Watercolor Arachnids | Daniela Mellen | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

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

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

8 Lessons (41m)
    • 1. Watercolor Arachnids Class Intro

    • 2. Watercolor Arachnid Supplies

    • 3. Watercolor Arachnid #1

    • 4. Watercolor Arachnid #2

    • 5. Watercolor Arachnid #3

    • 6. Watercolor Arachnid #4

    • 7. Bonus Class! Adorable Arachnid

    • 8. Watercolor Arachnid Class Recap

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

About This Class

Learn to paint Watercolor Arachnids using simple techniques and supplies while focusing on building up layers of watercolor. We will use wet-on-wet technique, using unusual colors for shadows, and salt to create textures in the wet pigment.

This class includes a downloadable Supply List and a downloadable Arachnid Template for making stencils.

Included is A BONUS LESSON for an Adorable Spider, complete with top hat.

Beginners and practiced watercolorists will enjoy the class, as lessons vary from the simple and most basic to variations on aan intermeidate skill.

Students are encouraged to practice using any or all of these methods and even combine techniques to get their own unique arachnid.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Daniela Mellen

Artist & Author


I'm an artist and author living in coastal Florida and surrounded by plants, animals, marine life, and the warm sun - all things that inspire me.

I am drawn to creating things and love to get lost in projects. Each day is a opportunity to learn something new, build on existing skills, and branch out to new ones. I was formally trained as a educator which is my passion and incorporating art into teaching makes my life complete.

I upload art classes every Friday, here on Skillshare. You'll see handmade books, memory keeping, watercolor, acrylic paint, unique art supplies, and photography composition. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to seeing your work.

Check out my blog for additional info on my website danielamellen.com or my YouTube Channel for additional c... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Watercolor Arachnids Class Intro: Hello. I'm Daniella Mylan. Welcome to my still share class watercolor Iraq needs. Today, I'll show you how to make a variety of spiders will make spooky spiders, creepy spiders and even a whimsical spider. We'll use basic watercolor techniques and I'll show you how to use salt to make your background have interesting textures. I can't wait to get started. 2. Watercolor Arachnid Supplies: the supplies for our watercolor Iraq needs are pretty standard watercolor supplies. We'll start with watercolor paper. This is £130. I cut it into four by six rectangles for this project. So here we have the rectangles and each of the spiders. Each of the Iraq needs will be its own paper down. Please download our template. If you'd like help in drawing some spiders, or you could sketch them freehand if you downloaded and then cut out the shapes, you'll have a template from which you can make your pencil marks for our painting. Paper towels are always great for watercolor. I have two vials of water, a larger tub of water in a smaller vial of Clearwater that I'll re rinse my brush that I'd used from a large tub. I have a pencil in an eraser, which I'll use light pencil marks on. I have some permanent markers. These are archival inks. 05 and one. You can use these, or you could just use the Blackwater color. These are just a little easier to use for something like the spider web. I have two types assault. I have a thicker sea salt and a some kosher salt because of the crystals, are a little larger than table salt. We'll use thes as well if this is totally optional, but it's a fun technique. I have my spray bottle of water toe wet, my watercolors and I have my watercolors. I have three brushes. I have two very fine ones and one size four moderate brush. Let's get started. 3. Watercolor Arachnid #1: for our first directed, I drew out with the template. Um And then I went over it after you drawing in pencil and went over it with the marker. This is optional. You can just do relight sketch and then erase the line. Or you can use the marker, as I did here. The first thing we do is I'm gonna wet the body and the head, just using the Clearwater going around, and then I'm gonna decide if I want to do my spider black or a shade of maybe very dark blue, almost black or purple or green. Any of those colors will work, and they'll be a little more interesting than just a plain black. So I'll mix my color. Think we'll do a purple one. Start with a lot of black as the outline, and then I'll drop in some purple. But I'd like to get that color mixed first, so take some purple. This color is way too light. We want to have a dark and stormy you look and a little red. It's a much better purple. Okay, so first go around the outside right up to the lines and drop in the black water color here . I want a lot of pigment to absorb into the paper, so it's very dark and bright. I can go back and add another layer. If when it dries, it drives much lighter. And we know watercolor drives lighter. I'll come back and drop in my pigment. Careful to leave a little area untouched for a highlight to show through and then take a smaller brush. Drop in some black just so the edges not quite pristine. I want to see more of a meld between the colors. It's a better look. And then here, clean water is gonna add a few drops to the center. Here, see it move around that pigment. Now work on the head. Same procedure. Gonna re wet it a little again, starting with the edges. Leave a little space between the head and the body and then I'll drop in life purple again . I'm being careful. Toe overlap onto the black that was already put down, and I'll add another layer of purple just right on top of that Blacks. I'll take a smaller brush, go in there with some clean water. Just move that pigment around, and just a little more purple. Now I'll start with the legs. Start back here. Just gonna do the bottom half in black, and then I'll do the top part in purple. And I'd like those colors to run together Will speed up the recording here so you can just get to the end. Okay, so now we have our spider. It's completed. It bled a little outside the head here and about around the legs. And that's okay. We're gonna work with that. So the next thing we do is create just a little shadow on the web here, string work flies down from, so I'm just gonna makes a very light I'm great. And just make a line right behind it. Then I'm gonna go back here with my purple mix. It makes it a little more add in a little black, and then I'm gonna spatter go back with the black and a little spatter as well. When that dries. Well, I had a little bit of shadow right behind the spider. Now that this layer has dried, we can continue with our background. We just want to create a little shadow behind the spider. So again, we're gonna need just a very bit a little bit of a light gray. And I'm just gonna echo the shape first of the body and then of the head, go down the web one more time, and then I'll do the, uh, shadow of the legs as well. And I'm just trying to get each segment here, but on this side, this will dry later. Now that I see that it's the colors. Here we have a lot of the darks, the purple in the black. I'd like to add a little pop of color, so I think I'll add some yellow just at an additional spatter. Here we go. 4. Watercolor Arachnid #2: Now it's time to work in our second reacted. This is a more spooky one there some details that make it particularly scary. The sharper points, the longer legs are kind of terrifying visuals on this guy. So we'll start by coloring the head in the body again with clear water and instead of purple this time will do a dark green. I'm going to start with the darker color this time. Right in the center. I'll go almost to the edge. I mean, I'll go back with my darker black, go around the edge getting two colors to work together. Where were the head in the body Meat. I'm leaving a little space. I'm going back and picking up more black. Now I'm gonna add more green trying to get the black and the green to work together here you killed and now for the legs. I was gonna do a little differently than last time this start and just wet one leg, one segment of one leg. I'll start with a little black, let that leave through, and then I'm gonna add the green. You do that on the next segment, then I'll go back to the first segment. If it's not combining well, I'll add some more color. And it's okay if it doesn't The pigment doesn't go up to the end because we did drew the outline. We'll see that now. Do the remaining legs the same way. - Okay , now that we have the spider body and the legs done, we're gonna move on to the background here. We're gonna use our salt. So first thing to do is decide on a color for the background. Um, I wanted to be very light, but I think with the, um, the green and orangey red background will be nice. So mixed that up first makes up just a lighter one over here. Then I'll take some clean water and I'll just paint some Clearwater on the background in the bottom half will work with half of this at a time. Since it's a four by six sheet of paper, it's not too big, and I'm not going close to the legs just around them. I want to make sure it's nice and wet, but I'm gonna try and do is drop in color and then have a nice transition. Okay, so drop in some of that orange color around the outside, and then some of this lighter color don't go back and add some of the orangey color is to give a little outline, little transition, and I'll go back with the lighter color working between the lines on the bottom half between the legs, I should say. And the secret is to prevent getting the sharp edges. Um, is to keep it wet, keep the paper wet, work on the other half because we're gonna be adding salts soon. I want to make sure I keep the paint in the pigment nice and wet right here, while the pigment is damp, papers wet but a drop in my salt. Take a few crystals and I just put it down. And if the paper is the right degree of witness, the salt will absorb some of that pigment and pull it away from the paper. So now we'll work on the other side. Well, that side is doing. Salt is resting on it. Okay with salt, - this is drying very quickly. Don't go back with on my orange and red and now just a sprinkling of salt. We'll see if that did anything on the background when it dries. So now our reckoning with salt on top of it is dry. The entire painting. I was concerned that maybe the I applied the salt too late and didn't give the effects that were hoping for. But we'll try it right now to see I'm just gonna brush off assault. Some of it falls off her easily in some of it sticks. Usually if it falls off very easily. It's a sign that it didn't do. It's supposed to do. Okay, so you can see a tiny bit of reaction here. Um, almost Pebley. I like the way the spider looks. It just doesn't have the all the texture that I wanted to use with assault. I did another one on the chance that it wouldn't work, and sometimes it does not. And here we have it, and you could see the texture that assault created. It wished away the pigment and left a bunch of spots and the bottom color, which was the yellow showing through and like a little aura of where the salt crystals used to be. So you can imagine that if you use big salt crystals, you'll get larger textures and very fine ones with the rights wetness will get very fine. Spotted background almost dappled. So this is the contrast between the two same spider, different background checks. 5. Watercolor Arachnid #3: for 1/3 painting, we're going to start with a blank canvas. These are simple geometric shapes, and I find it easier to work without a template. So for this one, we're just gonna create a burst of color washing the backgrounds. Very organic, Unplanned. I'll start by wedding. The paper. It is just Clearwater, some color that was left on my brush and then I'll just drop in some color again. I just want light color here and there. No clear shapes, just some hints of color in the background in the green, dried very light. So add another layer, and I think I'll add a little blew up top in a little blue over here just to tie it in. Okay, let that layer dry. Then we'll come back and that our next layer for our trio of Iraq in it is now that the first layer has dried, we're gonna add are three spiders and their webs. Take this a little bit of the dark color because there's so much smaller than the spiders we've been working on. We just want to suggest that there spiders just the shape, so I'll start by making a large body relatively speaking and then a little head. Then I'll go back and make some legs. I tend to do them one side and then the other, just so that they're somewhat even. Okay, there's our first spider. The 2nd 1 will make a little bit lower because I have the body above the head. It appears that they're descending. If you want to make them look like they're going back up, the rebs just put their heads on top. I like the little brush for the legs. It makes them particularly tiny, very thin. Now for our last spider will move him up here. Now for the Web's You can either use your marker or, um, your paint. I'm gonna use my paint just because it's going Wells. Well, I'm gonna do is flip it over and started the tail and go straight up. And if I miss some spots, I can either go back and connect them or just leave, um, dotted there. We have three simple spiders 6. Watercolor Arachnid #4 : way have spider web little dangling spider. So this one's kind of whimsical and a little cute. So we're gonna add some fun colors, gonna mix a little orange and will make this nice and pale Just shadow the spider web with it. So I'm just gonna go off to the right the thin line and just mimic the shapes. Same thing with the inside parts of the Web. And now, with a thin brush, I'm gonna do the same thing with the dangling part of the spider web again with the thin brush, I'm gonna come back and just do the shadow of the spider and this color orange will dry a little bit later, just mimicking the shapes and pulling everything to the right a little bit. Now I want to do the spider. I think about it. Do him a dark blue, so I'm gonna feel them body in the head with clear water, and I'll mix a little dark blue just a little bit of purple in there. Drop that color in, take my smaller brush and go in with even darker color just at a few dark spots again, not covering the entire body. It had leaving some white showing and then doing the same with little feet. And now for the background gonna make some yellow with a little bit of green, we're just gonna have flourishes of color and then so clear water it was to let it blend. - You know, I'm gonna go over all the green area, the background that we have with clear water again, and I'm gonna drop in a little dark green spots here and there with my small brush. It's important to have the paint the water on the paper so that the colors will run. Go back of the lighter green as well. Okay, last they'll take a dark green and make a nice border. So now, looking at it, I want to add some pop of color to the Web itself. I'll go with a bright orange, very thin brush and just go right over the top following the lines that were my shadow works 7. Bonus Class! Adorable Arachnid: for a bonus lesson. We have a cute spider. Um, things that make him cute. Are there no harsh shape? So no pointy lines, no super long legs, no scary eyes or fangs. We even put a little top hat on him here, and he's hanging from this. A teeny little web looks totally harmless. The label start. This is We can also pick fun colors. We don't have to pick black. Um, you could make him a pink spider if you wanted. First thing I'm gonna do at Clearwater to the head outlining, going around the eyes, just the body, which is also the head one and the same on this guy. Go. I think we'll do a light blue spider. Could you add some color to make a more whimsical You can add stripes or polka dots. You could make his eyes rounded to your drop shape. Whatever you'd like to do to make it fun and cute, I think I'm gonna mix a little bit of like a turquoise and drop that in as well. To give a little variation, take out my smaller brush for the legs gotta quickly. Just add a coat of clear water and then I'll drop in some color. I'll drop it in both close to the body and right at the feet. Then we'll just make sure it is clear water trying to coordinate the two of them. Connect the two colors, go back and add more pigment. Go to the other legs the same way at a little clear, just to connect the pigment thing. I can work on the inside of the eyes like him to be nice and black and leave a little spot for a highlight. If I fill it in accidentally, I can always go over it with a gel pen and to create a highlight, a white gel pen that I'm gonna try and leave it highlighted. Here. Here we go. Don't go back to my big brush for the top hat again, filling it with clear water first, and then I'll go in with some black again. I'm not filling in all the areas, leaving a few little spots of white or very pale grey. Well, that is drying will just make a little cash shadow underneath, so I just want a simple over. Take a little dark color, mix it in with our blue and create more of a noble. You have non scary spider 8. Watercolor Arachnid Class Recap: and here we have all our watercolor records. We have the purple spider with spattered background in the caste shadow. We use spatter from the colors from our spider, as well as an unexpected pop of color. Here we use solid lines from a marker to create the Web and then created shadows and very plain soft colors for the background, kind of a whimsical spider with thick feet. Here we have our trio of spiders, more like a hint on the suggestion of the spider, but everybody would recognize that they're a spider. And again, if you change the direction and you have the lines going up, they would look like they were ascending instead of descending down. Um, we have our spider with our attempted salt background and our spider, with our successful salt background again different looks. This is the wicked spider because of the long, pointy legs and the sharp features and the pinchers. And then, lastly, we have everyone's favorite, the cute spider. Totally heartless, I hope. Youll try some of these techniques, maybe mix and match some of the things the cash shadow, the trio using your marker, creating a whimsical spider and give you handed trying with salt. I hope you'll have better results than I had the first time. But it's a fun experiment to do. I hope youll post your projects on our project board. We could all see what you've done.