Painting colorful silhouettes with watercolor

Irina Trzaskos, Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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9 Lessons (12m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:14
    • 2. Supplies

      1:07
    • 3. Choosing the Shape

      0:32
    • 4. Transferring Sketch to Watercolor Paper

      0:46
    • 5. Choosing the Colors

      1:17
    • 6. Painting a Silhouette

      1:21
    • 7. Special Effects

      3:57
    • 8. Adding a Frame

      1:34
    • 9. Last Thoughts

      0:23

Project Description

Paint your own silhouette  using a sketch, a photo or printing an outline I created. Share your  silhouette painting in Project Gallery of this class. Optional share a photo of your supplies and your sketch in Project Gallery. Good Luck!

Painting a silhouette is easy and fun. I hope you will enjoy this project.

For this class you will need following supplies:

  • Watercolor Paint (I used White Nights and Windsor and Newton brands)
  • Watercolor Paper (I used Canson)
  • Sharp pencil
  • Eraser
  • Medium size round watercolor brush with good  tip (I used Da Vinci Kolisky Sable #4).
  • Paper towels
  • Paint palette
  • Water
  • Optional black liner (for outlining your picture),  white gel pen, white gouache or acrylic paint.
  • Printer (if you want to use the outlines I created)
  • Optional - Lightbox (a bright window also will do the trick)

Post a picture of your supplies in Project Gallery of this class, I will be happy to see your favorite tools.

To Paint your own colorful silhouette follow the steps:

  1. Create an outline for your silhouette :
  • Print one or few outlines I provided (see below) or
  • Draw your own sketch, or
  • Use a photography instead of sketch.

Tip: If you are new to watercolor painting choose a medium size, simple shape (Bird, dog or woman face silhouette are easier to work with ). Deer silhouette will require more patience.

If you are using your own sketch or photography don’t hesitate to post them in Project Gallery of this class, I am so eager  to see what inspires you.

     2) Transfer your outline to watercolor paper using lightbox, a bright window or any other method you prefer.

    3) Decide what colors would you like to use for your silhouette painting, choose 2 or 3 colors, use the colors situated not far from each other on the color circle to avoid muted tones.

    4) Mix a good quantity of watercolor paint with water on your paint palette.

    5) Start filling your shape with watercolor, star with one color  alternating the colors fill the entire shape, try not to allow the paint edge to dry.

Tip: If the paint edge is too wet after you finished filling all your shape with color, dry it carefully with a dry brush.

   6) (Optional) When your silhouette is totally dry add additional pattern using watercolor paint, white gouache or acrylic paint, or white gel pen.

   7) (Optional) Paint a frame or a wreath around your silhouette to give a finished look.

Tip: I drew a circle around the bird before before I started to paint branches freehand, you can draw any shape you like or even entire frame.

If you have any questions about the class or watercolor techniques I use, I will be happy to answer them.

Feel free to use the outlines I provided in any way you like.

I am looking forward to see your beautiful silhouettes in the Project Gallery!

Thank you for taking my class, x Irina.

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