Painting Luminous Skies in Watercolour | Denise Comeau | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Painting Luminous Skies in Watercolour

teacher avatar Denise Comeau, Painter . Printmaker

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

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

11 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Materiels

    • 3. To tape or not to tape

    • 4. Hard and soft edges

    • 5. Hard and soft edges 2

    • 6. Sky demo one

    • 7. Sky demo two

    • 8. And then there were trees

    • 9. Trees last 10%

    • 10. Class project

    • 11. Extra footage

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

Community Generated

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





About This Class

In this class, I will show you how easy it is to paint a beautiful luminous transparent sky with watercolours. 

With skies you can explore a lot of different facets of watercolour and learn as you go. Skies it seems are made to be painted in watercolours.

Join me and I will demonstrate how simple it is.


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Denise Comeau

Painter . Printmaker


Class Ratings

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

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

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

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


1. Intro: these and welcome to my water. Plus, I've been a professional artist now for a little over 30 years, and I believe that I can help you with your being. I've used various mediums over the years for my work, but watercolor remains my number one choice. When it comes to putting color down on paper, it's what I'm most comfortable with. I didn't really enjoy putting this class together for you in this class. I'll be doing a sky dinner and I'll finish off some trees. I chose the sky for this because I'll be able to talk to you about various aspects of watercolors, whether it be hard, soft edges and how to achieve them. Using watercolor pencils at details and values, adding a first wash and why you should different ways of fasting, your paper to work surface. They're not giving you options when it comes to frame of your work. We're talking a lot about working from intuition, feeling your way to your work, not starting with a preconceived notion of what you're finished work should look like. For May. Painting is more about getting a feeling of a place or time. Not so much about the subject, man. So that's it. Let's get started. I hope you enjoy 2. Materiels: So these are the materials you'll use for this glass. You'll, of course, need watercolors. I prefer to have my paints in a tree. That way, my colors are always handy and ready to go when I need a color I hadn't planned on. I'm a strong believer and listening to your work as you go and not having a preconceived notion off what the finished product will look like. But that is just a personal preference to each his own. Simply discover what works for you. If you decide that you prefer squeezing fresh tube of paint each time, that is fine as well. You'll definitely need a spray bottle toe what your paints before you start as well as for wedding. The paper. You'll need lots of fresh, clean water. As you can see, I've had this bucket for a long time. If it's big enough, you don't need to change it too often. I always have a variety of brushes, of all shapes and sizes on hand squares and rounds, and lately something that is new for me is that I like using watercolor pencils. I find that I like adding small details as I paint. You'll see this in the demo. You don't necessarily need the's pencils for this lesson, but if you have some, get him out and use a hair dryer. A swell if you want to. It's not necessary, but it can sure speed up the process. So if you think you're ready, let's get to it. 3. To tape or not to tape: Let's begin this lesson by looking at the pros and cons off taping your paper down on your work surface. First and foremost, let's talk about the beautiful Dekel edge of a good watercolor paper. Over the years I've always headed when I hit the Dekel edge with the Manning, and I simply had to figure out a way to avoid what you see here. If you see it, simply tape down your paper like this, then this is what you'll get, And I think that you will agree that what you see here in the next image is way nicer. This way, you are able to keep the integrity and beauty of the tickled watercolor paper. Here you see a full sheet watercolor that has been floated mounted. I suppose it's a personal choice, but it leads. It's something for you to consider. Here's how I do it. If you're a piece of paper needs to be cut. I like using a lettuce knife. I've tried various cutting implements over the years, and the good old cheap lettuce knife is what I found to match closest to the original edge . Simply fold your paper over and use the lettuce knife to make your cut. I then tape my paper down on the back like you will see here. Okay, so you're probably thinking, What about the buckling of the paper and the water pooling? I've simply just learned to deal with this. As it dries, I remove excess water and as well, I continuously wiped the sides from underneath to avoid run backs and watermarks. This I'll show you in my sky demo. Once your paper dries, it will flatten out. And if it doesn't just wait down overnight. 4. Hard and soft edges: in this little demonstration ID like to show you the difference between hard and soft edges and how you get them and the importance off them. When I first start my painting, I went my paper with a spray bottle. Not wedding the paper completely. That way, the water pools at the same time, you have a dry a dry places on the paper. So when I apply my color, the colors run like in a war sweating what wash and but at the same time, I keep hard edges where the paper remains dry and this is a very important aspect off watercolor. And it's all about learning how to control the water and your brushes. If you see here, the pain is running, but at the same time at these places, I keep these nice, sparkly, clean, white places that are so important when we're when we'll be talking about values as well. Layer 5. Hard and soft edges 2: one thing that you must know when working with water colors is that as long as your paper is dry and you use your color, the paint will not go where the paper is dry, obviously, So if you want your paper p wet your paper and you put paint on it. Then of course, you have what's called wet on wet. No, that call that you see there. We'll continue to move on this water and do a little dance, and as long as it does not touch this Web edge, you will have a soft pitch. But the second that it arrives to this edge. Then you see an art hard edge on the outside. Now, often I see students struggling with this. If you want for this edge to remain soft, of course, you can dio and bring it out like that. But the problem was, that is, as long as it's with here, and your pain keeps running. It's going to continue up to the dry edge and still keep giving you a hard line. So the trick to having a soft edge here, If it's what you were looking for, you have to go with the completely wet brush and from the outside going in, you went the paper so that you make sure that when your color is running there, it will not get to this clean, wet line, and then you will keep you're soft edges. 6. Sky demo one: Let's get on our way with this guy. Begin by making my planes nice and more ready to be. I went to the surface off my paper, but I don't let it through and through. I just would enough to help the pain to move easily around on the surface. But not enough that I lose the ability off keeping white spaces and hard edges. I'm using a nice big square brush for this layer. A two inch Robert Simons sky flu brush. I've had this brush over 20 years. I don't even know if they still exist. Russians can be expensive, but it would take care of them, watched them and dry them flat. They can last a long, long time. I try as much as possible to use a brush bigger than what I think I should be using. This has a way of keeping things nice and loose. This will be a bottom wash layer. I often begin my paintings, especially my studio, work with the washing layer. Watercolor. Being transparent will allow this layer to show through the following layers, and we'll sort of bring everything together for lack of a better expression is sort of Mary's the work as a whole. I've decided to start this demo with the yellow wash. You can use whatever g ellos you have. I tweaked the color a bit as I go to keep it singing, adding some pinkish tones and a bit of orange. I never seem to worry too much about the colors are used. I figured it out as I do. I listened to my painting and add what I feel needs at the time. This, of course, comes with practice. I keep a box of tissues on. I used these to wipe the edges of my paper in order to avoid water, running back onto my work and creating unwanted watermarks. Repeat this process often as you paint, making sure to wipe under the edges of the paper to get the water underneath. Water can be very sneaky and has a way off working its way back when you're not looking. You can also use your tissues to touch up your work, removing some color and access water, just adding a bit of detail. So before I stopped, I checked that my edges are free from water and we'll let this sit for a while while I have my coffee, so I'll see you in a bit 7. Sky demo two: as I start the second layer an actual painting, you will notice that I went my paper quite a bit more than in the previous wars. The reason for this being that I'll be wanting to work on it a lot longer than I did with the first layer, keeping in mind that you can work on it as long as the wet paper is shiny and this is very , very important. The second you lose to shine and the paper becomes dull or Matt stop working on it. Once it becomes Matt, you are better to drive completely and go on to do 1/3 layer. The reason for this is that as long as your paper is wet, the pigments will float on top of the water. But once you lose to shine and your paper is Matt, this means that the pigments have settled on the paper and they want to stay there, adding more water or paint. At this time. When it is Matt, we'll give you unwanted watermarks. You are better to dried completely and start again. The beauty of watercolor happens when the colored water or paint is left alone as much as possible. to do its thing this way. Your work will stay luminous and transparent, which is what watercolor is all about. I want this guy demo to be very moody, one where you don't know if the rain storm is coming or if the rain storm has passed. It's always good to keep the viewer thinking. Don't give out all the interfaith information. Keep the viewer interested here. I'm using altering blue and burn Seanna again. I use a tissue to blot out excess water. You can also were see where the heart edges are, Making interesting details. You can see where the paper has stayed dry, creating beautiful hard edges of light coming through the service. Keep these little bit of cobalt blue as well could work. I usually work my way from top to bottom, mixing my colors as I go on both the paper and the tree, continuously tweaking my color. Someone once told me that your color should be modified or tweak every inch or so to keep it interesting and not having look flat like you would see in a child's coloring book. Don't forget the age. My paper is still shiny so I can keep working. I gently laid the color so it must to disturb the yellow color underneath. Remember, less is more. Don't fidget, get it done and that leave it alone as much as possible. Also, something to keep in mind is that watercolors dry 20% lighter. So what you think is to duck now will probably just right after it has dried. The feeling I'm getting here is that the sun is trying to make its way through, but not sure it's going to succeed. I think it's about terrain. Look at you work. Listen to it. Follow your intuition. Let it speak to you and add what it needs. It's always best not to have a preconceived notion of what it will look like in the end. Let it guide you. Be brave if you're going to make a mistake. Make it a big one trying to paint as if you're making a work of art. Look at his look at it as an exercise, and this will keep your work fresh. Practice lots. I'm ready to take up my watercolor pencils and that bit of detail. This is fairly new for me, but I like it a lot I find it adds fine details and values. Careful, it's very easy to overdo it. It's always a good idea to put it aside for a while. Even overnight, I usually get it done about 90% and come back for the finish finishing touches. The next day you'll figure out what works for you. 8. And then there were trees: That's kind. Imo turned out so well that I've decided to work on it some more. I'll be adding some trees. I'll show you how I got from this to this. It actually took about 10 minutes. But I will speed it up for you. It only take about three or four for this. Abusing two brushes. Rigors a size one in a size six. A rigger brush has much longer hair than any other type of brush and is used for paintings , trade lines. It is made so that it will hold more water so that when you do fine lines, you don't run out of paint. I work at this one tree at a time building my forest. The colors are youse are all of green Sepp Grain, Prussian blue, some ultra marine And also I like yellow ogre. As I work, I try to hold my brush closer to the end. And I also tried to stay loose. By doing this, you paint with your arm in your body, not just the tip of your fingers that could make you tight in your painting. As I work, I stop and look and follow my intuition. Look at my trees and sense. If I should add some more, make them taller, put more trees behind. I sort of feel my way through proper LeDoux. So a dear friend of mine, my mentor, who has long since passed, always told me, Denise, make sure you leave some space in the trees to let the birds fly through. I think of him often when I paint trees. Prussian blue is very good to get really dark, intense blues. It is a color I use a lot. The finer lines are off course, done with the number one. I think also that the bluer trees will fall back and the yellows and greens will bring some trees forward. Think warm and cool. Push and pull. I dropped color into the wet paint. Yellow walker is not a transparent color. It's almost like a wash, so you can use it to add to darker trees to warm them up and bring them forward. It will not disappear into the dark colors again. I will stop there for now, about 90% done and look at it at it again later, with fresh eyes 9. Trees last 10%: 10. Class project: I would like to suggest this deal for your class project. Have your materials ready. And if you wish, after having watched the demo, you can try this to practice. There's no getting away from it. If you want to become a good painter, you have to practice and practice lots. Take out a large sheet of paper and divided up with masking tape. This will give you a good chance to practice what you have seen in the demos. Hard and soft edges, different color combination using watercolor pencils, even trees. If you so wish, keep your first wash. Its not too dark. Keep them light. You can always go darker. Try different colors for these washes, yellows, blues, pinks, even combinations. I like ultra marine and burnt sienna as well. A surly in blue and burn Seanna like Kobold blue. This is time to explore different combinations. And now for the fun part. Once your first wash is down dried completely, making sure it is 100% dry and go on to paint your small sky paintings. Explore your colors. Have fun with this, and once you're done, show me what you've come up with. Thanks for watching 11. Extra footage: - you .