Painting colorful silhouettes with watercolor | Irina Trzaskos | Skillshare

Painting colorful silhouettes with watercolor

Irina Trzaskos, Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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9 Lessons (12m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Choosing the Shape

    • 4. Transferring Sketch to Watercolor Paper

    • 5. Choosing the Colors

    • 6. Painting a Silhouette

    • 7. Special Effects

    • 8. Adding a Frame

    • 9. Last Thoughts


About This Class

Silhouette designs are simple and elegant, with watercolor techniques we can add them a fresh, contemporary twist. Silhouettes can be used in logo design and branding, as well as on a wide range of products such as stationery, wall art or fabric design.

Original silhouette paintings make wonderful gifts for you dear ones. 

In this class, I will explain step by step how to create beautiful silhouettes from your own picture (or my drawings) using watercolor techniques.

You can find the list of supplies and the outlines for your silhouettes in the project section of the class. 

If you are a watercolor beginner, I invite you to take my 2 watercolor basics classes, to better understand this beautiful medium:

I am looking forward to seeing your beautiful silhouettes!

x Irina.


1. Introduction : Hi everyone and welcome to Painting Colorful Silhouettes with Watercolor Class. I'm Irina Trzaskos an artist and illustrator. My successful art faces are based on silhouettes, it's so easy and fun to pick a shape and fill it with colors of your choice. Similar designs are simple and elegant. They can be used on a wide range of products such as stationary, wall art and fabric design. Watercolor lends them a fresh contemporary twist. In this next class I will show you step-by-step how to create beautiful silhouettes using watercolor techniques. For similar shapes you can use your own references or the ones I provided. Reshape your life on a project section of this class or sketch your own and let's get started. 2. Supplies: For this class, you'll need the following supplies. Watercolor paint, I use White Nights series; watercolor paper, I use Canson; medium-sized brushes with a good tip. I also need pencils, an eraser, watercolor palette, water, of course. Optional, you'll need white gel pen or white paint. Also optional, you can use a light box. 3. Choosing the Shape: Just a simple, easy to understand chart for your silhouette. Here I sketched a little bird. You can sketch it from your imagination or you can take a picture of the object you like. Here I took a picture of a teapot against a white wall. Then I outlined it over here so I can use it instead of sketch. Or you can use just the outline I provided for this class. You can find them in the project section of the class. 4. Transferring Sketch to Watercolor Paper: I'll use a light box to transfer my sketch onto a watercolor paper. [inaudible]. 5. Choosing the Colors: Pick two or three colors for your silhouette painting. Any colors you like, but I suggest you to pick the colors which are situated one next to another in a color circle. For example, here I mixed rose with purple, with ultramarine. Then I tried red with orange and yellow, getting these nice, beautiful washes. For my painting, I'll use purple, ultramarine blue and turquoise. Let's see how I mix together. I have the purple, add some ultramarine blue in it and brighten it up with turquoise. Make sure you always test the colors before you start your final painting. 6. Painting a Silhouette: If your using watercolor, pick a medium and easier shape, such as a bird. We start with purple. Make sure your paper towel is next to you so you can dry your brush. We're adding gradually our shimmering blue, and then some turquoise. 7. Special Effects: If your watercolor wash didn't come out perfectly, you can fix it adding some pattern, using the same colors and consistency of a paint you used before. Just let your first painting dry fully. The simple pattern of shape, very simple shapes, or plants, or little leaves, I've made some branches. In this example, I'm using exactly the same colors and the same consistency, just laying it. I can even paint an eye, and to the little bit of the core to our bird. Just strokes, I need a little on branch, the tail. I'm going to add dots. I'm trying just to making it somewhat more interesting. That's it. You can also use your larger part to add some decor and art to your bird. If you're more comfortable with paint, you can use whitewashed paint on white acrylic paint over your watercolor silhouette. Again, I'm going to add some dots, branches, leaves, legs. I'm trying to think of some suitable for your subject. That's probably enough. 8. Adding a Frame: Once your silhouette is ready, you can add a frame to it. For this particular silhouette, I would love to add some branches around it, and leaves, and berries. 9. Last Thoughts: Thank you for watching my class. I hope it was useful and interesting. Don't forget to upload your project to project gallery of class. I can't wait to see your own pieces.