since we just did a wet into what technique? So for this you were gonna paint your shadow first, and I'm just gonna pretend there's a seashell right here, and I'm doing this upside down. So this is my lighter color of the two. I'm gonna rinse, touch my sponge, and then grab my darker color and drop it in right at the beginning in the end and then rinse again. And I've got quite a bit of water pooling up here, So I'm gonna just go around and very gently touch it and kind of push this dark color back because it's bleeding more than I wanted to into the light color. I wanted to kind of stay at the tips. And then, lastly, once you've got those controlled, you would rinse, touch your towel and wipe the edge, making sure the tip of the brush is really touching that edge. But that's really the only part touching the edge. So you want the body of the brush outside of the shape. You're just going around the edge to soften it on the outside. Sometimes when you blend, there's an extra edge that forms see is it's a drying. There's a little hard edge that's forming there. You'll probably see that happen to you a lot during this class. And if it does, just rinse your brush touch again and go at that new edge and very gently wipe. And the more you do this, the more it will stop forming. So I'm just kind of massaging that one edge that was forming a hard line again. So just with the greatest of patients, kind of go around and suddenly wipe ending any new edges that are forming also, once you're happy with it, if you choose to blow dry, you can angle the blow dryer pointing towards that edge, and it will force the color back towards the sea show. And that will also create a really nice effect If you point at the opposite direction. What will happen is the color will blow out towards this edge and create a new hearted, so you definitely always want to be blowing towards the soft part of the edge. 7. 07 Shadow Blending: Another technique I'm going to show you is putting in the gray er shadows on these shells and blending around them. So for that we can use a little bit of the darker color and just paint a strip of color, not very much pain, and then rinse your brush, touch your towel and go back and very much like we just wiped that edge on the cast shadow just kind of wiped the edge here. Now, here, you're gonna be painting over a color that's already painted on. We're going to painting over the yellow, so that's where you don't want to blend too much because you may start to pull the color off. So I only did it twice on that edge, and I'm gonna turn the board around and do it this way to brush, always pointing towards the edge you want softer, just gently back and forth, wiping as little as you have to to get the desired effect 8. 08 Textures: so we're gonna be doing some textures. Now, Um, we'll start with these thicker lines on the bottom shell, get some of the darker paint and start with a little thin edge here and then press a little harder as you go. Just so the bristles splay out and get thicker. And then as you come up, you're gonna pull up on the brush so it gets thinner at the tip, then rinse touch. If you have a giant amount of pain, go ahead and soak up the drip. I don't have too much, so I'm not going to soak it up. Then you just go back and kind of wiped the edge. And this has to be less precise than this because you actually do want it to look a little bit line e like you've kind of brushed through it a few times. It creates a really nice effect. So I'm not even gonna bother turning my board because I don't want it to be very perfect. I wanted to be a little bit mussed up. I'm just gonna rinse and wipe a few times. What? I don't want his super hard lines like that, so I'm gonna make sure and get rid of anything like that. But otherwise that's fine. And then, if you have frayed tips like I have, you can go back and just agitate them a little bit, and this should be very pointy. So I'm gonna go back with this the tip of my brush, and form that into a nice point. 9. 09 Thin Lines 1: So then we're gonna explore the texture on this top show, which we're gonna use the tiny brush for, um, for this will use a combination of the light and dark. So start with the light and, um, go ahead and just imitate the bottom edge of a show. Just some little scallops like that. And then you'll pull up some lines from each point. And when you pull up, you're gonna press a little bit at the tip and then kind of just let the brush float off the paper, so that's really barely even noticeable. But that's when we go back with the dark color and go over a lines and dark in them a little bit. So this is gonna look very outlined for right now, which is fine. Then, once you've done that, you'll have a little bit of paint left on your brush. You can just kind of go between the lines and, um, kind of randomly brush. Just put a few extra lines in the middle, a little more haphazardly, something like that. To create the texture. You can also rinse. Touch your sponge barely with the teeny brush you don't want to touch your sponge your tell too much, because then you'll end up with a completely dry brush. It just doesn't hold water. So just touch the towel very briefly so that you get most of the water out. And then you can go back and brush through that texture just to loosen it up, break it up a little bit, but also to create more of a lining texture. 10. 10 Thin Lines 2: And then the last thing we're gonna do is practice these very thin lines for this. The middle shell here so you can see there is lighter and darker, and for the lighter one, we're just going to use the light paint. So get a little bit of paint on your brush and just as steadily as you can paint a little smile, and that's all you have to dio for the darker one. You're going to use the same technique, but press a little bit harder with the brush, have a little bit more pain, even go back over it a couple times to try to make it. Send a thicker and then grab some of the dark color and kind of have a lot of it on the brush and just drop it into the darker area and let it bleed into the lighter color. You can further if you need to, you can wipe your brush, go back and kind of force the dark to bleed into the light, and you can also make the tips a little bit finer, just like I did over here with a large brush 11. 11 Recap: So, to recap what we did today, we learned some different techniques. We learned how to do wet in tow, wets We learned how to do some fine line textures, had a blend, thicker lines and how to do a couple different shapes of blending edges. And I hope you had a great time doing it. You now have the skills needed to approach this seashell painting, which you can do any inspired watercolor for beginners class. If you are interested in any other classes, I have other ones online, so please check him out. Have a great day.