Mark Making in Wet Watercolour | Denise Comeau | Skillshare

Mark Making in Wet Watercolour

Denise Comeau, Painter . Printmaker

Mark Making in Wet Watercolour

Denise Comeau, Painter . Printmaker

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
7 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Mark making materiels

    • 3. Mark making demo

    • 4. Looking at tools

    • 5. Class project

    • 6. Mark making extra

    • 7. Inktense blocks

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

Community Generated

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





About This Class

I’ve been painting for over 30 years now and since the beginning I’ve always struggled to stay loose in my painting.

For me it is easy to reproduce what is in front of me but difficult to create looseness, almost to abstraction in my work.

Less is more has always been my philosophy and, in this work, with the Mark Making, I feel I have achieved that and I would love to show you how.

It is one of those paintings that came together very quickly and without effort.

In the class project I will simplify it so that you can follow along.


-Watercolours (any color is fine, this is more about the process rather than the results)

-Watercolour paper any grade is fine

-Brushes, as well I like to use the beveled edge of a brush to make marks but if you don’t have one you could use something else, maybe the edge of a credit card or a butter or pâté knife.

Post your projects!! :)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Denise Comeau

Painter . Printmaker


Class Ratings

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

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

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

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



1. Intro : this glass is all about making marks in wet watercolor. I've been painting now in watercolor for 30 years, and it's always been a struggle to loosen up for May. It's easy to reproduce what I see in front of me, but to stay loose and catch the essence off what it is I'm looking at. Well, that's a struggle. Mark making helps me to achieve this. And this war color is all about being loose, quick and intuitive. I just love it. I hope you will do. 2. Mark making materiels: these are the materials you'll be using for this class. You will, of course, need water colors. I prefer to have my paints in the tree. I spray them so that they're nice and wet that way. My colors are always handy and ready to go when I need a color I haven't planned on. I'm a strong believer and listening to your work as you go and not having a preconceived notion off what it will look like in the end. But that is just a personal preference to each his own. Simply discover what works for you. If you decide that you prefer squeezing a fresh tube of paint each time, that is fine as well. You definitely need a spray bottle to with your paints before you start. You also need lots of fresh, clean water. As you can see, I've had this bucket for a long time. If it's big enough, you don't need to change it too often. I also use various mason jars. It's important to work with clean water. I always have a variety of brushes on hand of all shapes and sizes, squares as well as rounds, but work with what you have. I've been collecting them for over 30 years Now. I'll also be using this multi colored pencil, but it's not a necessity. You can use whatever you have on hand. My tool off preference when it comes to making marks in wet watercolor is the beveled edge of a watercolor brush as seen here in the picture. I've also used credit cards, patty knives, nail files. Actually, it's anything that you can find around the house that is rigid but at the same time not too pointy as to damage the paper. 3. Mark making demo: This was one of those paintings that just fell into place easily and quickly. 25 minutes or so, and it was done. I think it's a feast for the eyes. I'm so pleased to share this new technique with you. I'll explain to you my thought process as I was painting long what it sort of speaks for itself. I really, really like the looseness off the space. I start out by sketching very loosely the tulips. Now nothing is written in stone. Here, this is just suggestive are using multi colored pencil. Therefore, the markings will blend into the finished piece. I absolutely love drawing with these pencils. I strongly suggest you get so I bought a bucks from AM Zone. But frankly, I live in the boonies. May be your art supply store carries them. They are even a fun tool to have on your person should you decide to draw while out having a coffee with friends. And you forgot to bring your watercolor kit. They're very portable and absolutely lovely to draw with. I loosely draw the shapes and placement off the tulips. I suppose you could call this the bones of the painting notice how I hold my pencil this way. I'm actually drawing with my arm and body, creating a looseness in the sketch. I feel I'm almost done. I don't want to get bogged down in too much detail. My motto is less is more this way. It leaves more room for intuitive painting. I've decided on my colors, and I've chosen to do this piece in yellows and beautiful orangey reds. But you can use whatever callers colors you have on hand. At this point, I just dive right in on the dry paper with the number 10 round brush loaded with water and saturated color. It would be important to mention here that as you paint, you should constantly modify your color. Here I'm using maybe three different yellows, both warm and cool, as well as various red and oranges. One of my mentors always said that you should never go more than a square inch before modifying your color. I tend to stick to this principle as much as possible. I also love to use the handle of a brush for Martin making, but here I notice it's too soon. It's too wet, will come back to this later I decided to add some greens and blues. I feel it's important to work on the piece as a whole. It made. It may not look like much right now, but wait a bit. It will soon start coming together. Just hold on and keep on watching. I now start working in the background. As you see, my paper is dry, but I intentionally touch the colors that are already there and make them run into one another. I'm also continually modifying my color, going from lights to darks. Now is the time to take out the brush handle and use it to create shapes. This works two ways. If you get it at the right time, you'll create beautiful white line markings. If it's still very wet, it will create beautiful dark line markings. Actually, you can't go wrong. I'll show you this a bit more in the pro Project section. Okay, so I keep working at it, taking advantage of dry spots and wet spots on the paper. With this, I achieved a looseness. It makes me realize there's just there's not just one way of going about it, Obviously, sometimes it's good to work on dry paper and sometimes the look you want calls for wet paper. When it comes to watercolor, the most important aspect to remember is to keep the transparency. The transparency is lost by overworking your painting. You can't fidget. You need to be decisive. I'm adding a bit of a greenish yellow color, which is cooler than the other colors that I have on my palette, but you'll notice that I added a bit every where's not just in the foreground. Tulips. By putting a few touches in the background, it gives it more, Oh, cohesiveness by adding the color a bit. Every Where's it gives you more of the united hole. - The dark Prussian blues that are added here gives the painting depth, - and then you find yourself at the end of your painting, the part that I absolutely enjoyed the most. It's the part where you add the eye candy, the little tidbits that either make or break the painting. One of my mentors once told me that you need to people to do a painting, one to start it, and one to tell you when to stop. Every little detail can either add to it or ruin it. The last 15% in the next lesson will be looking at different tools that you can use for the Martin making. I certainly hope you give it a try and post your projects in the project section, Yeah. 4. Looking at tools: Now that you've seen the actual painting come together, let's look a different tools that you can use to make thes marks here. I'm going to put some color down on my paper. As you play with this, you'll discover by experimenting that you'll get different results during the drying process. I'm working on dry paper for this exercise, but it could just as well be on wet. First, I will use the brush handle tip. You can see that this boat pulls and pushes color to give different results. By changing the angle off my brush, I can get a variety of marks. As the paint absorbs into the paper. It is easier to get those wide, lighter marks. Let me add a bit off all of green and a little square off sap green. I found that it patty knife worked really well because it's blunt. Edge doesn't scratch the paper surface, and it was a pleasant surprise to discover a plastic credit card work really well also, and I was able to get really wide marks, as you see here in beliefs. Okay, so let's look at this one more time. If you notice here, I'm always adjusting my color just in those leaves alone. I have SAB green, burnt sienna, all of green, a little bit of yellow joker. My paper here is dry, but as I go along, I touch the edges to let the color run. This is one of the beauties of watercolor. I've let my paper dry, and here you'll see that I come back to add more intense color. Watercolor does not have to look washed out, as so often it does by having your brush saturated in color, you can achieve this, but at the same time keeping the transparency. I really enjoyed the stick, Nick, and to be honest, it's fairly new to me. But as I said Indian true, it has really helped me to loosen up. Even after 30 years. You never stop learning. That's if you're lucky. Keep an open mind at all times. 5. Class project: All right, so here we go. Let's jump right in here. You could even use a larger sheet off paper and tried maybe 23 or more at the same time to experiment. And at this point, don't worry about the colors. It's not as much about the finished product, but more about the process. Actually, that's an interesting comment, because art is often about the process. Then you get to that moment when it all comes together and you know, you've created something beautiful. You've passed a tipping point. You're hooked. Life life will never be the same again. Look at those gorgeous lines created by dragging the color. I just love that. I hope you enjoyed this glass. And please, please, please. Post does Mark making works of art of yours on the project board so I could comment and give you some positive feedback. I promise I'll be gentle 6. Mark making extra: I was sitting outside doing some planner painting a few weeks ago. And this little gem reminded me of this mark making class. So I'm adding it as an extra. As you can see, my paints are still wet and I'm using my multicolored pencil at details and give shapes. The rocks. Listen to the serve as an added bonus. Mm-hm. Okay. 7. Inktense blocks: What a color 101. Working with ink tense blocks. If you are just turning out and are just purchasing your supplies, then these are in no way necessary. I've only discovered these in the last year or so, but I enjoy them so much that I've decided to share them with you. And I'll let you decide whether or not they are worth the expense for you. At this time. I start out by activating my watercolors on my robert wood palette. I also with my paper, with my squirt bottle. You'll notice here that I'm wearing a latex glove. I do this because the ink tends block stain my fingers when they're wet and we have to be careful with certain pigments getting on our skin. I just prefer to be on the safe side. Start by adding color onto your paper. I've chosen a floral shape, but go ahead with any shape or color you wish. Remember, this is an exercise in market-making. So try to have fun with it. Now choose one of your color blocks and start making marks into your color shape. Have fun with this. Stay loose. Don't try to follow the outlines quite the opposite. Having wet the paper will allow you to make marks with the dry block. But as well, you can dip the color block into the water and you'll see how intense the color gets when water is added. You can, of course, go back over these with the watercolor brush and vice versa. The possibilities are endless. Isn't that just beautiful? So just run with it. Explore. Try different colors. For variety is the spice of life. But least of all, don't be afraid to experiment. Ink tends blocks by Darwin's. I'll let you be the judge.