Summer Watercolor Illustration: Easy 3-D Effect | Elisabetta Furcht | Skillshare

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Summer Watercolor Illustration: Easy 3-D Effect

teacher avatar Elisabetta Furcht, Making Art Accessible

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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

12 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The Project

    • 3. Supplies

    • 4. Drawing & Masking

    • 5. Wet in Wet Background

    • 6. Water Reflections

    • 7. Underwater Shadows

    • 8. Pick a Color that Pops!

    • 9. Watercolor First Wash

    • 10. Watercolor Second Layer

    • 11. Final Touches

    • 12. Congratulations & Wrap-up

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About This Class

Hi! I'm Elisabetta, an Italian watercolor artist and illustrator.

In today's class, I will teach you how to paint reflections on water with a fun and iconic summer illustration: a colourful swim ring floating in a pool.

In this class, you can learn and apply several watercolor skills while having fun:

  • to protect selected areas with masking fluid
  • to create a watercolor background with wet in wet technique
  • to layer darker shades with a wet in dry technique
  • to add realistic water reflections with gouache or another opaque white medium
  • to choose contrasting colours using the colour wheel
  • to add three-dimensional look through shading

This class is perfectly suitable for beginners as well as intermediate students that would like to try a fun project! 

For this painting, I have not copied a specific picture but I have been inspired by several images and created a dedicated Pinterest Board: it's interesting to see exactly light reflections and shadows in a pool.

Join me in this colorful adventure! grab your supplies and start painting! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Elisabetta Furcht

Making Art Accessible


Hi! I'm Elisabetta, an Italian watercolor artist based in Turin, where I live with my husband, my dog and two cats.

I started painting later in life, after a long career in Marketing and Advertising.

When my son left for college, he gave me a watercolor set for my birthday. I started sketching and I never stopped. 

I love sketching the world around me: corners of my beautiful city, street scenes, everyday objects around my house, and the food I cook. Sketching is really a self-care routine for me!

I am mainly a watercolor artist, but I also love gouache, oil pastels and colored pencils.

I firmly believe that in art talent is overrated and that anyone can learn!

Practice is key: so let's start sketching together... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello, Welcome back to Italy. I'm Elizabeth, by an Italian artist and here in Italy, summer is already knew year, it's sunny, the sky is blue. And after a very difficult year for As all, I'm already thinking about summer vacation. So I thought that we could painter together these nice project that is iconic image of a swim rings in a pseudonym. Or why am I proposing these to you? Because you will be learned many water color secrets through this class. We will learn how to paint the reflections of water. Will we learn how to choose a color based upon the color wheel? We will learn how to add shades in layers. And then we will add how to give roundness to an object through multiple layers and highlights. So I'm Elizabeth ban, Italian artist based in jewelry. I am a watercolor artist, although I like other media as well, like oil pastels or wash. In this exercise, we will use not only what the color, but we will use on water color, wash and pencil. So It's very nice adventure. So you will see it's going to be a very fun class. It's an easy drawing, but it's suitable not only for beginners, but also for intermediate students that want to learn new tricks. He was at color. So what are you waiting for? Without further ado? Let's start painting. 2. The Project: So for painting these projects, we will break it down in some very simple steps. What are the steps? First of all, we will draw the swim ring and we will protected with masking fluid. Once the masking fluid is dry, we will add the background with watercolor, wet in wet. This is a very interesting technique to have watercolor variation. Once the background is dry, we will add the y, the pattern, and the underwater shades in that curve blue. Then we will paint the swim ring and gave roundness through a careful shading. Then we will add our highlights and pencil details. It's going to be a fun and easy project. So let's go and see what supplies we need. And this you in my next lesson. 3. Supplies: Hello, Let's talk about the most important piece of supply is, as always, paper. You need to buy or use some watercolor paper. It must say water color for this exercise because we will be using a lot of water. It's better if you take a 100 percent cotton paper. The format is this one, and it is a five, not too large nor too small. So it's a bit larger than a postcard A5. It is 18 by 13 centimeters or seven by five inches. So the important thing is that it is watercolor paper, 300 GSM, or a 100 percent cotton, preferably. Then we will need some painter for paint. I am using my white knight, the White Nights palette. This palette is very beautiful, is full of vibrant colors. I sometimes use my go-to pilot, that is with the tubes that I squeezing with selected colors. But for this particular class, I like to use my white knights color. It is 24 colors and it's very, very vibrant. So it's okay by you can use what you have if you need to buy, maybe I would recommend it to buy a small students sector like the cell by Winsor and Newton Cotman, which is various, affordable and has a very good quality. You can mix and find the right corners in here because we need them. Basically some blue, some green and some red and some yellow. These are the colors that we will use. I will put a list of the paint I use in the project section, but feel free to use the pain that you have. So if I say turquoise blue, I also explained how to replace two quasi Blue Ribbon heavy by mixing blue and green together. Then we will need for sketching pencil. An HB pencil is ideal because you need to make light signs with your pencil because then we need to erase them. So we need just a very soft mark because watercolor is transparent. You don't want to make heavy lines. I will make heavy lines because I need you the lines to be seen in the camera, but you go much lighter than I do. Then we will use some masking fluid. I used sees the brand pay bail, which is very, very good. Masking fluid at any brand, will do. The only. Seeing that I would recommend is to use this one in a small jar because we will be masking a large area. So don't take the pens that are very useful, the masking fluid pens, but not for this class, not for this project. Then when the masking fluid is dry, we need to pili. We can either use an eraser, regular eraser, or a specific eraser that is specific for masking fluid will see how. For erasing also, I would recommend that you use as needed for a raise in your pencil because a kneaded eraser is much more gentle to your paper, then we need an opaque white medium. We can use wash. I use my white quash and I put it in a small sample, cosmetic sample like this. So it's always fresh and ready for my y final touches. So you can put some white quash. Be careful there are two types of white quash. The R3 is zinc white or titanium white. Use titanium white, it is opaque. Zinc white is transparent. Or you can use a white ink like this one. I like this film matches from Cooley-Tukey and it's very opaque. You need to pass may be a double layer, but after the second layer is variable and it comes in a small town like this. Or you can use unique posca pen. Unique posca pen. You have to give it a shake, but it's an opaque white to end. It is very comfortable and convenient because it comes in a pen or ready. For your final touches. You will also use a white gel pen like this one from Sakura, Gelly Roll throughout other brands that are very good. They're like uni-ball signal, but this one from Saqqara is very good. You can take a number 10, which is larger, NAEP. Then we will need some brushes. I have brushes in several sizes, but you need a big brush to add water because we will working will be working wet in wet. Then you need a larger brush. Here, you have some examples for the background. And then you will need a medium brush for the swim rings and some detail brush, some smaller brush for water reflection, which abortion. Then you will need. A round object like the small class to Skechers swim wringer. So you have a perfect circle. You need a red pencil for the final touches. Any pencil will do, even a child. Children pencil is perfect. Then optional but useful. You can use a hairdryer or a heat, the heating tool to speed up the drying process because we are painting in layers and we need to wait until the layer is dry before we apply new pain. So this type of a heating tool is very convenient to dry. Then we will need to use some paper towels or more sustainable rock like this. Then we need to jobs for water, because these watercolor always use one for clean water in the other one for dirty water to raise my brushes. So always have to smudge better so you don't pollute your pain, then you need maybe palette to mix your colors. I used the palette that comes with the paint. As you see, I never clean my palette. There are two schools of thoughts because I like to find corners, spots where I put the new paint so it mixes with I have already I don't waste paint and then it don't it tones down colors. And it gives a more natural. I think that for supplies. Let's start sketching. 4. Drawing & Masking: Let's get started. The first thing to do is to put masking tape around our paper so that we not only have a clean border, but if you have some paper that doesn't come in a pair like this, and you attach it on a harder surface, like a cardboard, a wooden not warp. So you avoid warping, but I do it because I like to have a crispy edge. So I will add some masking tape around the edges. Just half of the masking tape you see. So the edge is small. Increase peak is seen, increased speed. So I attach it. If you want to avoid that, it sticks too much. And if you're afraid that it can tear your paper, tear your paper once you take it away, you just pass it on your genes before. So it will lose some stickiness. It will lose some glue, and it will be easier to take it off. Once you are finished with your drawing. Let's put the masking tape. Now in terms. Now in terms of drawing, this easy, easiest drawing that you can make, you just take round objects that you have around the house like a glass and you put it in the upper corner or way you prefer, I like it to put it in an upper corner of the paper. You can also put it in the middle if you prefer. But I like it better. Asymmetrical. It's nicer to see. So this is basically our flow to the swimming pool. Then for the whole eyeball, the center. And I free hand. The ringer. Just Spain attention that the distance is always the same. You can also use a ruler for that. But eyeball it. Just always the same distance and just put some dots. So I'm sure. Okay, some and you can erase. You go round and round until you have a satisfactory around it so that you only have to erase it so that you only have a smaller trace. Then you can see have a final round. Okay? So here we have our circle. So sketching is done. Now what we need to do is to put some masking fluid. Now we need to put some masking fluid around the circle. So I'll take my masking fluid. I shake it. And I take an old brush because mass Kisan fluid ruins brush. So this is an old version, a tip, a secret is to just add some soap to the Spanish. But thirsty, this brush is Semco ocean it put, I will just put some soap on it. This is normal laundry soap. Now that these well-served in soap, I can soak it in my masking fluid without fear to ruin it. So I see layer is more than enough just with care. All around the longer you pass the masking fluid, you spread your masking fluid. You can obviously move around your paper so that it's easier for you to add masking fluid. I like it better to do it on the left-hand side. So I move it around until I have filled it with masking fluid. Masking fluid is very good because it's blue pieces light blue. So you see very well where I have applied it and where you still have to apply it like here you see spread it very well. Some care movies work because you need to be precise. I just moving around here. And now we wait until it's dry. It's usually very fast. You can have a cup of coffee in the womb, type a. See you later. 5. Wet in Wet Background: The first thing to do, we have to wet our paper thoroughly with clean water. I take these big brush and I go everywhere with clean water in one direction first. And then in the second direction. Of course, I have verify that our masking fluid is dry because otherwise it's a mess. So I will thoroughly wet my paper in one direction. And then in the other direction came way some seconds to let the paper absorbs the water. So what I can do is I tilt my paper to verify is there is any dry area, but there is a homogeneous sheen, so there is not a dry area. So now it's all wet. And I can start using my colors. The first color I'm using is this cobalt two requires, and I will start putting everywhere as a base. So cobalt two requires this is what night, but also the cobalt requests from Winsor and Newton is a very beautiful color. If you don't have a cobalt, turquoise, you can mix your own by adding some blue to viridian green. So you take cobalt blue or ultramarine blue and you add a touch of viridian green. Now that you have an homogeneous space of cobalt requests everywhere, you can take attach of viridian green and let me verify where a heavy mass I have the radian green from another palette. So I take attach of viridian green and I just touch it here in there to give some color variation. Okay? You can also change brush. Now. You can take a bigger brush, but round. And also I will take some right rule. You can have, for instance, style no blue, or you can take ultramarine blue. I have these bright blue from a white knight. And I will also use proceed here and there. Now, please help it. Move it around the liter so you help and dispersion. You can also move your paper here and there. You just attach it here and there. So you have some color dispersion. You have with your brush. Okay. Some color variation. And now Just let it dry. I'll see you soon. When VCs tried at least 30 minutes or you can speed it up with a hair dryer. I sometimes do it, but the first 10 minutes just let it sit and dry by itself. Otherwise, you move your paint around. 6. Water Reflections: Now we need to add water reflections. I have added a Pinterest board, so you can check many pictures of swimming pools that have served as an inspiration. So you can click in the resources. I have RDTs link to add reflections, we need a white opaque medium. You can use wash. I always keeps them warm. White, quash, titanium white because it's more opaque in a small cosmetic box like this. So it's always ready in fresh or you can use a white Inca in acrylic. This is very opaque. I can use this also. Or you can use these wide unique posca pen, which is very, very convenient. Today, I will use this one. I will give a good shake, and then I will do my pattern. To make reflections. I need to add some random pattern in white like these. You need to press for the ink to come out to see a random pattern. From the left top corner. I think I will switch to whitewash because my unique posca pen is almost finished, but you have understood the principle. So we'll take some whitewash late. And then I would go with my wife quash the very fine brush. It must be very irregular, irregular as possible. This pattern, because this is the way water Stan, you see there are connected to these shapes and I will speed this up as well. So as not to function as a function of time. Action, action, action, action function. And since sparkles times, you need a capillary layer. 7. Underwater Shadows: Now that wash is dried, it's touch it with the back of our finger. We can pretend there's a shadow of this floaty on the bottom of the pool. To do so, we must put the shadow completely far away from the floated. And we can do it directly with our brush without sketching it with pencil. So basically we need to replicate the rounder below, slightly overlapped. We can also overlapping because there is masking fluid. And once that we have the shape, we can also squashes not completely dry, but something important, we can make an irregular shape because we know that under the water it will be regular like this. We can refine it later. This is our shadow. We can take the same blue, this bright blue that we have used in the pool for color variation. And in each of these patterns and these Taiwan shapes, we will put some shade. This shaded. We pretend that we know that our light source will be here from the left top corner. So the shade will be on this side of the pattern. So we start from the top left corner so we don't smart grid. I am right-handed. If you'd left ended, start from the right-hand corner. We blend it. So in each pattern, you do this, it's a bit tedious and repetitive. So we can speed it up. So we do it every single top left. That is the angle. And we plan the top-left. I can even take two brushes. With one brush, I can put my color, and with the other brush, I can blend it. All right. The scale function. To check our answer. Hi. Now we can better defined. Okay, the shadow. Not too watery. 8. Pick a Color that Pops!: Now that it's dry, we can take off the masking fluid. You can do so in three ways. You can just rub your finger. But I don't like it very much. I either use a normal eraser or this eraser that is specific for masking fluid. But I can use to show you just a normal eraser. You see, it's perfect. You must be careful to peal every single tiny piece of masking fluid. Otherwise, it will be a mess. So once you apply watercolor over it. Okay, here we are. You can patch with your full year to make sure that everything is gone. It's time to paint our floating ring. To choose the color. We can imagine the color wheel, the best contrast we have. If we have a complimentary color because the swimming pool is blue, and blue is a primary color. We can take the other two primary colors, red and yellow, mix them together and we have orange. I like to do it this way, but you would be brilliant also in red or yellow or any other color, even in pink. It's going to be very cute. What we'll do it in orange today. To do so we starting from a very light color, you know that in water color you need to start the very lie to him. Then you add darker colors. 9. Watercolor First Wash: We will start from yellow, finding the clean corner in my palette, which is not always easy because I don't keep my Fallot very clean up. But I find the corner from my yellow here. Okay. I think these nice deep yellow. I water it down. And I, we applied everywhere. We could also leave some white here in there by we can apply white later in wash, which is easier and more easy to control. So we'll apply my yellow everywhere. Here we have a piece of masking fluid. Be careful because if you touch the blue, you would have a green. Okay. You can only touch it if it is still wet. When it starts to dry, split them not to touch it. So we cannot do some darker shades. You know, that flight is from here. So we can add some darker shades in this side of the flow to enriching and the side. So we'll take these golden yellow here, this light orange, and they will just touch it to here when it is in shade. And here. And there's a third step, but we can touch with some lighter red like vermilion. Or I can take light the red hue for medium. Nice. Okay. So up here in the very end of the side, at the very end of this side. And we like to dry. This is the first. 10. Watercolor Second Layer: It bops, but I think that some deeper orange liquid make no harm. So what I do is I take this light orange here and I just spray. And the third around the ring. Like this. We leave the center light around it. And also around here to give some three-dimensional look. Okay, well we also hearing the midtone and we spread it. We blend it within the lungs. Heart edges. Here. In any case, don't worry because we will use a pencil to define the Riemann. Okay, You see that here? And here we have some highlights. You can also dab your brush on a kitchen paper and with a dry brush to just clean dry brush suggest you absorb the excess water here, so you have the island. Okay? And also we need some deeper red for we have shadow. So I take some red and unite with do. And I will be here. Here. And here. I have cuts. Hair, got the hair here, but I would think about it when it's dry. The thing you can't be afraid to use dark colors in watercolor because it always dries much lighter. My cat hair here, we'll leave it like this and we will remove it once it's dry. So we done for the moment being, then we will add the highlight with the warfarin, or only part that you need Pascal and use a pencil for the rim. The red pencil. Let it dry. I realize we need some more roundness in our ring, so I add some more colors as a third layer. 11. Final Touches: We're ready for the final details. For the final details, I'm sure that it is very dry. I take red pencil. Any pencil will do given our children pencil. But read to add definition to our regime. Saw my red pencil, IAG definition, especially here where we have shadow. But everywhere. I will add some red pencil and goes so here, everywhere along the shaft and capital N. Now, we can do some small lines along the rim, which is because of this float is the same. The regular intervals from the output of the economy. Small detail, but it adds value is. Now you've take your wild child banner and you add some lines here and there. Sadly, as you might have seen, the pictures on the Pinterest boards that I have attached because this is even more rarely stick. It's optional. You don't have to do it. But she like it adds more connected. Now we've got some white wash shop or your unit Pascal, if you have some laughter. But I will take some white quash with a small detail brush. And I will add some highlights here and here. So again, I make sure that it's clean with a piece of paper. Some very thick wash like straight the tube. And we'll put a C-shape here. We could have left this before, but it's easier this way. And we let it dry. Now with your white gel pen. You can add some more white dots here and there, if you like. Pulsing here, between the red lines. Here, here we are. Now, the most satisfying moment, which is appealing. If you're afraid to your paper, you can heat the masking tape with a heating tool or with a hairdryer. Today it's quite hot here, so I think they're fair. The masking tape, the secret is to tear it like this very slowly and very close to the paper and away from the drawing. So if it is the paper, it bears on the outer rim and not inside the drawing here also. I will go very slowly, very happy. So you see, I peel it away from my drawing like this, close to the paper away. Okay. Here we are. Really satisfied with it. I hope you are too. 12. Congratulations & Wrap-up: Congratulations. We have claimed along our stream ring industry mean pole floating in these transparent water. Now you can apply these techniques to paint more water, tropical waters, larger swimming pools. You can put different objects that can float. So now I would love to see your projects. So I encourage you strongly to upload it in the gallery. Not only because I would be delighted to give you my feed back, but that really helps other students to see what kind of result you can attend with these class. I can't wait to see your project. Don't forget to upload your project also on social media. And if you pass it on Instagram, don't forget to tag me. You will find the details in my profile section. You will find me with my name in Instagram. And also if you want, I don't want to miss my next classes or my next discussions. Please do follow me. So click the follow button so we stay in touch. Rao. And for the moment being Ciao Italia.