Learn to Paint Watercolor Gems for beginners - easy, step-by-step instructions for gems and crystals | Kristen Knechtel | Skillshare

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Learn to Paint Watercolor Gems for beginners - easy, step-by-step instructions for gems and crystals

teacher avatar Kristen Knechtel, Illustrator / Surface Pattern Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

9 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Sketching

    • 4. Painting

    • 5. Painting - Part 2

    • 6. Finishing Touches

    • 7. BONUS - Galaxy Gem

    • 8. BONUS - "You're a Gem" Card

    • 9. Project

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About This Class

Have fun and learn to paint watercolor gems!

In this class I will take you step-by-step, from sketching to painting, to finishing touches.

No experience and minimal materials required!

BONUS - lessons on creating trendy galaxy gems and "you're a gem" greeting card.

At the end of this class you will be painting your own beautiful gems and crystals!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kristen Knechtel

Illustrator / Surface Pattern Designer



Hi! I'm Kristen and I'm an illustrator and letterer from Canada!  I always loved art and came back to it as a mom of 3 littles who craved a creative outlet.

My work includes tee designs, logos, surface patterns, custom invitations, wood signs/key holders, and printable wall art.

I'm addicted to all things botanical and bright.

I love to use watercolour paints + ink and to create digitally using an iPad Pro.


One of my favourite things about Skillshare is meeting people - say hi!! :)


You can find my prints, invitations, wood signs, and key holders on Etsy.

My illustrations on fabric on Spoonflower

Art print and illustrations on various goods on Society6.

 See full profile

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1. Intro: e. I'm Kristin. I am an illustrator from Canada. In this guy's I'm gonna show you how to paint fun, watercolor Jen's whether you are a complete beginner and you to water colors or maybe a little bit more advanced. You're gonna be fine. This class is for everyone. This class is all about having fun. I'm gonna show you exactly how to do it step by step. So no worries. You don't get anything fancy. Just the basics. So grab your brushes, grab your paints, and let's start. 2. Materials: materials for this class. We don't need anything super fancy. You are going to need some paper that can hold the water color, so I would recommend either a mixed media paper or a watercolor paper. I will be using this cancer and mixed media sketchbook. It's my favorite for just playing around. It's pretty inexpensive, yet the pages can hold the water color and the pigment still pretty well. While it's not gonna cost you as much as watercolor paper, I also like to paint. And these this is the mole skin watercolor plus art during the papers a little bit better. And I also think it's just so fun and cute to be able to flip through and see all the different things that you've painted. We're also gonna need a pink brush. This is my favorite. It's a Princeton to round. Probably one that's a little bit smaller is gonna be a little bit easier to work with when you're getting into all those little takes. But it's also a jar with some water. Next, you're gonna need some paint. Watercolor paint. I have a little pile. It here can use metallic paint. This is some water color tubes. Or even you could just use your kids. What color palette. Use what you got. You're also going to need a pencil and in a racer optional for the end. If you want to outline, you're gonna need some sort of pen. So I have a micron ink pen, gel pen and a weight. 3. Sketching: Okay. Welcome to the first part of class. We are going to start out by sketching are gems. So if you see here, I have a bunch of different shapes. They're all a little bit different. Some of them are a little bit more wonky, and we have the more traditional looking diamond shape here. So usually what I like to do first is to sketch the outline of the gems and then worry about filling them in after, so try to use light pencil strokes. We don't want them showing through our paint. Once we fill them in, it's going to do with some of the more longer gyms as well. As some of the circular ones have a diamond shape there. You don't need to make them too crazy. Maybe like five, five or so sides. Okay. I like to get different sizes in there. So some are big. Some are smaller. Just to give us a little bit variety in there. Okay, Once we have the outlines, we're going Teoh sketch the inner areas. We're gonna fill the gens in with different shapes that we can fill different colors. Thes. They're going to be like the sides of the gems, and they give them all very unique fund shapes. Okay, so going back to our sketches here for the big ones like this I like to do kind of like what I did here, where I'm going to do a shape on the inside. So that's kind of like the flat top and then all of the's slanted sides going down. So to do that, draw a shape couldn't similar to what you have on the outside. And then from all of these points, we're going to connect down to the corners of the odor shape I'm gonna dio is something similar with this one. For these more of the long crystals, I'm going to make them pointed at the ends. We're gonna fill the inside part with more like rectangular shapes, and they're going to be more of triangles at the end for the diamond shaped. What we're gonna do here is add a little top Purdon, and then we're gonna fill in between these lines with a little zigzag making little triangles and then from all of those, we're going to connect down to the bottom. So feel free to get creative with this. There's not really right way or wrong way to do it. Really? Just you want to be filling these in with different geometric shapes. You. One thing you want to be careful of is that you keep your lines straight because gems generally don't have a whole lot of curved lines, so we're gonna keep them straight. Something else you can do to add in are these little They almost look like chips. You can see here at the corner, Soto add. Little chips were just going to make little triangles at any of the corners. It just gives it another little shape. So I'm gonna finish these off here. Okay? So I think I'm done with my outlines, so we're going to move on to the next step. 4. Painting: Now that we have all of our gems outlined and ready to go, we are going to go over. Is watercolor very similar to what I have done here? Here. So for this, we're going to need a paintbrush. I have a size two round. I find it easier to use a smaller brush just for when you're getting in all the little corners. You can use any water colors that you like. I'm going to use this tropicals can set. So before we start painting, we want to make sure our lines are not too dark. So you can go in there, just gently erase. You want to be able to still see them a little bit. We don't want them to be dark enough that they show through our paint. I'll leave the other ones so that you can still see them when I'm painting. So for the 1st 1 I think I'm going to do Ah, monotone, which is using just one color. I'm gonna try a blue. I'm gonna get some on my palette here. Okay. I'm gonna start with this guy. So what you're gonna do now is we're going to fill in the shapes that we've drawn. The goal is that we don't want the whole area to be one flat color, so to keep it with different values. So some parts are late and some parts are darker. We're gonna be careful to use more water on one side and more the pigment on the other side and then kind of blend them together. Having a dark at one side and lighter in another corner is going to give it more dimension and look like the light is coming in from this way and kind of giving the gem like the sparkly, luminescent look, something else to be mindful of. What we're painting is that in order to keep the crisp edges between the different facets of the gem, we want to make sure that the paint in one area is fairly dry before painting a directly adjacent spot up. Otherwise, we're going to get bleeds with the paint and the water, and it's just gonna look a message. You're not really gonna be able to see the lines as well. If that does happen, though, don't worry, we can fix it at the end, just something to keep in mind while you're painting. I'm going to keep using my blue here. I'm gonna fill in all these other shapes once I have. Once you have it filled in while it's still wet, you can always drop a little more paint into one of the corners so that it gives it a little bit more dimension. So I'm leaving a very fine space in between each of the facets. You don't need to do this. It's totally up to you. I'm gonna show you a few ways at the end of how we can separate each of the different parts of the gym. So if yours aren't right touching, that's totally fine. It's just up to you. A little trick for away and working with water colors is to rotate your whole page around while you're painting so that your hands not in the your hands out smudging what you just painted. Okay, so I have all of the different spaces filled, so we're gonna let that dry. Okay, Next, we're going to paint gems with multiple colors for this one. I'm just going to use to, and we're going to blend them together. So it has a little bit more color. I think for this one. I think that's what I'm gonna use a yellow. So for this one, we're going to be blending two colors. Okay, so I'm gonna start with just one color on my brush. My lines are a little bit darker. I'll leave them so that you can see them. But normally I would probably erase those a little bit more, just so I don't risk having them come through. So I'm gonna paint the top part in the one color, and then I'm gonna clean my brush off. I'm gonna use yellow for the other color while they're still wet. Go when I touch them together. When you're working with multiple colors, it's up to you. If you want to use multiple colors on each different facet or if you want to do each facet a different color on its own, and then you'll have them contrast ing beside each other or you can do a combination of both. Do you want to be careful right here against that yellow, they don't want thes ones to bleed together. Something else to think of when you're painting Jen's is that they often have the light shining through them. so a cool way that you can kind of show. That is, by leaving little bits of white. I'll show you when this one. So instead of totally filling the area in leaving a little bit of weight, a kind of access like highlight. So I'm using a combination of the pink and the yellow, Some of the facets. I'm gonna leave just with the one color, like this one with the yellow here, then some. I'm going to do a combination. 5. Painting - Part 2: something else that you can do as well is just fill the hole gemstone in and then come back to it when it's dry. Two different differentiate the different facets from each other. So I'm gonna paint one up here and then I'll show you how that works later. This is more of a loose technique. Okay, The last technique with watercolors that I'm going to show you is the most similar to what I've done here. And that is just using different colors for all of the different facets you can use as many or as few as you want. So doesn't community the with? We're gonna paint this long when I'm going to see how many different colors I can fit in here. So have fun with this. You can do more than one color, even within each little facet. So once I have this done in screen and adding a little green so this technique is called wet on wet, and basically it's just painting with more wet paint while your page is still wet. Give you some really cool effects. I really like. It's a lot of fun. It's really fun to play around with and see what kind of comes out. - Have fun with it, cause you never know how it's going to turn out. I think it's fun to kind of be surprised by how the colors work together and, uh, put too much thought into it, can see accidentally touched the one beside it. But I actually don't mind that I kind of like the green going in there, and it looks kind of fun. So we're gonna let these old dry, and then I'm gonna show you how to finish them off. 6. Finishing Touches: Okay, These are pretty dry. So I'm gonna come back to finish them up. This step is optional. Sometimes I like to leave them. I actually really like how this one turned out with the white line. So I think I'm gonna leave it. But for this one that we just filled in as one, I'm definitely going to need to go in. And at some lines, you can tell what it is instead of just the water cold blob. So we have some options here. Often, I will use one of these, um, micron ink pens thes you can actually use before you watercolor as well, and they won't believe so. If you want to actually color in all your lines beforehand, then you can just fill it in. This is a great option. You can also do a metallic paint pen or even go in with a white after to add some highlights. So I think I'm gonna go in with actually a gold gel pen and see how that looks. I'm just going over all of my lines here. It doesn't need to be exact, especially with this looser style. Cheerio. So that's what the gold gel pen. I'll give that a second. You can actually go in and erased any extra pencil lines. I just like to be careful. Sometimes the paint will smudge a bit way for this one. I think I'm gonna try to use a black just because they have such bright colors. I'm going to see how the black looks I'm going to use This is a thicker micron thing else that you can dio, if you like, is go in with a white and add a few little highlights this when I did leave some white spots, we already kind of have highlights in there, but if you wanted to go in still looking into that But if he wanted to go in and add a few little spots, here we go. 7. BONUS - Galaxy Gem: the last kind of gem that I wanted to show you kind of as a little bonus is a galaxy gem. I feel like Galaxies are very on trend right now. They're Superfund to paint. So you gonna start out by doing your colors so it doesn't need to be perfect. And you actually want to do it fairly fast so that your paint doesn't dry too quick. Oops. My favorite colors to use our orange and pink. Maybe with a little bit of blue in there. Okay. Once we have some color swatches on, it's time to get your black. Make sure you keep a lot of water on your brush so that the colors can kind of mix a little bit. We want to just be touching the colors, though. If you mix it too much, you're gonna just gonna get money colors. So for this one, if you want, you can leave a little weight spaces between all your facets. I kind of miss doing that here, So I'm going to paint. I'm actually going to draw them in after with a white gel pen. So I'm not gonna worry too much about the different facets here. as much as I am just getting the outline, I like to leave some little white spots and here as well. Okay, so now we're gonna let that drink, We're gonna finish up this galaxy. Jen here. So right now just kind of looks like a blob. So we want Thio going to make sure you can see all the different facets of the gym. One thing that is a little bit tricky is I can't really see my lines. So I'm just gonna kind of guess some using a security jelly roll white jump in a little bit more like a gemstone now, but it doesn't quite look like a galaxy s. So I'm gonna go in and add some stars. He can do this by adding in a bunch of little thoughts. Never go. We got our galaxy, Gens 8. BONUS - "You're a Gem" Card: as a bonus, we are going to make a fun little card incorporating our Jen's. This is just a page that I have torn out of my mixed media sketchbook. I just ripped off at the perforated line. It's not perfect. Fold it in half. And I'm just going to sketch quickly where everything's gonna go. Gonna have a few gems? Of course. Run it right on here. You're a gym. Okay, so I'm gonna paint paint this up. We'll see how it comes out. - There we go. Cute. Easy peasy. Greeting card. 9. Project: So now that I have showed you how to paint your own Jen's, it's time for a project. It's time for you to show me what you have learned. So for the project, I challenge you to paint at least three different kinds of Jen's, using different colors or different techniques. So this could be like different types of edging. Maybe you do one with one color 12 colors. Rainbow jams. Maybe you do a card and throw some lettering in there. I just want to see your creativity. Goal is to explore and have fun, and I'm really excited to see what you come up with. Don't forget to upload your project to the class project section. I would love to check out your work, and I'm sure other students would as well. If you post the social media, please tag me so that I can check it out and share your work on my channel as well. You can find me on instagram at written by Kristin. You also use my hash tag skill share. Wbk can scroll through and you can see other student work as well. Thank you so much for spending this time with me. I hope you have fun. I hope you learned something and I can't wait to see what you create.