Level Up Your Watercolor: Master Layering - a fundamental technique for better painting | Hannah Katarski | Skillshare

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Level Up Your Watercolor: Master Layering - a fundamental technique for better painting

teacher avatar Hannah Katarski, Illustrator and Painter

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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

11 Lessons (1h 12m)
    • 1. Introduction to Mastering Layers

    • 2. Class Overview

    • 3. Materials

    • 4. Layering

    • 5. Glazing

    • 6. Transparency

    • 7. Negative Layering

    • 8. Wash Define Pattern Line

    • 9. Putting It All Together

    • 10. Final Project: Sea Turtle

    • 11. Thanks

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About This Class


If your watercolour paintings lack contrast or definition, this is the class for you!

If you struggle to add details or depth, I have created this class to help you become a master of layering.

This class is a must-watch for beginners and perfect to get in the 'watercolour mindset' if you are an acrylic or oil painter.

At the end of this class you will have learned these key concepts:

  • Mixing washes
  • Transparency
  • Different ways to layer colour including using negative space.
  • Order of layers for watercolour painting.
  • Working wet on dry
  • Using multiple layers in one composition - glazing, layering and adding detail.
  • Brush control and precision


In the final project we will put it all into practise! We will utilise transparency and working light to dark in wet on dry layers to paint a sea turtle. BONUS: We will also create a notecard using negative layering.

Class Outline

  1. Layering concepts
  2. Glazing exercise
  3. Transparency
  4. Negative painting
  5. Complex layering
  6. Final project - the sea turtle


Watercolour brushes - round brushes in sizes that feel comfortable. Size 6 or 10 are good. I always recommend you have a 0 or 00 for fine details. It makes all the difference.

Watercolour paper - I like Canson and Fabriano. Anything that is 250-300gsm


A container of water, for rinsing brushes

Pencil and eraser

Flannel, or art rags

A white plate or palette for mixing colours

The templates found under the project tab,

and this Pinterest board.



Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Hannah Katarski

Illustrator and Painter


Artist and surfer girl...

Hi! I'm Hannah, a self taught maker. I work with watercolour and gouache to create artwork for products. I sell my artwork, work with design clients, wholesalers and students in my one-woman business, Mermaid's Coin Art & Illustration.

I live in sunny Western Australia and love to surf! I'm a trained teacher and started teaching in-person watercolour and printmaking workshops a couple of years ago. I now try to balance my creative business with the business of raising two small humans, working part-time, herding cats, and getting into the waves when the swell is up. 

New students can get a free trial with my link: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/hannahkatarski

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1. Introduction to Mastering Layers: Hi, I'm Heather, and this is my second watercolor class. Mastering layers if you struggle with definition and contrast watercolor paintings. If you don't really know how to work in more than one layer or you want to add more details , then this is the class for you. I've created it to help you become a master of wiring. This beginner class will help you get in the water color mindset, and it's perfect if you're making a transition from painting in another medium. By the end of the class, you will learn these fundamental watercolor concepts mixing washes, understanding, transparency, liar in color, including using negative spice planning and ordering your layers working, which on dry conflicts, firing using rising prevalent day tile and brush control and precision. We've got a lot to cover in the final project. We use their new skills to pay to stay total and as a bonus will produce a no can. Using negative layering. I'm also running a giveaway, so such change to hear more about that. If you enjoy the class place to review, it makes a big difference to the video algorithm. If you're looking for something more advanced, check out my other class, combining watercolor wash three ways ready to live a lot of water color. Let's get started 2. Class Overview: welcome to the class to start off with. I want to do a bit of an overview of what will be learning in this session if you don't have a good understanding of how layers work in watercolor than it really inhibits your painting and the outcome that you get so the cake concepts that we're going to be covering transparency, working light to dark, working wet on dry and using multiple layers. All right, so I have got a mostly late at work shaped for you to use, which you condemn. A from project section. We're going to be starting off by playing around with a basic layering exercise. Next way will be talking a little bit about blazing from how that applies to your compositions. We'll be talking about Transparency. Way will then work on a negative painting, which is kind of on trend at the moment. And then we'll be talking about more complex compositions and a term that I've come up with a cold wash, different pattern and line, adding textural and patent layers on top of our washes. And then, for a final project, we are going to combine everything to create a sea turtle you can paint your final work as a greeting card, or you can paint a bigger version that you can then frame or keeping your sketchbook. This exercise really helps to get you thinking with that watercolor mindset, thinking about the end game and how you need to work over a number of layers to get to the final visual outcome. 3. Materials: before we get started, I'll go over the materials that you need to complete. This class will keep it fairly simple. Sorry, you're going to need a nice big jar of water. Some people like to work with two jobs so that one of them just has clean water for mixing washers, and the other one is used to wash your brush so you choose what you prefer. You will need some watercolor paints. You can work with liquid water colors. What colors out of a tube or water colors from a pants it like the ones shown here. I will say that if you have a really cheap set, like a kid set maybe $5 for a pants that you might find yourself really frustrated with using this. The colors could be really chalky and grainy, and the colors are usually very vibrant. So that's what you're paying for when you spend a bit more money on watercolors. Haven't said that I think that the Sacra Coy brand or the Windsor Newton Cotman range are really good sets that are good quality but also really affordable and entry level tubes. Andi pants. It's pretty much the same thing you can even squeeze the tubes into your pen, set to refill them and let them dry up, and they work the same. The difference being that you can get a bit more bang for your buck by buying a pan set, whereas tubes have a bit more painting them. But they're a bit more expensive. Put color. Next up, he made some brushes. Sometimes it can be a bit intimidating. Looking at all. The different brush is that there are for this glass. All you really need is a couple of round brushes when I'm working with watercolor 95% of the time using the brushes that you see here, if you like to work over big areas, something like a size 10 or a 14 is really good. And the smaller ones that you can see on the right hand side our little fine brushes that's a size zero in a size well, which is really good for details. They're all synthetic brushes, and you can say they've got a really nice point. So that's the thing that I look for when im going and buying a new brush that the Brittles and Ice and Soft and then they come toe a nice point. Now what color piper. For this class, I recommend a four size or at nine by 12 inches. My personal favorite is Kadison. In Australia. We don't get this Excel range, but I picked some up in on a recent trip to Hawaii. This one is okay, and it's really, really affordable. But the other cats and papers are really, really good. I recommend that you get something that is 300 GSM. That's the white of the paper. The heavier it is, quite to the thicker the paper is. What that means is that the paper can withstand having more water on it before it starts to buckle. If you've ever tried to paint with watercolors on printer paper or journal paper in a notebook, you'll notice that it can buckle and the color doesn't dry evenly. So 20 bucks will get you a big pad off watercolor pay perverts the right thickness, and that will withstand the amount of water that we want to put on it. To really help you succeed in this class, when they do some basics here, a pencil and a razor, I like to use a flannel something that I can reuse and wash rather than paper towel just so that I'm minimizing the waste that I produced when I'm painting and some washi tape or painter's tape. If you'd like to secure your work to a piece of cardboard or board while you're painting and finally units something to mix your painting now watch dinner plate will work well. Otherwise you can pick up a palette from on art shop. But I like to find quirky shaped dishes at op shops. So if you're into thrift store shopping, then why not have a look for something you can Repurpose says of watercolor palette. Next time, that is all we need to get started, so I'll see you in the next class. 4. Layering: I want to explain the concept that recovering in this section so it's really important that the first layer is dry before you put the subsequent run on water colors a transparent. So if you lie a one color on top of another, you can see the color below. It's not like acrylics oils, where I have the rapacity to completely cover up the lie a beneath. So for the beginners in the class, because this class is aimed at beginners, I just wanted to show you how I make a wash of color to start with. I'm not going to do this for every color that I mix, but it's just so you can say this. So this is our work shake that we're going to be working on, and we're going to be mixing some colors up here. We're going to be working monochromatic Lee in this first exercise, so we're going to mix three Louis Grain washes up. When I said Knicks, I don't actually mean mixing colors at this stage where it was simply creating a wash off some color straight out of your palate. So this is an emerald green, and I am going to has put it in here. I like to mix up the wash rather than picking the color straight out of my palette when I'm doing an exercise like this, because the more you mix in your palate, the more color you dissolve. And so it actually changes the depth of the pigment that you're using. So this my one of my grains will be using. I'll also use this one here. I use a combination off different brands, so I quite like using the at Spectrum Australian brand, which is an Alice quality. This sit here is the Windsor Newton Cotman Range, but I also have I Sin Elia palette, and I've got some quite a few shinning keep colors as well, which I like to just depending upon what pigment they have. So got the shrinky there Cinelli A and the art spectrum turquoise or cobalt turquoise. This one's called Australian turquoise writing yours. We're going to start working in this section here, so we're going to do one that's monochromatic, and then the other is going to pay like this. We're going to get clever, and we're going to mix colors from across the color wheel when you layer them wet on dry like this. You get this additive effect, whereas if you tried to do this when they were wet, you would end up making gray brownie really murky color. So that's the beauty of Liar in. So let's start. Use a brush that's comfortable for you. We're working quite small here, so I have got a six. You could even go down to a one or a tour. If you like working with the big brush or flu, go with a shape that feels comfortable to you. This is a warm up exercise, and we don't want it to take hours, you know, trying to shape H A vase. So if a circle the blob is a Z for your or you want to do or squishes, that's fine. Diamonds, hot shapes doesn't matter randomly feeling my space with one of my grains to start off with here. And it's not critical that I mix all of these now because I'm going to wait for this layer to dry before I start using these other colors. One of the beautiful things about what color is multi tasking. So I'm going to put this color side and I'm going to work on this section here while this one is drawing. It always helps to turn your page so that you don't put your hand in your work. That still wit. All right, for this one, I'm gonna do some circles. As I said with this one, we're going to mixed colors from across the color wheel. I've picked three variations on primary color and we'll have a monochromatic example of here. Okay, so hopefully with this first video should be out of paint along with may. Well, do lie. One over here, layer one over here, and we'll come back once they're dry and add the next layer both these layers of dry now and I can tell because there's no longer any shiny areas. And when I touch these, they no longer feel cold. So that could be a good test to establish that difference between slightly damp, still and dry. Come back in with my turquoise and I'm going to do random shapes again, overlapping. Now you want this wash that you have mixed to be strong enough that it we'll cover up part of the layer below, but you don't want it to bay so thick that it loses all transparency aimed for a middle thickness of color. Not too watery, not to think. And if you're having trouble with that, then you were in the right place because that is what this class is all about. That his arm monochromatic. And I am going to do this turquoise over the top of my yellow now and finish off with the red on here. Very good. Now you notice that I am not putting the color down and scrubbing over the top of the layer below to be very lot and economic with your brush strokes when you are layering one color over the next if you are. If you're scrubbing, then what you end up doing is lifting up on reactivating that bottom layer, and then you no longer layering. You're actually mixing on the page and you'll be losing that definition off. The the circle's edge is as well, and again we'll set that to the side and let it dry. I want to give you an example here off how this wit and wit takes place, So let's pick two colors that we don't normally want to mix together. So perhaps purple and yellow. They're complementary colors, which means that they are opposite each other on the color wheel. If way have yellow and do what we've been doing. We put it down on the page and let it dry. We can then lay a purple over the top of it, and we were still end up with these discreet colors. But if we don't wait for them to dry and we just try to makes them in when color is going to siphon into the other and where they mix, we're going to end up with a muddy brown color can see there. It's not going to give us what we want, OK? And if we mix yellow and purple on top of each other, we end up with with the brown color. So this is our wit and went can create beautiful effects, but it doesn't give us the definition that we're looking for with this exercise. Know that there is a dry you can see how money this has become and how it it doesn't look at all like these layers here could say they still wet and shiny. So I go and grab a couple. They will come back and know the final layer. Two layers, a dry and we're onto our third. Now with this lie, I want you to think about. Some of them are just overlap the first color. Some of them overlap the second color. So we're making little groups of three. And in some places, maybe you can overlap both colors. Once again, we're not scratching away because we don't want to lift the bottom colors up. Is it all overlapping like a petal? And there we go. I think this would be a really nice effect for a greeting card. Maybe you want to do circles all over the page a bit like confetti. Maybe some of them down the bottom are really densely packed together and at the top like bubbles. They are kind of spread out a bit like a floating away. I think that could be a really simple and effective exercise if you want to play with this some more, but you also want something to show for your time and maybe maybe considered something like that. Say we are wiring one I want so tiring is working wet onto dry and understanding that water colors are transparent. Next, we're going to move on to rising, and I'll talk a bit about how we extend this into a whole range of different techniques for water color. 5. Glazing: blazing is layering or stacking color, like stacking up different shades of colored glass or cellophane. So one on top of the other on it modifies the appearance of the layer below so you can say through the top layers to the bottom layer. So the layers of transparent now you can see here I've painted one layer along here in a strip, and as I've applied each of these different colors as a second layer over the 1st 1 it's modified the color of the layer below. So this is what's called glazing in painting, glazing and layering on terms that are used interchangeably. Now when I refer to glazing often, I'm thinking of that pane of glass analogy. So when I'm talking glazing, I'm usually talking about layering one area over another large area. If I have painted all of these yellow areas, let them dry. And then I've painted another color over the top to create a new color that I refer to that is glazing. Whereas I would look at these gold detailing, I call that layering. So I'm adding details and I'm adding a new shape onto the first layer, our first exercising, realizing we are going to paint a strip of color on our work shade along here, and we're going to let it dry because that's what with doing today with with our layering techniques, we must let it dry. Otherwise, the colors into mix and it's no longer a separate layer. Yeah, like a one. This layer is now dry, and we can glaze it with some other layers so that we can create our own greed and say how the color will interact with the other. Lioce. I'm gonna work out right to left being left handed. So I'm not going over my own paint painting the whole time. Ready? So this is our grazing grid and as they dry will be able to see what the additive effect is off these colors over the turquoise. For now, I'll just show you how you can create your own blazing grid, which can be a really good exercise. Before you start on a painting, we're going to be layering lots of different colors, so you would start with your callous game and you paint that along the top and down the side, and then once it's dry, then you can go on at the color. So this color is this color, and you can see how this color react with the red and how it reacts with the dark red, how it reacts with the purple and how it reacts with the blue and so on. And by using this grid like pattern, you can say every possible combination. So this is orange an orange on. This is the lot read on the light red doctorate on doctorate. So even using the same color on top of itself has an additive effect on that could be really useful. You can end up with some really vibrant colors, and you can see here that the blue on top of the purple is a lot more vibrant than the purple on top of the blue. So that's as far as I'm going into grids right now. But you can sit may a bit of your own research around creating grids If this didn't totally makes sense, there's lots of different color mixing grid suggestions that you could check out as well. Now, I'm really excited about this next activity. I'm gonna pick two colors for H Ladybird, and 1/2 of the shape will be painted color. A 1/2 will be painted Kalambay and then we let them dry so that then we can guys at the top of them. Now for added spade. With this exercise, we're actually going to leave a gap down the middle off h half of the life. Do it nice and slowly, okay? And for the areas where you're trying to bay really specific about where the color goes, you use the tip of your brush and you leave it very vertical. Okay? And then when you're coloring in areas, then you can hold your brush it of 45 you use bottom half 2/3 of the tip of your brushing and you drag it along to have off my lady beetle. But let it drive and they were going to glaze over the top. I'm going to go ahead and paint all of the rest and then we'll come back together and add liars. - These layers of our ladybugs are dry now I've got my small brush so that we can start glazing are staying glass layers up our life shapes. So if we consider that they left half his color A and the right half is color Bay. We're gonna be glazing Kalambay with I and we'll be putting Kalambay on top of a so it would just be using these two colors for this guy and these two colors for this one. All right, I've got some shake suggestions in the work shape or you come up with your own as well. Now I find when I'm layering, it's always good to have a slightly Ficker wash to go over the top for subsequent layers. So we work thin to thick, so these are quite light. If we had this color mixes thinkers, we possibly could be very hard to layer another layer of water color over the top and for it to be visible, so I'll get my orange like a thick Malia. Consider using the very tip of your brush and working vertical. It's hard to get very detailed and small areas if you're trying to work on the side. Here we are blazing three small dots on top of Kalambay, and I'll pick up my red to glaze over here at what you probably noticed from when we were looking at the Kala Grieg's is that I own Bay is going to look different to bay on I. So if we get out Ridge and they put that on top of that orange when it dries, we can examine how the spots look different. All right, so that's out. This is a first rising exercise for this 2nd 1 I actually want to do sections like it's on a life. So this is my fellow blue pick up a little bit more of that I actually wanted glaze through the middle like this. So when I think of glazing as opposed to lie ring, this is what I think off I'm putting a flat wash on top of another wash. So here we are. We've got bay on a I've picked up my turquoise and I'm going to lie of that over the top of Kalambay. You say what that looks like when it dries already. You can say how dramatically different this layer of glaze is to this liar, and that's the power of glazing. I'm going to speed this up and I'm gonna work through the other ones. So the main takeaways from this exercise that leaving a white space between things can really help speed up your painting A on B could look different to be on a. And as with our first exercise, the bottom layer must be dry before you move onto the second layer. Now, from a logistical perspective with your pencil lines, what I find it can be quite handy to draw. You're shaped like this, but keep the pencil marks a lot so that you can arise them easily. But then, if you paint in here, then when it's dry, you can arise these lines, and I've given your guide, but they actually haven't bean trapped underneath your paint, so that could be a quite a nice way to do it. So you don't end up with pencil knocks, especially on duh the yellow where it's it's really apparent that so that's a little tip for when you're doing your worksheet. Okay, painting. And then I put some music on so you can watch along e good. And there we are using two colors for age life or H ladybug way have completed a glazing exercise will weaken. See what color A looks like on top of color bay on what color bay looks like on top of color. I'm just for completing this. Some of my favorites are this yellow over the top of the light red, and this turquoise over the top of the cobalt blue, I think, is pretty nice. I also really like this combination of colors that you get here from just two pigments. So there's a Australian turquoise or cobalt turquoise, and then the fallow blue. And how nicely by Oh, look together. What a beautiful sort of cohesive color combo and something that this could be really interesting as well, when you're mixing complementary colors and you get some more muted organic looking colors , which is nice too, right? So this is just a kind of a fun tyke on the idea of this glazing greed. 6. Transparency: annex class. Now that we've looked at what layering means, Onda, what glazing is it brings us to transparency. Now we know that What a color is transparent. We know we can say through it. We can say layers below the top layer and wait can see the texture of the paper. But what does that main in the context of punting? What that means is that with one color of paint, we can actually create multiple tints and tones Just by using one pigment, it's gonna form the basis for our final project as well. So this is really important because a lot of beginners in class asked me There's no what you haven't given me any. What? How do I lighten the color? All right, so where you're going to look at that. Now we're onto po'ed two of our work shape. So the idea of transparency with water colors is that you can stop with a wash of color that's got a lot of paint and a small amount of water, and that will give you I really doc value of that color. If you add some water, you're changing the ratio of water to paint and you add a little bit more water to it than it lightens the value of the color. You add a bit more water and again let's see if I can get this right. It lightens the value off the color. And so, with just one color of paint, you can get an endless variety of tints and times. Now it is practised knowing how much water you need to add to get that ratio just right. So if you had a bit of difficulty with the previous class with maybe your first layer went down waiter dark and you couldn't get the second later show up, then. This will really help with that. All right, So when you're mixing a color, you need to be aware. Are you aiming for this one or this one or this one? Alright, if you're wanting to put down a base layer to glaze over the top off, you don't want to use this color because anything that you try and glazed over the top of that is just not going to show up. So you need to be aware off this now we can also join those all together to make a graduated Wash, and this is worth practicing. This is something that you'll find in any what a color fundamentals class. So we start with with really dark, and we add some water to it. Lock it up. There's lots of different ways that you can do this. Some are more foolproof than others, like tinting the page as you go. As I said, it's sort of practice as to how much water you need to add to get the ratio just right, and that's going to be different with each color. Some pigments, a really strong others Lighten up really fast. When you're doing this, don't do it with yellow. Pick a grain or a blow, something that you can get a really sick, dark color when you mix it really thick. If you're watching this class and this is new to you, do yourself a favor and in your sketchbook, pick a color picker green. Pick your favorite color and try and mix at least three or four different title values with the same color. This is this is a thick wash, and this is a thin wash, so this has, ah lot of painting it toe water, and this is mostly water We're going to feel in our pyramid here and with our colors. So what you can actually do in your palate on your plate or whatever is you can't mix a thick wash, mix a medium wash, mix a light wash and makes a really light wash so that we can feel in each of these sections in a pyramid. And you don't have to just eyeball it and just hope that it's right, you know, grab a scrap pace of paper and and test them out beforehand to make sure that they are the color that you want, right? So I've got I 123 and four so that I can compare them right when we do our turtle exercise , when we're going to be doing a similar thing, we will be missing, mixing four washes of the same color. So that's why we're practicing this now. So I start off with I'm going to paint inside my pencil lines so that I can arise them. And remember, if you have true wit layers that touch each other, they're going to blade together. It's a fundamental of water color, so if we leave a tiny gap then I could get away with during this quite quickly without having to white for Elias to drive between. It's going to here at the moment. So normally things dry almost as I paint them on the page. But with this where that's taking a bit longer. So, yeah, and you notice with an area like this, I'm keeping the edges wet as I bring it down. I'm not just outlining the whole shape and then coloring it in like we sort of do with textures, because you will end up with a layer who form a layer around the edge that will dry before you get back to it. Is that lying to and take this as an opportunity to to practice your precision? All right, really. Take your time to try and concentrate on the edges of your work. Keep your if you're If you feel like you lack brush control, then try and hold your brush closer to the tip. Okay and work with in a vertical manner. If you are a really loose person, it's very hard to control the tip when you're holding it all the way back here. I came once again, 45 degree angle for filling in areas but fairly upright for outlining and precision work. And if you put one of these layers down and go or it's too light or it's too dark, that's okay. You can rectify that by doing a bit of mixing on the page. I like to work from one side to the next. Try and keep everything wet as I move along so that it doesn't dry and get patchy and you see that I don't have huge amounts of paint like flooding across the page. I'm working relatively dry, and I've got a small brush, so I'm controlling the flow of paint. So these ingredients, if we want to compare that to glazing what we can do here is we can actually do the whole area in our number one in the lightest color, and this is going to lead us into negative painting, laying down a flat wash, even color over the whole area, and we can let that dry. So here we are here we've mixed four different Grady inside the same color, and we've laid them. We've lived a gap just to expedite the process, but you can say that you get a fairly similar result from glazing them. Apart from the fact I haven't left a gap here. You saw that I layered the entire area with the lightest color, and then I left this and then washed over the entire area with the second color and so on and so on. So there's actually four layers in this bottom area. These colors look a little different because this one is still wet. But I feel like it's really down to personal preference as to the way that you enjoy working. I tend to work in less layers, and I mix the color that I need, whereas other artists prefer to work with lots of thin layers building up to the color that they need. So there's two different techniques for you to use and to decide what works for you. 7. Negative Layering: Oh, right. So this is where we really start to solidify what we've been learning and putting it all into practice. I'm also going to be talking in this section this lesson about how you get a really nice flat wash, because that's something that only comes with practice. But I will give you all the tips that you notice a beginner to be able to experience. Success. Sorry. These are examples of negative paintings, and this is what we'll be doing a little moonlit sane with some waves on. What you can do is you can do yours on a separate piece of paper and then trim it down into a little note card. Because I think that's really sweet. That's an option. Is a mini project. Otherwise, you can simply do it on which and I have included a template for this in the project section, so that you can download that and you can trace the design under the work shape or onto a piece to make a card. If you prefer. There's some really nice examples off negative painting. I put them on the Pinterest board. I've seen negative paintings with lots of cats, negative paintings with tropical leaves or mance terror at this would look really nice as a Valentine's Day card as well with heart shapes. So we're going to do this because I love the ocean. I really lightly sketched this onto my worksheet and we're going to be working like to dock with their layers, right so thin to thick. I'm going to do mine in this same blue. But if you want to do it in a different color, just make sure you pick a pigment that has got a wide tonal range. So this is gonna be really hard to do in a light green or in a yellow. If you've got something like an Eliza and Crimson or Violet, probably any of the blues will be OK. Cobalt blue might be difficult. All right, so pick something where you can do this exercise, and you know that you can get a broad range of colors. Okay, We're going to start lot when they to start with our background wash in something akin to this so that we have got some space to get darker and darker. Okay, now, I wanted to mention to you that this doesn't have to be a monochromatic exercise. You could actually do this by layering different colors over the top, but you probably wanted Teoh. You're glazing grid with your colors first to make sure that you happy with the combination and then you can get painting. If you have got thinner paper and you're worried about it buckling, especially if you want to make it into a card, then use some washi tape, which is Japanese. Take Matt out of paper or painter's tape to tape it down. First to card. I find that the backs of what color pads a really useful for these. Or you can use a wooden board, tape it down first, and then you know that it's it's not gonna back alone stretched too much. I'm just gonna live dangerously and do it without taping. So number one this is a important a little advice for all beginners is. Before you start, you need to prepare, so you need to mix up a big enough wash so that you know you can cover this whole area without running out. If you If you get halfway through your wash and you have run out of paint, you are not going to be able to make the exact same thickness of paint that you started off with. So we need enough volume of paint that this is going to get you through the entire pitch. Pick a brush that's going to be appropriate was, well, I wouldn't be using a size one to feel in this area because it's just not going to help me to fly. I finished talking in a second, but I have really lightly outlined my rectangle on lightly outlined the moon and just the top layer over the waves. But I haven't worried about anyway of shapes down here, because I'm just gonna free hand that, and I don't want to worry about the pencil marks showing through right, So I've got a nice whip brush, but it's not dripping wet. I high, but it is wit and to make a nice wash without it being blotchy. It's about balancing the amount of water on your brush and the amount of paint that's on your page. So I say this this is called the bait, and it's about keeping obeyed on the edge off your point so that the edge doesn't dry out. If you get lots of dry brush marks, and then you're dipping in with a really wet brush. And what's happening is that the point that you've put down is already drying out, and then you're introducing wet pigment into that. So it is flooding cross. It's almost like you're creating Alaia and then adding another liar onto it. Now you can tilt your page to help keep it. Really, Even if you want to A man you can say that that baby is running right along the edge and you can pull that down. Does he go say this is really good to practice. If you haven't done this before, have a few practices before you start on your, um on your night card. You want to get it really flat Then I think tooting is the white ago for something like this. I'm not using the tip of my brush. I am dragging with the top third and I'm always re wedding my brush So my brush isn't drawing out. I'm not ending up with bristle mocks from dragging the dry point when you took the page like this, you say that what you're doing really is just pulling the paint down nice and steady. All right, now we've got a bit extra troops left over Normally, what you do is you don't wash your brush, you dry it off and then you can soften some of that extra. Serve we to to so that it oh runs down. The idea is that you normally don't wash your brush, because then it's it's got the same concentration of painting it that you have on your page , so it's sort of siphons bit better, think guard, but that last little bit there and soften it off. And then we have a relatively flat wash, and we're going to let layer one dry before we start adding the subsequent layers. And it's called negative painting because you I guess you paint in a subtracted way. So next layer, we're not going to paint this section, and we're not going to paint this section, so this is going to stay with our lightest color. But then the next areas are all going to save the next darkest turn of the pigment, so leave it there, and once it's dry, I will be back for later. And this is where all the magic happens. a layer is dry, and we will now be starting to put on layer to with a color around here. What I like to do is kind of plan my journey. If I've got some awkward areas that I need to cut in, I figure out what I'm gonna do them first or last, because I want to make sure that that wet Beed stays at the front of my painting as I go. If you go around the moon, my bonus here if it doesn't shop on the video. If I start painting here and I paid all of this area and then come back around this section will have dried by the time I get there, so you need to progressively pull your wash along the page. It's always a good idea to sort of plan that before you get started. Concentrating on keeping my edge is nice and clean so you can see it's wet up here and it's wet here. And I'm going to keep pulling those along and around until they made up again, and that where you don't end up with Apache Wash that you might actually decide that you would quite like to have texture in your sky and you want it to be patchy. And that's fine. Watercolor has this amazing ability to give all of these different kinds of texture, and that's awesome. But it's good to be able to Dubai Nice to be able to add texture and also nice to be able to do something really flat. If that's the affect, you going for you notice. I went quite quickly, and that allows me to keep that edge weight without too much drawing going on dry my brush off, siphon off the excess. And now I've been outside my rectangle here, so I'm going to wash my brush, give it a really good dry, and then what? That section to try and clean it up. Sometimes it's too wet. It's better to let it dry and then come in with a damp brush and then lift off any little mistakes with a bit of a scrub rut. So, looking at this card here, we've left our moon and we're going to leave this top wave, as are level one, and we're going to paint this entire section from here down with this same lavatory color. I would just make sure that I have got enough wash mixed up so that I can do this. You can always have a bit of scrap, and you contest the depth of your color. You don't have to just mix it. Andi. Just hope that it's right, you know, going to go here, draw these lines, using the tip of my brush and then keeping that bait as I go so that it doesn't dry out. Okay, You might like to have your the peaks of your waves offset, or you might like to have them. You know, the same is the lay before working quickly through this section. So if you're drawing, you're waves and you're not quite happy with them. You can raise shake them while they wet. But once you get down to the bottom here and the wives of Saturday dry, just have to leave them. You know, maybe you can fix them on the next layer. Maybe that's just how they have to bay. And water color is an exercise in accepting imperfection. Sometimes also the you know, the stronger your technique gets, the less unpredictable the medium is, and you tend to find that things do what you expect them to more often, which is good. That's that's the payoff for practicing. It's Loki. Have to let that dry gin, and once it's no longer shiny and it's no longer cold where you can add the next layer, you could make these layers really, really gradual. Or you could bake quite stark and and have a big contrast. It's up to personal preference. You might just sort of have four waves that you could do. Nine. It's up to you. If you go and paint some of these lighters, any fund that you have fuzzy points on your waves, then it's probably because you haven't let the bottom layer dry quite enough. And that's when it starts to blade around the edges. Instead of giving a sharp edges, remember, would a color drives lighter? Then it looks when it's wet. Done. If you have trouble getting really nice, fine points, you can always scorpion and at two different paintbrushes. Sometimes I'll have a small brush in my hand for cutting in and then a bigger brush fulfilling in big areas, so that's totally fine. I waited really patiently for this last layer to dry. I really wanted to make sure that my lines were gonna be sharp and weren't going to blade for the next layer up. See, this is where things start to dry if you let them. That's where you want to keep the baby flowing. Couple more liars in here. Let's say at this point you also need to be careful that you're not scrubbing as you move the color around this Saleh blur is a staining pigment, But if you have a non staining one, then you might find that you're lifting the color as you put the next layer down. So you need to be very economical with your brush strikes like this drag color. Pull it along rather than, you know, dabbing. This is still quite wet, so I feel I can go up if there was a bit more definition because they Dhaka pigments starting toe flow into each other. Now, when that dry, when this dries lighter, I still want the debate good contrast between these two layers. I'm going to finish off the other two, and then we'll have a look at what the finished negative liars pointing exact. So here is the final layer on our negative painting on. And with this one, I've done 1234567 layers. So if you're new to water color at the beginning of this class, maybe you didn't pick you yourself adding seven layers onto a painting. But there you are. You've done it. Now, up to this point, we've we've really been glazing. So we've been adding, Ah, flat, large layer on top of the layers below. Next class, we're going to talk about how we start adding some definition and detail using patent online. As you noticed with my classes, I like to scaffold the learning. So we build on previous exercises. I hope that you're really starting to get confident with adding wet layers onto dry layers now. But up until this point, we really haven't been working with any detail. Way have been using washes in really large areas. And now we're going to to look at how we add depth so that we can bring that into their phone project and point our sea turtle with lots of details. So just to sort of show you how that can link in with what we've already done, I've now got a tiny brush. This is a zero, and I've mixed really, really thick dark wash here, and I can start to define some of these areas with some lines. If we have dry liars and then we start adding lines. This is how we get really nice, sharp details. We could do anything with this. You could add lots and lots of little lines contouring the shape of the wave. You could had farm. You could put stars in the sky or some sort of graphic cloud shape or moon rays coming out of the moon. And the interesting thing to note here that without layering because we got out a contrast right. There isn't a real need to go in an ATM on everything, because using the rot, tints and shades has actually done that for us already. All right, so this will lead us into the next section of the class. Wash defined Patton and Lawn 8. Wash Define Pattern Line: now I want her demonstrate this concept off wash, defined pattern and line So all three layers are always applicable to every painting. But it just gives you a strategy and a way of looking at a painting and breaking Adele to decide how you might approach the painting off your subject matter. So educate with a nice life shape, we're going to do a Christmas barbell. I'll demonstrate this in four steps. So on the first step, we do our wash over the entire shape. Secondly, way define different areas using at glazing technic. Step three. We start to add pattern and detail over the previous areas. We have to find a step for We add lines and small data house to finish off the painting. I'm going to split the first layer into two different areas to make my Christmas barbell multicolored. But if I want these two butt up against each other, I need to let it dry. In between. We need to be working light to dark for this activity, just like with the previous activities. And here you can say, I've done my orange wash, let that dry and then done a turquoise wash in the middle In Step two, we are defining sections off the painting so it might bay that your defining areas of pattern it could bathe at your defining segments of a life. It really, really depends on the context. You Congar eyes areas with the same color. If you remember, our transparency is exercise. You say, here I can put to it boys over the first layer of turquoise, and it's still going to show up, so we're defining different areas in that way. For Step three pattern, I am switching to a smaller brush so that I can start to work with more details. I need to mix a much thicker wash than before so that it can show up over the previous layers of paint. And like with our other exercises, you need to let the previous layers dry before you come in with these little day tiles, Step four is for adding details. We need to really, really thick wash. I'm using my zero paintbrush. This is when you would be using black or white highlights to finish off the pace. But as you can see here, you can also use a darker color that is already in the painting as well. So I'm adding some outlines and some definition, and I'm also adding, blew over the top of the yellow, which works because it's thick and I'm even able to add red dots and circles over my blue layers because I've got nice, thick, dark red. If I was trying to lay a yellow over the top off the turquoise or the blue, that's just not going to work because it's such a light pigment. So you really do need to plan out the way going to work and to consider whether something is going to raid on top of another color or not holding my brush quiet vertically so that I can work with precision to get those lines and those circles exactly where I want them. So I went again to recap we've got Step one wash step to define Step three Patton and step for line. And just like that, you've added four layers of color. I'm giving you the skills here to be able to incorporate as many layers as you need for the project that you're working on. Having said that, you're not always going to be doing ah wash a defining layer, a pattern and a line area. So I'm showing you a couple of examples of how I build up layers in my work using different components of this sort of strategy. So with this little babushka guy here, you can see with his jacket that I have put down a wash. Then I have defined his his collar on his jacket by using a darker wash to glaze these areas. What's that to dry? I've added in lines for the stitching and to define the slaves. So I've done that in three layers, haven't obviously put any pattern in that. This project here was for a flyer, and I've done a whole pile off really bold bright washes. And then I've gone in and I've added some pattern in with some different lines and shapes like that. So that's true layers, but it still gives a graphic look and there's a lot of detail in here. All right, this one here, you say if you look at the ocean thistle is multiple layers, and this is using some wet and wet techniques, which we haven't covered it all in this class. But I put down ah wash in this area first, um, some extra liars for loading up color and forgetting the softness through here. And then I've in my second layer. I've defined this section of the wave, and I've made this darker in this lighter, and then I haven't had any pattern. But I've used lots of lines on and dots to bring in the contours and that and to show and convey the shape of the wave. So I went to get that's sort of a three layer approach. This was to lie reproach, and this was another three liar approach. So it really depends on what you're doing. This one down here. Hopefully you can say, that's pretty small. This little guy here his vest has got one layer for the wash on, then a line. The dark gray line is defining the shape of the best in the pockets, and then the white ink is the pattern. So again, there's three layers there. But it's just a variation on this grey one up here 9. Putting It All Together: for a final project. We're going to combine all of our new techniques and understanding about using watercolor layers to come up with a say turtle composition. We're going to paint it monochromatic, Lee. So we're all we're using one color. But we're going to be using different levels of transparency to create the shading and the pattern. Here's another example off Mature, say, turtle. You can paint your final work as a greeting card, or you can paint a bigger version that you can then frame or keeping your sketchbook so it will be using layers of transparency. Through this process will be working like two dark and will be starting with a wash, and then well defined areas will add pattern. And in a final layer, we will add lines to finish off the work. So that's a wash. Define pattern and line to build up her composition over a number of layers, rather than trying to get the whole work finished just in one layer. And that's what gives it this really graphic look as a lot of depth to it. And this exercise really helps to get you thinking with that watercolor mindset. Thinking about the end guy and how you need to work over a number of layers to get to the final visual outcome. 10. Final Project: Sea Turtle: already our final project, you'll find this templates underneath. The resource is section on the right hand side of the projects tab, so you can either freehand draw your own turtle or, if you want a bit of help, download this one and then trace it onto water color paint. I have also mixed a little bit of Veridian grain through with my fellow blue that I had from the previous exercises. I haven't been that scientific about it. I've just add a little bit of grain to each of them. And then I've tested them out on a swatch to make sure that the right amount of light or dark it's quite nice toe have that natural variation as you move through the times. So the first thing we gotta don't nice and 80 is we're going to cover the entire turtle shape with a light wash. Remember the light to dark. We're going to be using a light wash for our first layer, just like when I was talking about putting down a flat wash in the previous lessons, you need to plan your strategy, so if you start in the middle, then you're going to have areas where you need to push the wash up in all different directions at once. Otherwise, you're gonna end up with lines where it's dried. So what I tend to do is maybe I'll start here, pull the wash down and join this up and then bring the wash all the way across so that I can finish off from one side to the other. That tends to work for May. Having said that, if you end up with a blotchy wash on your first layer, it doesn't matter because the other layers air going to hide the most to do. Since, as I said before Number one rule, make sure that you have enough wash to cover the entire area. And then off I go keep your pencil lines nice and light, or you could use watercolor pencil is well to pencil in the lines. I've made mine a bit darker than usual so that you can see what I'm doing. Yeah, and that is layer one done. As with the other exercises we've done today, we need to let this dry Feli and then we will add on our second life for Layer two. We're going to be working with a thicker wash to define the areas of the show and then to start to pick up the pattern off the flippers. You could look at some reference images and then really just start to make it up. You can bay as detailed or Aziz, not data as you'd like. You can see with this one. I've incorporated sort of slightly different variations on the color, So I've achieved that by mixing in like a blue and gray and then using differing amounts of those as I don't each of the sections of the show. So that's something to experiment with, or you can just keep it quite flat and use one color. So I've got a medium sized brush here. Check that my color is dark enough, and then we just take our time and start to pick out these elements. I use my pencil marks as a guide, and I don't paint over them, and that way it helps me to leave that very, very, very seen spice between where we say the bottom Liar. So that's a no exercise in precision for you to try and make sure you stop your washer's from running into each other. I don't usually outline a shy pin, then Philippine. But I can get away with it because this area is small on painting quite quickly, and also it's quite cold here today, said the drying time is longer than it usually is. Also remember, you don't want these to be so dark that you won't be able to say any other layers that go on top of it if you need to swept to a smaller brush through that. - So that's the first section of our show done without our second layer, where we are defining the segments off the show. I'm going to keep painting now, as I do the patterning on the fiends. - Right . So there is the second layer completed across the all fins and the shell. I'm gonna come in now on to a little bit of detailing on the head and do, sir lines here to sort of show where his neck has turned. And then we'll be on toe Elias three and four, which is really just adding some pattern and date out of the show. So we're really, really close. We're almost done. We're finished a wash on. We finished our layer where we've defined the shell wave added some pattern on the sign Maya so have defined the areas around the fins. Andi, they head and they were going to come in without Third Liar and we're going to start to add some patterning on the show, a reference image again, you can see there's this sort of pineapple textured sunburst pattern on the shell. I'm going to complete that in two layers. So initially I am going to use a week wash to do the semi circle and maybe some spokes. And that's Dr Will come in without line work to really define that last lay with the patterns. We have got down a patent on a previous Maya that's old, dry, and then we're gonna work with a really small brush, a one or a zero. Whatever feels comfortable to you so that we're not flooding too much paint on, and we can get some really nice details. Now I have made sure that my wash here is really nice and thick so that it's going to show up over these other layers, and we're just going to put in some some final details, a bit like highlights to help define everything. It could be really nice to do this with what, depending upon the outwork, using white or black or really, really dark mics off the color that you're working with to add some highlights? Simple. And if this wash isn't thick enough, it's not going to show up. If you want thin lines, then use a really like pressure. And if you want thicker lines, then you press them how to. If you want to get really nice straight lines when you're working with a fine brush, I find that you look where you want to go. So rather than watching your paintbrush, you look at where you want the brush to arrive sort of a hand eye coordination thing. And here is our finished say, Turtle. We've used four layers washed, defined pattern and line to build up our painting. 11. Thanks: well done. You finish watching the class. We do our best learning by picking up a brush and giving it a guard. So I'd love to see your total project. And don't forget, you can ask questions in the discussion section. Now I'm running a giveaway for the first month of the classes live. So to enter, all you need to do is watch the class and labor review. They tell us about the prize or in the about section. It would mean so much if you could take a few moments to review the class because it really helps with visibility on the platform. And if you know anyone that would enjoy the class place to share with them, I have a more advanced class that might interest you about watercolor wash and more classes plan. So I follow May so you don't miss out. Finally, I'm on instagram so feel afraid attacking class work so we can celebrate. Thanks for watching and happy painting