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teacher avatar Ron Mulvey✏️, Artist / Art Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h 21m)
    • 1. Painting Big Painting Small Intro

    • 2. Setting Up

    • 3. Drawing Mountain Lake

    • 4. Color Lay In

    • 5. Details To Finish With

    • 6. West Coast Inlet

    • 7. Let's Paint Big

    • 8. Finishing Up With Details

    • 9. White Magic Acrylic Demo

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About This Class



                             GOING BIG CAN CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE YOUR TOOLS


There is an art rumour flying around that says that if you can't paint then PAINT BIG!!!

There is a misconception accepted by many beginning artists that PAINTING SMALL is safe.

Both of the above statements are false. Painting big or small is all about the size of your tools.

In this class we will develop your painting skills and your perception skills using water based paints. Washing paint into wet paper and observing the character of watercolors is the very most important technique to master if you want to feel good about your painting.

Standing back from your efforts and properly perceiving what is taking place is the very most important attitude to develop.

Learning how to use your materials is the very most important skill that you can develop that will allow you to get out of trouble and into the creative flow. Artists are always getting into trouble when they create. The good ones learn how to redirect that 'failure fear' and move forward.

I did the first project's pencil drawing in black and white so you can see it clearly.The lighting is very warm on some of the clips as I work at night sometimes. Other clips are on overcast days and are cooler in appearance. I used halogen lights for the first lay in for the BIG PICTURE,

Get used to different lighting conditions when you do your art. The bright perfect light from a professional lighting system is not what all of us have to work in. Outside is the best, but it is a little cold here at the moment so we work indoors and find the best lighting that will get the job done.

You will need some good watercolor paper for this class. Cheap paper makes more trouble than it is worth. It makes a trouble that you cannot get out of. Go brand name with your materials.

I use a big 'Purdy' house painters brush for my big painting and some synthetic squirrel hair brushes for the smaller paintings. I was very delighted to purchase 3 soft flat brushes for $5 at our local art supply store. I'll show you all the materials in the class.

Now this class would be about 6 hours if I included all the film for the paintings from start to finish. I tend to get lost in them after a few days and spend hours adding color notes, darkening, lifting, adjusting values, looking for that special feeling that comes when you are in that timeless creative zone. It's a good thing that I am the cook in this family or i would probably just wither away with a paintbrush in my mouth.

Balance your life and you won't tip over before your time.


You will come out of this class with some great brush skills and a real understanding of the true nature of is all about WATER and COLOR.


I have added a 2 minute Video of a 6 foot by 4 foot acrylic painting I did this time last year. I call it 'WHITE MAGIC'. Take a look at that first as it is at the end of the class. It will get your creative appetite primed for the class. My son James Mulvey created the music. A proud father to be sure!

Perception not mis-perception!!! Watch 'WHITE MAGIC'


Meet Your Teacher

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Ron Mulvey✏️

Artist / Art Teacher


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1. Painting Big Painting Small Intro: look at this. This is wonderful. Used to say that if you can't paint paint big and that's not true, painting Big is just as skilful and endeavour as painting. Small Way don't want to underrate either, because each has its place. Sometimes a small, intimate pictures exactly what you're looking for. Other times you just want to let loose, get something big. Maybe put it in the garage in the basement, even on your floor, and get yourself some big tools and get to work on a big picture or hunker down, get some small tools, work on something intimate and small. I want to encourage you today to take this class and open up some of your imagination to the possibilities of painting big and painting small. So the bigger the picture is very simple, the bigger the tool I like to show you today how to use a big brush, a medium brush and a small brush. My name's Ron Mulvey. I'll be your instructor today and I'll be painting along with you, discovering, getting into corners, getting out of corners. I'm going to show you the materials you need. They're going to be very simple, basically some brushes, some paint and something to pain time. So come and explore painting big and painting small today. Let's get started right away. 2. Setting Up: Let's take a look at some very simple materials that were going to be using today course. First up are the brushes. Now this is a Purdy brush. It's about $25 and it's great for big paintings. This is a Picasso brush, and these are all available at your local hardware or big box store. And this is Justin. Inexpensive house painter's brush, which is great for really scrubbing squirrel hair brush. This is a synthetic silver squirrel, and it's about $14 a medium squirrel hair brush. Then Robert Simon's about a number for a moment. Number five Brush number three or two number one. And for really small details, I stumble. It sometimes like to use a stick pen or a quill pan. You can use a toothpick. All kinds of things will make very fine lines, so some inexpensive a little flat brushes. They're wonderful. They don't hold too much pain, but they do give you a wonderful little wash. So so, whatever is bigger. Whatever small depends on the tools and the paper or board your painting on, there's a selection of paints. These are a combination of Graham paints and Windsor Newton, Cotman there. A price point for here is very reasonable. The price point for here is about double. There's our colors a lizard, crimson, cadmium, red, medium of cadmium, yellow, medium hansa, yellow, cobalt blue, fellow blue and I have the same up here into Windsor Newton Travel pack, So I have lots of paints that I can use. Also, I've taken some acrylic paints and I send them down with water. So we have a lizard, Crimson Hansa, yellow and fellow blue sometimes combine those with the watercolors. You can't lift him after they dry, but extremely economical. I'll be using these for the big picture, too. On atomizer, you're going to see how this works today if you don't already know how to use it. This can make your painting much easier, and it can save you when you get into a difficult situation. Some pages taped to do the edges we paint retaped the edges of the paper, some water paper towel. Very, very important 3. Drawing Mountain Lake: I have a soft pencil, Probably about a to B, and I have my paper taped. I cut it. I'm ready to go. This is what you first thing you want to do. Find the middle of your paper and put a little mark. You don't want your horizon line to be in the middle, so put another little mark a little bit lower, and that's going to be our bottom space. I'm gonna put a mark in the middle of the paper because I want a good design. I want my mountains coming past the middle so I can now refer to this little journey and take a little peek at it. Oh, I see. I have a cliff in front here, and then it looks like a couple bushes, and there's the lake behind it. Okay, so I'm gonna put a line, just comes on an angle like this, break it up a little notice. They broke it up past half way. And now there's a three little bushes and they're different distances, you see from here to here, So I'll put this one a little closer. So 123 You. What you don't want is to make things exactly like fence posts. Okay, there's the middle. So my first tree coming out of here is going to go almost to the top. I think I'm just do duplicating my little sketch. Now this tree is close to it. It's got to be either lower or higher. I think I'll go a little higher sea contrast the size now the next tree. You don't want to put like a fence post. Put it over a bit. Maybe coming up behind this little hill and it's a little smaller. There we go. 123 123 And this is past the middle. And you're staying with me, I hope. Okay, here we go now. So now the first island is going to come. Oh, I see It came right into these little trees here, so I'm actually analyzing my my own drawing likely across and then disappears behind the trees. I see these are the same. I'm gonna make this a little bit higher, and I can erase the pencil later. It's just a guideline. Okay, so I know this is the middle of the picture, so that's good, because we started it here. And here's my land form. I don't want to cut right over the top of the tree. Wanna come down a bit? Couple little Sigel's and comes down right over and through there. It's looking good. I'm liking what I see. Uh, this is a little high, so I'm going to put it just below the middle here. - I see. I have another mountain behind here in another one here. Okay, So where should I bring this one? This is the middle. So I think I'll bring this one just past the middle of that sort of round shape. See, now we're getting to round shapes, and it looks like, uh, that's good. I don't think I want to put much more. I'm going to put a couple round shaped clouds up here, and I'm throwing in these little lines like this. A ziff. The mist is coming down, and there we go. We've drawn a picture, and I'm quite pleased with it. Now we're going to set up the color scheme 4. Color Lay In: Okay. Got my paints. My water. I always have a paper towel handy. And first thing to do is to wet your paper. Why do I wet my paper? Well, the trick with watercolors water, water based paints need water. So we put a good puddle of water over the paper. And because the papers taped and it's a small size, it won't buckle. So I don't have that green here, but I can certainly make a facsimile of it. You'll see a little bit of that right there, and I don't want to clean my brush. So what I'll do is take another brush, wet it and take a little bit of the fail. Oh, fail Oh will produce the green that I want. The cobalt is really for the violets. It doesn't make the greatest greens. Now, I'm pretty positive that this is an orange. So I'm going to start with a little cadmium and you can see it's warmer than the Hansa, which we had there. And then I'm going to take a drop of the Eliza Rin and there we go. We have a very strong orange, very similar to over here. And this is just a straight Eliza Rin fail Seen plus yellow hand up here. The cobalt with Eliza rinse. That's our color scheme. Always have a paper towel handy. And first thing to do is to wet your paper. Why do I wet my paper? Well, the trick with watercolors wire. Okay. And I'm going to put this over top to pick up any really wet spots in the picture. Take a little Eliza Erin, and just throw it on. We're after there's orange. I'm going to put a little pink sea looking a little paint I've used. This is gonna be orange, so we're gonna have a little pink in there and probably a little pink in the water. This is the cloud. We want to leave it pretty white here, so But it would put a little pink in the horizon and maybe a little bit there. Okay, we did the pink, and now I'm going to take my lighter yellow, This yellow hansa, Yellow up, Hansa, yellow or handsome? Yellow is the same. Very strong look of that. So I'm going to give a little swipe yellow right there. And where us? Well, this is orange. So get that asswipe little orange over here and a little bit this reflecting in the water here. That was a strong one. Good. Well, these are going to be green, so I might as well put a little bit of the yellow here, and that's going to be green. So anywhere that's gonna be green. I can put some yellow in, and probably a little tiny bit of yellow reflected in the cloud, especially on the bottom. Because, you know, the light bounces up. They're so what I'm going to do is remove a few things and tilt my paper. You can see that when you tilt the paper, the water begins to run downhill. And because the paint is wet, this is when you could lift some of the color C. So what I'm doing is I'm tapping the brush and lifting some color. But what am I going to do right now is put a little bit of blue this blue here from up here , I'm gonna put it right in here. And when I put it on and I'm going to tilt it So I want to let my brush and then I want to take Well, it's got a little green there, so I'm going to check it up here. You know what? How strong that failure is. And that's just a little drop in the end of my brush. So we're to thin it. I think that's about right there. And I'm going to turn my picture. No. Yeah, I'm going to turn it upside down and I'm going to swipe it this way around the cloud, maybe one in there on those pencil marks. And then I'll tilt it this way and see if I can control the way it goes. Oh, look at that. We call those lovely precipitation Ziv color. Now, this mountain is orange. So I'm going to just, uh, tab my brush here and lift it off a little bit There, soften the edge. What is important right now it's wet. Let it dry. Of course, the hair dryer is a much faster way, and I'm gonna turn on. Why there? That was simple going to let you in on a little secret. Now the secret is something I mentioned many times. The white of the paper is the most important part of your painting. If you're doing a riel true watercolor notice I've left White. They're white here, white here and a little bit there. Because if you don't leave white, your painting will not sparkle. Let's try one of these out just to see. I'm just want to see if it works. So what do I do? I'll take a little bit of paint here, and this is stickpin, and it probably have too much on. But let's hear a little issue. It ties. Hmm. That doesn't work. Maybe a little more moisture. Oh, Whoa. Nice. And could see this tip is quite around. There's different tips you can get. Don't use acrylics. That'll clog it up. But I like this I want to do is put in my trees using that you could use a colored pen. You could use a pencil. I do read. I like red. Put a little bit in there, seeing Rub it around like I say. You could use anything you want. Check it. Yeah, it's working. I squeeze these paints have quite a while ago. So they're getting a little hard, which is something I like. Okay, here we go. Let's see what we dio. I think I'll turn it upside down and go from the bottom up. Oh, nice. How maybe they're different trees. Maybe I'll use a little lizard crimson on this one. Great. No finer course. A finer pen will make a final mark. Could a couple branches in there break it up a little? There. I take my little trade and you'll notice I'm taking my small brush, adding some water. Actually, I'll take a big rush for the water. Never leave your brushes in the water, but do put your brush in the water and swim like a daughter. Rub it on the top, take a little bit of the hansa yellow and you'll notice it's not sick. Sick, sick. But it's a medium consistency, and I'm going to do what's called a flat wash. That means flat means it's the same right across. It's very much like coloring with a pencil now, because it's farther away and it's in the sun. It's lighter. This one's probably in the shade, and when something's in the shade, it's a little cooler. So we're going to had flushing the water, settling a nutter. Keep your brush clean. We're gonna add more blue to the green, and that will cool it down Now I'm doing a flat wash here, and I'm just coming up to my tree, but not touching it. And I leave a couple little white marks. That's okay. It gives sparkle. And their ago we just flat wash right over to our little trees over there. So now I've done this one and this one. Okay, Now in the front, I think I'll go with a little bigger brush. This would be considered a big brush for this picture, and we're going to do the shadow area. So I am going to do rather than a green. I'm going to take a little cobalt this time, see the coma, and I'm going to mix my paint on the paper. So I'm just going to come across with a swipe. I'm gonna go ready cross right over the bottom of this there. Then I'm going to take this smaller brush and drop in some colors. I'm gonna drop in symbolism in, See that? And I'm going to drop in some cadmium brown because it was a little red on my brush, and I'm going to drop in some darker Elizabeth, I'm fellow like that. That's quite dark. Run. That's okay. last a little more The cadmium right here. Okay, now it's tilt tilting there. It's coming across. Now there goes. Think it's time for the spritzer. Why? It's a little dark, and I don't want this pain to go all over the place. So put a paper towel under. But first of all, before I decide to do something, I'm going to play with it a little bit. Gonna tilt it? Yeah, You know, it might give it in an age, the edges all of the same year. So I might just push up a Betsy, break it up a little, get a little bit of an adjective, Okay? But it's still a little thick here. So here comes this picture. A little water in. Oh, now you'll see it went over the water. But not to worry, because spritzer it down and I could save the day with my spritzer. You see where I marked the paper and when darker. There we go. Make sure you get the water at the bottom. I do like this, uh, orange in this picture. So I'm going Teoh, give it another coat. I'm going to do the cadmium right on top. Look, at that. You nice and a little bit over here. Then clean the brush, take a little bit of the cadmium red now and pop that in both sides. I'm looking at my picture up here, and I see that a little bit more of the pink would be good right now. Right through here. Okay. Softened the edge a little bit in the water. Perfect. We'll just let that dry, dry, dry, let things dry. 5. Details To Finish With: there. ISS Okay. And I'm going to use my brush like this. I will upload a couple little sections in like this. This is like a pine tree. Pine trees have little sections right through a little more pointed. It was a hemlock and be bending over and his friend beside him. Let's make them the same type of tree like to grow together. Hey, it looks like an extra tree here When I went down with my brush and that's great. Look, there's three little trees there. I think what I'll do here is I'll just pull it like this. There were, as he put the brush down, flick it, put it down, flick it. I like that. Maybe just to drop here, we could put that little reflection in like this, sir, you know, sometimes we see our painting, and there's something we don't like about it. In this case, the little red trees didn't quite turn out the way I like them, Nor did the Little Sunshine Mountain here. So I'm going to be fixing that, and by fixing, I don't mean there's anything wrong with it. I'm just feeling it needs to go in a different direction, and I'm gonna show you how to do that. Well, the first thing I like to do get a little brush out and an eraser White One works really well. And what I'll do is removed some of the pencil here. There. I think I've done that enough. And I'm going to change the line of that use. The same pencil was I did before I could bring it straight down here. You know what? I might give it that sort of a look. Then I think I will bring it behind the little trees. Here we go. So that problem solved, and I'll be putting a little bit of something in there. Now we have to do this. Take your sprint. Sir. If you don't want to get your whole painting wet, just cover the top part. Hold your picture up and get some spritzer on it. Remember, we did use a cadmium here, which means that it's going to come off fairly easily. Several kinds of brushes you can use. I'm going to use this little bristle brush. See how easily the cab Liam comes off. And you know, sometimes your so called problems become solutions for other things. It might be that those little Bushes air just perfect like that. A little hint. You just do that. Let me just take that. Take a look at it. Now, I'm kind of liking that because look, if I could take a little orange in here, what I'm doing is I'm getting 123 So while it's wet, I'll just I was given a little tap with this. So it doesn't go too far. I'm gonna take a little pinch of the cadmium, make sure it's clean. And I think I'll go with you, Liz. Aerin that in here? So it's a little stronger and a little bit in here. Yeah, a little more orange in the water here. Probably would have a little orange in that here and there. What else? One more little thing. Want to make these clouds stand out a little more. So I'm going to take a little bit of the COBOL, and I'm going to put it right in here. Just spread it out, Jan. Clean. There you go. If it gives that a little bit of a accent just off this, there's the center mark off the center off center. is a great place for the I to go to. I'm thinking a little stronger here. Let's get more sunshine on that lovely Hansa yellow. Leave that little spot there just to pick it up a little. Being over the brownie red works well. I tip to cadmium here. Quite sick. You could even see how thick it is by how it even covers the black. And I'm going to put a little bit of read accent into the bottom of these bushes. 6. West Coast Inlet: If you're waiting for inspiration to show up to get you going, it never will. You have to start work. Get down. Do what you need to Dio and inspiration will arrive when you need it. So let's get right down to work and see if we can get inspired. - Way , way, way, way, way, way, way, - way , Uh 7. Let's Paint Big: my big brush, my medium sized brush on and I have my squirrel have my squirrel hair, Brush said. Here we go. Way this'll £140 watercolor paper. It should work just fine. Right in front is a big white bucket full of water. Big picture, lots of water, big brush. Let's start it with watering the paper. You must wet the paper because it's only £140 is going to drip. So have something on the floor, a towel, whatever to catch the drips. Want to saturate your paper? You gotta play in the water. Okay, here we go. Take some cobalt blue Ah, goodly amount and then a lizard in crimson. A very small amount of the academy and yellow medium starter with the blue now because the papers wet and I look at it and might need a little more. But let's give it a little more. It's not. It's gone dull, so it needs a little more. It's dried right up in that short amount of time, so I put a little more on the sky and I don't mind of things. Drip drip gives the beautiful, misty effect. So here we go at the top, we take the blue and watch what happens. It just drips down. See? See where the papers dry. So it's over that a little bit. And there it goes. You want to encourage the paper and keep it wet? You're going downhill. It'll only start to buckle when you it starts drying. I'm gonna take a little more. A little darker. See? See the big brush? Not quite a bit. Not too much water. And I'm going to put one at the bottom of Swipe. Just look at it. Just watch a drip, drip, drip, drip. A little more off the top. Working big. Don't get fussy. Actually, I think I'll go on an angle here rather than a little more on an angle like that. She's dripping down here. No problem. Get your brush. Encourage the drips. Remember the middle of the picture? Not so good. I want more sky in this one less water. So I'm just gonna put in a mountain shape and turned my brushing aside like that. And it's okay if it drips. It's part of the reflection. Drippy mood. See that? Just one. And watch it look. OK, I have to quickly clean off my brush. And this time I'm going to add a little bit of the lizard crimson. Now, you can't go too far in your lay in you pretty much lay it in and leave it. Okay, A little more water. Now, here's my violet, which I'm going to put in the water a little bit there. See that? Now I'm going to put in a few strokes. This way. I'm working with the drips. I would put a little more at the top here. Just a little on an angle like that. Look at that. Go would. It's red and quick. I might get that one there. See? Took my brush. Go too far. Patted on the rag. See, now I can see the water coming in here. Nice. Nicely. So I would do that one again, and I'm gonna do one right across. Very good. And now what I'll do. I am now going to take my board it lay it flat and let it dry. Now, remember, watercolors like to be wet, so I think I'm going to spritzer my paper and get it slightly damp. So here we go. Give it a spritzer all over. So that is dampens up and starts to run now because we've used some colors that sink in like a lizard in COBOL. COBOL sits on top a little bit. The colors aren't going to run because they've penetrated the paper. Now we're getting some beads of water here, which is good, but dampening the paper is very important for the second step. Now, I can take my big brush, go over the paper and wet it. So the spritzer prepares the paper for this second wedding. Cadmium yellow. Not too much cadmium. Yellow is very yellow. Just carefully putting very small amounts on bit of the Eliza Rin. - Uh , - more of the well dripped down even more like that. Pure cobalt here often this quarter. Here, I want to accent this cloud a little more so I'm gonna pull it up. Don't lose that cloud. So I'm gonna re shake it there. Mr. By on less. Over here. Take my brush cleaner. Pull it. Nice Cape Town. What's going down there? You see it? No problem. It's for the paper towel. Really redefined What you have pain is still settling. So you're allowed. You've got enough time to gently coax it with paper towel. Well, there goes air, very forgiving. If you know what you do, it can't really get trouble with wet paper. There. Now, I need something dark through here. And then I think we'll let that dry. Take a look at it. Just gonna go across very slowly. Little more dark. Shea and the sailor will make waving marks depending on which side of brush with using there. 8. Finishing Up With Details: There's a lot of things here I like, and I'd like to look at them before I do anything else to it. But a dark line at the very bottom would work perfectly. Here we go, more sail. Oh, cobras just on the edge of the brush. Mix it in, makes a great blue and make sure makes it really well. This time you'll notice there's last water and a small amount of the A lizard. Okay, here we go again. Nice and slowly read across the bottom. Probably not quite so straight, but a little bit on an angle, maybe one more stroke just like that. And it's kind of not quite straight, which is okay. Can I have a little bit texture here for breakers and finish it off like that? If I want Teoh helped out a bit. I'll just take a paper towel. I take some clean water and I'm going to let some of those undertones show up. This parts perfect, but I can see right through here. Watch this just with a little brush. I can lift something then that's going to soften as it dries, so you don't want to put a wet brush in here. If it's wet, what will happen is it will start to go like this and you get a different effect. I'm just likely with a damp brush, see damp, lifting that last tone off and bringing out some of the undertones. Sometimes watercolors are about removing paint rather than you keep adding the biggest problem with people who just starting is too much pain and not enough water down here. Look at this. This is wonderful. I'm going to take a little bit of the acrylic that's been watered down. Reason I like acrylic is if I'm feeling very confident and I've watered them down, they stay where they they are put and they also make a vibrant collar addition to the watercolors. Watercolors could be up slightly dull, and at times these we'll pick some up. So here we go. I've got, say, low and a lizard Ultra marine blue rather than the cobalt going to stay away from the white and I'm going to wet the paper. This class has been about wet paper. And remember, ultra marine with the red that I have will make a fairly gray West Coast water color. Oh, notice very gently. A little drift here, drifting when the pain decides to drift. Oh, look at that. That's great. I think I will drop in a little more of the ultra Marine paper starting to dry. See, it's the drip. But we're dripping this way now. So the picture has a consistent technique. The drip technique. Look at that. Whoa, look at that. It only goes where it's wet. Let's let that dry now, completely lifting. You need a very chisel like tip. You put a little water on it, just damp in the brush. Let's take this dark spot over here. Let's see if we can lift it up so that it contrasts against the medium dark water. See that? So get good at lifting. You may be pleasantly surprised with some of the results. - No , - no , - thanks for joining the class today. I hope that you've really had a good time and that you've learned something, and that's what it's all about. Going and learning something, not being afraid to take the next step in your artistic endeavors. See, in the next class 9. White Magic Acrylic Demo: