Swan Lake: How to paint water with watercolors | Maria Smirnova | Skillshare

Swan Lake: How to paint water with watercolors

Maria Smirnova, Watercolor artist

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10 Lessons (1h 15m)
    • 1. What is this class about?

      0:45
    • 2. Supplies

      1:55
    • 3. Exercises

      10:19
    • 4. Pencil drawing

      8:25
    • 5. Masking white zones

      4:38
    • 6. Water: Preparing paper

      5:32
    • 7. Painting water

      14:11
    • 8. Reflections

      9:15
    • 9. Birds

      13:48
    • 10. Birds : Last touches

      6:14
63 students are watching this class

About This Class

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It's hard to find better medium to paint water than watercolor. But is also can be very tricky when you start creating waves. An understanding of  how the technique works may help to make it easier !

Join this class and you will discover:

  • How to paint white objects on a dark background
  • How to combine wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry techniques
  • How to work with limited color palette
  • How to paint water surface with waves 
  • How to use masking liquid

The lesson may be interesting both for amateurs artists who never stop improving their technique and for courageous beginners.


I'm looking forward to seeing you in the class!

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Music: bensound.com

Transcripts

1. What is this class about?: Hi everyone. I'm Maria's Manoa. Welcome to my new video tutorial. Can you imagine what medium seeds more for painting water than WaterGuard icons? But just like water stream, watercolor paints flow and they are not easy to control. In this class, you will find how to make the process of painting ways easier. First, you will learn some basic things about painting water surfaces. You'll also discover how to create white objects on the dark background. How to make conscious reflections on waves. And of course, step-by-step will bind together acute Swan family using a limited color ballads, gender glass, and enjoy wanna Garth. 2. Supplies : So what materials we need for this work? As always, I use cotton watercolor paper with 300 grams per square meter density called Press texture. Then we will also need paper for the exercises and color tests. I put them here separately. The sheet of paper on which I work is attached to a transparent plastic board with a paper tape. In fact, you may have a cardboard or wooden board. It's not so important. I also have an eraser and a pencil for the preliminary drawing. The brush we will need today are a medium size rounds quail brush, synthetic brush, one of which is a limitation of a square, one, large nitrile brush to wet the sheet, and an old brush that you may have already used to apply the masking fluid. Today, we will need the masking fluid. I use it by souvenir. I have anodes quiet, quiet old bottle of it, but you may have it in some other forum, such as markers or pencils. In order that the brush that I will use to apply the masking fluid is not too damaged. I have also prepared a piece of so we will stop the brush beforehand. In addition, I have paper napkins, which, which I always use my work. The water that I have here on the top. And of course, water color paints. I'm going to use these colors today. This is the sad of materials spin you today. You can also pick up some colors that you have and use them. But be sure to mix down with each other first and to see how they behave, what mixtures that they give. And then get to work. 3. Exercises: Before we start drawing water, I suggest you first to understand what these water consists of. Let's try to figure it out. If we were looking at a pond without ways in account environment, it would be just a gradient in tone and maybe in color to it all depends on weather conditions. That is, it would just be a smooth transition from light to dark of the color of water. So let's see how it is done. I will wet a small area and you're also invited to do this exercise. You can do it on the same paper you have a, you are going to work on later to understand how fast did dries up, how it behaves. I will put the napkin here nearby. And now I'll take some colors such as grain is for our future water. And just make a gradient. You can draw it from light to dark and from dark to light. So if you and I were standing by the bond on which the wind doesn't blow, we would see this situation closer to us. The water would be darker. So let's take a blue, maybe even darker. But the further away from us, the lighter it becomes less the gradient we have at a situation when we have no waves. Next, if we have waves, the ways that our firewall, just like our bonds, they are lighter. And the rule of linear perspective still applies to them. That is, waves that are firewall, there are thinner and shorter. And as they come closer to us here, they become wider. To practice the width of the wave, Look at the brush moment you can make. First, you have a more vertical and brush. Then you push it down and lifts up again. And then you get a line that changed its thickness. And the closer to us, the wider and darker the wave become. You can even take another brush for that. Let's meet Blue and Gray together. If you're blue legs color that you can add something darker purple or darker blue, for example. But I, in my gaze, I end banes grade you. They are getting wider and wider. These are very random waves. They can connect, they can form some kind of snakes. But if we put it all together, what will we get? We will get what you and I will paint today. The water which reflects this guy, gives us a gradient and on which light waves that changed their thickness, tone, and color. Let's try to do it in this place. I will moisten This area right now with water so that I0 have enough time to work on my cotton paper in wet, in wet technique. And then using a large brush, I mix some bail shade of blue at first and begin to slowly pains and this surface of the water, we will have white swans, so we will make the background darker for them. That is, of course, it could be lighter here, but I add Docker so that our birds can be emphasized. But in general here you can make it a little bit lighter for a more understandable contrast. And then we take and mix, for example, Blue and Gray and darken the foreground of the water. I make all my moments as if it's where water. I mean, I immediately tried to draw waves, even though I do not draw them yet. You can darken the foreground even more. You see we already have a grandstand. And now I take a smaller brush and start to add waves here. And it's important to understand that the distant waves are always darker than the background. So one way or another, I take it color firsts. That is, I will add it's not very live, but darker than that one. And I start to put the waves here with a half dry brush. At first thin and small. And the closer I get here, the wider the ways will become and the darker the banes I will take for them. You see, I already work with a small brush because it's easier to pick up and darker tone. To pick up a thicker band. I already put it flats in order to make wider waves. Now it's not enough. So I take the next one. And it was, it's help. I make waves in the foreground. They are already very large. So here you see, this is how we make water. In order to make it even deeper, I put the paint in the foreground even darker. Somewhere I shade the already dark waves. That is where I have already added the shadow, I make, it's even darker. And again, this kind of what a surface, if it got darker sound where you can pick up a little paints with a brush which is washed and squeezed. You can try to wipe off and they extra color incase if you suddenly added something you didn't want to add. But just remember that this place will dry up faster. Thus, you have analyzed the principle of which we will make our water and then we will have to add it to our scene. Some waves that have already dried up. I did not touch. And somewhere else. On the contrary, you can darken until a little bit. It's important to beam time for all this while you have the paper still wet and don't come back, don't attach those places where the vapor no longer shines. Then you will be able to make water in such realistic manner. It seems to me that it can turn out quite easily. Then we will add different effects in the forum or first elections, for example, in this water. But we will do it in the final painting. If you want to make the water lighter, you start to create a lighter shade like here. Make it more explicit, clear gradient. And then the contrast on the water will be more distinct. Two. And the 1A we'll turn outs maybe even more voluminous than in the version you see now in this exercise. Try it, practice it, and you will make it. 4. Pencil drawing: We will begin our work. Who had the bands on drawing? Two thirds of the sheet will go to the water in the foreground. And in the upper bounds, I will have our birds. So let's start with the place where we will have this one, the line where this one who touched the, whether this line is very important for us. And its main form. It has a body. There is a knack band of some sort like this. I now look at the front line. And somewhere here is its head. First, I pay attention to the main, main lines and then i will make more specific details. Now, I will try to draw it more clearly so that you can see the lines. Gives buddy goes here. It's attached to its neck somewhere from the neck to be sure to check how this corner looks like. And the tail in the form of a triangle. This is the main shape of the birth to again refine names later. So now the head. First I drew this. And now we put the commit. And right here we will have a dark had approximately where I have this dot. Now, I've realized that I need to remove some extra lines. I will correct the shape of the had a little bit. Using then the razor for this. Don't be afraid to raise they actually for this purpose. It feels like I don't like little corner on there which I drew beaks. So let's change it a little bit too. I will remove excess lines with a softer razor. It can change its shape, deformed. Like this. Numbered is wide, so I want to have only the necessary lines. So aligned with the water will be drawn around more clearly. And a tail to also gives here, let's draw the kids too. And first, I mark where their bodies are. And I will place them on the water first. That is, here we started with this line and now we will start doing the same for our swellings. And now their heads. We'll start again with simple lines. First, I started with circles and bandwidth transformed these circles international banks. Here we have its snack. In fact, there is not much to draw here. The most important thing that interests us is the contour of the bird in relation to water. And we will do everything else with you later using a brush. But the counter are related to what is important to us. You will soon understand why. Here we have another one bird. Here it has a slightly higher had. The second one is hiding behind him. So here I check this contour line. And now it's time for a mother or father Swann, one of them. So we have a contour. Now, i will remove illegal extra fields with the help of such a softer razor. You know, it allows you to remove the extra band slow but leaving the brightness and the MosNet cir lines. This is how I do dedicatedly. And now I'm shaking once again if I'm satisfied with everything on my contours. And now we're going to start to mask, to reserve our picture for the future veins. 5. Masking white zones: Now the next thing we do is that we will cover our contour with the masking fluid. I took a brush which I don't use for painting. I put some soap on it for it to be more or less protected because I need this brush anyway. It's even possible to create a sharp tip of some kind. Then I take the masking fluids. I have, it's in such a bottle. And I put it on my brush. And now I apply very, very carefully to the place where I plan to have my birds. The layer shouldn't be too thin so that it can be removed and not to think so that it can drive more quickly. My masking and has this greenish milky Shane. And as soon as it tries, it becomes more transparent. You will seem thank carefully banes right over the place where I have my birds. In fact. And then also on the birth can be left untouched in January because then it will be darker than the background. So I only panes what should stay light. Now it's time for a big one. Tried to make these lines the most natural way you can to create a texture. This is a very responsible operation because it's important nouns, then you want to correct the quanta you made. In fact, when you have such a big picture, you don't have to bend over everything. Perhaps you would only need the contour. Let me show you this to that is, you can paint over not the whole object, because I probably will not go here with a brush but only to the edge. So this place doesn't need to be mask. But I will paint the big swans knows, because it will be orange, lighter, and it will also be clear against the water. So I will painted too well in January, lead Spain over everything for the full experiments. I don't want to bore a in future. So I'm sure that I have all the contours more or less beautiful. And I leave it to dry. It may take about ten to 15 minutes. You will see that the surface will stop shining and in my case, it will become more transparent. So now it's so milky and then into and become more greenish. 6. Water: Preparing paper : Alright, masking fluids is dry now in became more green and transparent and has no milky shade anymore. And yours could behave differently actually. Now, I can start painting water. To begin with, I will moisten the paper with the wide brush. I'm doing. It's rise over the birds. I put and a lot of liquid at this stage because I have gotten vapor, it absorbs water well. But nevertheless, I try not to create large bottles. I need to ensure that the surface of the papers glossy, but at the same time the baby is more or less controllable spreading over it. And that's why I tried to smooth out some big battles like this and remove excess water if I have any, I'd pay special attention to the edge of the paper because they drive faster. We have under the tape a piece of dry paper. So there is water flowing there too. I'll leave it to soak up a little. And just, and this time let's prepare some faint. You die will have two layers of paint to water coats. You already know that there is a layer of flight water and there is a layer of shadows of water which gives us waves. Well, the lights that we will have in the water is rather a little grayer in this photo, which I use as a reference. I tried to make sure that my water it doesn't leak under the tape and it runs actually. And I use the most basic tape. You see the paper a little bit turned into ways, but it's normal. It behaves this way. So the paper we have evenly wetted, You see it's slightly wavy and shiny. And now I mix the bait. For the gray background. I will use blue with a drop of orange. And we get such a more complex gray color, it can be taken to lighter, darker, warmer, colder shades. At the same time, it's important to understand that the, what our background is much darker than white net is it's darker than our birds. I want them to look in contrast. So the water should turn out dark enough. And now I will prepare the gray for future waves. I also take the blue for the Bayes at Orange to int and the little purple. And it should be dark enough. That is, it's the shape that you see now. It's not really dark. I mean, here you see I was mixing dark, but in fact, it doesn't give a very dark shade. So now I will try to make it even thicker. I mix a lot of pigment here. That is to say, this bottle is liquid, but this one is very thick. And orange as well. Make sure that your orange doesn't give green in the mixture with your blue. You can add allele will grade to them. Now this is more like the shade We need. You can take a little purple. Leave the brush right here. Now before we begin, I will moisten the paper surface again. 7. Painting water: And now I will start to slightly paint water. I always make movements in the direction of water surface. It means I have waves going horizontally. I put them in that way. Now, I remind you, I work with the light Barth of water. You may even try to leave white highlights somewhere. Now we need to make the foreground a little bit darker. In order to get the ceiling then the water is new to us. We need to paint the lightest part in the foreground with darker color. Then we will get the effect of water, which is close to us. Next, I remind you that I work with the lightest part of the waves. In other words, if, for example, our birds were in a pond with calm water, without any ways, we would just draw whether as a gradient. Now I'm creating such a gradient. I remove the excess liquid from the sides. The water is a little leak. Yonder the scotch. So I don't really like it, but there is nothing to be done. And now I take the brush which I have prepared in advance. And I start to add weighs a little bit in the background, where they are lighter and thinner. The only thing is that I'm going to spread liquid a little bit now. I have what I accumulated in here and by the way, and can also carefully collect paint from the bird. Basically, we could just bypass the birds without touching them. But we already prepared ends, mains, masking layer. So if you see that I have a lot of pain spreading fast and kind of a stars appear. Then i in order to prevent this from happening, I touched the napkin with the brush. Now I make waves far away. And first with such thin lines and light movements, I ended first waves. So now you and I, we are drawing a simplified version of this picture. To make a wave first thin, then wide, and then seen again. I take a brush first, Eileen and almost vertically then add a little pressure on the brush and it makes our wave y there. I remind you that in the distance we have small, thin and short waves. And the closer we get to the view year, though, why they're waves will become it's important to continue drawing on the bird and go beyond the boundaries of your picture, then you will get a naturally looking image. So like that, there will be no such effect that all life is locked within your picture. Here I will make the waves a little bit more complex. And for that, put the brush on inside a little bit. And now I add a little dark here. Next, some waves can still be a little dark nets. I mix thick blue. I will end the little orange with the half tribe brush. I can do it until my paper is dry. So I'm watching this area two now, we will move onto it because it's already starting to dry a little here. I still had seen dark waves there. And now we will immediately move down into shadow where there is already a shadow and make a deeper. It can take a little grade for such immoral, dramatic shade. Be careful at this stage, you can add waves to the background on the paper hasn't dry up. If you see that it's no longer shiny, you cannot add anything there. And now I take a bigger brush and I will start to make larger waves. That is, the closer you get here, the bigger the waves become. I take blue again, orange again. In the foreground, the waves are more gray. I will add a little more water here. I don't copy this shape of what a firm of photo I make it any easier shape. Now pay attention to the fact that this brush, which I have now, it's not very wet. There is not so much whether needs that is it's quite dry because some parts of my water are already dried up. And if I had too much liquid, it will run upwards and it will not be very beautiful. And so I left a little light reflection somewhere, made the water LLM darker and places. And now I can take my prepared dark color and work on the waste even more. That is, a very thick banes were the same and dry brush in some places in order to deepen the shadows. I also add some darker exons in the foreground. I connect them allele to main the shape more complex. And each time the movement of the brush reprints the movement of the wave. Allen the little more grey and blue together and darker and more than shade. In order to depict this dark waves in the foregrounds more accurately. Look at how such a deeper water turns out. Here. I can't do anything more because the paper there is almost dry it up and there is no way to add anything. Now, I already work with the foreground. You can try to repeat the shape of the waves as they are in the photo. But it will be more challenging for you, I suppose. But if you're just a beginner, you can simply tried to make some waves in this like this, without being tied to the foil. Photos, we need for inspiration and with the waves. In fact, we can do ourselves without repeating the follow. I don't really like the way it looks here. I washed away some paint here. I put some water with a wet brush here because I want a little light to stay. But at the same time that displays doesn't dry out faster than the space around. Please work very carefully at this stage, the dryer here, vapor, the dryer, the brush should become if you add something. Let's see, maybe somewhere you can make the shape a little bit more complex. And I have here a little wet at the bottom of the picture so I can give the waves and allele more random shaped so that they are not all the same. That means you see, I have one wave wider, another wave thinner. However, if I see that Bain drying up somewhere, it's better not to touch these places anymore. Now, I have a brush Kneser, wet or dry, the same as my paper, and so I just have the paints MIX. Next. Here we will add some more details, wet and dry, but it will be a little later when the vapor will be dried. So what did I do? I just LLE where I'd the shape of the waves. Well, now we will stop at this stage and lets the first lay on dry a little. 8. Reflections: Now, when the vapor has dried, it's almost flat. The surface is not shiny, so it's dried. Now, I will add some reflections and elements using whetstone dry technique. I will prepare ed draft paper for this. I will put here next to me. And I will prepare the Bain's for these reflections and shadows. In the photo, you can see that there are reflections from the columns that are at the back and we will not paint them. I will not just fainter reflection from a bird which is here, and maybe a couple of details on the waves. I mean, it's the same cars with gray, Indonesian Blue, and a little gunman orange. You can also add a little purple. I mix the Bain's thicker, it should be dark enough, maybe even darker, and maybe a little more orange. Now I will add here some shadows and reflections under the bird. Again, still pains over this one safely because it's to have the masking fluid blight. And look attentively at the shape of water, which I have here, how the waves are going. Here under the bird, I have such a dark shadow. And then it gets already changed a shade a little bit. So I took now a little more water and more transparent, pained and painting in the direction of the wave, which I got here. And here too, I repeat the movement of waves a little bit. This is no longer a wave but a reflection on the water, so they have clear edge here. Somewhere. You can even pick up the bands little to remove extra or vice versa. And in darker one somewhere under the bird here, it's a little darker. Keep going the same way. I always have a paper towel and hands to remove the excess moisture. So I have such a births are affection to Drexel. Where a wave goes. It is here, it lies on these waving, my case. Look, if you have a wave, then on the top of this waves we have a shadow breaking. You can see dwell in the photo. But since it's very difficult to draw water exactly like in the beach, or you'll probably have another wave here. So just see that a shadow match the wave. Let's make it here as if it were a reflection of the birds have, there are also some reflections here. Let's add some more details right here. Here. I will also emphasize it a little bit. Well, not bad. You can add a little more details on the water somewhere. And of course, under the Nast links, we will also add shadows and their reflections. Next, you can dagger this shadow a little. But it's up to you to added are not. Usually by the way, such reflections lie on the darker part on the waves. I will let a little darker lines on the reflection somewhere. It's important to make them dark enough. They are usually very contrasting, so I will now add a little bit more tone to them. While they imaged, hasn't dry it up to the ends. It's not so difficult to do. Well, now it's time to dry everything again, but maybe you can add a small shade somewhere under the baby birds. Make sure that if you add these details, that's your brushes, sweat enough. Try not to do it with a dry brush. So it shouldn't be quite full of pains that it doesn't leave dry strokes. Well, that's it. Let's now completely dry it with the handrail and then take care of the birds. 9. Birds: Well, now I have a completely dry paper surface. I dried it with a hair dryer. It's flat, it doesn't shine and it's warmer than on touch, just like the table. So what can I do now? Now that everything is dry and their fraction under the burden has dried up, I will gently remove the masking layer. I do it just with my finger. Usually, I do with this side of my nail. So I know scratch it like this. I do it with the site and take off the mask. And so I will work over there and move some extra lines. Then I'll draw birds. In fact, what else could have been done? In the beginning, it was possible to wash off Alito, the painting that was on top of the masking layer, then we would have left no trace of veins. But in fact, it's okay because we don't have a bird wide everywhere in general. So it's not too terrible that we have some blue elements of paint left on it. It will be covered with the Bain's anyway. Speaking about the band, let's blend some. I have already told you that we have a limited number of colors today, so I will take the same banes. I take orange, blue. Let's clean here, n-bit output some more clean orange in here. And I'm ending an indenter and blue. And mixing this banes, I get grey cover which can be turned easily into warmer or colder here, that is, we may have in neutral gray or a slightly warmer gray or middle cultural gray with a bluish tint. Use the color for fainting birds. In fact, I will know just try to put a great team on the birds, living some whiteboards on them and painted. And look at the picture and see that the top part of my birds are mostly in the light. So I don't touch the top of their heads, touch their bags. But the bottom part is darker though, where I see maybe a slightly warmer shade, somewhere colder. And they have a warmer, had the neck and the body has a color shade. Then echo of this allele little bird is quite dark. And the BEC on contrast is lighter. Now you see, and ads, they started to get separated from each other somehow. I ended on dry paper and I don't put any water here first. And then somewhere you can use the colors that have been already mix darker and just add some details in not dried spots. The shadow under the nestling is darker and you can add details to adhere on the neck. In fact, we've done too much. We just need to reproduce the shape of the birds. And that's all. And here too, I will add a little shadow in the bottom. Next we will add the beaks and lets it, we will have everything are any worse than birthing is to keep white, white. Now, it will be clear that the birds are white. Let's move on to the modern birth. In general, it seems yellowish to mean the photo, but I will use the principle of a limited ballads and I will not add anything but the colors that we have already used. I also leave a little wide edge Ed's adult. And then I move down. That is, she has a warmer color on the neck like this. And here I add darker already. I will add a little shadow right here. So we got the neck. I'll let it dry level. Now. I can gently take clean waters who had the body right here. You can do it with a small brush or you can use a bigger brash and each will be faster. And leave your back a little bit dry here. So I haven't completely when the whole burn enduring, it's now in order to make a smoother transition to her body. I'd take the mixture of blue and orange again, I will add a little more blue this time. Here. Just like with the cheeks, the head turns darker in color and the body's cooler. First I put a general shadow. Falls on them burn from here. And then inside this shadow, I will add more precise details. Here we have a little bit darker, so you can see it's in the Fatah. This shadow is possibly from the neck or from something else. So, and here we have, we have to wait a little to soak up the Bain's here. Because if I start now you see the brain starts to blur very much. I will make kids warmer. So more orange goes to this mixture. I take it from here because I also have orange and blue. And blue, they're on the same colors that were in the water now are participating for the bird. You can even lightly darken into right here at the bottom. Because she also has a little shadow of the water here. And here are the small shadow from the wing, the Baines. And we'll no longer be so dark when it dries up. And our mama Swan is more details because she's closer to us. I took a quiet dry brush. Maybe I'll think this place is there in dark through camera, but in fact it's not a big deal. So now I can start adding some details. I want to add more here. This place is already dry. And I want to add here a little contrast. So that's the bird's neck. Luke's more voluminous. Ive puts the Baines and now I'm gently spreading into with clean water. In fact, it was possible to do it vice versa, to moisten first and then to add this shallow. In general, even this blurring in fact is not necessary. You can leave even such a sharpen edges of the spots. But here you think about your style, what you have, what kind of an execution you like moss. I personally like it more blood smoother. I'll add here a little more shade to make it more voluminous. We could add something else here, but I probably 1 third trend the pervert anymore, because otherwise it will stop being whites. You probably just add a little detail on the tail, and that's all. 10. Birds : Last touches: Next, I need to draw and orange beak. It will dry out and I will add a little lag to this orange. Now, I have mixed orange with the blue gray dark that I had. And let's add a little net neutrality to this collar somewhere. Dries, I will take it and add the details. There is no need to draw them very strongly and they are in the background. It's already quite clear what's kind of birds we have here. The beak has already dried up here. And now I take this very intensive black life moments. There's no need to do many, many things. Here. I will remove the highlight. Well, basically like the way the picture turned out. You can add some more in the drying band here, some shadows for the volume of the bird. In general, that's it. In the backgrounds may be something else can be added on the young birds, but there is no need to bother with them too much. It's possible to specify something else by the shape of the bird, but in fact, we risk overwork kids. So I suggest stop here. You need to drive to work with a hair dryer and then remove the tape. So this is why we got a completely dried out the work and it's dry without any Chinese bugs. So on Now again, remove the tape. Well, this is the benzene and we have tried to draw a light objects on a dark background. We learned how to paint water and light reflections on it, and also discovered how to mix whether width and width on dry techniques for painting wide birds. I hope that the class was useful for you. I'm looking forward to seeing your projects now. Share them in the project section on the class page or in your social networks. Don't forget about our hashtag. Thank you for joining the lesson. See you next time. Bye bye.