The ABC's Of Watercolor | Riana Samaroo | Skillshare

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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

7 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Intro: The ABC's of watercolor

    • 2. Watercolor Supplies

    • 3. Part 1: Three Main Techniques

    • 4. Part 2: Watercolor Washes

    • 5. Part 3: Creating Fun Textures

    • 6. Part 4: Exploring Masking Fluid

    • 7. Closing Remarks & Class Project

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About This Class

Have you always wanted to learn some SIMPLE & EASY watercolor tips, but didn't know where to start?

GET READY for the ABC's of Watercolor! This class is designed for anyone who wants to learn the very BASIC techniques in creating textures and washes, or just understanding a little bit more about how watercolor works.

YOU will learn:

  • the ABSTRACT¬†freeing nature of watercolor by understanding techniques like blending, or 'wet-on-wet'
  • BRILLIANT¬†textures such as masking
  • you will also learn basic¬†CONCEPTS¬†to apply to your art walk

JOIN ME as we take a step closer into the Wonderful World of Watercolor!

Please note: In general, my teaching style on Skillshare isn't at all technical, it's very loose and free-style in nature. If you have specific questions upon completion of this course, please message me for details with anything you may find helpful or troublesome in your learning, instead of leaving reviews that I cannot respond to or correct. I will gladly try to help you get as much information possible to guide you in your creative journey. I do appreciate the opportunity to teach and learn with you!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Riana Samaroo

Artist, Mixed Media & Illustrator


I'm Riana, the creative behind RiCreation!

  I believe that anyone can create!

My hope is to stir up your creative juices and encourage you to grow in it!  

I have always loved creating, illustrating and crafting since I can remember. I enjoy using various mediums to express myself in art, and my current favorite is mixed media. I have presented mixed media in various forms, canvas art work, cards, and even sculpture for different causes that I am passionate about. I have also had the opportunity to illustrate for children books. My teaching style on Skillshare isn't at all technical, it's very loose ... See full profile

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1. Intro: The ABC's of watercolor : have you ever walked into an art store and pick something up like watercolor and decided you wanted to learn it, but never did? Why it felt so intimidating. Where do you start? Well, this classes for you. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the A B. C's of watercolor. My name is Rianna, and I'm so glad that you could join me. Today. I will be walking through the world of watercolor with you. We're going to explore a lot of techniques today that you could apply to your art walk. What is watercolor? I've learned that watercolor comes from pigments, pigments that are ground up into find dust, then mixed with some sort of water soluble solution, and it's mixed, then into a paste. And then you can either be used as the paste or applied into little pans, which hardens and then come to know is what we know as watercolor. This class will be useful to you if you've had an interest in watercolor but didn't know how to apply it, or even where to start and roll now to learn the abstract brilliant concepts of watercolors . Let's get started 2. Watercolor Supplies: Okay. Welcome back. We're going to take a look at supplies for this class. You're going to need a couple of things. Let's start off with the paper. You can see here. I have a couple of different kinds of paper for this class. It doesn't matter what type of people you used. The only thing you have to use his watercolor paper, because there's a certain weight toe, watercolor paper and thickness that causes the water to absorb better into the paper. So the brand, it doesn't matter. But whichever kind you get, you use whatever you have on hand. That's what you use, which is fine. You can see here. I do have a mixed media paper. The only reason I have this is because the weight of this is the same as regular watercolor paper, so it acts his watercolor paper. The difference is this one is smooth, which, if you got smooth watercolor paper, they actually call that hot pressed versus regular watercolor paper with the texture that's cold press. Just a little bit of extra information there, but nonetheless used whatever watercolor paper you have on hand, let's talk watercolors, so I have a couple of watercolor pallets that I've collected. And to be honest with you, any of these Well, dio So this is the GAM be tansy. I always say that wrong watercolor set. Um, this is more recent. I haven't gambled too much in them. Uh, so I can use this. I love using my student grade praying Gates. My policy a little messy, but they work so well. I never have problems with these and have a pocket palette that I carry around with me. This is the Windsor Newton one. Um, I like this one too. So whatever. When you have just used even if you had liquid water colors, you can use that to it just acts a little differently. Okay, Now let's talk brushes. These are a couple brushes that we're going to use to make our techniques. Uh, so let's talk about the flat brush. This is a stiffer bristle. Conceive. Haven't begin here stiff. You can hear that. It's flat on the top. It's pretty nice. And then and this is to do wash. You will have watercolor, and you just want an even spread across the sheet. You would use something like this. We'll go into this a little later. This is a round brush. This one's a little big. It's a size 14 and I like it because it holds a lot of water and a holds a little color when I'm doing watercolor painting. So, uh, you tend to use this a good bid as well. You can see it's the Lowell Cornell, and I'll leave all the information for you guys in the class project section. This one also is a round brush, Um, and and you could see this one's a little smaller. This is the size for by round brush. It just means that there's more of a pointed, um, tip, and this is good for detail as well. Also, we're just going to stick to three pretty simple brushes. And if you didn't have a smaller one of these or a larger one you can use, you know vice versa. Mix it up. It's not a big deal. Also, you're gonna need water containers. I use a jar. I fill it with water and a little too close it again. I also have a broken little teacup ceramic teacup that had broken its edges, and I used this a swell. I used to containers because one container is for rinsing off the brush when it's dirty, then blotting it and then giving it one last quick runs to make sure any residue is gone before I apply a new color. So that's just the idea behind, too. For the textures part of this class, you're going to need a couple of items. Here are items to create certain textures. We're going to use a couple of things. I have poured out a little rubbing alcohol in this container with a dropper. If you don't have a dropper, that's fine. You can leave your alcohol in the container. I just like to put it in a little jar or container for myself, that is to create one type of texture. Masking fluid or drawing gum is another, or they also call this. Frisk it. I don't know where that comes from, but if you have this, you can use this in the textures part of the class. But if you didn't, that's not a problem, and some salt sold. This is sea salt. Fine. You. If you have coarse sea salt, that's even better. You can get a different result with it. This is what I have said. This is what I'm gonna use. And for textures on the paper, that's what you'll start with. Also, if you have a piece of plastic laying around, you're gonna use this to create texture as well. Lastly, you'll need some paper towel for blooding your work. So have a bunch of people travel on hand for yourself, and I think that's it. So let's get started with some basic techniques. See in the next video. 3. Part 1: Three Main Techniques: Let's start by setting up our station where we will be painting. You'll have your watercolor paper, your brush, your round brush. You'll have your watercolors open and you're gonna use a spray bottle with water and spray your watercolors to have them ready to work for you and that loose that opens them about loosens. Um um and they're ready for you to go. The first watercolor technique we will be using is called wet on dry. This technique is probably one that you're going to use a lot of the name does imply that you are using wet paint on to dry paper. What? This method you're going to see you know, the edges of your whatever your painting looks a little, uh, it looks more crisp and you can control where the paint goes. Okay, lets start. You're gonna wet your brush in your little water container, and so it's wet, and you're going to dip it so nothing is on the chief. It's nice and dry. You're gonna dip it into a color that you want to just experiment with here. So I'm gonna go with this nice orange on the top like a red orange really like this color. You know, what I'm doing is I'm going in, and I'm kind of putting it out on the side so I can have more color there and really rolling my brush around just to fill up the brush with color. I'm going to start with painting a shape. So we're gonna paint, gonna paint a triangle. I'm just going to go on to the paper and paint triangle, fill it in, make my corners a little sharper. All right? We'll come back to this and you're going to notice. When it dries, the edges will look very crisp. So I'm going to do that again. A different shape. Someone a rents my brush in my first container. Give it a 2nd 1 So it's nice and clean. I'm gonna have my paper tall dab it, and I like to dab it in this directions so as not to just smush your brush on your bristles . You know, you just want to be Juncker. I can drink it off a little bit more if there's a little color on it. It's really not a problem. That means I really got a lot of good color on here. gonna take the orange, which I also love this color orange. But a little out there that anyone He used this to draw my other shape. So I'm gonna do a circle, and it doesn't have to be a perfect circle. Just paint a circle. We're gonna allow those to try. Now, as it dries, you're gonna notice that the edge is just sharper. There's nothing leaking or bleeding. It's pretty sharp. And Chris So this is wet on dry. So wet watercolor on Dr Paper. OK, the second technique that we're going to use this call wet on wet. This requires using what paint on my paper. So what we're gonna do is lightly dampen this paper and watch where the paint goes. This technique is more abstract and fun to watch because the pain is flowing very freely and it's a lot of fun. So we will start crying, making sure we have a nice clean brush. My brushes kind already has water. And I'm gonna do a square cold so you can kind of appreciate the square just water on paper , and I'm gonna just got a little more to soak it in there. Okay, Now we're gonna take green just a little bit more water than that. And I'm gonna just stab it right into there and you can see what happens when you dab the color or put your paintbrush down because there's water on the surface. It spreads into the surface area where you place your water and so you can create really cool techniques. With this, we're gonna have a little more, and then I'm gonna use blue. And I'm just kind of do this kind of little lines. And the colors are mixing. They're blending. And if I took my paper, it ones even more so the line's air softer. You can notice they're more blurred. And that is Theis, fect of wet and wet. So that was with two colors. You can just do it with one color. So if I did a circle here, I was gonna take a good bit of water and get a circle here and just stabbed the purple alone. You see how it spreads and it's really cool. The texture also, that you create by doing this nothing. So have fun with that. That is called what on what just gonna story let around a little bit and I'm not gonna feeling the edges. I'm just gonna leave it like that and allow the paint to spread on its own if it wants to. Next, we're going to talk about dry brush watercolor, And it sounds exactly as it is that you're using a dry brush, living in your watercolor and dragging it across the paper to receive or to see rather the different textures that can be created with the dry brush. As you might realize already. Watercolor. The name of it has water inside of it in the name, so you need water in order for it to move them. When you don't have enough water, this comes up with, um, this dry brush technique. So here we go. You're going to take your brush to make sure it's nice and clean, so you'll give it a good rinse. You will dab it very well on your paper towel just to get it is dry as possible in again. You don't want to be rough with your brush and dab it like this and swirl it around. You just take it, wrap it between the paper, tell and give it adapt this way this maintains the integrity of the Verceles and does not ruin your brush. So I'm going to give it a good job. So there it is. And now I'm just going to dip it in a color. These colors were kind of pre wet, so I'm just gonna get in there without water. I mean, there's a little water in the palate itself just to get them started. But that's OK. And I'm gonna grab the paper so you can see it a little bit better. We're just gonna know, put it down and drag it across. Look at the texture it creates. You'll notice right away that you can see the grain or the texture of the paper that you're working on, which is interesting. And you just get those brush strokes that are pretty fun. So this is what you call dry brush. Watercolor. Now, if you wanted to use a different kind of breath, that might even give you a little bit more different style of texture. So I have a smaller, flat brush. Now, if you don't have this, it's OK. I just want to show you how it works. And I dabbed a little bit of that color on there, and I'm just spreading it across the paper and you can see the brush marks that it makes. So it also is a very fun technique, cause you couldn't create a lot of texture with this in your piece. So that's try brush watercolor. 4. Part 2: Watercolor Washes: from time to time. While you're doing this, you might need to change out your water for fresh water again, which I had to do. And that's okay. Or you can use a bigger brush container just as a side. So now we're gonna talk about washes, water, color washes. This is where your flat brush comes into play before we start. I do want to make a mark. I'm gonna take this away. Do you want to make a mark across the watercolor paper to show you the different two different washes? One will be a straight wash. The other will be ingredient wash. Let's go into this now. So we're gonna get some water color on to our palates. I'm gonna stick with the green that I have here on and really just get some water on it. Okay? So I put King of Water, and I feel pretty satisfied with that. So on the top here, I'm just going to blend it right across from the top across to the side. So from the left to the right tip again to begin. And you can continue to dip until you feel like you get an even layer of paint. And so that's a wash, and it covers the watercolor paper. At that point, you could let it dry, and then you could letter on top of it or draw or paint some or so that is a standard wash . We're going to do ingredient wash. So I'm going to grab a purple color. Just gonna put a little more water in that and stick it. It's to get down here. Okay? So I'm going to swipe from left to right once I'm going to dip my brush and the water and swipe again, dip my brush in the water. And so I began. So you'll just watch and you'll hopefully get the gist of what I'm saying here. So loaded with pain down and across Nice wash. I'm dipping my brush just on the very top to stepping it. Once across. Do it again. Dip one more time A dipped one more time and down across. Okay, so I hope you can appreciate My people were spending a little bit, but I hope you can appreciate the type of turning. This may be the green Ian that it's creating its darker on the top and its light on the bottom. And as that dries, you're gonna notice it even more. I wanted without anything. I'm just gonna drag this alone on the bottom here, depending on your paper, this can't happen. You can warp, uh, which is actually quite common for watercolor paper, but and, you know, the water can settle on the corner here. And if that happens, you can just take a paper towel and just I'm going to show you, even just rested there and let it absorb into it a little bit There. There you go. You're good to go. So these are two standard types of wash Basic wash, just flat wash. Which is what they call flat wash once and more ingredient wash were once it's tries, I'll show you a little better when it drives, but oops. I think I got some green in there. Um, it's darker. And then it goes later towards the box. So those are two basic washes. The next wash I'm going to be talking to you about is blending two colors. I'm gonna blend this orange. These two oranges appear I want to start with my main color, which is the orangey color and I'm just going to to share like that on a rinse it when a dip it into the orange and I'm going to come on the bottom and just continue on that wash. And when you blend while the other one is what it blends nicely right in the middle, I'm gonna rinse this off and maybe to some of this purple could see how nicely that kind of went right into the other. And you can use the papers help by tilting. And this will cause the watercolor to spread downward or even the opposite way. So there is a blended wash. 5. Part 3: Creating Fun Textures: So now let's talk about textures while the paint is wet is the best time to use something like salt to create a different type of texture. I'm gonna just dropped my salt on a corner that's wet. I want to drop some here over the dark, darker blue and pretty quickly you can see how it the salt started absorbing the water color, which is the effect of sold, absorbs the water, and then when this tries will wipe it away and you'll see the the texture it creates. So that's assault. Texture were sold, you know, technique or texture. Uh, the next is using alcohol, and I'm gonna use a brush and drip a little alcohol. And what happens when alcohol heads paper? It just repels water, so it'll work here, gather you go. We're going to see it along the dark ends better. It just repose that water. So some other techniques that, um, can be done. The sites assault and the alcohol is using a sponge, which is a lot of fun. So I have a cut little cut piece of sponge. I'm going to get my brush with and take a color. You swipe it along here, and then they have a little bit wet and a little bit dry just to keep it moist. But just gonna dab. I want that to dry a little bit more. Actually, I think there we go and I'm going to dab with my sponge, and it gives a muted type of effect. Now it's because my sponges not doesn't have a lot of holes. But if you had those sea sponges, you'd really noticed a great effect, so you would do your wash and just kinda dab down and it impressing a little bit harder. But you can see what it creates. They're a little the texture creates against that wash. So at this point I went ahead and I laid down a green wash, which I was going to use the plastic on. I ended up changing that little plastic bag, and I used a harder plastic because I like the texture better. I like further plastic things. Someone used this. Take a piece of it, sorry for the noise dab and trying to get in there. Merry go, and that also has created such a interesting texture is well, you can see how that thesis Ault has dried a little bit, just going into the salt. It's not fully dry, but once that dries, you can appreciate the fact that the salt really pulls up a lot of the watercolor and takes it away. The alcohol, it does the similar thing as well. You can also get this daughter defect also with, um, by just using water, I'm going to take my brush and put a drop of water. Well, let that dry. You can also lift up color. So let's do this. Um, I just know down but the sponge, because it takes away the Xs and I've lifted off the watercolor that was there even if I took those water droplets and I didn't want, like, a shape like that. But I just wanted a circle. I will do a couple of dots here. You gonna let them settle first for a moment just to get into the paper? So this is called lifting where you put your brush down and you would lift the color, dab it, wipe off the excess and continue toe left the color up. And that's another method or another technique. As these water droplets try. Just kind of take the engine first down the paper towel. There you go. One swoop so you can see a little quicker so we don't to wait for it. But you see how it lifted up where I put that water? One of the last techniques I'm going to show you here is using, um, splatter in scraping techniques. We're going to do it on the wet on dry little circle that we did earlier, and I'm going to show you right now. So what you'll need is your small brush and you will need a color. I'm gonna use orange. I'll use blue because blue goes well with orange there on the other side of the color wheels. So we'll go with that and I'm gonna get this loose this paint CEO at a little more water to loosen it up. Okay, Going to get it on that brush, and I'm gonna take another brush the back side of one brush, and I'm gonna either tap it so you can see the splatter dots that come. You can be more free if you want and flick it and you get a little bit of more intense dots , like so the larger ones from me flicking the smaller ones were for tapping. And if you had your flat brush are I would probably use a slightly smaller flat brush with denser, uh, bristles. You can also take the color and position it in such a way. I don't want to flick it here so you can do it. I don't think I have enough color. I'm kind of just flick the color, splattering it. This bristle is not hard enough, but it would create a spotter that way, too. But your finger gets dirty, so it's really up to your You want to do your spider. But that's another fun way to add texture to your piece, so scraping is using something sharp against the area. So these were our wet on dry. These are our went on with. I'll use the corner or repeat portion of this one to show you I'm gonna layer on top of this square, and I'm gonna use some blue again and it's a little dark, but that's OK, which is gonna go across it like so little wash just so you can see I don't want to use something to scrape. Now you can use something sharp, like the might know. It might be a little dull. The back of the paintbrush or a pencil like a lead pencil. Just don't do the lead. Um, a pilot knife is probably the best thing you can use, but basically, you're gonna scrape over top of this paint. So I'm just going to show you by scraping. I'm gonna scrape this way. So you also can create pattern and texture by scraping, which is a lot of fun as well, even if you and you can to use different sizes of these palette knives as well to see how you wanted to, um, what kind of pattern you wanted? Um, on here. So this is one of the last techniques that will focus on today. It's creeping. 6. Part 4: Exploring Masking Fluid: Okay, Now we're going to get into using the drawing, um, or masking blue in or frisk it, whichever you want to call it. But here I have is drawing. Come. It's the P b o drawing. Um, so it's very liquidy. Usually, um, asking fluids. Just gonna open it to show you it's blue. It can be yellow. It can also come in an applicator. I like it in like a tart. A little container like this, because I can dip my brush really? And draw or a mask wherever I want. Before I apply my watercolor masking fluid or drawing come keeps, uh, the white areas of your painting white for you. So it's a fun way to incorporate white into your pieces as well. So what we'll do is that we'll need some soap. I already have this. I use it, Um, just for this purpose. And I'm taking my brush, and I'm just didn't keep it a rent again. I'm just coding it with some soap very gently. And then I'm gonna use my paper towel and in depth a little bit just to wipe some excess off, which it wasn't much that I'm going to go right into my drying. Uh, drying. Come. This just keeps the integrity of the brush intact. Um, also has a no. I would use a brush that you didn't really care about. Just because an older brush or a brush that you just in care too much about someone a dip. And I'm going to create some, huh? Some lines and you can see on the paper because the masking fluid is blue. You can see what you're doing, which is nice. And then I'm gonna just cross some lines over this way and do some hatching marks. Next, I'm just going to do some circles. Been docked. Small dots and medium dots, larger circles, whatever type of circles, what I'm doing there. Next, I'm going to do a shape someone to just do a heart. So you couldn't see and put enough on there so I can peel it away after a drives and then get aware. But what will two here's will do some lettering, so I'll do the word. Hi. Okay. Immediately after that, I'm just gonna rinse my brush and I'm gonna dip it again into the so to give it a rinse and rinse it one more time. We're gonna let this strike, and we're going to come back to it and look at how watercolor can work with the masking fluid and what kind of textures this creates. All right, So are masking fluid has ride, and you can tell because it's shiny and myths. You can put your hand across the just dab it, and it's it's a little tacky, but not too sticky. Really Strike. What happened here is that it was a little thick, so I dabbed it with a paper towel. Quicken up. It's drying time, but they're a little sticky, so I'll do this one at the end. Let's start with the crosshatch. I'm gonna take my paintbrush and I'm just going to take a color. And now I'm just going to go across that and I'm even gonna blend. Give it a little room, blend together, rinse it off, I blend again. So that's going to drive. I am going to make a yellow bubble that the citizen and I kind of went over that with a drier brush, and you can see it made that dry brush technique that we talked about earlier. I'm just gonna leave it like that. Actually, I think I'm gonna add a little color to that so you can see it a little bit better when I take that asking fluid away. Just gonna add a little one. I did that because I wanted you guys to see it further heart. I'm going to do read and maybe, Yeah, I'll just do it like five. Okay. And let's get to the dots. Will do green dots. And I'm just gonna go over the dots, like so we're going to set these aside to dry real quick, having him come back and take this off, and you'll see the effect for drying. You can either walk away. You can also use a heating tool if you have this or a blow dryer. Okay, now that everything is dry now, I used to heat tool because I wanted to get this going for you guys. But you can leave it alone and let it dry on its own. You would dry a little bit differently. Sometimes when you use a dryer or a blow dryer, you can affect how the water blends into each other and so will dry. And this funny texture which is fine because it still looks cool. But just so you know, also, when you're don't allow this to drive for more than 24 hours or more than really 12 hours, probably only because masking fluid as it sets on paper it will really stick to your paper . And it'll be hard to lift it off. So I would recommend you letting a drive for the hour if you didn't want to use a he tool and then doing peeling it away. Ah, you started with an eraser and I start racing off the asking. If you didn't want to do this, you can really just use your finger as well also. So just go for it. Please note that when you use your finger, you can get some of the paint that's on the top of the masking fluid on your finger and smudge your white area a little bit. So just be careful with that. Okay, so we've removed all of the masking fluid, and you can just see the really cool effects that comes from that. The cross hatching the lettering, the shape and, like the stippling or the dots, you can create really cool textures and your paintings using masking fluid. So I encourage you to try this as well for creating texture and white in your watercolor. 7. Closing Remarks & Class Project: All right, guys, this class may have ended, but you're watercolor. Journey is just beginning. I hope you take some of these simple techniques and apply it to your art walk, as you can see. And as you've learned, hopefully watercolor isn't so intimidating. It's not so scary. You just have to grab a brush and have an open mind about it. I hope you can appreciate watercolor in a different way. I hope you can see that it is abstract that it certainly is brilliant. And the concepts aren't that hard to grass for your class project. Please use one of the techniques and apply it to a watercolor piece or a shape and just try a couple of, um or maybe just one. And please post it under the your project section. I'd really love to see what you've learned. Let me know if you have any questions. I'll be more than happy to answer. You also don't forget to follow me on Instagram. I have a lot of artwork posted on their especially watercolor, where you could draw inspiration from So until next time. Bye, guys