Northern Lights: Turning Watercolor Flow into Winter Night Landscapes | Maria Smirnova | Skillshare

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Northern Lights: Turning Watercolor Flow into Winter Night Landscapes

teacher avatar Maria Smirnova, Watercolor artist

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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

15 Lessons (1h 28m)
    • 1. What is this class about?

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Color choice

    • 4. Opaque colors

    • 5. Picture 1: Background

    • 6. Picture 2: Landscape

    • 7. Fir trees. Exercises

    • 8. Picture 2: Background

    • 9. Picture 2: Foreground

    • 10. Picture 3: Background

    • 11. Picture 3: Forest. Part 1

    • 12. Picture 3: Forest. Part 2

    • 13. Picture 3: Snow and Stars

    • 14. Picture 3: Details

    • 15. Conclusion

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About This Class

If you, like me, prefer to control watercolors while painting, this class is for you ! Yes-yes, you're not mistaken, here we are going to let watercolor flow freely almost without using brushes!

But how can it help to master your technique?

The more freedom you give to your medium, the more you understand it. Playing with water and pigments will help you to control it better in the end. This class is a lot about watercolor streams, very wet technique and paint drying control.

But it's also just super fun ! :)

Things you'll learn in this class include:

- Managing watercolor flow

- Understanding drying process

- How to apply transparent and opaque paints for creating light

- Making contrast for realistic bright northern lights

- Painting loose fir trees

- Picturing snow using watercolor and gouache mixture

- Enjoying spontaneous painting process

- Not giving up after one try !

The lesson may be interesting both for beginners watercolorists and for amateur artists who never stop improving their technique.

Join the class and enjoy watercolors!

Here are  materials I used in this project:

- Watercolor paper -¬†Ar—Āhes¬†- ¬†100% cotton, cold pressed,¬†300 gsm + paper for color tests and exercises

- Brushes: Flat goat brush 4cm, Round squirrel mix brush 10mm, round synthetic brush 3 mm

- Colors: May green (White nights), Dioxazine purple (Sennlier), Payne's grey (White nights), Indanthrene blue (Sennelier), Neon Pink (White nights), Titanium White gouache (Linel)

- Clipboard + masking tape

- Paper towels

- Craft paper for desk protection

- Cup of water

- Water spray (Derwent) - optional

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Maria Smirnova

Watercolor artist



I'm Maria, a Russian watercolor artist, currently based in Paris.

An electrical engineer in the past, I've changed my whole life chasing my dreams.

I draw and paint since I remember myself and the last several years were about practicing watercolor. I totally fell in love with this amazing material and it has become a big part of my life by now.

Almost every painting I’ve made is about light. It is all about something instant, flash slipping away. 

I'm glad to share with you some techniques and tricks I use in my work!

See full profile

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1. What is this class about?: [MUSIC] Hi, everyone. I'm [inaudible] a watercolor artist and tutor. In my personal creations, I prefer to control watercolors as much as possible. In my other videos on this platform, I show different techniques for that. Although I also think that for better understanding of the medium, we sometimes need to let it flow and create pictures almost on its own. In this class, is about it. In this video tutorial, I propose you and trust the most complicated parts to watercolors streams. We will let it run, spread and drip. Making this way the softest color transitions of northern lights. I'll show you how to prepare the palettes for this scene. Will explain how paint capacity can help to create different lights effects. I would recommend the composition to choose for your first tries, and also we'll give several simple schemes for painting for trees. Of course, you will discover a step-by-step demonstration of the picture creation process. This time, I will paint with your three different plots. We will create winter nozzle landscapes from simple to complex, from A_1 colors easy to decomposition to two colors auroras and mix media, winter forest. In the end, you will be able to combine abstract backgrounds with precise landscapes in your own northern lights paintings. Let's have some fun. Join the class and enjoy watercolors. 2. Supplies: All right, let's see what materials we need for this class. First of all, of course we need paper. I recommend you to take several piece of paper to different tries, but I at the moment have only one for the demonstration. It's arches a 300 grams per square meter density. It's cold pressed and I taped it to my board with masking tape. Here I have my plastic board, and in fact, you don't really need to have exactly the same. It can be wooden board or carton board as well. I also prepared some craft paper for my desk protection. Of course, you can take something else, instead of it, you can take plastic film or a newspaper or any other paper that you have. Also, we will need some draft paper for color tests, paper towel or a piece of tissue. As for brush, we will need one for moistening the paper. I also have one for painting itself, it's round squirrel mixed brush, so it's squirrel and synthetic hair, and small synthetic round brush for painting details. You can add other brush if you want, but for me, I guess this set will be enough. These are colors that I'm going to use here. Next, we will need a white gouache or it also can be acrylics or even watercolor white in the tube. You may take other vibrant colors that you prefer for painting lights. Of course, we also will need plastic or ceramic palette. I'm going to use this very simple one this time, and of course, water that always stays behind the scene. This is our set of materials. 3. Color choice: Before we get started, let's see what colors might work for us with the Northern lights. I plan to use May green. I'll show you that color. It's very bright, very intense. It's really good for bright subjects like the Northern lights. When it's thick, it's very green. When we blur it out, it looks like this yellowish hue, but it's very specific and not everyone has it. Now, I will tell you how you can get the same color but using other paints. For that, what can I do? I can look at the tubes. Here, I always can find information about the pigments that's paints are made from right here. In this case, it's PY3 and PG36, which means yellow and green. I can assume that if I take two such colors or similar colors and mix them together, I can get a similar shade. I have the PY3 yellow shade that I want. It's a lemon yellow, and in this case, I have by White Nights, but I didn't have any green, which will have the same pigment 36. I don't have much greens in general but I have this phthalo green, which is PG7. Now I'm going to try to mix it up and see what happens. I take lemon yellow and emerald green, PG7. Now I'm going to mix them. Always, when you mix something with yellow, take yellow as a base and add the shade you want into it. Let's take more pigment, see what color we get. Almost similar. You can change the color from more yellow to more emerald. With two colors, you can even derive the spectrum of Northern lights. Let's also see what other colors can be used for the Northern lights. I think this emerald green and even the lemon yellow itself might, well, try to be Northern lights. But I prefer colder colors. I also want to show you one of the colors that I'm going to use in our third work, It's neon pink by White Nights. The only thing to keep in mind is that such paints fade quickly so you have to scan your works or not to hang them in direct sun afterwards. A stunning pink color that will look great in Northern lights. In addition, it mixes well with green and does not give any ugly shades. But if you don't have neon pink, you can get my favorite pink. For example, this one with PV19 pigment inside, a single pigment paint. This color is also quite bright and a little warmer, and of course, not as neon pink, but more light fast. You can also use some turquoise, for example, and this one is turquoise by Sennelier. It's very brighter on its own, but also this color is very opaque. On our tubes, we normally have these icons that indicate the opacity of the paint, and if this pink paint is transparent, but this one is opaque. All the colors that I normally use for Northern lights, they are transparent. Like that they allow us to paint the light much brighter and, well, more transparent. Now, let's take a look at the difference between transparent paints and opaque paints and how we will use it in our work. 4. Opaque colors: In order to demonstrate the covering properties of the paints, I've prepared paper for a mixed media. I'll take lemon yellow, Naples yellow, which is initially opaque, and I'll take white gouache. Gouache itself is very opaque paint. It's not watercolor, It's not designed to be transparent. Let's paint first with lemon yellow and I will even take it very thickly. While it's wet, it looks so bright yellow, but let it dry for a while. Next, I take Naples yellow. It contains three pigments, one yellow and two whites. I take a little water and a lot of pigment. This paint looks even more intense compared to the drying yellow. Now I take the gouache, squeeze it out of the tube, and wash it with a little water to about the same creamy states. It looks bright and I'm going to dry it off with a hairdryer. This is what it looks like. Let's take a closer look from different angles, so you can see. Overall, the gouache layer looks more evenly white compared to our watercolor paints, even though this one also contains white pigments. What are we going to do with gouache? We're going to paint trees and snow on them and also stars. But it's important to understand that the amount of water in the glass determines what it can be. It may seem very light to ask, for example here, but if we let it dry out, this is what we will have. Eventually, it will become very transparent. We will use gouache for different purposes. First, when it's liquid and a little bit more opaque, we will use it to paint trees and snow on them. Here is this fixed state from the tube, which gives us the most white, the most opaque color. We will use it to paint stars. You see, where the paint was as dance as possible, it's as white as possible. Hopefully, you can see the difference between what we have here and when we took more water. In such night landscapes, I always draw stars. They should be as wide as possible, of course, and that snow on the trees, it will be almost transparent. With this state of paint, with a lot of water. Let's take a closer look at the stars now. I'll like to do them with a small brush. We need to get the paint on so that it's platters. Now I'll get a thicker paint. The main thing is to have paint here at the base of the brush and not water. You will get smaller stars if you take thicker paint. If needed, you can just draw them by hand. Next, let's try it all out. We can get larger stars and smaller stars. If you notice that you get this transparency effect instead of stars, it means that you took too much water. Practice it on a separate sheet of paper. Practice, sprinkle, and decide what the gouache should look like for painting beautiful stars. If you can't do it at all, well, you can actually manually put all those stars with the brush. 5. Picture 1: Background: I covered the table with protective paper and I hope you did the same. I begin my work by moistening the paper because all the transitions we have are smooth. So we will definitely need to wet the paper with water very well. That is, it must be really wet. Now using a brush to put clean water, you can see how wet it is. But I try not to make big puddles never the less I put enough water and let it soak for awhile. In the meantime, I'll prepare the paint for both parts at once. I'm going to take some green. This will be my green for the glow part and I'll take gray with the same brush I'm going to paint with. Take a drop of purple and more gray and really a lot of pigment. See how thick the paint is, very slow flowing and you need it to be even more thick. The purple I have is a very good pigment. It's very dark times gray and industry blue, I remind you, these are colors that I will use for my dark part. You see what here they give. It's not straight black, but it has some purple blue undertone, which is exactly what I was looking for. I'm going to move the palette a little bit because I need to have more space here now. I'll take a little more water here. I'll probably take a diagonal direction of my Northern lights like this, which would be the easiest thing so that you can do for the most basic level. Just lots and lots of water is needed here, and I immediately begin to put on the color. But if you added directly from the tuber pan, don't forget to spread to make your color well shaded. What do I do next? I take my dark color and put the paint on. It should be enough of a color here so that it can all spread out. You'll soon see how it goes. Overall, it really looks good, but it's like there's somethings missing. There's obviously not enough movement here. So I take a clipboard now and start letting the paint flow properly in different directions. You see the paint starts to drip that's normal and that's why we just protected our desktop from. Now, I can refine some of the dark places a little bit more to make them a little darker. Then let them flow again. About the color light, you probably wondering if we can add a little green again, for example. Well, try it see what you get, how it flows. The most important thing is that you have enough of liquids, enough water in the paint. Don't hesitate to play with colors. You see even add a little bit of light, almost white also possible. I let the paint flow. A lot of fluid is dripping, it's okay. At some point, you'll realize the work is done. Look at the effects, it's good. Then you just can collect the excess, so water from the paper. Here, watch what I do. I end up with this extra drop of paint in one place, so I carefully pick it up with a napkin. What I still want to do at this point is to darken the sky a little bit more here and there. I mean, I've added even darker paint. Why I'm doing it, because I know for a fact that this one will fade as soon as we dry it. So now I'm still collecting excess water around the edge so it doesn't flow back into the paper. I'll leave it to dry or of course I can dry it with a hairdryer. You see the work itself happens very quickly. So we have such an abstract piece in the end. Now I'm going to take my hairdryer and finally dry my work. You see how pale the work already turns out in the end. I intentionally left some of this space free and semitransparent in order to draw some landscape in this place. 6. Picture 2: Landscape: [MUSIC] Here I already have some almost horizontal direction of these lights. I propose you to make some landscape here, maybe with the house and a small field. [MUSIC] Let's begin. This time, I'll probably take a big brush at once and let's figure out something interesting now as a background, as a landscape. I'll take a little bit of green, which I used for the sky, which actually makes sense because it's the light that illuminates everything that we see here. [MUSIC] Now, I take a little blue, draw some backgrounds in the distance as if it were some mountains or something like a northern landscape like that, and why not, you can even try a little darker here. [MUSIC] I will always imagine it as if it were some northern scenery and maybe even snow-covered. Why not? Here in the foreground you can make it a little darker. [MUSIC] I have to decide what to do here, I suggest making a little house like this one. I'll take a Payne's gray for that. [MUSIC] Here will be the luminous windows, I left them unpainted to make it easier to add lights there if necessary. [MUSIC] I'll probably do some more tree here, I'll take some very thick paint, very dry. [MUSIC] Now we can take a drop of Naples yellow and I take it very thick yellow paint. But in fact, you can mix it a little bit with white if you want, but I'll take pure yellow for now. Now we make this light and once again. You see, I put the paint very thickly with almost dry brush. I'm washing the brush for sure. Now I'll add another gram of white here, just like a lamp, like a highlight. You could try giving a little bit of green here, for example, like we have a little bit of our northern lights give off. [MUSIC] It looks like a Halloween theme that we have here. Don't you think so? [MUSIC] Now, all we have to do is the stars, but before I do that, maybe I'll make it darker here to balance it out a little bit. [MUSIC] We return to the stars. Now I take the white and cover the space I don't want to be affected and I spray on it. [MUSIC] Why I'm covering? Because if I spray everywhere now like this, even on the ground, there will be a snow effect. But the thing is, you can hardly see the northern lights anywhere in a snowfall because the sky should be clear. I try not to do the snow effect because that's a different story. I make some bigger stars to go with it. [MUSIC] I think it looks not bad, maybe just a couple of more lights or something like this on the background. [MUSIC] Well, that's it. Dry and remove the tape. [MUSIC] Here what we have for this try. Let's go to the next one. 7. Fir trees. Exercises: [MUSIC] Before we start drawing the plot with the trees, I want to show you how I usually draw them. I'm going to take a piece of paper, the same kind I usually paint on, and now I'm going to show you some principles about how this can be done. We only need the tops of the fir trees here, but nevertheless, I will show you all the schemes as I usually do. The simplest thing we can have is when we see trees very far away, we can just touch the paper with our brush and it will give us a sense of the forest. I think you'll agree with me that when we paint some heels in the distance, this may be enough to give an impression of a forest. Naturally, it may vary a little in color, in tone, but the fact is that it may look like a forest like that. Further on, if we get closer, we get this zoom and then we can see the top of the trees more clearly. For me to draw a fir tree is to draw a stick and cross it out. Of course, you will tell me what kind of pictures is this. Actually, it's just a scheme and from this scheme, we go to painting. But in fact, the secret is that I will cross without taking the brush of the paper next. You can see that I already have a tree. Next, we can move on to a group of fir trees, for example, there may be more than one, but each time it's important that the brush is fairly well loaded with water. You see, I have quite a lot of liquids on the palettes. I try to do this so that all my little trees are united into common picture of the forest. Next, I draw another neighboring tree at different length, for example, and because I have everything wet here, they are all merged into one common fir tree mass. But the principle stays the same. I still draw a stick and I cross it out. Note of course, that it's as if you're forming a triangle, and it's very important to pay attention to how thin it is. If it's like this, then you will have a tall tree, or it can be wider, then you're likely to have a small tree or not a very pretty tree. Here actually we can just paint over the rest of it, blur it into our landscape. Of course, while it's getting wet here, we can add some extra shadows and so on. Just a stick crossed out gives us an impression of the forest. That was our number 1. This is our number 2. Now, you and I are going to see what number 3 is. Let's take a look. Now, we're going to have a different kind of tree. Let me show you again the scheme. We will also have a stick and its upper branch will stick up at first, and then it will get flatter and flatter. The lower we go, the heavier the branches will become, and the more they will be pressed by their weights, and they will become tilted. You see the inclination is changing. If here they were facing upwards, here they were facing sideways, and here they're already sloping downwards. It's also important to note that if we look at the fir tree from above, what we see. We will not see situation like this, but we will see a situation like that. It's important to understand that this is what makes the difference between a fir tree and a palm branch. It will be palm tree if we add this option, we'll have it like this. Finally, let's move on to drawing the tree. As a result, we have this kind of a level up. We're mostly like the going to paint this second part. But if you want to paint larger trees, then this option might come in very handy for you. I draw a stick and start drawing my branches. First, they look up, and then they start looking down. You see the middle is full and there's no empty space. You can add some shadows or something else for example. We need to understand that we have this part filled in so it doesn't feel like we're drawing a fish skeleton or a palm branch. We will draw our big tree. It can be more fluffy, it can be less fluffy, then you can, for example, somewhere takeoff extra tone and make it more 3D or draw the snow. It's only for your experiments. But you and I will probably be working in this part here. I think that all three of these schemes may come in handy in the future in one way or another. So let's get to work. 8. Picture 2: Background: [MUSIC] I highly recommend giving in the few tries, and I will do the same. Now I'm wetting the paper and trying again. If you think that I always get it right from the first try, that's absolutely not the case. It's possible you will get some three or four not very successful attempts, and then the fifth one will come out fine. Either way, make a few of these attempts and that's for sure, you will have one of them turn out well. We can think of some more complicated form to try this time. You can do it all with a bigger brush, but I use this one. Make sure you have enough water in this green space right here. Sometimes, if you add too much pigment, the paint would break up the water in that area and leave you very dry in that spot. Next, I'll take our favorite dark colors and do something interesting. I'll take more blue. I remind you that this dark, one must also be quite liquid, otherwise we won't get what we have in mind. We take a lot of pigment and accordingly, a lot of water too. Now, what I did, I drew on the bottom edge of our lights, and let it all drain out properly. This is my favorite part, so playful. There is a little too much green here for my taste, so let's break it up a little with the darker color. We can clean up a bit here too. I'll add some greens and let it run off, of course. I'll pick up extra drops with a napkin. Try not to interfere too much with the brush because traces of the brush will be visible and here, we need exactly soft and natural shapes. What I'm going to do is, I'll add a little bit of the bottom edge to my lights. Now I have the top soft and I'll add some shape to the bottom. There are times when they are a little bit more like shaped from below. A little bit of that dark corner here so I definitely have a contrast. Don't forget to always clean up any excess drops with a napkin. That's the kind of very abstract thing we have. A very good exercise in letting the watercolor flow in its own guided float. That's it. Now I can see that it's starting to dry out. I'm removing the extra drips from the edge, getting a hairdryer, and going to dry it off. [MUSIC] That's the background we got. 9. Picture 2: Foreground: [BACKGROUND] [MUSIC] Now you and I will finally make this picture. I want to make a row of trees like this, semi-transparent and darker in the foreground, it's a simple version of that. I remember about the pattern I had, and now I'm going to try to put all these things together, so here we go. I'll probably try a small brush to start with. If it's not enough, then I'll switch to a larger brush. [MUSIC] It's always a good idea to have a piece of paper you can use to test the color. [MUSIC] Shall we go? I started from the middle for some reason, I don't even know why, you can start at the edge and work your way up. Now, I took a lot of water on the brush. Eventually, when this dries, it will be translucent and it will give a nice 3D effect. [MUSIC] Now I'm doing what will be in the background. [MUSIC] Here you see that it got very transparent, which is exactly what I wanted, although it seems very dark at first, in the end look. [MUSIC] I drew a line and crossed it out. [MUSIC] Continuing on, now maybe I'll start to add in a little bit more darkness somewhere. [MUSIC] I took thicker paint, and now I'm adding darker trees. [MUSIC] Here's important that the top's don't overlap. Here they do a little bit, if it runs inside and it's not a big deal. But if you want the tops to be still more drawn, make sure that you don't have it too wet. If you want to paint over, for example, a smaller tree in size, then you need to wait until you have a background to dry or dry it with a hairdryer of course. [MUSIC] You can move right here from left to right if you like. It's up to you to decide how you like it better. I have some trees that are so much more gloomy looking down. [MUSIC] I didn't draw anything in advance for myself, I just decide as I go along where and what I'm going to paint. [MUSIC] Somewhere you can make it a little longer, not so much the same. [MUSIC] I draw here and there, so that some places have time to dry. Well, I think it's coming out pretty good. [BACKGROUND] Overall, I like it already. Now I'm going to dry this whole thing out. I'm going to get a hairdryer and dry it. When everything is dry here, all we have to do is add the stars. For that, I already told you that I'm going to use white guash. I'm going to squeeze a little bit right here separately I never squeeze it out too much. I always like it to be solved from the tube. Then I take a brush, it shouldn't be too wet, but it should have some water in it. Because if you have too much watery guash, then it will be too translucent. If it's too thick, then you can sprinkle with it, which I like to do of course, so it's quite thick. Take a look at it. [MUSIC] Now I'm going to cover the places that I don't want to get affected, and I start with the dark places. [MUSIC] If you can't do it that way, you can tap on your finger or another brush or with another brush on your brush. After all, it takes a splatter too, I usually don't splatter on the places that are light, and you can put some stars in by hand to make them a little bit bigger. [MUSIC] Let's see what we got. We don't need too much, but we don't need less either. I think it came out well, so now we can basically wait until we have everything dry and remove the tape. [MUSIC] The paper is dry, be sure to warm the tape with a hair dryer if you're worried that you might have tape sticking to the paper too strongly, and we have this ready. You see, even though the picture of this [inaudible] itself is a little bit strange, a little bit hazy. In the end, when we added the background, added the landscape and added the stars, we got picture that makes it generally clear what's going on, and I think it came out quite naturally. Let's get to the next one. [MUSIC] 10. Picture 3: Background : Now that we've tried a few different options with just green, let's make it a little bit more difficult for ourselves and make it a level up again. I took a slightly different format in the first place. Everything will be the same. I first wet the paper good enough. I leave it to soak up for a little while and now I'm going to use not just one color, but two. I took a neon pink and I will use it to add two colors to our northern lights. I make a dark mix at once just like we did before. The paint on the palette is a little dry so I use the spray like this to wet it up. I remind you that the paint must be very dark and thick. For these, I mix three colors, blue, purple, and Payne's gray. I like the color and I will keep it. Again, a little wetting of the paper before I start. Let's get started. I begin the same way as before with the green. Let's think about how we're going to make a direction maybe make greens and have pink next to it, let's have something like this. Eventually, the green should be wet enough when we put it in here. Really a lot of water. Somewhere more transparent, somewhere darker. There really is water here. Now I'll take the pink in there. It's really such a neon, very bright color. I think it should work well for the northern lights. You can replace it with some pink quinacridone, for example, quite well. Now we'll see how it goes, and now let's put our blue in. Shall we try to let them flow? There's a lot of water in some places, so I don't know what to expect yet. How's the effect coming out? In my opinion, pretty good right now. I want to keep almost everything as it is just add a little bit of darkness here and there. I really like the way this top part turns out. Trying not to lose it, I'll just add a little more darkness in places. What I'm doing this for is to have a contrast to my light. You remember that everything will dry out and be very pale. Where I can to add contrast, to add shadows. This I will leave so light. Here then we will have a landscape to paint. I think it turned out really great. Now I'm going to leave it like this. As usual, I'll dry the work. You can also try a few times adding different colors like this, but I don't think there's any point in adding more than two because it gets too complicated. There's a hair from the brush, I want to remove it right away. It might be good idea to add a little green here. It's like I'm washing away a little of the dark pigments and adding green in its place. I might do the same here, not spraying paint, no spraying water. Really, we have to make everything flow here. Then it will look good. Of course, we gather the excess here around the edges so that there is no dark stripe left, and we carefully place a napkin to the very edge. Now look, the dark stuff is corrected and I'm picking it up from here. Well, it's always a big risk try to add something at the very end, but I took a risk and I didn't regret it. I will leave it like this. This work, I think it will be very good. Here next, we'll add a beautiful winter forest. Well, I've dried the work and now let's go to the foreground. 11. Picture 3: Forest. Part 1: For this last piece, I want to do something complex. It reminded me of this work I did a while back. I want to do the same kind of forest with a little snow in the same part. I think it's just perfect for our season. I'm going to procrastinate and start drawing the trees that I have in the background right away. I mix Payne's gray, blue, and purple to get some quite transparent colors like this. Slowly I will begin as we did in our previous work. Here I will have snow. I'm not sure how light it will be yet, maybe a little green, maybe even a drop of pink. I will add clear water between the snow and the trees so that it kind of go into each other smoothly. Wash it out here so that I have a smooth border. I leave a little transparency here for now. I like the way the light comes in here and the fact that you can see in between the trees. And now here, in winter the branch are all under the snow and they are looking down now. The shape of my trees changes a little, they are all become more round. Now I'm also crossing out for trees, except I'm doing it in a more circular motion. We get such a semi-transparent forest. I let a little more water and you can darken the foreground the bit to make it feel like there's snow and there is a foreground. We'll adjust it later. Now, I'm going to let it dry for a while and do the next layer. 12. Picture 3: Forest. Part 2: Well, now I'll continue here. I'll take more thick paints, this time darker and continue doing what I've been doing. This time I'm trying a little harder to make the trees different from each other. I'm still blind the edge a little bit. Notice that I'm not taking it and brushing it like that, but I'm just using the edge of the brush. Notice that these trees that are closer to me, they are taller and bigger. Accordingly, I have taller trees in the foreground here too. Why am I doing this? So that I can have the effect of perspective. There are heavy big branches on the trees and still blurring because I still want it to be all in the snow. Here I do the same thing as I have done in previous works. From time to time I get up and look at it from a distance, how it all looks. 13. Picture 3: Snow and Stars: I think you realize that's not all. What I'm going to do now is to add snow. I'll take a little gouache, translucent, and I mix it with gray and maybe even a drop of green. I'm going to start painting snow somewhere. That is, I will have a color like this which then will naturally become more transparent. It seems wide and clear now, but then of course, drawing it will darken, and I'll add more white on top of it. We can wait until our little trees have dried up. Be sure to leave a little shadow, that is I draw on top of the branch. It all seems light now, but it will darken later, so I'm still going to reinforce that effect later by adding some more white. 14. Picture 3: Details : We got it all dried up a little bit, and now we can add more white just in some places where we have it highlighted. [MUSIC] You can add it a little greenish. [MUSIC] Don't repeat it, don't stroke what was there, but I just add a little more light on top. I'll try to lighten these things up, the beads maybe here. [MUSIC] It all seems bright now but it won't end up being so bright, so white. [MUSIC] I wash it out a bit. [MUSIC] Here we have snow, it's a little bit shiny. While it's drying here I'll do the highlights at the top. [MUSIC] Well, I have white dried up, so I add a fresh one from the tube. I'll cover what I don't want to be damaged. [MUSIC] It's very beautiful, in my opinion. [MUSIC] I'll make some nice stars. [MUSIC] In a couple of places where it was already light, you can make it as light as possible and just pure white. [MUSIC] I'll help a little and pick some up with a napkin so it's not so white on the back parts. [MUSIC] Well, I think it turned out pretty good. [MUSIC] That's how we got this third plot. It came out really nice. Now I'll dry it out and then I can peel off the masking tape. [MUSIC] 15. Conclusion: [MUSIC] That's it, I hope you liked the class and it was informative and useful for you. I hope you learned some new things about watercolors and the ways you can paint northern lights as well. What I could recommend you for your personal practice is to try painting this background several times. Like this, you will have a pool of different backgrounds to choose. You can pick up one and paint your favorite landscape over it or of course, you can use your fails to practice fortress or landscapes on them. It's always better than just to try it on scrap paper. Of course, like this you will be more confident in your new next tries. I wish you a very good luck in your personal practice. Don't hesitate to share your paintings with me. I'd be happy to see your results. Have a great time enjoying watercolor. I wish you very good luck. See you next time. Bye-bye.