Paint with Watercolor- Create a seascape | Melissa Hyatt | Skillshare

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Paint with Watercolor- Create a seascape

teacher avatar Melissa Hyatt, Watercolor Artist and Beach lover

Watch this class and thousands more

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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 (41m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. sketch

    • 4. Save the Whites

    • 5. Paint the Sky

    • 6. Paint the Sea

    • 7. Paint the Land

    • 8. Finishing Touches

    • 9. Thank you

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About This Class

In this class you will learn to use watercolor techniques including wet on wet. wet on dry and layering to create your own unique seascape/landscape. I will give a list of the supplies you will need to complete the project. We will start with a simple pencil sketch on 5” x 7” watercolor paper, mix our colors, create layers of paint and let it flow. I’ll share my tips and tricks for painting landscapes. As I paint I am transported to the place I’m painting, it’s like a mini vacation!.  Beginners as well as experienced watercolor students will enjoy this class.

Come paint with me!

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Melissa Hyatt

Watercolor Artist and Beach lover


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1. Introduction: Hi. I'm Melissa Hyatt, watercolor artist. And I live by the beach and love to pay Seascapes thing. This class I want to share with you my process for painting my Seascapes in watercolor. We're gonna start with a simple pencil sketch and then mixed colors. I have a lot of fun. I'll show you techniques like wet on wet and then using what I'm try to get a little bit more control with your line E Anyone, no matter what your skill level is, can learn to pay with watercolor and love it. Using my tips and tricks. Let me help you discover your watercolor potential. Please join me for this class on how to paint a Seascape. Thank you. 2. Supplies: hello fellow artists. Let's talk about supplies. So I've got a wide range of things I want to share with you that I like to use, but you can make your own choices. If you already have a watercolor palette and you want to use that, you don't have to go out and buy all new supplies just for this workshop. But definitely use what you have and what you're comfortable with. And maybe you'll pick up a few tips on things that I use that you may want to add to your selection of supplies. Here we go. I want to show you a little closer what my watercolor palette looks like. It's really big, and it's got a lot of wells for paint. As you could say. So what I like to do is buy chips of paint. Here's one of my tubes. This is a whole bind. Barter blue and I squeeze the pain into the little well. And then I reactivate my palate. I spray it with a little spray bottle and I get my paints ready each time I paint. I like the consistency of the paint in the tube, and then this is the lid for my palate pan out a little is the lid. I can mix colors on both sides. I like to have lots of mixing areas and then to keep the paint's wet. Or if I'm traveling, I just put the lid on. So that's pretty cool. This is a cheap Joe palette that I have, but again, you can use a paper plastic plate to mix your paints on. You could use an enamel like butchers try. I have one of those also, that I'll show you. Here's pictures try. I like to make paint mixed paints in there, too. You can use what you have. You don't have to go buy something new, but I just wanted to share that with you. 3. sketch: Our next step is to create a light pencil sketch. This is my reference. This is a photograph that I took when I was on vacation in ST Thomas in the Virgin Islands . And I like to paint places that I've been I feel like a on vacation again. But it also helps me remember that vacation finally. So what I would do first when I'm working on a landscape as I always sketch in first the horizon line. So the horizon line is the point at which the sky meets the land or in this case, the water. So would be this edge right in here. One of my tricks or tips to you would be not to put that horizon line dead center on your page so you can use your artistic license because you are the artist. Even if your photo has that horizon line in the center, feel free to move it. You could move it up a little higher or down a little lower. I happen to like their The horizon falls in this particular photograph. So I'm gonna go with it being at that point. So what? I'm gonna dio move my reference away a little bit so you can see me scotch just really lightly. I like to use a very light pencil line when I'm painting watercolor, and I am just gonna first put in that horizon line. You can always lift out a little and a race if you feel like, um, you don't want it in there, but I feel like the pencil sketch adds to my piece. So there's my horizon line across there. I'm going to continue to just break things down into really simple shapes. So there's a land mass over here. These are other islands in the distance. I want to say I think it's Tortola. If I'm not mistaken over here in this area, some drawing that area in and then this island over here, I'm gonna also add in. I'm gonna choose in this picture to not paint the greenery here because I just love all these shades of blue, and I want to capture all those colors in, um in my piece. So I'm gonna leave more area for water. So I'm gonna continue with my sketching and you could do the same with your reference Or if you're gonna work from my piece. That's fine, too. So here we go. I like to add little details into my piece. Uvula caramel, Zoom in a little bit. There's a little sailboat over here. I love that there is that little white sailboat there. And then over in this far corner, there were other little sailboats. So I'm going to definitely add those, and I can move them over a little bit, like, maybe further into the composition and be able to see maybe to be able to see this boat a little bit more. So I'm gonna work on that Now I'm gonna draw in my little boat shapes using my handy. I needed a racer. I don't like to use the erasers on the pencils themselves. They tend to mark up the watercolor paper. And since we're using good quality Strathmore £140 watercolor paper, I want to preserve that texture of the paper. So there we go. That's the simple sky number. You've got the license to make adjustments as you see fit. Go for it. 4. Save the Whites: way. Want to talk to you about saving out whites when you paint with water color? Traditionally, you don't use a white opaque paint. You let the paper be the white you could see in this piece Here I let the white of the clouds coming through. But it put paint in their safety out the white again in these little boats here in here, I painted around the shape that I had drawn and left the white of the paper to come through . So that's one option that you can Dio called saving the whites. The second is to use masking fluid. So here's my sketch. And here is a masking fluid I like to use called Moloto. I'm saying that right, But anyway, it's art masking liquid. You could also buy this in a jar and use a brash to put it on the paper. This is super easy to use and I'm gonna show you. So I opened the mask. It's tinted a pale blue and you put the mask in the areas where you want there to be white . What's gonna happen is this mask is gonna form a barrier, so when you paint, it will not allow the paint too. Penetrate the masking fluid and color the papers. You have to let this dry. Then once the masking fluid is dry, you paint right over it. I could put my blue in my ocean right over those boats, and the masking fluid will save it out. 5. Paint the Sky: colors. So this is a little water bottle that I just bought it target or something. I use it. Just spray my palate. So reactivates my paints. It's easy to use the paint and makes a little pools of color because that's going to do next to get ready to paint. Here we go. I take my brush. This is actually a number eight ultra around and I will What? It didn't. And now what I'm gonna do is I want to start to paint the sky. You live to start with the sky in a landscape. So what I want to do is mix up some colors in my palettes and little pools of color that makes this color of the sky. So I'm gonna use a little bit of ultra Marine brush a little. That's a mother blues over here. See how I'm just making right now? I'm just making a big puddle of color. Make sure you make enough color because watercolor is a lot about layering, so you're gonna need a fair amount of pain. Even though we're doing a tiny little painting, you still want to make sure you have enough color. So if you need to add another layer. You don't have to start off a little scratch. You certainly can, but it just makes it a little bit easier If you have a little more color. Just gonna get simply is out here. What we're gonna dio is a test. I've sort of got a lighter blue over here and tested on a little scrap of paper where I talked about having a scrap of paper nearby. So get that struggle paper. So there's a nice light blue here. And when a test more like this medium blue, keep comparing it to your reference. And even when it's wet, you can always add more color into the paint right on the paper, which is a really cool thing about water color. And it really gets your colors nice colors flowing together. This is a little bit more of a of a computer bloops a little bit out over here, But if I want, I had a little more what you also to notice when we look at our reference sky hombres, it goes from Darfur at the top to lighter, down by the horizon, and that's very typical. And what you'll find in most photographs you'll take, or even if it's very subtle in nature. That's the way it works, the skies darker and tough, and it's gonna be lighter down here. So think about that. When you are painting your sky, Another thing you want to think about is your clouds. Now, here in this picture, there's not a lot of clouds. I like to use my artistic license, and I'd like to paint clouds. So I'm gonna add in a few more clouds. And the way that I do that is, I'll take. Here's my sketch so I don't typically draw my clouds with a pencil. But I am going to save some cloud areas, and I like to use a technique using Clearwater. So I put my brush in my clear water and looking at my reference and just kind of using my imagination a little bit. You can always pull another reference. If you want for clouds, I'm gonna make some shapes, very naturalistic shapes. You're not gonna get too crazy about the exactness of it, but I'm gonna use this Clearwater now See, when I checked the page, there's a reflection on the paper. That's where it's still wet so you can always check to see if the paper is still wet. Those are gonna be my cloud areas. So when I start with my sky, I'm gonna take this nice light blue that I mixed up over here and I want to start with my life blue I'm gonna work from the top down and when I get close to where the cloud shapes So I'm just gonna come it touch the edge of it but not really go over it because I just want the light blue to sort of fused the edge of the cloud. It'll make like a really nice soft edge for you. And then you don't have to look really stress about painting that cloud And how you gonna leave the white? This is a way that I like to remind myself I wanted to have a cloud there, so I'm adding in a little bit more of a darker blue, a peer into my sky and I'm just letting the pain fusing with the water and you can sort of start to see how the clouds are beginning to form. And that was really just having that clear water in there and putting soft washes of the blue in there and making sure you get a little darker at the top. The more you use the layers, the more depth he will achieve. And now I'm gonna let this dry, and you can also use your hair dryer. If you want Teoh to dry it and then we're gonna work on the sea next. If you find at this point if you want your clouds a little bit lighter than where they are right now, this is another little trick. You can use a paper towel. I just sort of bunch it up a little bit and then just very gently, I'm gonna lift out a little bit, have to make sure it's still wet, and that's just slightly damp. So I'm just gonna lift out slightly with my paper towel a little bit lighter so my clouds could get even even slightly bigger. And I want to do one more layer just a the top with that nice cobalt e soft blue that I have try to get the feeling off our reference. But just keep looking back at your reference. To do some light layers can always add, you know more darker layers later, so no stress. Have fun 6. Paint the Sea : the next thing that we're going to dio because we're gonna paint the sea. And when I paint water, I like to use a wet on wet watercolor technique for the safe. So what we're gonna do first is mix up. So pools of color I for the watercolor, especially when it's, ah, Caribbean Ocean. I love to use this transparent turquoise, and that's by Daniel Smith's. I'm going a little bit of that out there, another little bit of a blue green. You're looking at my reference and trying to see the colors I see in there. I like to have a little variety. Also, you need to think about the fact that water reflects so reflected into the water is gonna be the color of the sky. So I still have some of those washes in my palette, which is fantastic because we're gonna utilize those when we paint the sea in this piece again, we're going to start light and water call. You always start light. Now, in this instance, you'll see these little blue marks. Remember, those were the areas that I put the masking fluid in. This was my masking fluid pan. It's tinted a little bit blue and I can see where those boats are eventually going to be. But now I don't have to worry about saving them out. If you did not use mask, just make sure right now when you start to paint the see that you do leave those areas white. So you gonna paint around it? Just another option. So what I'm gonna do first, I really seeds for me. The lightest color in this reference is this Aqua, Aqua blue. I'm going to start with that color. I'm actually gonna start with the color up here by the horizon line and I'm gonna pull it all the way down here through to the front, to the bottom, and I see little hits in here of that blue green shimmering through. So I want to make sure that I have that color running throughout the whole sea and I'm painting around these. My pencil lines is where I left the island for the islands that I'm gonna fill in later. So right now I'm just putting in a light wash of that really pretty blue and want to keep this really wet because we're going to use a wet on what technique? What on wet helps the colors flow into each other. And you see, I just went right over these boats right over the boats could have the masking fluid there . And I keep putting more water and more paint on my brush and get it down onto my paper here . So this is super wet. And you can tell because if I tip it a little bit, you could see that reflection. And that means that the paper is still wept. So you want to keep moving? I'm now gonna bring this little bit of the deeper blue that you see in the reference up here by the horizon line. It's gonna be darker up there. I'm just gonna put some of that in there and sort of let the colors flow together. And the one thing one thing I really do love about watercolor is the surprise is that you get now. I am not so concerned about capturing each little wave and reflection and thing that's happening in the water. But I want to get the feel of it. So that's my main goal. So now I'm just taking a little more of this blue green, and I'm bringing that down in here into the foreground a little bit, and I'm gonna fade it out because I get to the edge of the paper. Just put a little clear water down there and let it fade out so super wet, they want to work really wet. And you went to the colors to just flow. I am gonna bring myself a little bit of a deeper blue wash right up here at the edge of these islands. And you could say I'm not really trying to control. I'm really not trying to control the paint too much. I really want the paint and the water to, like, do its magic. So I'm not going to get too crazy about exactly where it is. So why don't you go ahead and you can try, Try your seat and I am going to let this dry before I add in more layers and may well have fun. So I let my see dry, and now I'm going to go back in because I want to add some more layers of color. So I look at my reference. They see there's still a lot of death in this water area right now, I've got my nice light layers in there, but I wanna layer up and put some darker values in there. So I'm gonna make one of my turquoise is a little bit deeper. And then it was so they had a really nice light wash before some was going out a little more color to it and get myself that really bright Caribbean Sea kind of color. And then as well, I'm gonna make sure that I have this deeper, almost more purple Lee blue over here by the horizon. So get that kind of flowing over there. So I'm gonna start with the turquoise because that color is lighter. You always want to work, lurked light to dark and watercolor. So I'm just gonna come back in here and I want to just highlight in a way, add a little bit more depth to some of this turquoise. I'm rinsing off my brush, and now I'm just coming in with clear water. I'm just going along the edge with the Clearwater, so that's helping the paint flow. So I will tell you one thing that's very helpful when you paint with watercolor is to have patients and just trying not to overwork it. You can always go back in and add a little bit more color and see how I'm just I'm putting the paint down and then I'm like, moving to a new area. I'm not staying in there scrubbing around my brush and moving the pain. I'm really letting the paint do its thing. You could start to see the layers. I'm building up here in the depth of color. Now I'm gonna come in a little bit with the stronger blue. I know it looks really it looks really dark, but it's gonna mingle and mix with a little bit of this OC we blew that I put in and it's going to start to blend to make some of these really pretty things happening. See here how this pain is just it's all starting to blend together. I'm just being really delicate again. I'm using my number eight brush, not not a huge brush. It's got a really good point. I love these low Cornell brushes because they have a nice point and they hold it and they're not super expensive. I use them for my own paintings, and I used them in my workshop, so it's definitely a good one to have. So I just want to pull a little bit more of this purple e blue. Down around these islands, it's almost like they were a shadow, not positive. But I think part of it may be that and the reflection of the sky. And so that's my next layer on my C. And again, this is wet on wet because I'm putting down a light layer of the turquoise, and then I'm adding the blue green on top of it. So the two wet washes are forming together to create some of these little edges and color mixing that's happening. 7. Paint the Land: I want to start working on the land areas, and I may still go back and add a little more depth in my water butt. At this point, I'd like to move on and work on another part of the peace. So the land masses, when I look at these little islands, I see sort of a grayish like a blue violet underneath the colors, like the lightest part where that's actually rock, I believe so. I'm just gonna mix up some colors here on my palette, some more earthy kind of colors. So I've got this, like pale blue violet going over here and a little bit of green because there is some some vegetation on those islands, but nothing really great. And also there really far in the distance. And when things are further away from you in a landscape, they are dollar in color. So I'm not gonna really use a lot of bright greens, but I'm gonna get sort of this olive green going. And then I have some neutrals over here, a little burnt sienna, and then this little bit of brown. So the first color I'm gonna use is the light color. Now, these islands in the distance back here, I am predominantly gonna make them this purple tone. They're very dull, which means that they're far away. So I don't really want them to stand out or be too important s I'm just going to start with a really light, just a little light wash just to kinda indicate where they are, and then I'll build up from there. I see a little bit of sort of, ah, brownish color, which is probably maybe even a little bit of sand below this one over here. And you see, my yellow just kind of ran, but I didn't panic, right? I'm gonna put a little yellow over and here, too, because it looks like there's some sandy areas, but some yellow going over here. This is just my first layer, just kind of starting over here on this little island. You can see a little bit of the turquoise popped in there when I was painting the water. But it's not gonna be a big worry, too May, because there's a dark green that actually is gonna go on the top of that which will cover right over that aqua. So I'm just gonna put in a little bit of this yellow almost as a highlight, and that's gonna kind of fall underneath. So I am going to use predominantly a wet on dry technique. But you can see in this area I am going to just play a little bit with this sort of purplish tone. And I'm now using wet on wet because that's what I'm putting in a little bit more that color in there so you can go in between those two techniques. You don't just have to use one exclusively. But I bounce back and forth between the two quite often. And even here I can show you can put a little green their stuff. I'm gonna be a lot of green in these couple of islands, so I'm just gonna put a little green in there and let it blend, and then I'm gonna let that dry and come back. So let's keep painting the land. I'm gonna put in some more of the medium tones. We've got some light, pale yellows and greens and here so now I'm just gonna add a little bit of a wash onto this top of this island of the sort of medium green and then again turning a little bit on that . And again over here now in the foreground, which these air the closest ones. To me, it's good to use this green. That's a little cleaner. But way back here, if you look at that island way back there, it's very dull and it's dirty. So I'm not going to use that same color that was this screen here. I'm gonna dull it a bit, so I'm gonna add a little bit. I love burnt Sienna to dull my colors, So I'm gonna use a little burnt sienna and sort of make this a little bit dirtier green to go in this area. It doesn't need to be really even cause when you look at that area, it's really it's trees and there's darks and there's light. So the color kind of shifts from, you know, whatever that area has on it. And I'm gonna leave a little bit of light down towards the bottom because there is a little bit of beach area. They're gonna actually add a little bit of that to this little island here and then, while this is what I do, wanna just a little touch of a darker green close, close up just a tiny little bit and even pull a little bit of it into this area. And it'll mixed with that dirty in green. I like toe. I would like to have lots of color changes going on in my areas of my paintings. Well, that's one way to do it, especially if it's wet. Um, I'm also gonna move back over to this far distant area, which I was kind of keeping a really dull sort of purple. So a little too much pain on my brush trying to get a little off. And I'm gonna pull a little bit of this over here, and that's my island in the distance, very kind of muted, and I'm gonna let these green to try. So while those greens are drawing, I'm gonna work into an area that's not gonna touch the greens in that area is in the sea here. So a lot of times when I'm working on a painting, I don't just work on one area at a time. I will kind of move around the composition and as an area is dry and it's ready for more paint than I'm gonna go in there and I'm gonna add more color. So just just be mindful of what's wet right now, and you kind of avoid those areas. But I'm gonna add a little bit more blue because I see, um, a lot of shadowing. It's probably the reef. Stand underneath the water. Uh, and bring and bring this blue in a little closer here. Not I don't I really like soft edges in my watercolor. So I'm gonna rinse my brush off. And with just Clearwater on this brush, I am gonna go just sort of touch on these areas and sort of soften some of those edges Were the pain I went down and here I'm painting right over those sailboats. Remember their masked? So that's gonna save it out for May. So then, yeah, just about it a little bit more depth around these islands, and over here, I'm gonna put in a little bit more of this deeper blue, especially up here under this island. Probably the darkest part of the blue areas. But again, just going with the wet brush, I'm just sort of blending it and then even down here, I'm now gonna bring in a little more. A little more. The truck toys. One of my favorite things about the Caribbean is that turquoise, blue sea. I'm just gonna soften it on and bring a little more of that down to the foreground. And now comes the drying time. 8. Finishing Touches: way with finishing touches on our peace in water color. The final step, at least when I paint watercolor is putting in the dark's. So when we started out, we started with are really pale washes. We worked upto a little bit darker, and now we're gonna go back in and we're gonna put our dark sin. And I think that's the cool thing about water. Color is that the picture slowly starts to form, and it's really exciting to me. In the end, I love when I get to the point that I'm putting in the Dark's. It's very exciting because it's really going to make a lot of the colors pop. So it's the contrast between the light washes and the darker washes that are going to really give you a lot of drama just pretty cool. So right now I am looking at these islands, and some of these areas are actually rocks, so I need to get some more earthy tones in there. And, um, there's some reflections happening in the water. So I'm just going in. I have a a little bit of, ah, a color called Hema tight that I love to use that looks a lot like rock, and it's kind of gritty, So it's pretty cool. And I have some burnt Sienna and I'm just putting a little areas of that is I'm looking at my reference where I see that there's dark spots over here on this area. I see some little bits of dark. I'm gonna go back, and I still need some more dark green in this group of islands here that are close to us. So I've got a little bit of dark green I'm gonna layer on. I was kind of right. It looks like here, maybe there's a dark our crop there. Have a little dark back in there and there's gonna blended out. I just got just water on my brush. Felt like I needed a little bit of depth over there. And even here in this island, I just have water on my brush, and I want to just soften that little bit of a dark area. That and this is an opportunity to I talked before about using a paper towel. Like if I feel I got a little too much paint there, I'm just taking a little bit of a paper tile and I could just lift some of it out just really kind of gentle touch in there, a little more green, and they're just spreading it with some water. So I think that's good for my islands back here. I'm gonna add a little bit more. I sort of had a I was kind of a brownish greenish color. Gonna add a little bit more of that and help that feedback into the background. I like my purple area. I feel like that sits back there nicely. I'm happy with my sky, and I'm gonna add maybe a little bit more dark in my water because I love the contrast of the blues. Um, using right now a number six brush. So I'm gonna continue to use that one to do a little bit of this. And now I'm just going to use a brush that just has water on it, because I want to sort of blend these new blue areas that I just dropped in there, just kind of going back over them. And I have a water on my brush. I'm gonna get a little more water on my brush. Just kind of create some soft edges I really love soft edges. And I'm gonna bring up just a little more turquoise, especially right kind of under this island. And remember to, you know, we're working from a photograph. This is an artistic interpretation of this photograph, and I just wanna I really want to capture the feeling I'm not so concerned about every little detail. But there there are things that I definitely want to make sure that I that I pick up on the closer islands, the further away creating some dimension, and I am going to let these darks dry. And the next thing we get to Dio is to lift off the masked area so I could show you where these little white boats are, which look like they're blue now. But remember, that's the mask. So I'm going to show you that next. So here we go, continuing on with some more finishing touches. We're going to remove the masking fluid that I put down and step two. So this is a rubber cement pickup. Phyllis Square. It's kind of a gummies consistency, but it's really great for lifting up masking fluid. So my pieces dry piece definitely has to be dry before you do this. And remember, I had saved out white here for the sailboat and then the little triangles over here. It's now I take the rubber cement pick up and I just rub it over the area where the mass quiz. See how I already lifted up the mast. And now I'm gonna pull away the rest of the boat. There's my little white sailboat. And then as well over in this area, I saved out these little white triangles, little boat sails, sailboats. And so now they're they are. It's like magic. So the mask saved the white for me, so I didn't have to worry about it the whole time. I just painted right over it. And now I've got my little boats hanging out near the islands. I can always go touch up if I want those areas to be a little bit smaller with some pain. And now I can add any other darks are things that I feel like I need to complete it. Um And what? I'm happy with it. I'm gonna sign my piece. So I typically sign in the lower right corner when it works with the composition. Someone to do that now and just show you. I use my first initial and then my last name, but it's your signature. It's your work of our can't wait to see your pieces in the class project. 9. Thank you: just to review in this class. We went through the steps that I use in my process to create a watercolor Seascape. There's my finished piece number. I signed it at the bottoms. Make sure you sign yours. You get ready to frame it to before you do that, please share it with May in the class project area. And if you have any questions at all, leave a little message for me in the discussion section. Most importantly, have fun. Enjoy it. And thanks for taking this class.