Layered: Essential Watercolor Techniques | Autumn Chiu | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Layered: Essential Watercolor Techniques

teacher avatar Autumn Chiu, Watercolorist & Instagram Artist

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

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

11 Lessons (1h 10m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. What is Watercolor?

    • 4. Wet on Wet

    • 5. Layering

    • 6. Water Control

    • 7. Lifting

    • 8. Set Up

    • 9. Background

    • 10. Layered Mountains

    • 11. Final + GIVEAWAY!

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this class, you'll learn to use watercolors techniques that will improve your overall painting experience.

We will go over basic supplies, wet on wet (charging in color), glazing, water control, and lifting. You'll put these techniques to use in the final project painting!

The class is for beginners who want to learn basic, fundamental skills for watercolor painting or experienced painters who want to refresh their skills!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Autumn Chiu

Watercolorist & Instagram Artist


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi there. Welcome to this watercolor class on skills Through. My name is Autumn. I've been painting drawing for about 20 years. My art has evolved through many stages, including charcoal drawings, oil paintings and, most importantly, watercolors. Throughout my life, nothing has infatuated me more than watercolors. It's such a versatile medium, and I know that you'll love it, too. In this class, we will be going over basic watercolor techniques, including washes, glazing, blending, water control and lifting at the end of the class. You'll have a better understanding of these techniques as well as this finish watercolor painting. This class is aimed at beginners or anyone who wants a refresher. I'm a self taught watercolor is so I know it could be very difficult and frustrating to learn. But with patience and a little guidance, I know that you can master it and love it as much 2. Materials: So the first thing we're going to talk about are the supplies that you need. If you're purchasing supplies for the class, don't worry about getting the highest quality. But I would definitely urge you to stay away from dollar stores or like the cheap section of my goals or whatever art supply store you have closest to you. Um, if you're using the cheapest supplies and you aren't getting the results that you desire, it is most likely the supplies holding you back and not necessarily you or your technique with that said, you absolutely don't need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on really expensive professional grade supplies because you can do ah lot with very little. I'm gonna go ahead and show you what I'm using and some alternatives, and then we can. So the first thing you need are watercolors. I'm gonna be using these ones in this vintage 10 by a small company named our Car Creation . They're based in India, and we're actually gonna be giving away this exact palette in giveaway post on instagram, too. Anybody who takes the class and leaves a project, so if you're interested, I'll leave more information. The final video of this class BS. I'm gonna be using these pains, but, um Teoh demo some of the color properties of layering pain. I'm gonna be using this very primary set. This is by white nights. It's super affordable. If you have a place that sells these near you where you're going to be, like ordering stuff online. I definitely recommend this brand because everything is very basic. And, um, the colors don't do weird things. They layer great and our overall agree set to learn from other alternatives would be, ah, Windsor, Newton Cotman, which I don't have on me. But it's the paint brand that I used when I was first, like taking art Seriously, I had, like, this huge 70 set studio palate, and I use that for, like, a good 10 years before I switch to another brand. So, um, I would really recommend that one. There's also other brands. Um, I personally also used like this. Here is Daniel Smith paints squeezed into pans. Um, this is more on the expensive side, but, um, it's totally not necessary. So once you get your pains, we're going to need something to mix them in. Now, these pallets, a lot of them come with mixing space. So that's great. You don't need anything extra. But since I'm gonna be mostly using my, um, vintage 10 for, like, the final painting, I also brought along this little porcelain palate. Um, I was gifted this by your friend, but I'm pretty sure she got off of Amazon and they're like, only a couple dollars, and it's awesome. The wells really like make it easy to mix this of the colors in specific areas. But, um, if you don't have anything like that, you can use packaging like plastic will work. Um, I used to use just like an old white plate that I got on a thrift store. So there's like, a lot of options there. So the next thing we need to talk about our brushes, you definitely don't need to get expensive ones up until, like probably two years ago, I used really cheap ones. I still use really cheap ones, but these ones right here are like my my go to one's, um, these two are by Windsor Newton. They are pointed rounds, and, um, this one's in a size eight and this one's in a size four. These air natural hair brushes, um, honestly, like there is a difference between natural and synthetic. But when you're starting out like that, difference is so small that it really doesn't matter. Um, but yes. So these are my favorite brushes of all time. And then I also have this one by the brand silver. It's a squirrel brush. It holds a lot of water. Um, so, yeah, I I prefer the round brushes for blending, but I also have this one, which is by Princeton, which is a cheaper brand. And, um, it's a flat. So has, like, this little square rectangular tip. Um, so really, you know, these These will get me through, like, any painting. Sometimes I only use one like I just did a painting where I just use this one. Um, you know, But whatever works, whatever you have works, there's also, um, let me grab this. I have these ones I used to teach painting classes like those pain and step classes. And I got a whole bunch of these then and they are just, like, dirt. Cheap, like, really old guy. Kind of nasty, but, um, they're actually really good for painting to, like, I have no problems painting with, you know, this as opposed to this. So, you know, whatever works. My only thing is that as long as the hair doesn't come out, that's like, my biggest pet peeve. It could really ruin a wash if you get, like, dollar sore paintbrushes or those ones that come in like Crayola. Paints like those are awful. So I would get, like, you know, some brushes that costs, like, maybe one or $2 apiece, But, um, I wouldn't worry too much other than that, so yeah, brushes. Okay, So the next things you need are, um, a dish with water. This cup is from a handmade maker, and she sells her stuff at case for making. And, um, some paper, towel or rag. I usually have a rag, but it's really gross. So I thought like I'd save you guys the trouble of looking at that, um, bso these air to simple supplies. You don't have to use anything fancy. Just get a yogurt container or you know something, anything. And that's good to go. As long as the holds water, you're good. Okay. So the next thing. We need to talk about his paper. Um, I would kind of urge you to spend a little bit more money on paper just because cheap paper really, really can, like, hurt your overall experience. Um, if you get really cheap paper, it can start pilling, which is where, like, the paper fibres break up, which you absolutely don't want. Um, you can also get water blooms and on even texture and buckling where your pain won't even let down correctly. So I just would stay away from really cheap stuff. Um, I would say that the thinnest paper you should go for is £90. Um, so that refers to like the thickness of the paper. Um, so £90 paper is okay. You'll definitely get some buckling, which is where the paper will get wavy. And so the water will, like, fill in the lower parts of the wave. Um, so I don't I don't typically paint with £90 paper. I like to go for £140 paper. It's just a little bit thicker. Um, and it tends to hold the washes better. Now there is ah whole debate in the art community if cotton content in your paper does anything like, if if it's better for your watercolors, if it's worse, if it's whatever I personally don't really care. Um I'm I think that if a paper works, well, then whatever, it doesn't matter what it's made up of. Um, so, you know, if you wanted to be caught in paper, go out and buy com paper, you know, whatever. No big deal. Um, uh, I would say that, um, I would stay away from sketchbooks right now just while you're practicing on Lee. Because when you open a sketchbook and you have this paper open and like, the paper tends to stand up like this, and then you get this, like, part where the paper seeps down into the crease. Um and I mean, I paint in sketchbooks all the time, but when you're learning and practicing, that could be a little bit difficult to deal with. So I would say, stay away from sketchbooks that aren't spiral bound. Um, okay. And then you can use scrap paper. I have a couple of these or handmade. Um, this is by Qadi. You know, whatever is good. Tiny, big, weird size doesn't matter. Um, I will say that my go to paper Have some right here I go to paper when practicing is this It's Fabbri on a studio, £140 cold press and it is awesome for beginners or practice. I mean, I've been painting for 20 years, and I still use it all the time. Um, yeah, it's just on overall really good, affordable paper that handles water and paint really well. Um, now I said, cold press, which is that refers to the texture or the tooth of the paper. Cold press is the most common. I find that most artists use that. It's where there's, like, a little bit of texture, but it's not too crazy Now, In contrast, you could see this handmade paper here is really texture. That would be rough. There's also something called hot press, which is really flat and smooth. I don't really like heart press paper, but if you don't like texture, that might be something you want to get. Um, so, yeah, I'm going to be using this arches pad. This is really expensive paper. You don't need to get this, Atal. I don't actually use this very often. I only bought it because it's in this block format where it is glued. If you concede the black here, it's glued on the sides, which means that when I'm painting, it'll lay completely flat. There won't be any buckling. And, um yeah, so I bought this specifically for teaching just because I thought it would be easier to look at, um, but totally don't go out and buy arches paper if you're just starting out like that is totally not necessary. Okay, so just a couple other things that you might want to get Obviously a pencil of some sort. I actually don't use pencils a lot, but if you need to draw out where you want your leg radiance to be, you know, go for it. This one is a black wing pencil, but it literally doesn't matter. Um, okay, and then this is washi tape. So this is like, that thin paper tape that's, like, super easy to rip. Um, it is kind of sticky, but not too sticky. Um, this could be used to make borders. So, like you paint up to the border and then you can remove the tape and you have a nice clean edge. Yeah, this tape is by empty. It's a really good brand, sticky enough but not, you know, crazy. And then the last thing is this heat tool. I got it at a craft store for, like, 15 bucks, and it's a lifesaver. I am super impatient. I hate, hate, hate waiting for my pains to dry, which is, like, why don't you oils anymore? Um, but this thing has really, like, saved me. I used to use a hair dryer, and that's totally fine. You could use that. But I find that the hair dryer pushes way too much air crazy, right? And it can push the pain around more, whereas this is more he oriented. And so, like, the heat is what's drawing the paint, not the air. Um, with that said, I have burned a lot of paper with this. So when you're using this, you want to keep it moving. You don't want to stay in one place, uh, for a long extended period of time, because you will definitely burn through your paper and then you're painting will be ruined . So, um, yeah, just be cautious of that. And also, you know, it's really hot and you don't want to touch it. I have burned my fingers before, so just be very careful with that. Or if you're younger, stick with a hair dryer or just let it dry naturally. So that's it for all of the materials that you need in the next part, we're going to talk about what makes up watercolors and its properties so that you can better understand how it works. 3. What is Watercolor?: so the first thing we need to talk about is the makeup of watercolors. Typically, it's made out of two things, but sometimes they add a little something extra. Ah, the first thing is the pigment. So that's the color, the thing that makes it look the way it looks. And binder Binder is the thing that holds the paint together. This is typically gum Arabic, but I know that some companies use other things, but I'm not really sure. Um, but yes. Oh, how watercolors work is that the binder is water soluble. So when I take water on my brush and put it on some paint, it's the binder that is dissolving with the water. So once in contact with water, the pigments attached to the binder will be ableto flow. Yeah, so that that's pretty much it for pains. In this next part, we're going to talk about, um, simple techniques, the 1st 1 being wet on wet and how you can use that in your work 4. Wet on Wet: Okay, So the first technique we're going to talk about is wet on what this is when you add wet paint to a wet surface. The reason you would do this is to get softer lines or to get the paint flowing or charging in color. So let's kind of talk about all those things. Um, so first in foremost, you would need to put some water on your paper. Now, this isn't just limited to adding paint to water. You cannot paint paint, but first of all, I'm just gonna wet the surface. Um, we're going to talk about water control in a later video section, but, um, for now, I'm just wedding. It and mook dive deeper into that part later on. Um, so I have that now you need what paint. So I'm going to go ahead and activate this paint here by putting water on it. Some paints are harder to activate, so you might have to, like, scrub around. But if you're getting a beginner set or even these handmade pains are really easy to reactivate, Um, you know, But I just want to point that out. Uh, in case the paint you have isn't activating as quickly. Eso I have very wet paint on my brush. And now I'm just going to touch the wet surface and you can see the paint starts to flow. Now some paints will flow quicker. Um, some papers allow your pain to flow quicker. How wet your paper is allows it to flow quicker. So it's, um, a lot of trial and error, and you have to do a lot of practicing to kind of get the hang of how wet everything should be or, you know, all that stuff. So a lot of it is just playing around and seeing what works. Um, so, yeah, we have that. And from that, I can also, you know, paint full lines and get Grady INTs, um, which I will show you how to do in glazing as well. Um, but it's pretty simple. Let's get another square, and I can show you how to do like a proper radiant. Now, my paint water is already very blue, obviously, cause that yellow is green. Um, so you might want to get to water cups, one with clean water and one where you wash your brush off. I'm really, really bad at that, though I always end up using both for both things. So, um, you know, I'll just clean out this water later, but since we're just practicing, it's fine. So I have my, um, little square, but probably makes it easier to see anyways, And now, um, and we're gonna go over this later, but I know that I have too much water here, so I'm gonna soak some up, which again will talk about later. Um, and now I'm gonna take my pain. And this is what's called charging in. So when you just add paint to make something more vivid so even I can start doing it here. Can ADM or paint? Because I I would want this bottom part to the darker Um, So I have that now I'm taking my brush, I'm cleaning it off, and I dried it off on my paper towel. Just so it's it's damp, but it's not too wet. And now I'm going to start blending this edge. At some point, you're going to get ah, too much paint on your brush, and you're gonna need toe rents it again and start blending again. So from that I know that's going to give me a nice Grady in. But I want this Grady int to come up further. Okay? Sorry about that noise. My cat is being weird, but anyway, so I know that I want this to come up further, so I'm going to charge in some more color, maybe bring it up more. Now I am cleaning off my brush and I'm gonna dry it off so that it's damp, but not what? And go ahead and start blending. Now, if you add too much water here, you're going to get something called a bloom, which will talk more about in the water control section. But now I can see my brush was depositing mawr color than blending. So I clean my brush off again and drying it, and I'm gonna keep on keeping on. So I know that's going to give me pretty pretty nice Grady int. Um I can also charge in some more color down here, um, to darken it up Now you don't have to use the same color If you want. You can use a different color. Doesn't matter. But the important thing is that this section, this whole thing is wet while you're working on it. If not, it becomes wet on dry, which is a different thing. Um, but if you want to get these very soft radiance, it's a lot easier on wet on wet eso. At this point, we have to just needed to dry. Um, I can tell I have too much water here, so I'm going to soak some up, Um, and then I'm going to use my heat gun to dry it. But, you know, you can let it dry naturally. Um, yes. So I'm going to do that, and then I'll come back and talk to you guys. Okay, so, um, we have our radiance. Try. Um, you can see that the edges are very soft. That's one of the best things. About what? On what? That can get you really soft lines. You don't even have to use it in like the sense of a background. You can use that in, like, line work. And just if you want fuzzy lines. Um, the only thing about this is that it could be pretty unpredictable sometimes. So, like when I dropped in these dots, I didn't know that they would be thes final shapes or even that they would like, bloom out that, ah, far eso, you know, keep that in mind honestly, like that's one of the best things about watercolors. It's the charm of it kind of gives you this fluid, unpredictable quality that I really love. Um, so, you know, roll with the punches. That's the big thing with water colors. You don't always know what you're going to get, but sometimes it's really awesome. And you got to just, you know, experiment and have fun. And that's the biggest part of it. So so that's what on what? Um, and the next one, we're going to talk about layering, um, paints and, um, the effect that has or why you would want to do that. And, um, we'll go from there so I'll see you in the next part. 5. Layering: Okay, so the next thing we're going to talk about is layering. This is also called glazing. Um, this is when you apply layer or layers of paint on top of each other, but you let them dry in between. So when I was adding more paint in this one, we called it charging in because it was wet and we were adding mawr wet paint into the already wet surface. So, um, so this is a little different because you let it dry in between. Um, so why the heck would you want to do this? It can help you dark in your washes. So you can, um, say Okay, we let these dry over here say, I wanted this whole thing to be darker or part of it to be darker than I could add another layer on top. This would be considered glazing, and that would darken it up. So I'm going to maybe show you a little bit. Actually, I'll just show you on this one. Since we already have it painted, it's pretty dry. And let's just take us blue. Okay, so now I have that I'm gonna go ahead and let that dry and then I'll come back and show you what it looks like. Okay, so now that this is dry, you can see that the area where the the bright blue wash overlaps are indigo Radiant is a lot darker. Eso that is something you can do now. You can even do this and soften that edge and and continue with ingredient. But that was just for demonstration purposes. And we'll talk about doing that later. Eso another reason to do this Or, you know, glazing in general is to neutralize the colors that you have. So let's put down put down this reddish color. No, I went. I switched over to the White Knights paints just because they're so primary. And I feel like it would be easier for you to see um so here is red. Now, I'm not going to go for a color theory just because that's the whole topic and of itself. But, um, to neutralize a color, you would use the opposite color on the color wheel. So whatever its complement is so the complement of Fred is green and so we can add green on top of this to neutralize it. I'm going to go ahead and dry this and then we'll add the green layer. Okay, so there's our red layer dried, and now I'm gonna go ahead and take green. I think this is green. Yeah. Okay, so I'm taking green, and I'm just going to do a layer off the thoughts, and I'm gonna let that dry, and then we will look at what it looks like. Okay, so that's what it looks like dry. So, as you can tell, the area where the red and green overlap is more of like a dark, muddy, brownish greenish color. Um, so that's what neutralizing does, so it makes it less vivid. Now, this is an extreme case. You probably would pre mix your colors, but say you are painting Ah, flower and it's red. But in nature, maybe it's not that read. Um, you would do like a a wash of green. So maybe something more watery. Um, that will not be so, so intense. Eso if you put that on top, I mean, already, you can see what the neutralization would look like. They're so you know, like this is a more exaggerated thing. But, um, kind of hopes illustrate the point I hope. Um So the next thing that we want to talk about is, um, kind of along the same lines, but it's changing colors. So, um, say you put down Let's see you. Actually, let's say we put down red again and, um, we realized, oh, crap, that should have been orange. We can also put, um, yellow on top of that to make it appear more orange. So I'm going to go ahead and drive this and then we'll do a yellow where? Okay, so I went ahead and dried that, um, back over here. You can see that light very thin wash of green. Help neutralize that. It's more of like a neutral red a dark right now, so that would be more realistic. Toe what you would probably use it for, um so going back to changing colors. Here's our red swatch. And now let's say we want to add yellow. Hopefully, my paint isn't to green for mobile blue that we've been using. That's pretty yellow. OK, so with a yellow swatch, I'm just gonna go right over it, and then we'll let that dry and we'll see what it looks like. All right, so It's pretty subtle, but hopefully you can see that this is definitely way more orange than this red here. So that's kind of along the same lines if you wanted to change the color, but you've already put something down, so you would use basic color theory for that. I might do a cross on that later, but, um, it's such a huge topic that they can't really cover it now. I will definitely add some images and some links to good resource is toe. Look at if you're a little bit confused or if you haven't ever learned that or, you know you haven't heard about it in a long time. Um, so maybe that can help you out. Um, now the other thing kind of goes along with this to you can use it to make colors more vivid. So we had, like, an indigo color, but adding that ultra marine blue on top has made it more vivid. Um, the biggest thing, though, is just absolutely make sure that your layers are fully dried. If you go in with something that's kind of drive a kind of damp, your lines are going to be blurry and maybe that's the effect you're going for, and that's great. But if you're going for more separated layers, it's you're gonna have a hard time without If your previous layer is what another issue that you may have, Um, let's go ahead and paint us watch so I can kind of show you What I'm talking about is that , um when you are putting your brush over something that's kind of damp, you're going to pick up the paint that's already there. Um, eso. By doing that, you're going to create an uneven wash, and maybe you want that texture, and that's absolutely fine. Um, but I if you're going for something smoother, um, you'll have a hard time doing that if you're not letting your layers dry. Um, if you don't let your layer fully dry and you have something on top, thebe paint will just bleed into each other. So say I was trying to do, um, that thing where I made it. Orange. If I add some yellow, see how the paint immediately starts flowing outwards, it starts doing the white on wet thing, and, um, you know, that's a beautiful looking enough itself, but like, you know, If you're trying to go for distinct layers, that's not Look, you're going for so just some things to be cautious and and worry about a little bit while you're doing this just so that you get the look that you're going for. So in the next part, we're going to talk about water control, which is super important. Um, so go ahead and head over to that one once you're done practicing and we'll talk about that . 6. Water Control: The next thing we're going to talk about is water control. It's a super important aspect of watercolors. It takes a lot of practice, but we'll go over a few tips that will help you understand the properties of water on that will help you get closer to the results that you're looking for. When we talked about what On what washes, we talked about how the paint flows and how that's dependent on how wet your paper is. Ah, great way to see without actually touching the paper. How white your paper is is if it's Chinese. So we just did this wash here, Um, and if I tilt it, you can see that it is still shiny, so it's pretty wet now. In contrast, these ones aren't shiny at all, so I know that they are try, um, so this will actually change how shiny it is, depending on how dry it is. So it's really, really wet now. But when I drive a little bit with my heat gun, okay, I don't know if you concede that it has a slight sheen to it, so it's still definitely wet, but it's not. It's more like damp. Instead of like soaking eso. If I touched it, I could definitely feel the wetness. And if I actually just take a dry brush, you see how easy it lifts. Now, if you want your paint to really spread out when you're doing wet on wet washes, you're gonna want really wet paper. Um, I would be careful because you don't want your paper to be too wet or else the paint will not flow and I'll show you what I mean. So I'm gonna make this super wet like that is incredibly. What if I tilted? Do you see how it's beating up? It will definitely start sliding around if I tilt it anymore. Now that is way too wet. But I'll show you what the paint does. Sorry about those burns. Um, so you see, it's starting to spread out. That's great. That's what we want. But also do you see how the water is starting to push it back on itself? That's a beautiful technique. If you want to do some abstract things or things that are more textural, that's great. But if you're trying to get clean washes, um, you can see already it's changed again. It's it's not doing what I want it to dio Um now, in contrast, I can go ahead and, um, clean off my brush a little bit, a wet, another area that's really Web by. Not so what? That you can see it. Beating that right there is pretty wet, but definitely not is what as that. And I'm going to go ahead and take my really wet pay and top it in. See the difference that did a nice bloom. But it's not changing so much because of the water that's backing it up in doing weird things. Um, now say you have way too much water like we do here. There's even a little bit maybe too much here. Um, you wanna soak up that extra water? It's easy peasy. Just make sure that your brushes clean so you don't deposit color. Eso minds clean, but you don't want it to be soaking wet or else the brush can't hold any more water. So I dry it just a little bit. So it's damp were not wet, and I will just lightly touch where the water is now Here. There's so much water, so I'm gonna have to dry my brush off again and keep doing it until I pick up all of that water. Well, it was a lot of water. Okay, so now we have a wet surface, but nothing too crazy where it's not beating up. Well, it's still a little bit. That's a little bit better. There we go. Um, so this happens a lot to me, like all the time. I used way too much water, and that's fine. Um, I just, you know, will pick a little bit off the edge where it's beating up. So that way, it'll dry smoothly. So say we, um, left that huge bead there that will take so long to dry. And so Theo Edge will continue to dry and move, and you'll get, like, a weird mark wherever the edges drying. I'm going to go ahead and demonstrate that for you. Okay, I'm going to show you kind of what happens if you have way too much water while it's trying . So and this one, I'm going to use so much water. Okay. And now we'll add our paint. All right, now, in this next one, we're gonna use a lot of water, but not so much that it's beating up there on 10. Now, already. You could see this massive beat of water. Um, I'm gonna go ahead and dry these two, and we'll talk about what it looks like. This is gonna take a long time to dry. Um, so he helped me back in a few. Okay. So you can tell that there is a huge difference. This'll one is a lot smoother, a lot more even. And this one is weird. It's got a lot of weird water blooms. It has weird edges that have dried. Um, so essentially, what happens is when you're drying this or, you know, you don't even have to be using, like he gun. Like if you're letting a dry naturally, it will do the same thing Where so that huge glob of water shifted to this side and this stride really quickly because of Blake didn't have all that water. So once that dried, you have an edge there for where this water is kind of sloshing around. Eventually, some of that dried and then it went to this weird, like, six kind of shape. And so that drive. Then you've got another edge, and he kept going and going and go in. And then that's why you got such an uneven Ah, wash. Um, Now, this happens a lot to me because I used way too much water the way to fix that. I actually ended up doing at the end because there's just so much water. And I was already trying it for so long. Is that I While I was drawing it, I took my damp, clean brush and started dotting where earthy beet of water waas This will allow it to dry quicker. Um, so do you see this darker area here? And that could have benefited from me just picking up that little extra pain. So this is my current sketchbook. Um, all right, let's look at this one here. So if you can tell, this bottom part is a little bit darker now, this is when I did like I did the background wash first, and the paint started to be here, especially because it's in a sketchbook. And this is the higher part at this point in the sketchbook. So it started to run down here while I was drawing it, I started to pick up that excess paint with my brush while drying it. Kind of like a good balance between picking up way too much where you'll get like white spots and not picking up enough where it will still flow back. And you'll get that weird line. Um, so again, it's just something that you have to practice. But that's something I regularly dio because I'm always adding way too much water. Okay, so I'm going to show you how you can on another layer and blend out the edges. So this would be like how we did this over here, where we added that extra blue on top. But this time we're gonna soften that edge to create the Grady int eso. I have this just like, weird blue patch and say I want the bottom part to be darker. So I'm going to take paint and just stick it where I want it. And now the key to this is to blend it with a damp, clean brush. So I'm cleaning my brush off, drying off the extra, and I'm going to start going over this edge. Now. You want to be careful because you don't want to go over too much because that can lift the layer underneath, and then you'll not have, um a smooth radiant. Not that it matters in this case, because the first wash was kind of lumpy anyways, but I don't know if you saw that, but I didn't wash my brush off, and then I deposited a ton more color right here. So now I gotta fix, that s so make sure you wash your brush off if you pick up too much pain and you just keep going over that edge until you got what you are looking for. So I would say, um, something like that, I'm going to start dragging some of this color up because I don't want it to stay in one strip. And now we'll go ahead and dry that and look at what, um, what it looks like afterwards. Okay, So as you can see, this is a lot darker. We have a pretty smooth edge. It is kind of stuck in this bar. I think that I would do it again and bring it up more, but it's just for demonstration. But, um, that is a lot, um, smoother and more of ingredient than this. Over here, you can see the difference More smooth, straight bar. Another way that they do. This is where I will just wet the entire surface and then add my color like I'm doing a wet on what? But it's already on top of something that I've painted. Um, you want to be really careful with this because you don't want to go over too much because you'll start lifting, which we'll talk about in the next section. Um, but so I'm, like, very lightly touching my brush to the paper. Um, you don't want to be scrubbing at all for this. I can already tell you at away too much water on here like I always dio So I'm just picking up some of that extra. And now I'm going to I'm gonna do, like, do this pink color just so you can see the difference. Um, I'm gonna put it in up here and try to get a Grady int from this pink down to the blue. Um, so I'm just going to drop in the pink now. I'm going to help blend it. I could let it do it naturally, but I want a little bit more control, so I'm taking my damp but clean brush not too wet. And I'm going to just go over the edge. Now you can drag it, um, up to pull that color up. But, uh, do whatever you think is right. All right, now I'm gonna try that, and we can look at it. All right, so that's pretty dry. Um, as you can tell, we got a nice little Grady int going on up here. Um, the reason that I went the whole surface is so I absolutely will not get any weird lines again. It doesn't matter for such a lumpy first wash anyways, um, and I kind of like the texture. But if you want something more smooth than you're gonna like a way to achieve that is by wedding the whole area and then having your second layer on top. Um, it really helps blurt things out in a song as you dry it correctly or let it dry naturally , like you shouldn't get any weird lines. Just make sure to stop up any like, huge beat of water. If you have something like that. So the next topic we're going to go over is lifting, and this is going to help you correct your mistakes or lighten areas, but I will talk to you about that in the next video. 7. Lifting: Okay, so this next section is about lifting. That is when you pull the paint off the paper paint that you've already set down. So you can use this to correct mistakes or lane areas. I don't do it too much in my work, but it's very helpful. I kind of like the weird, unpredictable nature of watercolors. But lifting can really help you. It's kind of like an eraser. Almost eso to do this. You wanna have a clean brush and you do want more water, so you're not going to dry it off? Um, now say, I want to lift this out. I'm placing the water down, and I'm using my brush to kind of scrub it away. You're never gonna get anything completely clean. Um, I mean, some pains will allow it, but every pain is different. Every paper is different. So, um, you kind of never know what you're going to be able to dio. But as you could see here, I was able to lift that out pretty well. And now there's like, that white spot. Um, I'll say I wanted toe lift this whole area. I could put water down and start scrubbing now I'm gonna clean my brush off in between just toe. Get rid of some of the paint. Now. Not all papers can handle being scrubbed. Um, I don't know if you could tell, but this paper is handmade, but some fibers are pulling up on it. Um, so you're gonna want tougher paper. This'll tends to be higher quality paper. So things like arches or Fabbiano artistic? Oh, things like that. But every paper that I recommended today should be okay for a little bit of scrubbing. Um, obviously, I'm scrubbing pretty hard, so we're getting some particles. Um, they, uh, so too big of a deal, though, Um, Okay. So I'll drive that and show you what it looks like when it is dry. All right, that's pretty dry. At this point, I can maybe try toe, pull up some of the weird paper re bits that came up. Um, but this is just practice, so I mean, there are ways to get around it if you did get cheap paper, but, um, yeah, like I said before, you're gonna want to get, like, something a little stronger If you plan on doing a lot of lifting. Um, yeah, so that is basically it. And then after that, you can lay on top of it or keep it white when you know whatever you want to dio. Um, but that is basically the eraser that you have with watercolors. Okay, so next up, we're gonna be talking about our project and what we're going to paint, and we're gonna set up for it, so we'll see you over there, and we can get started. 8. Set Up: Okay, so we're ready to set up for a project. We're gonna be painting this here. This is something I did in my sketchbook, but we're gonna recreate it. Um, we can pick whatever colors. We what? I think I'm going to go with yellow and indigo just to kind of show you how to colors would work. But feel free to start out monochromatic, if that's easier for you. Um, but yeah. So I think that's what I'm going to do with that. I want to prep my surface by taping off a boundary if you don't want to. That's fine. I did it with this one, but it will just make it cleaner and easier. Um, but, you know, do whatever you want to dio. I'm going to use this washi tape and tape out a border here. Um, you could measure it if you want it to be perfect. But, you know, this is just practice, so it's totally okay that it's not perfect. Um, you can also do any other shape or size, whatever you feel like doing. Um, I just kind of did it in that rectangular form, uh, in my sketchbook. Just because that's what fit on the page. But, um so whatever you want to do is great. Not big enough. Okay, so I have this border done, and I have my paints ready. I think I'm gonna just mix them in this little 10. Um, but if I wanted to get my palate ready, I could do that. My brushes air here. My water is clean and ready. Right off camera. And we are good to go. So if you're ready to start than head over to the next lesson 9. Background: Okay, I'm going to put a photo of my, um, original sketch in the resource section. Just so you have something to look at, Um, if you're doing a monochromatic thing, But if you're following with two colors than it's gonna be pretty similar to what I'm doing . But if this is such an easy project, so if you feel overwhelmed, just take a deep breath and we're we're going to get right into it. It's gonna be easy, I promise. Um, so the first thing we want to do is ah, base layer a background layer. When you're painting with watercolors, you want to go from lightest to darkest. So, um, this also tends to be like what's furthest away, because that tends to be later. Um, so I know that I want my sky to be yellow, and I want my foreground to be a dark indigo. So it makes more sense for me to start with the yellow and slowly build up to the end ago than doing the indigo and trying to paint around that with the other shapes. Um, but yes. So we're gonna go ahead and get started. I'm just going Teoh, take my brush, take my yellow and just put it right in. Now, if you wanted to do what? On what? That would be totally fine. Um, I'm just gonna started this way because it gets essentially the same results. Okay, Now I want to soften this edge. Um, now, if if, ah I made it this bright yellow all the way down when I put my really, really dark in to go it's gonna be green. I want the end to go to stand out and be its own thing So that's why I want toe, um put like a greedy int of yellow and center, Just the full thing as yellow. Um, that just seems to be the best way that I found to do two colors. But if you're doing monochromatic, you could literally just do like a very light wash of blue the whole way down. Um, so to get this to fade out into pretty much nothing, I'm cleaning off my brush and, um, wiping off some of the excess water. So it's It's damp, but not wet. And I'm just going to go over the edges now. This down here doesn't matter too much because it is going to be covered up. Um, and because that pain is so light, you're absolutely not going to see it. Now, if you have a very harsh line and your pain isn't so light, you will see it. So just be a little bit careful with that. I see that I have, like, two lines here, Um, that I kind of want to break up a little bit because I don't want that look. But if you want that look, go for it. So I'm just kind of pulling the color down with a clean, damp brush. I'm going to go up here and do the same thing. I'm being incredibly light when I do this, Um, as you could tell, because when when my brush, when I'm pushing hard on my brush, you'll see it fan out like that. But that's not the case when I'm, uh, blending here. Also, the reason I picked this brush was because it holds a lot of water and the the the brush head is a lot bigger than say, like, if I used this one, I would have to do a lot more like going back and getting pain because it's so small. Um okay, so we're good with this background. I'm gonna go ahead and write with my heat gun, and then we'll be ready for the next layers. 10. Layered Mountains: Okay, so this is dry. The next thing I want to do is add in a little sun or moon or whatever. You don't have to do this. Um, I think I'm going to do it in yellow, but, uh, do whatever it is you want to dio. I'm just I'm taking my smaller brush because it's easier for smaller details. And I'm just gonna paint a little circle. If you wanted to do, like, a crescent, that would be cool. Or like, an actual star something. Yeah, and it definitely doesn't have to be perfect. Okay, so I could drive that with my heat gun right now, but since I'm not gonna really be touching it again, I'm just gonna let it dry. Naturally. Um, now we're going to go ahead and do the, um, layered mountains. I'm going to make a wash in here. Um, now, I want to make more than what a Frankel need, because if we run out, it's a lot more complicated to mix the color again. But, uh, it's it's just better toe have extra, you know, Um, so, essentially, how we do this is I will start with yellow and then gradually add in to go into it. So that way I get, um not only the lightest, uh, like in transparency in the back, but also the lightest and color. So it will be yellow, a muted yellow, kind of like a greeny blue blue and then into go. Um, Now, if you want more vibrant colors, I wouldn't necessarily pick in to go because it's ah ha has black in it. So it'll kind of mute whatever color you decide toe use. But I like that look, So I'm gonna go with it. But you do whatever it is you want to dio some just adding hope. Interview alot to this 10. So it's it's very watery, um, good for washes. And now I'm just gonna go ahead and paint my first mountain. Um, it really doesn't matter what shape these are, as long as they're kind of like zigzags. That's cool. But I I don't really like do anything special. I kind of just blindly go in and make little squid billies. Um, so I got that. Now that that is done, I'm just gonna fill this entire area with this color. This is why the tape makes it way easier because you don't have to be careful around the edges. Not that it matters necessarily because it's all just practice. But, um, you know, that's why tape is nice, though, while this is what it's very easy to change the shapes of say, I wanted to make this little bump slope a little bit more towards the top. It I can do that while it's wet. If it drives and you want to change it, you would do the lifting thing that I showed you earlier. But that's good to me. Uh, I can see a little bit of excess water kind of pulling here, So I'm going to just take my, uh, damp but not wet brush and pick up some of that excess paint so it doesn't create weird washes. Okay, I'm gonna go ahead and dry that, and then we're going to be ready for the next leg. Okay, so we're ready for the next layer. Um, what we're going to do is add just a little bit of, uh, into go into our wash, and then we're good to paint the next layer. It's super simple. Uh, the biggest thing is just to make sure that you let the layers dry in between And, um, really Other than that, there's no way, uh, that you can mess up. Now, I like to make sure that each mountain is a little bit different in shape. But if you want to, like, do a mirror mirror, the fact you would just, like, follow the same contour, whatever it is that you feel like doing is totally, totally fine. Okay, so after we got that, we're good to dry it. I can see that some water is, um is beating up around the edge. So I'm just gonna kind of stop that up and we're good to dry. I'll see you in the next layer. Okay? We're good for the next layer. So I'm just gonna add even more blue into this. That's not too much. Now, if I did put too much blue in there, I would just clean my brush off and gets more, uh, yellow. And we're good for the next one. Let's see, I think I want a peak to be here just because these have been, um, coming down like that. It's become above events. You can play around with how far apart. You want the mountains to be a swell? Um, I just kind of do it in a low key, like, you know, whatever kind of floats my boat way. Um, but you can be more calculated about it if if you want a certain look. All right, I can see more pulling up over here, so I'm just gonna remember toe, get some of that excess water. If you're better controlling your water than I am, then you won't really have that problem. But, um, I find that I use a lot of water, but Okay, so we're good to drive this one, and then we're ready for the next layer. Okay, so we're ready for the next one. It's pretty simple. We're just going to keep doing the same thing until we reach the bottom. So I'm just adding a little bit more blue. I think I'm going to make this layer a little further away. Maybe. Maybe I'll make this one high. It's really repetitive, Which is nice, because I can kind of get into this, um, meditation area where I'm, like, not thinking about much, but it's like something to keep my hands busy. So if you're having a stressful day. You can always, like, wind down with something like this. All right, So there's this one. Now we can go ahead and dry this one, and then we will be ready for the next layer. Okay, So that once try, um, just go ahead and even more blue in here, and then we can at the next layer. See, let's make when high here. So, yeah, it's pretty simple. I would, um the only thing is that you wanna really be sure to drive them in between. Um, I know that it's tempting, especially if you don't have a heat gun or a hair dryer or something. It's really tempting to kind of just be like God's dry enough, even if it's still damn. Put it. It will really make a huge difference. If you let it dry completely, your lines will be a lot crisper. You're layers will be more separated. And that's definitely the look we're going for here. All right, so we can drive this one, and then I think we're onto our last may Be second to the last layer. Okay, The next one, essentially, we're getting down to just like mostly into go, but see, tough one in the middle. Maybe people always think that watercolors air so hard. But, um, I honestly think that that comes from, you know, when we're young, we use Crayola pains or, like some of the first ones that we use. And, um, those watercolors air just awful. They're barely watercolors, so I think it kind of gets a bad rap because of that. Um, and I feel like watercolors air, very forgiving. If if you're willing to put in the time and and be patient, that's a big thing, which I definitely am not. So, um, so you know, just gotta practice. All right? We're going to drive this one, and then I think we'll do one more layer, and then we'll be good to go. Okay? Last layer. I'm gonna use the into go straight out of the pan just to be the most concentrated that we can get. Let's see now, because this color so dark you might not be able to see it too well, but okay, I see that I have, like, a lot of extra over here. I'm just gonna I'm a soak up, and then I'm going to drive this and we'll look at the finished product 11. Final + GIVEAWAY!: So that's it. You finish the class, you have a finished painting, and that's awesome. I hope that this class gave you a better understanding on how watercolors work and how some techniques are better than others. How to use these techniques so that you're prepared for your next painting. Um, I really would love to see what it is you painted for this class. What colors? You chosen all of that. So please take a photo of your final painting and upload it to the project section below. Anyone who up lives a photo. And in the project section, Thehuffingtonpost November will get entered toe win one of these pallets of handmade watercolors. Um, it's not sponsored by skill. Share anyone. It's just because our car creation on and I created this palette and I just want to share it with one of you guys. So, um, yeah, so make sure that you take this class and upload a a photo of your final image and you'll be entered to win. Um, also, I'll be contacting you through email, so make sure that you enter your email in your project, but yeah, so thank you so much for taking this class. I hope you learned something exciting and you feel more prepared to take on your next water by