Loosen Up Your Watercolor Painting | Elisa Ang | Skillshare

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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

10 Lessons (1h 31m)
    • 1. LoosenUpWatercolor 01 Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Right Ratio of Water and Paint

    • 4. Confident Brush Strokes

    • 5. Unrestricted Colors

    • 6. Patches of Shapes

    • 7. Painting Outside the Lines

    • 8. Painting Background

    • 9. Bringing It All Together

    • 10. When is a Painting Finished

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About This Class


We often hear the word "loose" in watercolor painting. We may think of painting loose as painting quickly, sometimes carelessly or leaving out details. However, painting loosely involves planning, observation and practice.

This class will help you learn how to intuitively know the ratio of water to paint, learn techniques to painting loosely like painting with confident brushstrokes, using colors that inspire you, using patches of shape, painting outside the lines and painting backgrounds before sketching. We will talk about the amount of details that need to be included in your painting, and also know when a painting is finished.

This class is good for beginners and experienced artists looking for new ways to paint in watercolor in a loose manner.

Meet Your Teacher

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Elisa Ang

empower you to make art inspired by your stories


Elisa Ang sketches and paints her life using pen and watercolour.

She believes that everyone is creative and that creativity is not only limited to the artist. Her desire is to empower others to make art inspired by their stories.

She teaches drawing and painting to children and adults. When she's not working, she likes to read, watch cooking/family shows, go to nature trips and take photos. She currently resides in Singapore with her husband.

You can see more of her works at her website, Youtube, Instagram




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1. LoosenUpWatercolor 01 Introduction: we often hear the word loose in watercolor painting. We may think off painting lose as painting quickly, sometimes carelessly or even living out these heels. However, painting those involves planning, observation and practice. Hello, everyone. My name is ELISA and welcome to loosen up your watercolor painting. In this class, you will learn how to intuitively know the racial off water to paint, learn techniques, the painting loosely like painting with confident brush strokes, using colors that inspire you using patches of shape, painting outside the lines and painting backgrounds before sketching. We will talk about the amount of details that need to be included in your painting and also no when the painting is finished. This class is good for beginners and experience artists looking for new ways to paint watercolor induce manner for your project. You assert for a subject that captures your interest and express it in the painting that is loose, personal and unique. By applying the techniques that you have learned, I look forward to seeing you in class. Let's get started 2. Materials: Hello and welcome back to class. Let us begin by going through with the simple materials. First is the watercolor paints. You can use the water Carter sets where the Conners are already chosen for you. You can also choose your own colors from water colored shoes and squeeze them in pence so you can take them with paint. When the color stripe can, actively the pigments by spraying them with water, you can also squeeze the pains in patterns. If you preferred fresh paints, the work with some brands off what a corner paints that are good for beginners are. And here are some off the good artist great paints. Next is the water corner paper. You will need 300 GSM watercolour paper. It needs to be thick enough so that water can stay on the surface without being absorbed quickly. Make sure the papers acid free so that it will last a long time without turning yellow. Some of the good student quality water corner paper are, and here are the Artists Creek. What's a color paper? Finally, watercolor brushes. Brown brush size eight or 12 subversive hug brush for painting. Small so big areas rigour size zero is great to paint small details. Brushes are made of Kolinsky hair makes hair imitation hair and synthetic makes hair invitation hair and good quality. Synthetic brushes are great for beginners. Brush size will depends on the brand that you're looking for, so make a comparison before you buy. Here are some of the recommended brushes according to hair types. If you have other types and sizes off brushes, feel free to use an experiment with them. I have a fun and uncle brush are great in painting nature. You will also need black pen to do some sketching. You can also use some found materials around your home. Create background for your paintings like salt Clean graph are some mesh and cardboard that I think the great good texture. In the next video, you will get to know more about the ratio off. Paint the water When it comes to watercolor painting, Let's get started 3. Right Ratio of Water and Paint: water is very important in watercolor painting, but do you know how much water to use in relation to paint? The answer to that is purely experiential. Draw three squares and with first box with the brush with water and without wiping the access. Get the little among paint. What color is light because there's more water than paint with the second box. After Washington brush, wipe the excess water on the edge of the cup before getting a bit of paint. You can see how the Conners are bright and easy. The mover finally on the third box, dry the brush using official paper or cloth and get some pains. If the brashness drier, it's a challenge to move the paint A so you can see the ratio off Water to paint depends on what do you want to achieve on your painting. But knowing how to control the amount of water to paint is essential to achieve the desired outcome. When you are in the midst of painting, how do you know when you need to wet the brush and get some paint? You can feel it while painting when it's not a smooth as before, because the brush becomes dry, or you can see how it is running out of paint. As the color becomes lighter and lighter, scraping the brush against the paper in hopes of getting out the paints could only damage the brush. Depending on the brush you used, it could only hold so much water and paint. If you use thin brush, you need to constantly wet the brush and get paint. If your brush is dry and you loaded into the Web paint, it will be quite difficult toe booth. If you use a bigger round brush, you will be able to cover much without constantly loading the brush in water and paint the with the brush. You can swirl it around the water for a few seconds, wiping on the corner of the cup, then get some paints. You can also deep the tip off the brush on water. If you need a bit of moisture to get the flow going in the middle of your painting, you can also swirl the brush into the water and without wiping the excess water. Get us much paint if you are going to cover a big area with color. As you continue the pains, you will be able to intuitively know when the wet the brush and get more paint 4. Confident Brush Strokes: how you hold and move. The brush is helpful in painting with confident brush strokes. When you are used to holding a pencil where your index finger and come are close to the end of the pencil, there's a restriction of movement, especially if you want to express something loosely. Similarly, in painting. When you hold the brush close to the edge, you are not fully enjoying the looseness of how watercolor painting is supposed to be. There's a stiffness in movement, and sometimes we're doing more off the coloring in rather than painting. Knowing how to hold your brush is essential to painting loosely in watercolor. First step is to pick up the brush using index finger and come hold the brush somewhere about the fair rules. Then let it tilt to the edge off your forefinger as the brush rest. It needs a pillow, which iss your middle finger to serve as a support. Okay, now practice holding your brush. In this new position, feel the movement off your arm and how easy it is to switch from using the belly to the tip of the brush. Okay, not this also, how you can move fairly quickly and become more experimental with your strokes. I find that listening to music is helpful to me when I paint, as it inspires me to allow the brush toe that along the music. I like to listen to classical music or any music that is coming and sentimental. Let's do an activity and practice holding the brush and create some brush strokes on the blank sheet of paper paint. Different kinds of brushstrokes inspired by music. You can feel the paper with various strokes, shapes and colors, or you can paint something from observation. You can also use other brushes that you have on hand. The important thing is to practice holding a brush in the relax script. Move your arms and a love your brush too dense. I have no plan on what I wanted to paint, so I just create different marks using different colors. Then slowly, I began to think off nature. I feel relaxed, just allowing the brush to create shapes and lines using warm and cool colors. This is a good and fun way to learn more about the precious that we used. I hope you will give this a try. Hold your brush in the relaxing, gripped, listen to some music and create different strokes that your precious can make Enjoy the process way, way. 5. Unrestricted Colors: I didn't find corners according to what you see is helpful, especially if the goal is to copy the corner exactly as this. Here I see red, purple and blue purple on the flowers and makes those corners of painting. This, However, being able to experiment with covers and interpret them different, makes an artwork even more striking and unique. I used magenta and ultra marine blue and allow the colors the touch without missing them. - The first flower was good. The second flower has this pup of calmer that is striking. The key to painting on, restricted by real colors, is to know the temperature of colors. It is categorized as warm and cold colors. Warm colors has high saturation, like red, yellow, orange, brown and even pink. On the other hand, cool colors and the fall back and give the feeling off like green purple. Notice also that the warm and cool colors are analogous collars, which means they are colors that sit next to each other in the corner Real. Therefore, painting in analogous collars is one way to make your paintings that help. Not this, that this architecture has the colors off mostly white, blue, grey and Dr the Paint, using unrestricted by real colors, observed where the night is coming from. On the object on the photo it is coming from the left side. I added a hint off yellow and fellow blue to show light. When you see colors that you're not sure off, determine what color it is closest to. For example, the color on the left side of the roof looks like blue but a lighter shade. So I use fellow blue to indicate light blue, then add more depth by using cobalt blue. I leave some parts off the paper and paint it as well. I start in the shadow area with cool colors like Prussian blue and some purple. I softened the edges off the roof for the details Underneath it. I use lots of water in painting loosely because it enables the paint the moves and blend. I also paint the whites off the architecture by outlining it with water, plus a touch off bluish purple. Instead of using gree, I did the same on the entrance, but on the adding of bits off magenta. For the lighter side, - I soften the edges and painted negatively to show the whites off the wall. You can see how I hold the brush about the for room to help me move freely. I have minimal details and continue to dark in the shadow areas to create contrast. - The pain unrestricted by real colors is freeing because it helps us to become more creative in choosing colors that makes our painting sing with life. I encourage you to find one thing today and enjoy the different colors that you can use the make your painting unique. 6. Patches of Shapes: another technique to paint loosely in what a corner is. Painting in patch tests off shape. Creating a color swatch helps train our eyes to identify the colors that we see on the subjects. It also serves as a reference on the colors that we will need and use for painting for the apple. I can see pretty banana. I draw the contour off the fruits with a pencil. Not this. How I hold the pencil in the higher position. It helps me to not only draw likely, but also expressed the lines. Loosely painting and patches of shape is all about following the curve or shape of an object and then lay the brush down to create like a collar sheep. I first start with the light corner off Gamble chew and lemon yellow NEC unseen, usually in darker Carter shapes each time following the volume off the object. Make sure the pain is stark enough, yet moist so that it's easy to move and enabled the colors blend. Uh, - use a rigor to paint small details. Remember to knock over work on this. - Holding the brush about the federal enables meets a pain in gestural marks. I really like how the colors are blended together and the whites off. The paper creates the illusion pilot because the paint is still moist. Painted spots and other small details soften nicely, almost like painting by itself. The effortless blending is what I like most about watercolor. Choose another color and curved the brush and laid down another ship, allowing the carters touch. It's all about gently laying the brush onto paper, making a color mark. This creates texture and white space way when the paint is stride, plays in a darker color to create them. Identify the colors that we need the pains and then laying down those colors in patches of shape is a relaxing way to paint, still life or anything that has volume. I hope you give this a try and sharing in the project gallery. In the next lesson, I will discuss about painting outside the lines. Yep, you heard that right? See you in the next video 7. Painting Outside the Lines: painting outside the lines is a freeing, an exciting experience to allow the corners to interact. And it also creates character your paintings. It is a great way to be both in handing. What's the corner paints? Sketching. Using a pen provides me the opportunity to observe the subject. I focus on the lines, shapes and perspective. - I also include details that I think will complement the subject. - I am happy with the sketch, and I enjoyed looking closer to the subject that I'm sketching. The first technique and painting outside the lines is to use a like wash the paint, then soften a bit water. Put the colors outside. The lines of the drawing colors would usually flow gently. The word the water is brush should be wet and contain a few amount of paint to create a light first layer of color. Not this. How the initial wash creates a glow on the drawing. Painting outside the line is also a great warm up as you keep building the corner values of the painting. - One way to create texture is to paint some off the lines, then soften a good water. I switched to a rigger brush so that there's more control on the water. I continue to build up the values by using washes off darker colors. - Painting the water is my favorite part. I prefer to paint in short strokes to create the illusion of movement. I start from light to dark and use the site of the brush to print and lift off the create this lines. Not this also how I am holding the brush to ensure the lines are loose. I couldn't see him too adept on the water by using the colors reflected off the house. I didn't paint the entire water, but leave some parts and painted so as interest way , way, way. - The second technique is negative painting where you paint the contour off the drawing, then soften it with water to allow the colors the flow within and out off the drawing, creating a soft effect. I dropped in the mix off lemon, yellow and fellow blue on the contour of the stem, then soften it with water. So I love the color to flow out. I added a darker shade of green, then dump in the area on the positive shape. Allow some off the colors to go in. This is another way of painting outside the lines, and it creates a lovely contrast off light and dark in the painting. When you are painting in parts where there is some overlapping, it is best to put paint on the darker part of the subject, then soften it with water for the lighter area off the flower. Observe the light and dark off your subject. I like to slowly build up the dark as I paint. Sometimes I was softened it again, then another layer to create more depth to create a sense of flight or movement of flight use clean water toe pull out some off the colors. - Spotter always live in upper painting, and it ties in the elements together. Painting outside the lines is a great technique to help you be more adventurous in watercolor painting. In the next lesson, you will learn some ways on the house of pain interesting backgrounds that you can use to sketch on See you in the next video 8. Painting Background: a blank paper or canvas is an opportunity to create something you, however, most often we overthink on. But a draw or paint. A great inspiration is to paint the bathroom first. There are so many ways to paint the background. The key here is to make it simple and use warm and cool colors you can with an area on the paper, then spatter 1 to 2 colors. I really like the merging off the two colors. Then I decided to use my brush and pull out the colors and made it into thin branches. Thes are all intent. What I like about this is that we can get creative and play with different ways off painting background. I also feel come and relax. I continue to pull out more branches and added salt for some texture. Then I decided to create Prince, using about off the brush and dipping it into the paint, then spraying it with water. To create this cool, diffuse effect, I continue to add more thoughts and use water. The pullup branches allow the paper to dry before doing any sketches. Painting the background first can inspire us on, but to sketch or paint I wanted to sketch a flower. I used the pen the sketch and added some darker lines. The great contrast. - I really like how the painted background adds charm that this painting for the next one, I sprayed the top area with water before dropping in warm colors. Huh? I continue to spray as I add more collars. Then I tell the paper, spray some water and drop in some cool colors. - I also added salt for texture. I put some pains on a corrugated cardboard than created Prince. I use a mesh like a stencil and put some paint for some dark effects. - Once the painting is striking, I drew a little village off small houses and trees and some distant mountains. The background colors gives a feeling off winter, with a bit of sunshine showing through okay . - Painting the background first is a great way to inspire future creation artworks. It's easy and fun to go, and the possibilities are endless. It also encourages creativity. Give it a try and share your background paintings in a project gallery 9. Bringing It All Together: the only way to get better in any skill is to practice. Let's apply what we have learned so far. Throughout the class. I am sketching a castle sitting on top from mass foliage. I included on the a few details and indicated few lines to suggest foliage. I use a mix of cadmium and lemon yellow for the lightest part off the castle. I dropped in more commerce while the washing swept. I didn't train the entire front of the castle, but leave some of the paper and painted to indicate the bright life. I use a mix off, more permanent roast uncoupled blue for the shaded area in the middle of the castle, and the bluish purple for the last part of the castle I use wants her to soften the paint to bring the colors into the wall. And while it's still wet, I added a bit more off the mix, the dark and some off the areas. For the full age, I use a mix off yellow and blue and allowed the color to drip down and then use the brush. Create varied strokes for texture way are you spatter and added some branches as well Once the paint is dry, I placed some darker colors and some analogous colors for contrast. This is important to make the painting stand out way When painting the background. It is helpful to tell the paper to enable the paint the flow smoothly. Spraying the paint with water softened the colors and also encouraged them to interact. Use the brush to create expressive brushstrokes. Think about the corners that you will use a balance off. Warm and cool colors is idea, but you can also use one dominant temperature of color. Go slowly and take one pain at the time. Enjoy seeing how the paints move and mix into a different color. You can drop paint used to brush the move. The pains with clean water create texture using salts or use other things. Your sticks to create thin lines. Experiment and have fun. When the painting is trying, I decided to feel the page with a big flower. - I think the painted background not only inspires me to draw the flower, but it complemented the flower really well. 10. When is a Painting Finished: often it can be quite challenging the know whether a painting is finished or not. Here are some tips to help you know when the painting is finished. Value Contrast. The lightness and darkness of colors is important in adding vitality to your painting and making it look realistic. Thus, your painting pop off the page because off the balance off light and dark emphasis off focal point. Establish a position on where the main subject is going to be. That's your painting. Direct the viewer's eye to the subject of interest. Bright amount off details. Not including every detail brings the attention to the forward points on your painting. If there are a lot off details on one area, includes a few and leave the rest and painted. Take a break sometimes taking a break and help us relax and not be too critical on our painting. Reflect on the work that we have done and come back again with fresh ideas. Enjoyment that perfection. The most important thing in creating art is to enjoy the process. The process of experimenting, taking risk and learning can help us grow to become better artists. We have come to the end of the class. You have learned different techniques to loosen up your watercolor paintings and to really just enjoy watercolor. I hope this class opens your eyes to see watercolor as an exciting medium full off possibilities. I also look forward to seeing how you will turn a plane subject into an interesting painting. By applying the techniques that you have learned in this class, share your arts and the process in the project gallery. I would also be around to answer questions and give it back to your paintings. Thank you so much for learning with me and have fun.